Within the past few months, my 4-year-old son has come into a new obsession: Tornadoes.
While you and I are scrambling for cover in a tornado siren, this kid’s eyes get as wide as saucers and the excitement level gets beyond control. Everything he sees is tornado-related.
But not all kids are ready to brave Mother Nature’s fury. Especially if those kids have had to go through an actual tornado and witness firsthand the destruction and injuries it can cause.
To help parents and caregivers explain how a tornado works, what to do when one is coming and how to deal with the destruction and aftermath of these storms, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Office has put out a coloring book called “After the Tornado.”
It’s a good read for parents and kids of any age and children will surely appreciate the fun-to-color pages.
To download the coloring book, click here.
For more information about the book, click here.
And for all your severe weather information, coverage and safety tips, go to the Know-It: Severe Weather page by clicking here.
If your family has any tales of storm survival or tips to help kids get through storms, comment here or e-mail me.
My son has a somewhat cute, however slightly annoying (yes, annoying) habit of saying “Hi!” to every single person he sees. Not only does everyone get a big greeting and smile, but they also get a rundown of what his shark eats and what kind of growl his dinosaur makes. While you may be saying to yourself “awwww, how cute!” let me tell you how it’s not exactly the cutest.
Let’s take, for instance, the mall. Nothing lures a pushy salesperson like a friendly toddler. If they ooh and ahh and interact with your child for any extended amount of time, you automatically feel obligated to buy something.
How about wanting some quiet time out shopping? It seems like everytime he says hi to someone, it starts a conversation between me and the other person. Sometimes I just don’t feel chatty. Actually, most of the time I’m out running errands or shopping, I don’t feel particularly chatty.
And then there’s the leery guy lurking around … you know the one. My boy always gives them the big “Hi!” and I suddenly feel uneasy. And I can’t help but think if this is how predators lure away little kids – kids who unknowingly give them the OK.
So what am I do to? I hate trying to inhibit my little boy’s personality but in this day and age, you have to be prudent. So I told him plainly to please stop saying hi to everyone. I thought that worked until he told the lady at the shoe counter, and then everyone else, “Please don’t say hi to me.”
How do you combat stranger danger? Let me know by commenting here or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor
Here’s just a few things that are on my mind now: London, yogurt, the Jonas Brothers movie, nightmares caused by school required reading of some books, potty training, finding daycare (see Erica’s post), time change, the one chocolate donut on my desk, Twitter (I still don’t understand it), that I need to wash my van, whether to buy a lottery ticket, what load of laundry to wash and throw on the couch next, high blood pressure, cholesterol (the donut package says it has no trans fats, but it has 25mg of cholesterol), my family photos need to be scrapbooked, what are we going to do Spring Break, what are we eating tonight (no donuts), temper tantrums, my sticky kitchen floor … how nice it is outside.
Let’s all take 20 to 30 minutes and go for a walk and clear our heads.
– Linda Lynn
This is a difficult post to write, because usually topics on this blog are more lighthearted and positive. But I am going to try to turn a tragic situation into one I hope to learn from, and maybe other readers will as well.
Friday night, my 2-year-old son, my mom and myself attended a hayride at the Orr Family Farm. On the same ride as us was an 18-month-old girl and her mom. My son and this little girl were picking out pumpkins in a pumpkin patch just five minutes before both our worlds were changed forever. We were witnesses to that little girl tragically losing her life immediately following that very ride.
This has been a near impossible thing to wrap my mind around. It’s something that causes shock and disbelief one minute, and despair and sympathy the next. It’s something I never thought I would have to see, and now is something I’ll see for the rest of my life. I can’t begin to imagine what her parents are going through and my heart and prayers have been with them since. Their lives are changed in ways I can never imagine.
I took a very hard lesson that night. Life really is so very fragile. The unthinkable can happen in a split second. Treat every moment with your children and family as a precious gift, because that is what it is. Give those you love an extra long hug and extra big smile next time you see them. Tell them you love them, and love them unconditionally.
If you’d like to know more about Zoe Madeline Montgomery, please click here: NewsOK.com. And please keep her parents in your thoughts and prayers.
I used to cringe when my kids were babies and they had to get shots. Now, I realize, it’s so much easier when they don’t know what’s coming. A couple of years ago when my daughter was 3 going on 4, I had to hold her down in the pediatrician’s office to get her flu shot and she ended up with a needle scratch on her leg. Last year was better, but she was still a little panicked this year despite the promise of a new toy. I’m not beyond bribery. My son, who is almost 2, still didn’t know what was coming and cried only for 30 seconds or so after getting stuck. By next year, I doubt he’ll be so cooperative. At least I managed to get their shots free this year!
I was about to pull out of my driveway and head to work when I glanced at my cell phone.
I had seven voicemails! Who could have called me so many times?
I listened to the first message, and it was my youngest daughter, Kaci, distraught and crying. You can never understand her on the phone when she’s upset, but I knew it was her. What could be wrong? So, I listened to the next message. Again, her crying, never staying on the phone more than a couple of seconds.
As I quickly headed to her school, my mind began to imagine the problem. Had someone hurt her? Had the teacher addressed her harshly? … Still, the next two voicemails were even shorter, some with only whines.
I was about in tears when I pulled into the school parking lot. I rushed to the office. “I have to talk to my daughter,” I said with urgency. “She called me on the phone distraught.”
One of the women in the school office told me Kaci was in the gym, so we quickly walked to her P.E. class. (Had she broken her arm? Was she hurt?)
When we arrived at the gym, I saw my little 10-year-old swinging a racquet and playing with the other children. She looked fine, so I was puzzled. I motioned for her to come to the door.
When she was asked if she had called me that morning, she said, “No.” …. But she had called two weeks ago. And then I remembered getting a phone call on our home phone weeks earlier. She had been upset because she had thought an envelope with money for school pictures was missing … It wasn’t. It was in her notebook. So, she quickly recovered from her tears.
Or so I thought. I didn’t realize she had tried calling my cell phone several times. Aren’t cell phones grand? I’m not sure if anyone else’s phone does this, but sometimes I don’t get a message alerting me to voicemails. Then, one day I’ll get one that seems to push all the voicemails forward at once.
So, I left her school that morning, relieved but mentally shaken.
When I retold this story to my family, my oldest daughter reminded me of a time last year when my worry took me a little over the top, too.
I showed up at her middle school with two pairs of pants and a sandwich.
I thought she had ripped her pants (I had seen a dark spot on her jeans when she boarded the bus, so I thought they were torn.) And news reports of tainted peanut butter panicked me because I had packed her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Well, the rip turned out to be a sticker on her jeans. But I still made her switch out the sandwiches.
My children might laugh at me for my antics, but it’s just my nature. I will always worry about my kids. — Linda Lynn
It’s a hard concept to grasp, but seemingly it can be true.
Objectively, I would have to say my 2-year-old son’s demeanor is very mild. He is affectionate and already demonstrates a certain compassion for others, as simple as it is. I have been very lucky that he has never taken out frustration or anger in a physical way – never a biter or a hitter.
These qualities also may make him a target of bullying. In his class, he has a friend who is bigger than him (my son is small for his age), more outspoken and a bit aggressive. I’m going by what I’ve seen myself and what other parents have said. The interaction between the two boys is starting to worry me though, because my son is now reenacting his negative encounters with this child, over and over again.
I’ll pick him up from daycare and about 5 minutes into the ride home, I’ll hear him in the back seat reliving the day’s events. “No No! No push Hunter! Be nice, (child’s name), be nice!” or “No hit Hunter – go time out, (child’s name)!” At first I thought it was an idle situation, but lately this is an everyday occurrence. I’m worried that it can scar him in a way that may, in turn, make him aggressive, or set him up for a lifetime of being a target of bullies.
One thing I can’t really do is talk to this child’s mom. We are friends, and I don’t want to see a friendship go sour over this and there is no real delicate way to bring it up. The daycare teachers are giving the boy time outs so I can’t say they’re not doing their part.
I’m not sure where to go from here. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. I would love to hear some!
Wednesday’s accident involving a 23-month-old toddler who died in
Before my son was born, I would glance at those type of stories and continue reading without thinking twice about what I had read.
Now, stories about the death of babies and toddlers really tie my stomach in knots. I wonder how I would react, what I would do if I were that situation or what I could do to prevent a similar situation.
After reading about Wednesday’s accident in
What are other simple and effective ways a home could be child-proofed? Are there preventative measures that must be done, but may not be easily remembered?
Leave a comment below to share with others.
— Brian Sargent
When I was a kid, I was afraid of the dark — even if I was in my house.
Apparently, that fear has been passed to my 4-year-son, Cody.
During the past two months, Cody and I have gone to sleepovers at each of my two sister’s houses. Both times, Cody has awoken during the middle of night and told me, “Daddy, I’m scared.”
After a few minutes of sleeping in the same room with him, Cody falls asleep.
When Cody spends the night in my house, he sleeps soundly and for a full eight hours.
Do other parents have advice for me to help Cody with this fear?
I’d love to hear from you.
— Brian Sargent