Big Kid

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    Many moms try to save time, water, and sanity by bathing with their children. Killing two birds with one stone for the win! But when should joint baths be put to an end? Here's how you know ...

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    My mother used to have a cartoon on the refrigerator that read something like this, “September is when millions of bright, shining, happy, laughing faces turn toward school. They belong to mothers.”

    My mother loved me and my three sisters, but what a relief it must have been for her when summer was over and she had six free hours to clean the house, prepare dinner, and run all of her errands.

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    Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve considered back to school as the REAL New Year. After all, nothing changes on January 1, but when school starts, everything changes. There are new teachers, new classmates, new lessons to learn. To me, it just seems like a much more natural time to clean the slate, make new resolutions, and start all over.

    I was always obsessed with school supplies. I loved getting those brand new notebooks and perfectly pointed pencils and even the plastic protractors that I never used for anything more than making fancy doodles in math class. I’ll never forget that feeling of heading off to my first day of school each year with all my new supplies and feeling like I could change the world and everything in it.

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    Recently I met a 3-year-old who said, "It's nice to meet you, Ms. Dutton." I was floored -- my 4-year-old typically greets strangers with a stony silence and a suspicious stare. Still, what jarred me most about this kid's behavior was not just the level of courtesy, but how she addressed me as "Ms." followed by my last name

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    It seems like it happened overnight. My little girl went from wearing whatever her practical mother laid out for her to being a major fashion bug. And a fussy one at that! Everything has to match perfectly. Everything has to fit perfectly. And everything has to be the latest fashion.

    But, unfortunately, that very same daughter has the patience of a pea and can’t stand to go clothes shopping!

    Problem solved!

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    It's been two years since Katie Holmes divorced Tom Cruise, and the now single mom to Suri has been rockin' both her career and motherhood ever since. But it turns out that her cool demeanor and easy-going parenting weren't always the case. In an interview with Dujour magazine, Holmes admits that she was a nervous mom when Suri was first born.

    Sure, she may now be a multitasking working mom, but when she first gave birth to her daughter, she refused to leave her side:

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    There are moments in life that strike like a stray bolt of lightning -- recklessly, dangerously, and leave your nerves singed, your heart shattered. When the smoke clears, you feel like curling up in the fetal position to grieve, to heal, to compose yourself ... but you choose to absorb the life-altering zap. As a mom, you instinctively know your child is counting on you to meet her gaze with hopeful eyes. Carrie Sorkin recently delivered in one of those moments ... when her beloved 8-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

    According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.

    Each year, more than 15,000 kids are diagnosed and that figure is on the rise. Three million people are living with the disease ... and there is no cure.

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    I know it’s a cliché, but I don’t know how else to say it. My kids are growing like weeds! I know everyone who has young kids is going through the same thing, but this back-to-school season makes it all too real -- and way too expensive!

    I’m not kidding, I can barely afford to keep my kids clothed. And once you add a fashionable tween to the mix, you’re adding a whole new element!

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    The other day I was putting dirty clothes in the washing machine when I noticed the box of dryer sheets had gone missing. Not the contents of the box, mind you, the sheets themselves were strewn all over the place nearby: piled haphazardly on the shelf where I keep the detergent and whatnot, scattered across the tops of the washer and dryer, and drifting gently around the floor.

    You've heard of the idiom the straw that broke the camel's back, right? The idea that cataclysmic failure is triggered by a seemingly inconsequential action? In terms of overall parental frustrations for the day, that stolen box of dryer sheets was definitely my final straw. It's always something dumb like that, something that in the grand scheme of things doesn't seem worth getting mad about. But that's the thing about having a breaking point … eventually, you break.

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    It's happened again. A month after a mom was arrested for daring to let her daughter play in a park near the McDonald's where she works, another mother has been slapped with a pair of metal bracelets for leaving her kids in a park to play. Only Ashley Richardson's story is especially heartbreaking.

    According to cops, the mother of four kids ages 6 through 8 was at the food bank picking up something for her family to eat while her kids played. While she was gone, her 8-year-old tried using a toddler swing and got tangled up, which prompted a call to the fire department. When Mom returned, cops arrested her.

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