Hooker Barbie

When my daughter was tiny, maybe three, she was madly in love with everything girly. The more lace, glitz and bling the better. An entire toy box was filled with feather boas of every color, plus princess dresses and plastic high heels.

Her beloved Barbie dolls lived in the same toy box with their extensive wardrobes. Most were missing at least one body part, ’cause that’s what happens when you beg your older brothers to play Barbie with you.

It was around that time I decided if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, and I started to collect non-traditional Career Barbies.

There was a period in the 90′s when Mattel attempted to expand its market by introducing several lines of unusual Barbies. There were international Barbies from around the globe. There were Barbies from history and literature, like Cleopatra Barbie and Heidi Barbie. And then there were my favorites — the Career Barbies.

Bad Parenting Trends (we can learn from)

Let’s face it, there’s way too much advice for parents out there. One of the most confusing things for both advice givers and advice takers (and I place myself in both groups) is the sheer volume of … information … that exists, to put it kindly. On my first day of med school a wise professor told us, “Half of what you learn here will turn out to be wrong. The problem is, we don’t know which half.”

If the past is prologue, it’s also full of all sorts of cautionary tales. So-called facts and accepted truths of all kinds that we absorb and include in our decision making about what is good and bad, and what we should and should not do.

Hormone replacement therapy for post-menopausal women is one example. Subprime mortgages is another. Then there’s the polyester leisure suit, which many of you don’t remember, and Latisse, the prescription product that grows longer eyelashes, which I predict will turn out to be a bad idea.

Life is full of trial and error, and so is the history of parenting trends. In case you’ve forgotten some of the seriously misguided concepts we used to take as gospel, here’s a partial list.

Refusing vaccination because thimerosal causes autism. I know you don’t all agree, but I’m standing by this one. The research is on my side.

Birthday parties that cost as much as weddings. Maybe this is wishful thinking, but it looks like this values-crusher is on the way out.

The Pink Medicine Lie

Common cold, flu, and ear infection season is upon us, and whether your kiddo is picking up stray germs in that perfect culture medium we call the classroom, or sharing microbe-laden chewy toys at playgroup, it’s likely you’ll have a childhood illness or two coming your way this fall.

Before you can say back-to-school-night, your guy may start to look a little drippy. Next, come those three little words no mother ever wants to hear, “my ear hurts”. OH NO! It’s time to high-tail it to the pediatrician for some vitamin A, right?

Vitamin A, the magic elixir, the pink stuff, bubblegum medicine, fruit punch — all the nicknames you can think of mean the same thing. Amoxicillin. An antibiotic in the penicillin family that is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections (remember that word — bacterial — we’ll come back to it in a minute). Amoxicillin. Best friend and superhero of moms everywhere. It can fix anything AND kids actually ask for its pink, sticky goodness.

I’m here to tell you it ain’t necessarily so … More

Eat, Play, Sleep

Newsflash! Just when we were getting terminally depressed about the rapidly expanding girth of American kiddos, there’s emerging information that offers hope, and lots of it.

New research from Ohio State University published in the journal Pediatrics supports a simple, yet elegant prevention strategy for the national explosion of childhood obesity. The study suggests that preschool-aged kids have a lower risk of obesity if they regularly engage in three specific household routines: eating dinner as a family, getting adequate sleep and limiting their weekday television viewing time

The study showed that 4-year-olds living in homes with all three routines … More