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Hi all!

I am back with your weekly parenting news diary. Remember when sick days were actually sick days? It has been over a week and I am still battling a cold. The cough is the worst as it keeps me up at night. Ugh!

Nonetheless, we have discussed many interesting things over at MotherTalkers:

In case you missed it, an Indonesian woman gave birth to a 19.2 lb baby boy, according to the UK Daily Mail. The pictures of the little-big guy are adorable.

In other unbelievable news: An Ohio woman who is carrying the wrong embryo due to an IVF clinic mix-up, plans to deliver and give the baby to the biological parents in Michigan, according to the Detroit News.

Since it is flu season, this piece of news seems too important not to mention: Tylenol just recalled more than 20 types of children's and infant's medications as a precaution against possible contamination, according to  

Speaking of contamination, the Consumer Federation of California is circulating a petition to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asking him to sign into law a bill that would make it illegal for drug stores to sell expired infant formula, baby food and over the counter medicines. Can you believe we actually have to pass laws for this?

I was wondering about the high school exit exams in Maryland and the benefits of awarding a high school diploma based on test results as opposed to the four years a student spends in high school. What do you think?

Our Katie wrote an honest and beautiful essay about her daughter's (hellish) first year of life. It's worth forwarding to people who want to know what parenthood is like and parents who merely need a lift-me-up during those awful sleep-deprived moments.

I wrote about how people all over the world celebrate children's birthday parties. Also, I and other moms doled out tips on how to maintain curly kids' hair. Eli is my mini-me in that she has these adorable curls (yay!) but won't let me comb them (ugh!).  

Gloria had a fun write-up about this season's shows. I am a reality show junkie, TiVoing Survivor, the Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, So You Think You Can Dance, and my latest addition -- The Biggest Loser. What are you watching this fall?

What else is in the news? What's up with you?

Originally posted to Elisa on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 07:10 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good morning, Elisa. (7+ / 0-)

    I hate the HS exit exams. In NJ, they focus on English and math. Our students take them at the end of 11th grade, so that they have two extra chances to pass (fall and spring in 12th grade) before graduation. For English-speaking students who have taken a solid academic program, the exams are quite easy. However, for kids with disabilities and for kids whose first languages are not English, they can be a real challenge. I think a four-year program is far more important than a single, stupid high-stakes test.

    Son 3 is applying to college at the moment. Many colleges are accepting a graded paper or two in place of the ACT or SAT. I think that is a good thing.

    •  Hi BJM! (2+ / 0-)

      Not having any experience with exit exams, my reaction was the same as your observations. It seems yet another barrier to kids receiving a high school diploma, which is very minimum you need to function in this country!

      Also, as someone who tested very poorly in standardized tests like the SAT -- but was a good student -- I am grateful I am not in high school today. :)

  •  Rough week for the hazzcons (6+ / 0-)

    our youngest fell off the monkey bars at school and broke her arm pretty horribly. I'd post the picture I took but someone might be eating. If anyone has ever had one  of their babies suffer they know the pain and helplessness we felt watching our beautiful little girl in such distress. She was such a brave girl. She only cried when she realized she couldn't swim in the pool with her class on Friday. I know that she will heal quickly (she's 8) but the ordeal has brought me an awareness of the vulnerability we all face, and frankly, it scared the crap out of me. Our baby goes in for surgery on Monday morning to reset her ulna, which is not quite right rotationally, and have a rod placed in the bone. This drama has made me feel so much empathy for parents whose children suffer from afflictions that won't heal like a broken arm. I am quite sure I would not be able to handle that.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 07:31:55 AM PDT

  •  This may not be any consolation (4+ / 0-)

    but your child broke her arm being active, as most young children should be.  Don't let this terrible accident make you over-protective (although the monkey bars and trees should be of limits for a while :P).  Our youngest son broke his arm falling out of a tree when he was 10, broke the same arm 4 years later (different tree).  Luckily the breaks were minor and easily repaired.  My point is that, yes, these were unpleasant in the extreme, but at least he wasn't sitting inside and becoming obese watching TV and playing video games.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant

    by historys mysteries on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 07:41:05 AM PDT

  •  Oh my god. (6+ / 0-)

    That wrong embryo story is just... horrific.

    At least, I think so. Sorry, but I'd be thirty-seven different kinds of depressed and angry and grieving. To be put in that position... To be forced into being an incubator when I'd wanted to have my own child... And to be physically unable to bear my own child and have to hire a surrogate, because I'd used up my last chance on someone else's because of a clerical error???

    That clinic had better damned well be paying all the expenses for the Savages' surrogate, is all I'm saying. Every last red cent. And then some; like, the kid's post-graduate tuition and living expenses.

    "I would much rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Georgianna Darcy on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 07:47:00 AM PDT

  •  I have a question--I'm not a parent, but an (6+ / 0-)

    aunt. I have an adorable two year old nephew. He's about 23 months old. What worries me is that he doesn't respond to his name, can't say his name, or say any words. He grunts, yells, and that's all about he can do. He's very demonstrative though--he loves to hug, and likes to read books. My husband's sister is 22, and she's just had a two-month old baby. They live in the projects, and I wonder if it's his environment and lack of intense parental involvement that's inhibiting his speech and language development skills.

    I've asked his mother to look into early intervention programs offered by the local state departments for speech, hearing, and mental therapy. I think she was offended when I suggested that. I just don't want this cute kid to suffer delay in language acquisition skills because I'm deaf. My own mother worked hard to make sure I had access to speech therapists, audiologists, and a team of professionals with my cochlear implantation in order to advance my language development.

    What else can I do short of talking to him all the time which is what I do when I visit him? I point out the colors, and ask him to pick up stuff. I wish his parents were more involved.

    It's hard.

    I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

    by slinkerwink on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 08:07:45 AM PDT

    •  slink, (3+ / 0-)

      does he make good eye contact? It could just be a speech delay, boys talk later than girls, but if he's avoiding eye contact he needs to be seen by the early intervention agency to be screened. You can't do much if the parents aren't cooperative, though.

      It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.--- Bertrand Russell

      by triv33 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 08:28:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  slink, is the baby getting (4+ / 0-)

      regular well-baby check-ups? Usually the docs will look for responsiveness, hearing, speech, etc.

      •  blue jersey mom, (3+ / 0-)

        my boy boy got all of his regular check-ups and more, but his doctor didn't notice that he wasn't making eye contact or talking much, he was healthy and could hear. I had him screened by my county's IU at 29 months and he's on the autism spectrum. The earlier you find out and get services the better.

        It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.--- Bertrand Russell

        by triv33 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 08:38:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  His family should have acess to Early Head Start (5+ / 0-)

      if they can get him in, his teachers and family advocate can help get any services he needs.  He would be getting the stimulation on a daily basis that he does not seem to be getting at home, and this may alleviate the language issues.  That said, however, responding to his name is one of the benchmarks that is looked at at one year of age that might be indicative of Autism Spectrum. (I'm an Early Head Start teacher).

      Sunlight is the best disinfectant

      by historys mysteries on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 08:45:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hi Slink! (6+ / 0-)

      I wish our siblings were as involved an aunt as you!

      Two things come to mind. One, is that boys, in general, tend to be a little delayed in language compared to girls. My son did know his name -- his nickname that is -- but did not link words together until he was at least 2. I, too, was concerned and even took him to the pediatrician. He started speaking on his own and now I can't get him to shut up.

      My daughter, on the other hand, has been speaking in complete sentences, could identify her letters and then some well before she was 2. I hear this is typical of girls.

      I am also wondering what your nephew's childcare is like during the day. Is your sister-in-law a stay at home mother? Is he in daycare during the day? Keep in mind that the quality of the interaction -- and not the quantity -- is what counts. And it doesn't have to be all play all the time. Kids need to learn to entertain themselves and be able to join adults on errands like going to the supermarket. I always use those opportunities to talk to my kids even as they snack in the shopping cart.

      •  His mom works as a maid in the hotel (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in the town she lives in. She had to be let go from her job due to the birth of her daughter, and right now she's staying at home taking care of the two children. She sits them in front of the TV most of the time when she does household tasks. I don't think she and her boyfriend talks to them, but rather at them, and that could be the difference here. They're very nice people, but just incredibly young and neither went to college.

        I think when she was working, she left her son in the care of her mother whenever she could or her twenty-year old sister. Both really aren't equipped for intensive child rearing. There are vast class differences there, as my husband has pointed out to me.

        I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

        by slinkerwink on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 09:18:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, thankgodforairamerica

          She does have her hands full and needs a lot of support. BTW, most parents -- moi included -- sit their kids in front of the TV for long stretches due to lack of support. We have to work and have to get the household chores done somehow. I would suggest that you and your family offer them as much babysitting as possible, even if it's just to come over and play with the kids for a couple hours. It really does make a difference!

          My parents, by the way, are working class and have no college degrees. But I spent A LOT of time with my grandmother, who played with us and taught us things around the house. She herself does not have more than a 4th grade education. Having one-on-one time with a caring and affectionate adult counts for a lot IMHO.

          •  If we lived close by, we'd certainly offer a lot (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling, thankgodforairamerica

            of support, but we live about six hours away from them, which sucks. I do keep on mailing children's books to them so they can have access to books whenever they want.

            I'm in full agreement with you about how a lot of time with a loving adult counting for a lot :-) The issue is that both parents love them very much, and so does my husband's mother, but I don't think they know very much about intensive child-rearing or how to deal with possible language development delays. We're going to try to keep on providing information to them, but we are very aware of the fine line between being helpful and meddlesome. I'm hoping things will turn out alright with my nephew. He's such a cute loving little boy :-)

            I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

            by slinkerwink on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 09:32:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, that's great... (3+ / 0-)

              that you are involved as much as you are. Like I said, I wish my siblings paid more attention to my kids! They see them like once a year -- when we go to visit them. My kids still adore them though.

              Your nephew is going to love you. I hope he gets all the support he needs. It is so very hard to live far away from family.

  •  When my grandkids start ripping up the house... (5+ / 0-) an uncontrolled frenzy I just bring out the playpen.

    When they're done, I get out.

    "Well, only two kinds of people wear red shoes; and you ain't no Spanish dancer." -- Miguel Ferrer, "In the Groove" (Tales From the Crypt)

    by dov12348 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 08:49:16 AM PDT

  •  In case you missed it... (2+ / 0-)

    the Ohio mom in the embryo mix-up had a baby boy:

    What a heartbreaking and bittersweet story. My heart goes to all involved.

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