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Dr. Mom Mondays: Is ADD “Real?”

20 Mar

Welcome to the second installment of “Dr. Mom Mondays” at The Little Hen House! Thank you to everyone for the fabulous support you showed my new weekly series. It was hard to pick just one question, but my heart really feels for this mom. The reader asked to remain anonymous, and I’m sure we can all relate to her desire to protect her son’s identity. If any of you would like to be featured on the next Dr. Mom Mondays you can email me your parenting or relationship question to morgan(at)thelittlehenhouse(dot)com.

Question: My pediatrician just suggested that I have my 7-year-old assessed for A.D.D.  I am wary of what I think is an “ADD frenzy” and dislike the idea of kids having such labels.  What do you think?

Dr. Mom says: I understand your dislike of labels and your wariness about the recent increase in the ADD diagnosis.  However, I offer you another view of this issue.  I would suggest that you go ahead and get the assessment that your pediatrician has advised. Here is why:

First, the assessment process is very educational in itself.  Even if you don’t buy into the ADD label, or even its existence, you will learn some very important things about your child’s learning style, coping mechanisms, and brain habits, so to speak.  Pick up a book (ask the assessor’s for a reference) and see what you learn about children and brain/behavior/learning differences.  It is fascinating stuff. To be smart, we must all increase our understanding of our own brain’s “operating style” – nothing is more important in the quest for better and better self-management.

So learning about our child’s is the most helpful thing we can do as we teach him how to manage himself as well.  Having the assessment your pediatrician suggests will be a wonderful opportunity for you to learn some things about your child that you probably don’t yet know.  You can ignore the fact that this is all done in the vein of ADD assessment.  Think of it as “learning style assessment and learning management assessment.”

Another reframe is this: If indeed your child “qualifies” for the ADD diagnosis, consider accepting it and getting it on his record at school.  It could give him some considerable benefits– the diagnosis may be to his advantage in many ways.  He can receive extra help as needed in school, like tutoring, note-taking, special study guides, organizational aids, language therapy, and such (all mandated by state laws, and free of charge).  He might receive extra time on tests (including the SAT!!), private space for test-taking, accommodations for where he sits in the classroom, use of calculators, and much more.  Kids with the ADD diagnosis often quality for special scholarships to college, can even receive consideration for college acceptance with somewhat easier requirements, and so forth.  In these days of stiff competition, some edge can make a difference.

Perhaps the most important consideration for you is this: watch carefully your child’s succeeds or struggles with peer relationships.  Kids with “different” learning and behavior styles, whether you call it ADD or just a difference, often have struggles socially.  Kids can overcome educational weaknesses with time, but social weaknesses can dramatically affect their self-esteem, affecting success in school and in life.  The resulting poor self-image and possible “social labeling” by peers (the “weird kid” or “dumb kid” or “disruptive kid” and so forth) can stay with them for years, making a painful, life-changing situation.  In that case, it is better to accept the ADD label, treat the symptoms, and give a child a chance at more acceptable peer and school experiences.

We all want to help our kids make the most of what they have and overcome obstacles.  Following your pediatrician’s advice about getting this assessment might be your best bet in that honorable quest.

Mary Quinn has a Ph.D. in Therapeutic Psychology and is Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Diego. She is also a wife of 31 years, a mother of three, a step-mother of two, a grandmother of seven, a passionate gardener, and a writer. She survived a childhood as the only girl with five brothers, and always wears red toenail polish.

Thanks Dr. Mom! What about you guys? Do you have any words of wisdom for our friend?

So, You Think You Can Potty Dance?

8 Mar

There’s nothing like potty training to motivate you to totally geek out for your kid. Case in point- The Potty Dance. In my house, The Potty Dance goes like this: Pick any children’s song, change the words to pertain to anything potty, and dance around like you’ve had 15 cups of coffee and 4 Diet Cokes. Doesn’t my life sound glamorous?

Before I go any further, I have to be 100% honest here: Pull Ups contacted me and asked if I wanted to write about their Potty Dance Party. Wait! You guys should know by now that I’m naturally wary of PR related blogs and I wouldn’t write about something unless I totally thought it was worth your while, so bear with me here. Plus, there’s some free stuff in it for you guys. See? Sometimes reading my blog really does pay off!

Well, I checked out the Potty Dance Party info at The Pull Ups website and there was some really great info on there. There are tons of free resources to help parents get their kids interested in using the potty. There is a free dowloadable potty progress chart, an iGo Potty app, and you can even request a free Big Kid potty training DVD. If there’s one thing I know: mom’s like free stuff- especially if it motivates our little guys to get that poo poo in the potty, and NOT on the floor like someone’s little girl did once. *cough*

You know what else I learned at the Pull Ups website? There is an official Potty Dance. Apparently, I have been doing it all wrong. They have a pretty sweet video of Ralph’s World performing the official Potty Dance, and while I’d like to think MY potty dance is in the spirit of “interpretive” dance, the Pull Ups Potty Dance has way more mainstream appeal. I mean, the kids on the video are crazy for it-even the parents are getting into it.

This is the best part:

I have to tell you about something else super cool. Pull Ups has a Facebook page, and you guys can go on there and ask for potty training tips. Dr. Gwenn, a pediatrician, mom, and Pull-Ups Potty training parter, is available to answer all your tough potty training questions. I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call where she answered a bunch of real-life potty training questions and she was amazing! I learned a ton of really interesting information like: constipation can lead to potty training issues because a backed up colon puts pressure on the bladder. Totally gross but equally fascinating, right? She’s very real and honest and she doesn’t shove a bunch of Pull Ups jargon down your throat. She actually answers questions with real responses. How refreshing!

Ready for more free stuff?

For all my Southern California friends: Pull Ups is having a Potty Dance Party at the San Diego Zoo on Wednesday, March 23rd from 10-11:30am. The event is totally free with San Diego Zoo admission. There will be a performance from Ralph’s World (awesome!) and more  The tent has a 500 person capacity; first come, first admitted. You know I’ll be there, so come hang out with me!

Once last chance for free stuff!

I’m giving away one Pull-Ups Potty Dance Party Pack. It’s full of fun potty training gear for your Big Kid plus coupons for Pull-Ups. Leave a comment below and consider yourself entered. The giveaway will end on Friday, March 11th 2011, so get those comments in!

“Pull-Ups® training pants provided product, incentives and a reader giveaway for me to attend the Potty Dance Party. However, my opinions on the product and The Potty Dance experience are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards Pull-Ups® or their products.”

The Requisite First Birthday Birth Story Post

2 Mar

It’s official: Annie is a year old. Her birthday was on Saturday and we celebrated by having a few friends over for tacos and cupcakes. It was about 95% less work than Emma’s insane first birthday bash and I think I had a better time. NOTE TO ALL YOU NEW PARENTS: Do not spend a lot of time, money, or energy on your child’s first birthday. All you really need to do is take pictures of them eating cake and you will still get an A+ in the birthday portion of the life test known as “Motherhood”.

The entire day of Annie’s first birthday I was trying to recall the events surrounding her birth. Can I be honest here? I don’t remember that much of it. She was just over three weeks early, I had been in and out of the hospital a few times with early labor, and it’s hard to distinguish the hospital visits from each other. I thought I best write down what I know about that day now for future reference.

I know not everyone is as fascinated by my child’s birth as I am, so don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like reading this one. It’s not really for you guys anyway. It’s something I hope to read to Annie one day. *tear*

The Day Anne Margaret was Born: February 26, 2010

Here you are inside my belly four days before you were born:











Crazy, right?

The day you were born Emma and I went to the zoo. I remember someone asking me when you were coming and I replied, “Any day now!” Boy, was I right! That afternoon I started to feel some contractions. I had been having them almost the entire time I was pregnant with you, but the doctors were able to stop them. I was actually kind of annoyed that the contractions were starting up again because going to the hospital is kind of a pain. Instead of waiting it out, and risking the potential of going to the emergency room in the middle of the night, I decided to go to the hospital to get things checked out while it was still early in the day. Your dad was home from work early (it was Friday) and he watched Emma while I ran down there.

The doctors tried and tried to get the contractions to stop, but they just wouldn’t let up. They finally decided that your birthday had arrived. Your dad dropped Emma off at Mimi and Papa’s and he came down to the hospital to be with me. While we were waiting for the doctor to come, your heart rate suddenly dropped. The machines they had me hooked up to started beeping like crazy and the nurses were rushing around all over the place. A bunch of them rolled my bed right out of Triage and took me right up to labor and delivery. When we got up there, your heart rate went back to normal, which was such a relief. We were really freaked out though!

The doctor came about an hour later and the nurses prepared me for my c-section. You see, Emma was a c-section (she was a breech 9 lb baby) so that meant you were also going to be delivered via c-section. It all happened really fast. I actually don’t remember much of that part. But here you are being born:

Here you are again:

I love this picture so much.

As soon as you came out Daddy started shouting, “She looks just like Emma! Oh my gosh- she looks just like Emma!” That later proved to not be true, but you did look like her- for about five minutes.

This is me on drugs. I know I look happy here, but that’s because I love you- NOT because of the drugs. DRUGS ARE BAD.

Here you are being measured and weighed. You were 7 lbs 2 oz, which is a really good size for a 36 weeker. Considering your sister was 9 lbs, this wasn’t really a huge surprise.

Look at your little chicken legs!

This is how I remember you looking the day you were born:

The nurses and the NICU team started working on you because you weren’t breathing that well. You were early and your lungs weren’t fully functioning. They decided that you needed some extra help, so they took you down to the NICU. You got intubated, which I thankfully never had to see, while I was in the recovery room resting up. When I had recovered from the anesthesia, they wheeled me down to you and I got a chance to nurse you for the first time. You were pretty sleepy and not super interested in eating. That changed quickly though.

Both of us were in the hospital for the next three days. You stayed in the NICU and I was upstairs. I came down every three hours to feed you. You were a really great nurser. You ended up getting a septic infection while you were down there and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They gave you two spinal taps and a round of antibiotics. Here you are in the NICU. How cute are you:

You recovered quickly and they let us go home together. Seeing all the tiny and sick babies in the NICU gave me a new appreciation for you. I am so lucky that you got better so fast and that I was able to take you home with me.

Here you are the day we went home:

And here you are meeting your sister for the first time. Seriously? This one makes me cry every time I look at it:

And now look at you:

My darling baby girl: you are one of the brightest lights in my life. What would life be like without you? Thank you for making my days full of laughter, snuggles, kisses, games, hugs, and giggles. Happy birthday!

Top 3 Conversations Overheard at the Emergency Room Wednesday Night

28 Jan

I had to take Annie to the emergency room on Wednesday night. She’s been sick for a few days, kind of lethargic, and not eating that well. Plus, she’d been having a low grade fever on and off for a few days.  I called the doctor, and after consulting a nurse on the phone, it seemed she was just suffering from a bad cold.

Well, around 9pm she started hysterically screaming and had a temperature of almost 104 degrees. So, off to Children’s Hospital we went. Turns out she has a double ear infection and a punctured ear drum. Ouch. She’s on antibiotics now (much to my dismay as another round of thrush is on its way) and her spirits are back up.

This wasn’t my first time at the rodeo, and I fully knew what to expect when I got there: a combination of people that either a) I feel sorry for and hope they get seen within a minute of checking in, b) totally gross me out, and c) bug the living shit out of me. I’m happy to say that this little trip to the ER didn’t disappoint.

Scene 1:

Nurse: Why are you here?
Mother: My daughter has a cough.
Nurse: Any fever?
Mother: No.
Nurse: Any runny nose or mucus coming up with the cough?
Mother: No.
Nurse: Any vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms?
Mother: No. She’s just coughing.
Nurse: Fill these out and take a seat.

Scene 2

Mother: Excuse me nurse.
Nurse: Yes.
Mother: We’re going to go home now.
Nurse: Why?
Mother: Well, the Motrin you gave my son while we were waiting seems to have taken away his fever.
Nurse: You were just here for the fever?
Mother: Yes. It’s gone now so we are going to go home.

Scene 3 (I promise you this is 100% true)

Nurse: Well, it appears your daughter had an allergic reaction to the penicillin she was taking. Is anyone else in your family allergic to penicillin?
Mother: Yes, my ex-husband is.
Nurse: But that’s not the father of your child, am I correct?
Mother: No, he’s not.
Nurse: So he wouldn’t really apply to this situation, would he.
Mother: Oh really? I guess not then.

What are some of your favorite emergency room moments?

Exciting News!

7 Jan

I am NOT pregnant. Hahahaha!

I have a new writing job!

I have a weekly lifestyle column called “Following the Yellow Brick Road” over at Coronado Patch. Patch is a hyperlocal online news source owned by AOL. The Patch sites provide extremely localized news, information about events, business listings, reviews, and discussions. Patch is the website you want to visit to find out exactly what is happening in your community.

If you aren’t familiar with Patch, you can get more information here. If you don’t have a Patch in your community yet, don’t be surprised if there is a Patch popping up soon. Here is the first post from Following the Yellow Brick Road. I hope you enjoy it.

Glory Days

Given the lack of babysitters on New Year’s Eve, my husband and his friends decided to celebrate the impending New Year with a good old fashioned game of touch football. Maybe it was the hint of promise that a new year always brings because it seems that 2011 is going to be the year of reliving the Glory Days of their youth. It sounds innocent enough: a group of seemingly healthy 30 to 40-something year old men getting together for a friendly, non-contact game of touch

football. Not so fast.

Behind their studly exteriors lie the remnants of old college baseball injuries, knee surgeries, tennis elbows, bad backs, and sprained ankles. Nothing says “Happy New Year” like a trip to the emergency room.

You can read the rest of the article here at Coronado Patch.

Have a great weekend everyone!

I Am Vain

10 Sep

A couple of months ago I noticed a little bump on my leg. Then I noticed one on my lower back. The little bumps didn’t really bother me until they started to change. By “change”, I mean they started to get bigger, harder, and uglier. Because I am in a constant state of fear regarding all things cancer, I immediately called my dermatologist and scheduled an appointment.

The good news: I don’t have skin cancer.

It turns out those little bumps are mole-like things that are affected by hormonal changes. Hello? Pregnancy and childbirth?

The bad news: I have wrinkles.

After the dermatologist declared me skin cancer free she asked me if I had any other questions or concerns. “Well…” I said. “I am turning 30 this year, I have two kids under three, and I kinda sorta think I might be looking a little bit old.”

She moved her chair a little closer to me and stared into my face. After a minute or so, she rolled her chair back, smiled and said, “We judge age based on three areas of the body. One, the back of the hands. Two, the chest. And three, around the eyes. And you are starting to show signs of aging around your eyes. You should probably start using eye cream.”

I wasn’t exactly devastated by this news. I mean, I have a mirror. I have noticed some fine lines starting to border the corners of my eyes. But those are laugh lines, right? Doesn’t that just mean I’m an unbelievably happy person who just can’t stop smiling? I guess anyone who knows me knows that isn’t true, but it’s possible that a stranger might think that, right?

And…. I’M FREAKING TIRED. I haven’t slept in over three years. OF COURSE my eyes look old. They have been badly abused and now I am paying the price.

Even though I knew I was starting to get wrinkles, hearing it from a medical professional sucks. Now I can’t stop thinking about it. I keep feeling the skin around my eyes to make sure it isn’t sagging. I am constantly looking at my wrinkles in my rear view mirror, smoothing them out with my fingertips, and making note of any changes.

I have launched “Operation Wrinkle Reduction”.  Immediately after my appointment, I ran out and purchased the finest generic grocery store eye cream that money can buy. I am extra careful not to slather on concealer or powder around the wrinkly areas. God forbid I have makeup caked inside my wrinkles. The thought is horrifying. I remove my eye make up with a touch as gentle as an explosive specialist cradling a grenade. I do not want to disrupt the balance. This is a delicate situation here.

Shouldn’t I be rejoicing in the fact that I don’t have skin cancer? (don’t worry, I am)Why am I wasting all this time on a few stupid wrinkles? Aren’t women with wrinkles naturally beautiful? Why am I so bothered by this?

I know exactly what is to blame: My vanity.

As much as I like the idea of embracing all the changes my appearance is going through, part of me still wants to look 25 for all of eternity. That part of me wants to run right back to the dermatologist and demand that those wrinkles be botoxed into oblivion. The other, wiser, part of me is going to try to accept the signs of aging with grace and be grateful for all the blessings in my life. I know. I’m working on it.

My dermatology appointment ended up having less to do with skin cancer and more to do with confronting my own fears about aging. I learned a lot of things that day. The most important: Don’t ask questions that you don’t want to know the answer to.

Confessions of a Former Co-Sleeper

17 Aug

I’ve been thinking a lot about sleep lately. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had any in over three years.

There is a trend out there known as co-sleeping. Lots of cultures practice it and it’s one of the core principles of the “Attachment Parenting” philosophy. I don’t consider myself an “AP” follower. I practice more of a “Do Whatever Works” style of parenting. One of the core principles of this style is “Happy mommy, Happy baby.” In other words, you do not need to be miserable for the sake of your children’s happiness. There is a way for motherhood to be a win-win (ish) situation.

Yes, I wear Annie in a baby-carrier, but that’s because she likes it. And you know what? Emma hated it. I breastfeed, but I understand that this choice is not for everyone. I pretty much follow a lot of the Attachment Parenting philosophies, but it’s pure coincidence. Ultimately, I think parents should do what is best for themselves and their families.

Plus, I’m naturally wary of anything that inflicts mothers with an unhealthy dose of Mommy Guilt. Mommy Guilt begins at conception and plagues mothers for the rest of their lives. Mommy Guilt basically manifests as the thought that we will make mistakes raising our children and therefore, ruin them forever. But back to the co-sleeping.

Co-sleeping was the major topic at the La Leche League meeting I attended last week (you have got to read this post). The conversation started with a young mother who was co-sleeping with her two year old. She looked at the Leader, with desperation in her voice, and began describing how her two year old still wakes up every hour to nurse and how miserable she is with their sleeping arrangement.

Then she asked the Leader if she thought her daughter would outgrow this, or did she think it was time to implement a change? Then the Leader explained that some children take five years to sleep through the night and it is obvious that her daughter still needs to wake up every hour to nurse. She then said that her daughter would stop nursing every hour when she was good and ready, and that making a change could emotionally damage her child.

You should have seen this poor mother. She looked like she was going to have a nervous breakdown. “Five years?” she said. I could see tears pooling in her eyes. “OMG!” was all I could think. “What is the deal? It is obvious that this mother is miserable, and she needs some SLEEP!” Of course I didn’t have the balls to say this out loud. Who knows how deep the La Leche ties run and you don’t want to mess with those bitches.

Later, while all the moms were mingling and nursing their babies (and some toddlers- ack!) I found my way over to the tired mom and told her my story. You see- I used to be just like her.

Emma was born a terrible, terrible sleeper. She sleeps through the night now (most of the time), but it took a lot to get her there. She woke up about every two hours for the first year of her life. Never, in my entire existence, have I ever felt so tired and wrecked.

So, out of desperation and not desire, I became a co-sleeper. I had originally planned on keeping Emma in a bassinette and then moving her into her own room after a couple of months, but she had a different idea. First lesson in motherhood: The baby has its own ideas about how things are going to go. You learn that one before you even get out of the hospital. We began co-sleeping from the beginning and then never stopped because I was simply just too tired to do anything about it.

At Emma’s sixth month check-up the pediatrician asked me how the sleeping was going. I nearly started crying. “It’s awful.” I said. The doctor suggested that I try to put Emma in her own room just to see what happens. She had an interesting theory, “You know, the baby is as aware of your presence as you are of hers,” she told me.

What? Put my baby all the way across the hall and in another room?! That’s so far away! What if she needs me? What if she stops breathing? And worse of all, what if I do some irreparable damage to her self-esteem? I might give her separation issues. I could never!

Well, six months later I finally broke down.

It took some time and there was a definite adjustment period (I’m not a cry-it-out kind of mom), but something magical happened: Emma started sleeping through the night. I was still waking up every two hours, but at least one of us was getting some rest.

There was also a surprising side effect to having Emma in her own room. I felt liberated! I had entire evenings to myself. I no longer had to tip toe around my own bedroom. I was able to read or watch a movie in bed with my husband. Most importantly, I enjoyed my time during the day with Emma so much more. I started to remember that I was an actual person before I became a mother. I had been ignoring this person by putting my happiness last and becoming a martyr for my child.

Who knows how different this would have been if Emma, like her sister (hallelujah!), was a great sleeper. Who knows how connected the family bed was to her sleep issues. Maybe we would still all be co-sleeping in a giant family bed, like a momma bear and her cubs hibernating for the winter. For some, this scenario works. For me, it does not. Hey, I hardly like sharing the bed with my husband, let alone a wildly thrashing, horizontally sleeping toddler. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t sleep well with smelly toddler toes in my face all night.

I finished the tale of how I became a recovering co-sleeper, expecting the tired mom to embrace me and thank me for my words of wisdom. Instead, she gave me a look that suggested I might have two heads and I am most definitely a Bad Mom. She did not see the light. Oh well. You win some and you lose some.

Ever since that meeting last week, and my conversation with the tired mom, I cannot stop thinking about her. It’s like I was sent on a missionary voyage to pick up a co-sleeping convert for the team and I failed. My mind seems to wander to her when I’m tucking myself in a night. My bed is there, like an oasis in the desert, waiting for me to glide into my empty sheets and stretch out my limbs. I can’t help but think, “Thank god it’s her and not me.”

My Pediatrician Is a Sadist

1 Jul

I just got back from Annie’s four-month check up and I am so upset. Oh, it’s not what happened during her check-up (five shots-yikes!), but what happened before I even got into the exam room. Let me start from the beginning. As I already told you, Annie had a doctor appointment today. I love my pediatrician. She’s calm, informative, and really goes the extra mile. Plus, she always pretends to remember me and I really appreciate that. She also runs a very tight ship. I have never waited more than 5 minutes before being escorted into an exam room. Today was no exception- only it was five minutes of pure torture.

I checked in, and then the girls and I grabbed the nearest seats and waited for Annie’s name to be called. The office always has a movie playing. Usually it’s “Finding Nemo” and once we even lucked out and got “The Little Mermaid”- score! I wasn’t paying attention to what was playing today until Emma said, “Mommy, why is the elephant crying?” Oh. My. God. There it was:“Dumbo”. What nerve! How dare she! Does the doctor not know that this movie haunts every mother across the nation? I seriously hate this movie.

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or were so traumatized by the scene I am about to describe that you forgot it, let me refresh your memory. First we need a little history. If you remember, Dumbo gets made fun of by a group of boys because he has big ears. His mother comes to his defense and tosses the boys and the ringleader up in the air. (you go girl!) She also goes on a rampage, as any good mother would, when the handlers separate her from her baby. She gets labeled “mad” and she gets locked up. Poor Dumbo is all alone, is rejected by the other elephants and is left without his mother to care for him. Ok, I’m going to start crying again.

This is where I started watching it: It is right after the circus show in which Dumbo was painted up like a clown and ended up falling into a tub of pie filling. After the show Dumbo feels embarrassed, sad, and lonely. He is crying big, fat, baby elephant tears. Dumbo’s only friend, Timothy Q. Mouse, decides to take him to see his mother. When Dumbo’s mother realizes that her baby is outside and waiting to see her she lights up and runs for the window only to be held back by the shackles around her ankles. Dumbo is looking and reaching up with his trunk, but he can’t see her. All his mother can do is reach her trunk out and feel for him. She has just enough room to hold and rock him with her trunk. As his mother rocks him, Dumbo has his trunk wrapped around hers and is gazing longingly in her direction. And then…. A single, silent tear falls down her trunk.

Oh, it gets worse. Then the movie starts in with the “Baby Mine” song. Google the lyrics. You will die. The saddest song in the world starts playing as we see all the other mommy and baby animals curling up together and going to bed, but all Dumbo and his mommy get to do is touch trunks through a barred window. I thought I was going to loose it. I was hysterical. I was practically screaming, “Just give the baby to his mommy!” I swear, if Emma has asked me for a pony at that very moment I would have driven her straight to the farm to get one. Luckily, we got called in and I was able to pass my tears off as those of genuine concern for my darling baby girl and not the animated children’s movie playing in the waiting room.

Why was this movie ever made? What kind of sicko would do this to us? Walt Disney of course. The mastermind behind The Most Expensive Place on Earth and those damn Disney Princesses. I’m kidding, of course. Walt Disney is a legend and a hero. I could never say anything bad about him and what he has done for the arts. Still, why would he ever put such a heartbreaking scene in a children’s movie? There must be an explanation.

It’s safe to say that in all things Disney there is a lesson to be learned, something to take away. I don’t know exactly what Walt Disney had in mind with Dumbo, but all I know is that I hugged my chicks a little tighter today and snuggled a little longer tonight when I tucked them into bed. Maybe Dumbo’s not so bad after all.

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