Angels and Ice Cubes

By Andrea Hagan

When my daughter was four years old, she took a pretty bad tumble down the front staircase of our home.  I was walking in front of her and had just descended the L shaped staircase when I caught sight of her in the mirror hanging on our dining room wall.  In what seemed like slow motion, my daughter tripped and did a mid-air somersault, landing face-first at the bottom of the staircase.  She cried, but amazingly, she was not hurt.  From my viewpoint, her spill should have resulted in serious injuries.  She asked for some ice so I held an ice pack on her head where she said it hurt, but after about a minute, she said she was fine and that she wanted to go play.  

The next morning, my daughter slept in a little later than usual. At breakfast, I asked her how she slept, as I do every morning, and she said that she did not sleep well because there was a glowing man in her room that was keeping her up.  More curious than alarmed (my daughter is a creative and imaginative child), I asked her what this man looked like.  She described him, matter of factly, as a huge, white glowing man.  I asked her if he said anything and she said no, that he was quiet.  He was just watching her and he had a cooler.  Confused, I asked her what she meant, and she explained that he had an ice cooler with glowing cubes, probably in case he fell. 

Now, skeptics will say that my daughter simply recalled a vivid dream in which her subconscious mind was processing her fall earlier that day.  But I believe her angel was watching over her, explaining why she had no injuries whatsoever, not even the slightest bruise or knot.  Her angel, continuing to care for her that night, brought her some extra ice, the glowing heavenly kind, just in case.  

Seeing is believing, she saw and I believe.

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What ever happened to Betty Crocker?

By Andrea Hagan

Forget the birthday cake made from a box mix and the waxy primary colored candles of our youth.  Imagine now an event that takes months of planning, countless hours combing Pinterest, Instagram and Etsy in search of the perfect themed event followed by countless hours executing said themed event.  Lots of cash spent, the house wrecked, mom and dad needing to take to bed, and what’s to show for it?  Pictures to prove to your child years down the road that you went insane one day a year? 

Parents, why do we fall into this trap?  While I did not go completely insane, I did go bigger than I intended to for my oldest daughter’s first birthday party.  Surprisingly, my husband was a terrible enabler.  I set out initially to have a mini cake, made by me, with the grandparents over to watch the time-honored ritual of a one-year old smearing icing everywhere.  And that would be that.  

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Except that it wasn’t that.  My husband really pushed for a big party, that it was our first child’s first, after all.  I caved, allowing what should have been simple and stress free to turn into anything but.  Extended family, friends, a buffet of homemade finger foods and treats, two dozen homemade cupcakes, not including the homemade smash cake, a helium tank purchased for the balloons, the perfect birthday girl outfit, monogrammed birthday bib, I could go on here, but you get the picture.  And looking back, this party was low key and modest compared to other parties we’ve attended. 

Who’s to blame for this epidemic?  Perhaps the blame lies with event planners in LA who celebrity moms hire to throw lavish parties for children with “quirky” names such as Apple, Blue Ivy, or Zuma.  

Maybe it’s MTV’s fault (remember MTV?!) for the strangely addictive, train wreck of a television show “My Super Sweet Sixteen”, where bratty teenage girls get their overindulgent parents to drop 10 grand on an over the top birthday extravaganza.  Think red carpet and designer gowns, the hottest band of the moment, security guards at the door, all the while documenting how low we- as a society, have fallen. 

Or it could boil down to the fact that when you become a parent you are suddenly in a secret competition that your child is/has the best, and this competitive nature includes having the “best” birthday party.  And biggest is best.  Add gasoline to this fire, i.e. social media, and it’s the perfect storm for a one upper birthday bash blowout.  (Or we could just stick with blaming celebrities and MTV).

My youngest daughter’s first birthday is a few months away.  Already the debate begins.  I want cake and grandparents.  Now my husband is using a different tact:  Well, since we threw a big party for Emeline’s first, shouldn’t we throw a big one for Natalie, too?  Sneaky.  I’m a middle child and so of course this argument resonates with me.  (Ah, but middle child angst stories are for another day…).  

Will I go insane this time around?  Place your bets here.  Do you go all out for your child/children’s birthday parties or did your own mother know best with her box mix birthday cake set atop a tinfoil covered piece of cardboard? 

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Beachcombing and Bemoaning

By Andrea Hagan

 

I love shelling.  It combines some of my favorite things – the beach, physical activity, solitude and attention to detail.  Planning for one of my family’s upcoming Florida trips, I (naively) thought that it was time to introduce my daughter to my beloved pastime.

I envisioned us as a great mother-daughter beachcombing duo.  What fun we would have on our hunt and even better, getting our treasure back home where we would eagerly sort and proudly display our fighting conchs, kitten paws, shark’s eyes, maybe even a prized alphabet cone or two!

 

Then there was the reality of shelling with a toddler.  One of the best shelling spots in Southwest Florida takes some effort to reach.  We set off on bikes for the first stretch, my husband pulling our daughter and her baby brother in the bike trailer.  The second leg requires a one-mile walk along the beach.  My husband pushes our son in the bike trailer and our daughter gets out and takes my hand.  It’s the perfect day for shelling and I smile, excited to create this new tradition with my daughter.

That is until I spot the first fighting conch.  l let go of my toddler’s hand to pick it up and put it in my bag and she whines, “Mom, hold my hand.”  This is my daughter’s latest annoying toddler behavior.  In public, she demands I hold her hand, regardless if I’m holding her brother and a diaper bag plus a bag of groceries, she goes into complete hysterics if I let go of her hand for a split second.  I’m not sure if this is a power struggle, jealousy of her brother, or if she’s becoming Howard Hughes, afraid of people and being in public in general.  So I explain to her that we are shelling and that when we see a pretty shell, we stop and pick it up and I need my other hand to do that.  Two steps later and I spot another shell, and again, “Mom, hold my hand.”  “Mom, hold my hand.”  “Mom, hold my hand.”  “MOM, HOLD MY HAND!”

Now, some of you might be thinking, what a terrible mom complaining that her daughter wants to hold her hand.  I implore you to listen to “Mom, hold my hand” for 150 times, each whine becoming higher in octave and louder than the Gulf of Mexico crashing against the shoreline before you lose your (sea glass) marbles!  My husband tried to help, but he’s pushing baby brother in a bike trailer, not an easy feat on baby powder fine sand. Eventually, my daughter has a complete meltdown and we are forced to put her in the trailer too, which makes strolling on the beach difficult and shelling less than enjoyable.

One mile in means one mile out.  We try to let our daughter walk on the return trip, and it’s still the broken record of “Mom, hold my hand,” but now sprinkled in is, “Mom, hold me” with “Mom, this is too much walking, Can you hold me?”  The hallmark picture perfect mother-daughter shelling tradition that I envisioned sinks right to the bottom of the Gulf and is carried over to Keewaydin Island, probably with the alphabet cone.

I did add a few shells to my collection on that trip.  Just don’t hold the fighting conch up to your ear because all you’ll hear is whine.

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No shoes allowed…inside the house!

At my house, we have a shoeless policy.  Everyone takes off their shoes before they come inside.

Prior to having children, this is something that would have never even crossed my mind.  “Sex and the City” (anyone remember “Sex and the City”???) did an episode about Carrie attending a baby shower at a friend’s apartment with such a policy, only to have her Molonano Balanics stolen.  Legal Disclaimer – if you own a pair of Manolo Blahniks, please do not wear them over to my house.  I cannot be held responsible for the safety of your insanely expensive shoes.  Years ago when I watched that episode, I completely related with Carrie.  What lunatic makes you take off your shoes?

Flash forward 2013 when my daughter was born, and that lunatic is now me.  Once your little one becomes mobile, with those sweet little hands on the floor, and subsequently, in their mouth, it makes you think twice about wearing those old gym shoes in the kitchen.  I would never let my kids crawl around on the grocery store floor, for example, so why would I wear shoes in the house that just walked in said grocery store?  I’m by no means a germaphobe.  Kids should eat a little dirt now and then, just not off my hardwood floors!

Sans shoes really wasn’t too difficult to implement.  We just put a shoe rack at the top of our garage steps, easy peasy.  I have a pair of flip-flops handy in case I need to go out in the garage for something.  And who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  My husband has no problem with taking his shoes off.  He agrees with my logic and appreciates the end result of cleaner floors.

For guests that don’t know the shoe rule, I have prominently displayed an Etsy hand-painted sign that reads “Because little hands touch our floor, please leave your shoes at the door.”  Cute, right?  Apparently not.

After recently moving to our new house, we threw our first party.  I prominently displayed the shoe sign on the front door for those that had never been to my house before.  Guests politely complied, as a pile of shoes lay by the door.  One individual came inside with their shoes on.  I explained that we have a shoes free house but apparently this offended this individual’s dignity and honor.  I might as well have insulted their mama!  I thought I was going to have to forcefully remove their shoes.  The shoes were finally taken off with an audible huff, but it was a weird exchange that I thought was unnecessary.  And for the record, the shoes in question were definitely not Manolo Blahniks!

Am I militant about the shoe thing?  Yes.  But that’s just my personality.  Once I commit to something, I’m all in.  So, you’ve all been warned.  Please leave your shoes and attitude at the door!

Until next time, I’d love to hear what you think about my barefoot brouhaha.  Does anyone out there have a shoe-free home?  Any Carrie’s out there that think being asked to remove your shoes is offensive and borderline OCD?

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Lemons & Lyme Complex

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  When life gives you Lyme complex, you make…?

After a few years of rapidly declining health with fuzzy labels such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, I was finally diagnosed with Lyme complex. And I couldn’t have been more excited. Wait, what? If you’ve ever struggled with an unnamed illness, you know what I’m talking about. A diagnosis at least is confirmation that yes, you’ve been really sick and here’s why. 

Lyme disease is a big old political firestorm for reasons longer than I’ll delve into right now. Life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Life gives you Lyme, you’d better make a sizable annual income because treatment is going to be expensive. 

To compound the issue, no one agrees on the treatment plan.  Take long-term antibiotics, but how long? No, take IV antibiotics. No, antibiotics will wreck your already wrecked system, take herbs. No, detox from heavy metals and co-infections first before you even think about addressing Lyme.

So what to make with Lyme? Stephen Buhner, Lyme expert, herbalist and author of “Healing Lyme,” opines that one of the many functions of illness is to “teach us how to alter the fabric of our lives in order to become whole again…and how to remain that way.” Of course Mr. Buhner looks exactly how you’d imagine an herbalist would look like, with long hair spilling out of his beret, neck adorned by various necklaces and scarves. You can practically smell the patchouli wafting off him from his website picture. 

While I’m not about to don a beret any time soon (sorry, I don’t care that they are called fascinators across the pond and that Duchess Kate wears them), what am I going to make with Lyme? 

I started honestly examining my life and asking myself what I want to do with the precious time that I have on this planet. And my books popped back into my mind. I had written a couple of children’s books several years ago, sent them to a few big publishers and never hearing anything, so I easily gave up and moved on. So I’ll put my writer’s hat back on, OK maybe I will wear a beret after all, and pursue my passion, which is to see my children’s books published.    

Till next time. Make lots of lemonade between now and then!

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A Valentine’s Day Regift

Think regifting is limited to December 25th and bad Christmas sweaters? Think again!  Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to regift.  Valentine’s Day is all about giving your heart to someone else.  I am being literal here.  I am taking about becoming an organ donor.

Organ donation is dubbed the gift of life, but I think it’s really a regift.   We are blessed with these original gifts in our bodies.  Take the human liver, for example, it is so amazing, it can regenerate itself even if part of its own tissue dies.  On a side note, let’s all take a collective moment to apologize to our liver for our past transgressions – spring break; college; your best friend’s wedding; cheap beer; you fill in the blank.  My mother was an organ donor and her organs helped save three people.  One recipient now has my mother’s liver; she was a teetotaler to boot so talk about a top of the line regift!

Only around 37 percent of eligible Tennesseans are registered organ donors, well below the national average of around 50 percent.  (FYI, New York state has the fewest donors, coming in at an abysmal 33 percent).  Why are Tennesseans, known for our volunteer spirit, failing to volunteer our hearts?  There’s certainly a lot of “bless your heart” being dished out, but not a lot of actual bestowing of the heart.  On this Valentine’s Day, let us all commit to regifting our hearts (and other organs that aren’t quite as Valentine’s theme related).

Please go to donatelifetn.org to become an organ donor.  It only takes a few minutes to fill out the online form.

 

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Happiness on hold and other DIY mommy projects

 

By Andrea Hagan

My kids and I love visiting the library.  As an adult, you get to relive those great childhood memories of your library, excited to pick a few new books to take home.  I allow my daughter to check out two books at a time; otherwise, we’d wind up losing them.  She went through a stage where it was great fun to place items in various locations throughout the house (Mom’s hairbrush shoved in the onion bin in the pantry, check!  Mom’s bra tied around lion’s neck, check!  Mom’s wedding ring under the trampoline, check!)

I like to check out a few books too, usually cookbooks.  While perusing the cooking section, I stumbled up “The Happiness Project,” a book that had obviously been mishelved (Can’t blame my daughter, she was in the stroller at the time…).  This is an older book I vaguely remember hearing about back when I had the time to read one book a week, ie before children.  I decide to check it out.  Why not?  What mom couldn’t use a little more happiness?

Fast forward three months later.  I am exactly on page three, having renewed this book a total of four times.  I’m almost embarrassed to attempt a fifth renewal, afraid the librarian will see this in the computer system and say, “Lady, you’re delusional!  You and I both know that you are not going to make the time to read this book!  Extension denied!  With a big thud of the stamper on the card in the back of the book (Well, there are no more stampers or cards in the back of the book as everything is now electronic, but it would certainly make for a more dramatic effect).  A hush would fall over the library, everyone would turn from their board backed periodicals (okay, their Facebook pages on the library computers) to stare at the woman who simply could not find the time to be happy.  Shamefully, I would exit the library with nothing to show for the humiliation except for my daughter’s two Clifford books that I could dramatically reenact if called upon, having painfully read and reread.

There were all sorts of projects and plans that simply never happened.  For example, I was going to organize all my daughter’s pictures and make several collage canvases and baby books by her first birthday Never happened as we are now at age three.  The shadow boxes of newborn keepsakes still adorn my dining room table, a project that at least got started.

I’m not going to say that happiness is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, because that is too cliché.  Maybe the lesson here is that the very essence of happiness cannot be turned into a project or captured in a DIY book.  That my happiness today was my daughter snuggling in my lap for a few minutes or my son looking up at me from his crib, smiling and holding up his arms, waiting for me to pick him up from his nap.  At least that’s what I’ll tell that judgmental librarian when I return the unread Happiness Project book next week….

Till next month!

 

 

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Happiness on hold and other DIY mommy projects

go to site By Andrea Hagan

 

My kids and I love visiting the library.  As an adult, you get to relive those great childhood memories of your library, excited to pick a few new books to take home.  I allow my daughter to check out two books at a time; otherwise, we’d wind up losing them.  She went through a stage where it was great fun to place items in various locations throughout the house (Mom’s hairbrush shoved in the onion bin in the pantry, check!  Mom’s bra tied around lion’s neck, check!  Mom’s wedding ring under the trampoline, check!)

I like to check out a few books too, usually cookbooks.  While perusing the cooking section, I stumbled up “The Happiness Project,” a book that had obviously been mishelved (Can’t blame my daughter, she was in the stroller at the time…).  This is an older book I vaguely remember hearing about back when I had the time to read one book a week, ie before children.  I decide to check it out.  Why not?  What mom couldn’t use a little more happiness? 

Fast forward three months later.  I am exactly on page three, having renewed this book a total of four times.  I’m almost embarrassed to attempt a fifth renewal, afraid the librarian will see this in the computer system and say, “Lady, you’re delusional!  You and I both know that you are not going to make the time to read this book!  Extension denied!  With a big thud of the stamper on the card in the back of the book (Well, there are no more stampers or cards in the back of the book as everything is now electronic, but it would certainly make for a more dramatic effect).  A hush would fall over the library, everyone would turn from their board backed periodicals (okay, their Facebook pages on the library computers) to stare at the woman who simply could not find the time to be happy.  Shamefully, I would exit the library with nothing to show for the humiliation except for my daughter’s two Clifford books that I could dramatically reenact if called upon, having painfully read and reread. 

There were all sorts of projects and plans that simply never happened.  For example, I was going to organize all my daughter’s pictures and make several collage canvases and baby books by her first birthday Never happened as we are now at age three.  The shadow boxes of newborn keepsakes still adorn my dining room table, a project that at least got started.

I’m not going to say that happiness is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, because that is too cliché.  Maybe the lesson here is that the very essence of happiness cannot be turned into a project or captured in a DIY book.  That my happiness today was my daughter snuggling in my lap for a few minutes or my son looking up at me from his crib, smiling and holding up his arms, waiting for me to pick him up from his nap.  At least that’s what I’ll tell that judgmental librarian when I return the unread Happiness Project book next week….

 

Till next month!

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A Leaky Gut, a Cronut and the Little Engine that Could

 

By Andrea Hagan

 

I have a leaky gut caused by systematic Candida. Sounds gross, right? Before you say TMI and stop reading, just know that we all have yeast and other bacteria in our gut and it’s actually a very good thing.  Until it becomes a very bad thing.

I decided to take charge of my health when I was pregnant with my son. I switched to a Paleo lifestyle, cutting out gluten and most processed foods and dairy; eating organic whenever possible; and limiting chemical exposure (cleaning products, shampoos, makeup, etc.).  To the casual observer I looked perfectly healthy, but I felt absolutely terrible the majority of the time. I had chronic unexplained stomach pains, other digestive issues and pain and inflammation in various parts of my body.  Not to mention the seemingly unexplained flair ups of my autoimmune disease alopecia areata.

After a few months of following a Paleo lifestyle, many of my symptoms disappeared and I thought I’d found the answer.  And then the other shoe dropped (doesn’t it always?).  I got a vicious case of breastfeeding mastitis when my son was two months old, leading to a mega dose of antibiotics. No big deal, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, while antibiotics do their job in killing an infection, they also kill good bacteria too, and that’s when the gut flora can get out of balance.  The medical profession is just now realizing the importance of gut health; with about 70 percent of our immune system residing there, one can understand why a healthy gut is so important.

Looking back now I see that it probably wasn’t just the one infection and one round of antibiotics that caused my cascade of health problems.  It was a lifetime of willy nilly antibiotic use.  It was not eating enough vegetables (Yes, your mother was right to nag!).  It was fast food and Coke.  It was pizza and beer on Friday night.  It was drinking chemical laden water from chemical laden plastic bottles.  It was too much stress.  It was too much sugar.  It was the cumulative effect of not taking care of my body for many years, and now it was time to pay the piper.

I finally went to a functional medicine specialist and after a series of tests, the conclusion was gut dysbiosis of the small intestines. My good guys were low in number and the bad guys had set up shop in my small intestines via my gut permeability, hence the term leaky gut.  The bad guys being primarily Candida, which explained the excruciating breastfeeding pain and thrush diaper rashes that both my children just couldn’t shake, along with a laundry list of other Candida related may lays: food allergies; migraines; body aches and pains; chronic fatigue; a mystery face rash; brain fog; random nose bleeds, the list goes on and on.

My supplement regiment went from a multivitamin to an entire alternative medicine cabinet full of herbs and vitamins dedicated to gut healing (along with other holistic protocol measures that really are TMI…).  I started on a strict autoimmune elimination diet, removing nuts, seeds, all dairy, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, spices, etc), and all sugar, with the goal being to figure out which foods were causing reactions and eliminating those to allow my body to heal.   It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, both mentally and physically.  It’s also as boring and monotonous as it sounds.  Anytime I’m at an event/family gathering, food is going to be the focus.  We’re in the South, for goodness’ sake!  And inevitably, I’ll be asked 20 different times by 20 different people why I’m not eating, and my honest reply that “Candida has destroyed my gut villi, set up shop in various parts of my body and is systematically destroying my health” really isn’t pleasant dinner conversation!  It’s honestly easier to just stay home.

I was seeing slight improvement in my symptoms until a vacation and that damn cronut. You remember the cronut craze? A croissant and doughnut had a love child, the cronut. The sad thing is that I didn’t even eat the cronot. Let me explain. My family and I were at a farmer’s market, a veritable smorgasbord of baked goodies and fried delicacies. I’m still on my super boring healing foods regiment when I spot the cronout. I white knuckle it right on by and instead go for an acai fruit bowl, another food craze of the moment. Sure the acai fruit bowl was good, especially to someone that had been abstaining from fruit, but what I really wanted was that cronout. And old diet for weight loss habits die hard. So, I wind up later in the evening hiding in the bedroom gorging on my husband’s jumbo bag of peanut M &Ms (don’t judge!), and peanut M & Ms were never that great to begin with!  Had I simply eaten that cronut the sky would not have fallen and I would still have been on my path to healing instead of taking the crazed detour of eating a jumbo bag of mediocre candy with a migraine to follow, just to add insult to injury!

Confession is good for the soul, but what is good for the gut?  All I know is that I want to be able to fully enjoy my wonderful children, so I will take the attitude of the Little Engine that Could, my daughter’s favorite book of the moment: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can heal my leaky gut!  Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be riding a train, enjoying a delicious cronut without looking like I ran head long into a hornet’s nest, chanting “I thought I could, I thought I could.”  I’ll pass on the peanut M&Ms, though.

Till next month!

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Don’t wash your baby’s head with brandy

…and other pearls of motherly wisdom

By Andrea Hagan

 

Break out the high ball glasses, it’s time for motherly advice circa England, 1878!

While recently on vacation, I stumbled upon a funky gift shop with a great selection of odd ball merchandise.  A little pocket sized reference book “Don’ts for Mothers” caught my eye.  Intrigued by the title, I flipped through and read the introduction/admonishment: this book “ought not to be listlessly read, merely as a novel or as any other piece of fiction[. . . .]” Oh contraire, no listless reading here!  I immediately headed for the checkout line when I landed on this tidbit – “Don’t feel it necessary to wash your infant’s head with brandy.”  A brandy bath?  Now, bathtub gin I’ve heard of, but I’m unfamiliar with brandy as part of your child’s hair care routine. What other maternal knowledge has been lost to antiquity?!  Let’s read on and find out, shall we?

 

On Potty training:
“Don’t allow a babe’s clothes to become wet with urine.  Children can be taught cleanliness, by putting a vessel under their lap when there is a sign of evacuation and will soon be not content to do without it.  This practice may begun at five or six weeks.”
FIVE OR SIX WEEKS!  This idea is actually big in the crunchy community.  Alicia Silverstone is a big proponent of “elimination communication” or just watching closely and holding baby over the potty before you think he or she is about go.  While I’m a somewhat crunchy mommy, I just never got into this, diapers just seemed easier. Although now with a two and a half year old daughter who flat out refuses to use her potty, I can see the appeal of beginning the training earlier, when “NO” has yet to enter the vocabulary!

 

click here On dealing with the crushing disappointment of failing to give your husband a male heir:
“Don’t be disappointed when you learn that “it” is a girl and not a boy.  Don’t let that disappointment tinge your treatment of your girls.  A girl is every bit as important to this world as a boy.”
Just take a page from Kim Kardashian’s play book and when at first you first don’t succeed, (allegedly, per US Weekly, and if you can’t trust US Weekly for truth in reporting then who can you trust I ask?) spend big bucks with IVF and gender selection to ensure you give Kayne a boy and keep that gravy train a going!

 

On dressing your child:

“Don’t talk about dress but be careful always to have your own dress neat and well-fitted . . . . By these means, children will form the habit of dressing well.”

Hum, I don’t think the sweats that I’ve worn for two days in a row passes muster.  Okay, I know I own pants that require the use of a belt somewhere around here….

 

On decorating the nursery:

“Don’t hang the nursery walls with paintings of bad quality.  The horrid daubs and bad engravings that usually disfigure nursery walls are enough to ruin the taste of a child.”

Ah, words to live by.  What, you don’t have an original Picasso above your baby’s crib?  Well, I just hope you can live with yourself knowing that you’ve singlehandedly ruined your child’s artistic palate.  Although if your horrid nursery daubs keep your child from growing up and majoring in Art History in college, then maybe this one should be a “do” instead of a “don’t.”

 

On Discipline:

“Don’t punish a child too harshly.  A punishment should always be as mild as it can be.  Small children may be sent to bed without supper or tied to an arm-chair, or sent out of the room and forbidden to return.”

Can someone say referral to the Department of Children’s Services?

 

see On raising a high spirited daughter:

“Don’t be afraid if your daughter should acquire masculine habits, or rough manners.  As growing children they should have free use of their limbs and are likely to be the most graceful and healthy in adulthood.”

Thank goodness!  I often feel that I’m in a cage match with Ronda Rousey, AKA my toddler daughter, whether it be trying to change her clothes, brush her teeth, or her best MMA move, the lap sitting that turns into wallowing that then turns into her elbow being thrust into my pick a body part – sternum, chin, stomach, breast, etc.  All I know is that her baby brother’s gonna have to acquire “rough manners” pretty quickly if he wants to survive in this household.

 

enter And my personal favorite:
“Don’t permit a youth to play the flute, blow the bugle or any other wind instrument.  It is injurious to health; the lungs and windpipe are brought into unnatural action by them.”
How many youth must suffer before we act?  I say this category must be expanded to include the piccolo, horn and trombone.  Woodwind instrumental injury is an avoidable injury.  We need a Sarah McLachlan PSA ASAP!  Although I’m not sure Sarah is a woodwind musician.  Scratch that, let’s go with Kenny G., that easy listening elevator music, maybe he’s playing his saxophone in the elevator and because he’s so focused on said wind instrument, his lustrous hair gets caught in the elevator door, leading to his untimely demise.  Now, that’d get your attention more than those angel eyed dog and cat commercials ever could!

 

As I finish the “Don’ts” and my glass of Brandy, I realize that many years from now we’ll look back on the “don’ts” that today’s experts have come up with and laugh at the absurdity.  The bottom line?  Follow your motherly instincts and do the best job you can.  Now that’s a toast (or a bath?), so drink (or bathe) up!
Hope all the Mommies out there had a wonderful Mother’s day, till next month!

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