Big Kid

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    They say it takes a village to raise a child. For mom Sonia Green, the global village of parents is helping her protect her children every time they get their kids vaccinated. That's because three of Green's four sons aren't vaccinated.

    They can't be. All sufferers of an immune deficiency called x-linked agammaglobulinemia, a rare condition that affects approximately one in 200,000 newborns, Harrison, Holden, and Davis Green's bodies can't produce antibodies to disease, rendering vaccines ineffective and sometimes downright dangerous.

    But when other kids are vaccinated, their mom says it helps create what's known as a "herd immunity," a sort of security blanket of health for kids like the Green brothers. It's why the law professor is a fierce advocate for the very immunizations that her kids can't get.

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    It's no surprise that kids love bubbles -- and kids love making arts and crafts. So why not make your own bubbles? Better yet, why not make your own incredibly GIANT bubbles? Nothing better than a DIY activity that keeps the kids happy, busy, and away from electronics!

    So, what are you waiting for?

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    Sooner or later pretty much any working mom will find herself in this pickle: Her kid is sick and can't go to school ... yet a deadline is looming on a project at work and her boss will kill her if she falls short. She scrambles for a last-minute babysitter but can't find one. Given she's in a jam, she may be tempted to just take her sick kid to work ... yet in the back of her mind, she's wondering if that's career suicide.

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    When you least expect it, instead of rolling out of bed and getting ready for school, your little kid will start with the sniffles and then you'll know immediately: today is a sick day. So instead of scurrying and figuring out how you'll adjust the plans for the day, have your own ready-made strategy. You need a sick day survival kit.

    It takes a little bit of comforting, some distraction, and a lot of entertainment to get the kids through the dreaded day, but it's possible.

    Here is what you need to stock up and build your very own sick day survival kit:

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    Like every mother in America who takes whatever she hears on TV as gospel, I believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, according to a nutrition article I sort of skimmed while half-asleep and tipsy on an airplane, kids need between 15,000 and 20,000 calories in their bellies to start the school day off right. Any less than that and guess what? You’ve got a high school drop-out with a neck tattoo and a gambling problem living in your basement for the next 30 years.

    That’s why I always take extra time to plan and prepare my children’s school day breakfasts. After all, filling them with enough food to make them puke on the monkey bars at recess is the least I can do as a caring mother, responsible American, and the woman my local grocery store manager refers to as “Dear lord, that pain in the ass is smelling the melons again."

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    My children used to earn allowances. The 8-year-old got $2 per week, and my 6-year-old got a dollar. For a while the biggest challenge was finding the cash (this is the same problem we always face when the Tooth Fairy's presence is required), then I found myself wondering why I was just blindly handing out money each week when the recipients weren't exactly holding up their end of the deal.

    I don't do allowances anymore. This may change in the future, but here's what I ended up thinking: my kids shouldn't get paid for helping out around the house. Especially if they're continually doing a crappy job at it.

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    Sick kids sometimes call for desperate measures. We'll try anything to give our adorable, miserable little snot-factories some relief from cold viruses that always seem to strike exactly 2.3 weeks after the first day of school. You'd be stunned at some of the wacky, alternative things parents have tried feeding their kids to terminate germs, like, er, um, animal blood. Yes, real uncooked plasma from the veins of creatures from the butcher. 

    It was this mom's comment about the animal blood that got us wondering about some of the other strange things moms have given kids when they were sick

    Important note here: This post is NOT meant as medical advice. While some may be valid alternative remedies, please for goodness sakes use your sense and don't force any of these on your kid without checking with their doctor first. (Except 1, 6 and 7. And you probably should take a dose of #3 yourself.)

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    Local schools don't start until tomorrow, so it's been quite a while since homework has been part of our routine. I'm sure my kids' brains have been rotting in their skulls all summer like brown bananas, but I can't say I've missed dealing with school worksheets -- even though only one kid had homework last year, and compared to what I've heard from other second grade parents, his workload was relatively light.

    It's not the time involved in completing assignments that I dislike about homework, nor is it the fact that it exists in the first place. It's the spectacularly boring repetition of it, which seems almost custom-designed to make kids hate school and forget that learning can actually be fun and rewarding.

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    "Dear parent, due to increasing budget gaps, we seek additional funding to support your child's educational enrichment programs. This year, instead of asking your children -- and thus, yourself -- to hawk overpriced wrapping paper, high-calorie snack foods, and unwanted knickknacks, we're simply asking you to donate what you're able. Attached is a comprehensive spreadsheet detailing this year's budget, our funding goals, and how we'll use the money."

    This is the sort of letter I'd love to see from my kids' school ... but I doubt I ever will. Instead, my kids will come home with catalogues of garbage that no one needs, which we're supposed to foist upon our friends, family, and neighbors. Not only that, they'll be teased with "prize incentives" they can win if only they sell enough of this crap.

    I. Hate. School. Fundraising.

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    Back to school means back to rifling through your kids' backpacks for crumpled up permission slips. They're usually no-brainers. Just sign, zip them back up in the bag, and call it a day. Easy peasy. The hardest thing about them is making them look presentable again.

    But what if you received a permission slip asking you to sign off on the possibility of your child's untimely death or serious injury? A mom was faced with that dilemma when she got the craziest permission slip you have ever seen. Check it out:

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