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Parenting Thoughts

Responding to Baby’s Cries

Responding to Baby’s Cries

By Pam Henderson

I remember being told before my oldest daughter was born that I would be able to distinguish her cries from all of the other babies’ cries in the hospital nursery. It was true. And, when I heard those cries, I just had to hold her.

As it turns out, mine was the universal response to my baby’s cry. A recent study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which has been widely reported by news outlets, followed 684 first-time healthy mothers from the United States and 10 other countries scattered between South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Researchers found that these mothers were rather consistent in picking up their babies within 5 seconds of crying. The babies were picked up, held and talked to. It’s almost as if new mothers are hard-wired to respond to their baby’s cries. Surprisingly, researchers found no measurable difference in response despite the mothers living in different cultures, in different parts of the world.   

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Baseball and Parenting

Baseball and Parenting

By Pam Henderson

I pretty much thought that I knew everything there was to know about baseball. My brother played ball as a Little Leaguer, Red Devil, VU Crusader and Michigan City Star. Every free moment I had was spent in the bleachers. Our family’s love of baseball intensified in our home the summer when the knob on the television set broke. For months, the channel was stuck on WGN Channel 9. We watched endless Cubs games, and loved every minute of it.

So, it’s been an interesting, yet bizarre, experience learning all kinds of new baseball rules over the past several days while watching post-season games. I learned that you can no longer take out the second base man on a slide; a bat in the face mask of a catcher isn’t reviewable; a player can’t block a runner from home plate if he doesn’t have the ball; and, if the momentum of a slide takes a base runner off base – too bad for him.    

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The Buggy Halloween

The Buggy Halloween

By Pam Henderson

As a child, I always preferred to go trick-or-treating on a full stomach. That is, a full stomach of Reese’s Peanut butter Cups, Sweetarts and Milk Duds.

While parents and researchers may be at odds over whether candy makes a child hyper, sugar bugs are not the only monsters invading our children during the  Halloween season. There is another bug that is just as creepy, just as set on raising havoc. You know it – head lice.

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Expiring Car Seats

Expiring Car Seats

By Pam Henderson

It may seem that car seats naturally expire. After a car seat’s first resident baby has a few spit-ups and super soggy diapers during drive time, or expresses the lunchtime green peas, the car seat starts to look and smell like something from a musty, abandoned basement. It’s hard to believe that someone so little could create such a mess. So, it seems only natural that parents would want to pitch the car seat when Baby #2 comes along.

Well-intentioned parents may be able to sanitize that old car seat until it once again looks sparkling new – and who wouldn’t want to salvage it? A car seat can be a pretty hefty investment. First-time parents are oftentimes meticulous about having the newest, latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos for their baby. Then, after parenting for a little while, they may start to think that a few germs will do a body good (aka boost the immunities).

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Goodbyes

Goodbyes

By Pam Henderson

“We said goodbye to a dear old friend. And we packed our bags and left. It’s the only way.”

Those decades-old lyrics from the iconic performer Phil Collins played through my head as my family and I said goodbye to a dear old friend recently. No worries – it wasn’t a goodbye to a person. Still, I hesitate to say that it wasn’t a loved one, because it was loved. All 210,000 miles of it were well-loved. It was a goodbye to our 1997 Toyota Camry.

Before you laugh and think we’re completely nuts – because a car doesn’t have emotions and its only true purpose is to get us from Point A to Point B – you may be able to reflect back on emotions that have surfaced when you have had to say goodbye to an object. Maybe you felt emotions swell up when you said goodbye to bachelorhood before your wedding, or when you traded in the sporty car for a minivan, or when your child advanced from a tricycle to training wheels. All of these moments are “rites of passage” that carry us from one chapter of our lives to the next.

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