Get Your Turkey Pants Ready

Once again I was lucky to hang out with the incredibly duo, Paige Kellerman and Snarky-in-the-Suburbs, Sherry Kuehl in the KC Live! studio. Unfortunately, we only get approximately 5 minutes a month to gab about what concerns or peeves us for that month. Truly I think we need a weekly show to get out all the gems this group has.

Actually, sometimes we can’t even leave the parking lot afraid we won’t ever have another opportunity to dish with someone like ourselves (aka weird). It’s basically a Mom bitch vent session, where we lay it on the line and laugh at each other.

Our latest chat was recently on the KSHB-TV’s KC Live! morning show. We are the Mommy Panel. Kind of sounds like a feminine hygiene product, but we didn’t get to chose the name.

Introducing…the Mommy Panel talks all things Thanksgiving:

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A Child’s Fear of Halloween is Debilitating for Parents Craving Chocolate

Halloween Fear



Once upon a time, there were children who hated Halloween.

“Shut your mouth!” you exclaim?

True story.

“How can children not enjoy a holiday, where they are to dress up in costume and get free candy?!” you ask.

Well, I’m not a professional holiday/candy researcher, despite my deep love of peanut brittle and candy cane fudge; but there actually are people who can help these kids overcome their fears.

Several hundreds or tens of kids who are afraid of the dark and/or monsters can be experience extreme fears far into the grade school years. I wouldn’t have believed it, but I have watched some children firsthand who are highly creative, fueled by cute zombie commercials on the Disney channel; and their extreme fear of Halloween knocks them out of prime candy retrieval position.

I remember as a child being scared that things would jump out at me in the middle of the night. I’m pretty sure nothing like that had traumatized me. I had no case of Halloween PTSD.

*OK, the Halloween movies scared the crap out of me, but I was in middle school. And just because I watched all of them, doesn’t mean that I enjoyed them. Just say “No!” to peer pressure, kids.

Sometimes fears can appear for unknown reasons.

Actually, there’s a phobia related to the fear of Halloween. Samhainophobia is the obvious name of it. Not quite sure how they came up with this catchy title, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was due to a gang of scoundrels picking on a guy named Sam Hain.

One Halloween night, four scores ago, Sam opened his front door to a flaming bag of poo left by the gang. After stomping it out, crying like a baby, and running in front of town hall in his pajamas, he sadly developed a fear of Halloween – and by direct association, bags of fiery poop. Sam had to have been the poster child of fearing Halloween.

Apparently, 40 percent of kids from 6-12 experience some type of fear. However, the fear lessens by a gradual desensitization each time he faces it. Then the fear might become a phobia, warranting medical treatment or counseling.

“As part of the treatment plan for phobias, many therapists suggest exposing your child to the source of his anxiety in small, nonthreatening doses,” reports the American Pediatric Association.
Ultimately, the child will no longer feel the need to avoid the situation, which has triggered the phobia. While this process sounds like common sense and easy to carry out, it should be done only under the supervision of a professional and not “Aunt” Edith from the yellow house down at the end of the street.
Also, making fun of the child’s fear, belittling them or forcing the child to be brave will surely backfire. Relaxation techniques and deep breathing can soothe some panicking children.

Lighting bags of excrement and laughing at the child who stomps it out is not the suggested method for decreasing Samhainophobia. Patience, tolerance and not begging for your child to “go get me a big sack of candy,” will help them slowly face their fear.

My suggestion for parents of Halloween phobic kiddos is to go to the drug store the day after Halloween and get all the candy you want 50% off. You will not win this battle and everything is better with chocolate.

Here is the video of the KC Live! Mommy Panel for October 2014. Paige Kellerman, Snarky in the Suburb’s, Sherry Kuehl and I have fun talking about Halloween and kids.

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Happy Spring Break to all the Car Barfers

The other day my friend and I were discussing how we dreaded traveling with kids and it wasn’t for the reasons most parents have:

“She crossed over the line and her finger is on my side!!”

“Bobby took my headphones!”

“Mom, Sarah won’t stop staring at me!”

Oh, no, we both had the dreaded Car Barfer.

After discussing this malady by the snack table at church, regarding traveling with kids on Spring Break, and then even mentioning it on Kansas City Live! – KSHB-TV, I realized that after I fought this “uphill” battle for 7 years, I could be considered an expert.

And because of that, I felt it was my public duty to share my tricks and secrets.

When my daughter, Munchkin #1 was a baby, she immediately became what they call in some glamorous social circles, a projectile puker. The girl could hurl it to the third seat area of the van if she produced a good arc.

The hubby and I prayed that she would grow out of this attractive behavior, for she wouldn’t win any popularity contests if this continued.

In fact, we couldn’t go anywhere in the van over 15 minutes without the upchuck routine. This was awful since the grandparents lived 30 minutes away and people frown on covering infants in Saran Wrap or attaching feedbags.

So after many urping episodes, and tempts of fate thinking she could make it 16 minutes, 17 minutes, we tried everything we could think of to make our darling child, feel better, keep unsoiled and not smell like the ladies room on 50 cent beer draw night.

Here are my tips for keeping you and your child happy and considering getting back on the road again:

Medications:

Younger children cannot take any medication to settle their stomachs, so you have to just suffer through. When your pediatrician says that Benadryl is OK for your child, that can be a blessing for some; but you need to be careful and know the exact dose and realize it will knock your child out. Plus, don’t give it without their permission.

Dramamine is for kids over 2 years of age, according to the packaging. There are chewables, but they are hard to find. And if you try to get your kid to swallow Dramamine in pill form, and they have not developed that skill yet, they taste awful just sitting on the tongue, so it will be near impossible getting another one in your kids mouth ever again.

However, Dramamine is a blessing from God!! I remember thinking that my daughter would never turn two so that we could use the magic potion of the road.

Clean-up Supplies:

1. In addition to medication, you need to have your vehicle stocked sufficiently. A little package of tissues you carry in your purse is not going to cut it with one of these kids. You need a jumbo box of baby wipes and periodically check to make sure they remain damp. Nothing worse than reaching in for a cleanup job and find dry wipes! Not only do the wipes work well to essentially bathe your child in the car, but also they can clean upholstery, carpeting and the seat belts quite effectively. These are a MUST! My kids are 7 and 8 and I still keep a box in the car just for spills and accidents.

2. At first I asked every person who traveled to bring me back vomit bags from the airlines. I had about 20 of those in the back pocket of the driver’s seat. But you will quickly learn that those are 1) not airtight 2) not leakproof and 3) have a small opening, which proves to be a poor target for the barfer. Ziploc Freezer Bags with the strong zipper seal are the answer. Aim, shoot, and zip! Toss and you are back on the road. I actually kept an entire jumbo box of those in the car with the wipes.

3. The last thing you want are kitchen trash bags. Many times I stood on the side of the highway with my toddler stripped down to her diaper and I was tempted to just dump her clothes right there. If you have a big bag for clothes or the liner of the car seat, you can close those up tight and toss them in the trunk.

I know this is not a glamorous post, but hopefully this information can save at least one family some headaches. The good thing is usually by the time your car sick child is a teenager, she can sit in the front and look out the front window, reducing or possibly alleviating the nausea.

Growing up a carsick child, I understand this firsthand. I didn’t get rid of my carsickness until my twenties, when I spent two months traveling on a double decker bus with a theater tour.

But that wild and bumpy tale is for another time!

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