Big Kid

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    When I found out I'd given birth to a little girl, my first thought was that my husband would be thrilled to get "his girl." My second was one of relief: someone whose "parts" I get! I can do this!

    Indeed, it made those first few diaper changes easier. It's bound to make conversations about tampons and bras easier too (all in good time). But there's one area where I've struggled. What is my daughter supposed to call the female body parts that we share?

    I know the technical terms. Vagina. Vulva. And despite early hesitance to do so, I've taught them to my now 9-year-old daughter over the years.

    But at 9, she doesn't refer to her vagina or her vulva. Sometimes she says "crotch." Sometimes "cha cha." 

    Go ahead. Laugh. But it's her body. Is it so wrong for her to use silly euphemisms to describe parts of it?

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    I got frustrated with my Fitbit recently when it recorded a gut-busting hour-long cross-training workout as "three very active minutes." If the Fitbit people are taking feature requests, I'd like to see an update that allows you to carefully fine-tune its definition of very active by telling it to eat a bag of dicks.

    Anyway, this made me think how there are certain parenting activities that seem WAY more physically challenging than they actually are. Like if you bothered to enter them in a fitness/meal-tracking app, you'd probably learn that you burned the caloric equivalent of one slice of cucumber (no peel), but at the time, they feel as exhausting as running a marathon. Uphill. In the snow. Both ways.

    For instance:

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    It is so, so, SO hard to teach kids to tie their shoes. And between all the Velcro and slip-on styles out there today, many kids are mastering this milestone later than the usual 5 to 6 age range, says Keri Wilmot, a pediatric occupational therapist at Yet while parents can put off teaching this skill, sooner or later, you've got to sit down with your kids and show them the ropes. Here's how.

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    We are obsessed with 5-year-old Noah Ritter, apparently. The charismatic cutie, otherwise known as the 'Apparently Kid,' became a viral sensation after an off-the-cuff TV interview about a fair ride. It has generated 15 million views and counting on YouTube. Now, the 'Apparently Kid' is starring in his first commercial.

    YouTube darling to paid commercial actor in one month or less. That's the American way!

    Noah's first spot for Freshpet pet food does not disappoint. He delivers his signature line 10 times and chats freely about everything from dogs to farts to dinosaurs. His commercial debut will manage to brighten up your Monday. Promise.

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  • LOL

    Crazy Things Moms Say in Public Restrooms

    posted by Jodi Meltzer September 15 at 10:23 AM in Big Kid
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    Public restrooms. Just the thought of them makes us uncomfortable. They're a wasteland for graffiti, caked on pee, poop splatter, overflowing tampons ... you get the idea. They're universally disgusting.

    What's even harder than trying to get out of a public restroom without the sudden urge for a shower? Managing a child -- or, even worse, several children -- in said public restroom. They're vestibules for germs and grime ... and kids just don't get it. They thrive in this nasty environment, singeing their mom's every nerve with ease.

    Who hasn't delivered the killer evil mom stink eye to their kids behind closed stalls? Who hasn't yelled, "Get back here right now or I am telling the (Elf on the Shelf/Mensch on a Bench)!" The crazy things moms say in public restrooms to rein kids in are comical.

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    There's a push-up competition between a little girl and a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) cadet. Who are you putting your money on?

    Do we even have to ask?

    Um, yes. Yes, we do ... after seeing Kaylyn Mintz, a gymnast and US Junior Olympic Team hopeful, crush a cadet in a push-up challenge in front of a cheering crowd. As a part of a "Stand at Attention" fundraiser at a mall in Wilmington, North Carolina, young cadets went up against shoppers in fitness challenges including planks and sit-ups ... but Kaylyn's push-ups stole the show. Hands down. 

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  • Health Check

    When Can Kids Tie Their Own Shoes?

    posted by Judy Dutton September 12 at 12:00 PM in Big Kid
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    For kids, learning to tie their shoes is the equivalent of mastering quantum physics for adults. This major milestone takes tons of brain power, not to mention motor skills, to learn which string goes where and when to pull them tight. If you've been coaching your child for months with no luck, the reason may merely be that he's just not developmentally ready for this tricky task.

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  • LOL

    25 Things Only Moms of Boys Worry About

    posted by Jodi Meltzer September 12 at 10:22 AM in Big Kid
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    Little boys keep their moms on their toes -- sometimes on their tippy toes as they try to wade through their rooms to find the source of that smell. And this truly is 24/7 ... because they don't seem to require sleep.

    Yes, there are definitely lots of crazy things you'll deal with that weren't described in any of the boy books you read. Have you ever hid the latest issue of National Geographic because of his obsession with boobies? Come on, own it.

    Here are 25 things only moms of boys have to worry about.

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    Studies show that kids -- even teenagers -- begin to emulate what they see on TV. Kids tend to watch TV shows and think that this is how real life is supposed to be. It sets their expectations of what is normal. I understand it may happen in some circles, but I really hope deviant sexuality, rampant drug use, and naked dating are not normal ... even in southern California. Do our TV shows reflect real life, or are the real lives of our children and teens beginning to reflect what they see on TV?

    I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s. The glory days of televised amazingness ... at least, the way I remember it.

    MacGyver. The A-Team. Family Ties. The Cosby Show. Growing Pains. 

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    My son just started kindergarten -- a bittersweet moment for just about every parent out there. We are so happy that our kids are becoming big boys and girls, yet sad to lose the toddler that used to cling to our legs. Will he share? Will he make friends? But those are not the only concerns I start off with this school year.

    I find myself facing a scary dilemma: in the wake of Michael Brown's death and the racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, how do I talk to my child about race? Even more basic than that -- should I? For so long I have shielded him from those things. But what if it comes up at school? What if an older kid on the playground starts talking about police shootings of black people? How do I prepare my son for that? So I went to some experts for help.

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