Accidental Home-schooling…

October 20, 2010 § 4 Comments

I have always told myself that there are several things that my children will eventually learn, or be exposed to someday that, as a parent, I should brace myself for. Naively I assured myself that children pick these things up at school.  Sadly, that isn’t quite accurate. For example, my son did not learn how to fart on cue, and follow it with “and that’s what I think about that!” from his teacher. That home-school credit definitely goes to his father.

 Turns out kids are learning just as many “helpful” and “convenient” things at home as they are at school:

Side note: The rules of family-themed blogging are clear, so I have chosen to replace the all-too-familiar adult “terms” below with a more kid-friendly substitute. See if you can keep up.

  • My 3 year old niece is in the backseat of the car while her parents are driving and very nonchalantly and without any particular emphasis, states “I’m frogging hungry.”
  • Shortly afterwards, when the same precocious little gem is asking for a cookie from her nanny and her request is greeted with an undesired response, she exclaims, fists clenched, “this is bullsugar!”
  • My daughter is using the toilet as I’m blow-drying my hair and asks me in a curious tone: “the magazines aren’t for pee, right Mommy, just poo?”
  • Playing the role of single mother to four kids all week while my husband travels, I am too exhausted to cook dinner so I say in my most excited and persuasive voice “Who wants to go to McDonalds?!”  My two year old responds, “no Mommy, that’s junkfood!”. Backfire.
  • This last one requires some background:  My (just) three year old son has recently developed a fascination with the computer game he watches his older brother and beloved uncle play together entitled “Plants and Zombies”. It includes funny little cartoon zombies doing Michael Jackson moves and caring for plants in various ways as far as I can tell.  He begs to sit in a kitchen chair and watch them play just for the chance to watch a zombie moon walk across the screen.  Fast forward to last night as I’m tucking my little angel into bed and he sweetly states that he is scared to sleep alone. In my most loving and motherly tone I respond with, “oh darling, you just need to fill your head with happy thoughts of your favourite things and before you know it, you’re off to sleep”. His response?  “Okay, Mommy. I will think of zombies. Good night.”

 One of the most deflating aspects of parenthood can be when you see your child demonstrate atrocious behaviour that you recognize all-too-well as your own. But you know what?  Frog-it.  At least we can have a laugh sharing these stories with fellow parents as we wallow in our less-than-perfect example-setting.  Cheers.

Google has been our most effective family doctor

October 1, 2010 § 4 Comments

As a mother of four young children there is nary a week that passes that doesn’t see one of my family members  develop a new affliction.  Anything from bug bites and obscure rashes to cold/flu symptoms and fevers.  Back when I was a first-time Mom, I was quick (and at THAT time, able) to rush to the doctor’s to get an assessment for my child, and some piece of mind for myself.

Times have changed. I now have four children, which quickly compromises the “able” part of running to the doctor each time, and as far as “willing”, well, let’s just say I’ve developed a new decision-making process  before hauling the whole clan over to my family doctors (potentially exposing them all to new calamities!).  Why do you ask, well let me tell you.

Perhaps it was the time that I was sitting in my family doctors office asking about the most recent affliction of one of my brood, and the doctor cocked her head in wonderment (bafflement?) and said (I kid you not) “let’s check Google”.  She didn’t see my jaw drop to my knees because she had turned to her monitor and already begun typing in my kid’s symptoms into the search window.

It also could be my conscientious sub-conscious (meddling all the time!) reminding me that each time I take my kids to the doctor and they tell me: “I’m not sure what could be causing it, must be a virus. We’ll monitor it – come back in a week”, I have not only wasted a ton of my own energy and time, but also that of our struggling health care system.

Ultimately however, I think it is because Google has been our most effective family doctor yet! I can access multiple opinions and scenarios from my kitchen, in my pyjamas, at 2am in the morning (which let’s face it, is when the really concerning symptoms always present themselves), and I can avoid the “frazzled-mother-trying-to-mobilize-four-young-kids-in-a-small-space-and-under-tight-time-constraints” spectacle that, while entertaining  and conversation-provoking for spectators, is nonetheless exhausting for me.

Some of you will ask: “how can you be sure you are diagnosing correctly using the internet?” and my response is, of course, you can’t.  But in my experience, you can gather enough information on the problem to make what I fondly refer to as “a mother’s diagnosis”, and that is this:

1)      Is it serious enough for me to drag four kids to the doctor and try to juggle potty trips, escapees, and removing things from my toddler’s mouth all while discussing the ailment with the doctor?

2)      Are there things at home I can do to relieve symptoms (cause let’s face it, nine times out of ten the  doctor is likely going to default to the catch-all prescription pad to solve the problem anyway)

3)      How do I contain this thing (do I need to quarantine my child in their room with books, crayons and a DVD player?) so we don’t have a mini-epidemic through the rest of the five family members.

There will always be times when a trip to the doctor is my best bet, but for now, I give props to Dr. Google – my sanity thanks you!

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