Wednesday, June 21, 2006


It’s official. If a doctor of medicine says so, it’s official: Rowan is a strong-willed child. We’ve been wondering for a while now. Let’s just say the tantrum-throwing has, um, escalated. I suppose it’s possible he could just be passing through an intense two-year-old phase. But then, last night, a certain turn of events brought us together with a man who knows a willful child when he sees one…Rowan’s pediatrician.

Rowan was building a fort with his dad, lost his balance and caught his eyebrow on the corner of a chair. Blood. Panic. Phone calls. The doc told us to meet him at his office.

Before the mending commenced, the doctor mentioned that most kids fall asleep after the shot of novacaine takes effect. I had an inkling that Rowan might prove to be the exception, but hey, our pediatrician has been in practice for thirty years. He has a fabulous reputation and is considered one of the best in our area. Other docs call him The Baby Whisperer. In other words…he’s good. So I was hoping he was right and that Rowan would actually drift off to la-la land while the doctor sewed him up.

It turns out that mom’s intuition holds a lot of sway over even the most proficient medicine man. During the twenty minutes it took to stitch that eyebrow back together, Rowan bucked like a wild bronco hooked on crack and Mountain Dew. Brandon put all his energy into holding Rowan’s head still. I held his hands down and leaned on his legs with my upper torso. Brandon accidentally got punched in the forehead a few times by the doc. Rowan kneed me in the voice box a couple of times. I’m surprised we didn’t all end up needing stitches after that fiasco.

Three times during the whole affair, our doctor commented, “Rowan certainly has a lot of endurance.” That’s the word he used: endurance. I finally replied, “Is that your polite way of saying we have a strong-willed child?!”

As exhausting and unsettling as the evening was, it turned out to be a validating event. Since this all happened after office hours, we were able to spend some time with our pediatrician without feeling rushed. The doc was able to witness Rowan at the pinnacle of a freak-out, and then matter-of-factly reassure us that Rowan’s “endurance” was an inborn (as well as a positive) personality trait and not due to our inadequacies as parents. After the past few weeks we’ve had, Brandon and I really needed to hear that encouragement.

So the doctor did a little mending of Rowan’s head. And God did a little mending of Brandon’s and Jana’s hearts. Always a good thing to have someone give you a little cheer. Helps keep up that endurance.

Monday, June 12, 2006

of mice and moms

The story starts out like this: Jana makes an early-morning run to the grocery store while Brandon is still at home with Rowan. Jana is wearing flip-flops as she normally does from May through September. Jana is scanning her groceries at the self-check-out cashier when she feels something pinch her big toe. She backs away from the scanner, wondering if a big beetle thought maybe a tasty pastry had just plopped in front of it. Jana convinces herself that it was probably her blown-out flip-flop scratching her toe. She continues scanning her goods. Jana feels a pinch on her other big toe. This time she starts sweating a little because she thinks she's either crazy or having some weird physical symptom. Instead of a "tingling sensation in the fingers", she's having a "pinching sensation in the toes". She scans a few more groceries. As she leans into her basket to retrieve another item, she spots the pinching culprit. A MOUSE. Jana then nearly goes into cardiac arrest. She yells out to a cashier she knows by name and points to the check-out stand, "AUDREY!!! THERE'S A MOUSE UNDER THERE!!!" Jana explains what has happened regarding the toe-nibbling and Audrey gets nervous and calls a store manager to the front. The store manager tries to assure Jana that she cannot contract an awful disease via toe-nibbling. Audrey, though freaked out as well, is wearing close-toed shoes and kindly scans the rest of Jana's groceries. Jana runs out of the grocery store, drives home and throws away all her flip-flops.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

study shows working moms healthier than stay-at-home moms

There is validity to the study discussed in this article. Moms need a place outside the home where they can contribute to the community-at-large. Whether the work is full-time or part-time, paid or volunteer, contributing to society plays a part in strengthening a woman's health, emotionally, mentally and now apparently, even physically.

However, "the findings also suggested that the stresses associated with holding down a job while raising small children take their toll on women's health....when children were younger than six, a working woman's health suffered but it began improving afterward."