So Ava slipped off a raft in the pool today and went underwater. I of course was standing right there and grabbed her. However, when I picked her up she looked scared and coughed a few times. She then broke into a smile and said, “That was fun. It was exciting. I am a brave girl.” Meanwhile I think I survived my first heart atrack.
I took Liam and Ava to the grocery store the other day as our afternoon outing. I actually really love going to the grocery store as it is a time where they have my undivided attention and I have theirs. This trip however ended up to be quite the life lesson for my kids.
When we arrived at the grocery store we entered in at the produce section. Ava excitedly pointed to the grapes and Liam asked for bananas. I then got some tomatoes and moved over to the deli counter. We were the next in line and while we waited I listed to Liam and Ava all of the other items we needed. Next to us were a mother and daughter talking quietly to each other. Our number was called and I placed my order. I then realized the daughter was now yelling at her mother. It was unclear at this point what the issue was, but she did say to her mother, “You have to. You owe me this.” I was stunned.
You have to. You owe me this. For so many reasons this statement struck a chord with me. First of all there is no please, or thank you. No showing of appreciation. It wasn’t requested it was demanded. Second of all, last time I looked a mother, parent or quite frankly anyone was never required to do anything. This sense of entitlement this young woman had was astonishing. Liam then in his innocent but loud way asked, “Why are they yelling?” Nervously I told Liam they were having a disagreement. At this point, the mother and daughter got their order and walked away still in their heated argument.
Now Liam is all about why. Why were they yelling? Why was the daughter upset? I tried to explain to him it is my job to provide and make sure his needs are being met; to feed, clothe, and keep him warm and safe. Anything beyond that isn’t something he needed but wanted. It’s always nice to get a special treat or a new train but it is not something I needed to do. I then said to Liam if mommy or daddy does decide to do something special you should always be appreciative and say thank you.
I came to find out (we stood behind them on the checkout line) that the daughter’s phone broke and she Needed a new IPhone. Now I will be the first one to admit I am quite dependent on my phone and when mine broke it was a little unnerving how upset I got. I understand the want of it, but I didn’t need a new one, no more than this young girl needed a new one. On top of that, her demanding demeanor and assumption that it was due to her just as much as anything else rang true that I don’t think in general we are teaching our children the difference between need and want. On top of that, there is also a huge lack of appreciation we are not conveying to our children that is rather disconcerting. How do we ever expect our children to grow into hardworking, thankful adults who do not expect everything to be handed to them if we do not demand that from them now? Now do not get me wrong we all need help and asking for something in no means is implying that someone is not a hardworking person. But there seems to be a growing trend of teenagers and young adults that do not understand that they have to put in a little elbow grease to get what they want. If we start with our children at a young age to work towards goals and not get everything that is requested the moment they ask for it, I think we might all be a little surprised at the young adults they will become.
Prior to Liam’s birth I read many articles about SIDS. The disease terrified me. The fact that there was no explanation and only speculation on prevention of the disease really unnerved me. Even though his bedding came with it, no bumpers were in his bed, or for that matter blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. To add to this fear, during my pregnancy I heard several stories of someone knowing someone whose baby died of SIDS. Liam was born in February and I kept our house at cool 67 (it’s recommended to keep bedroom temperatures cool as there seems to be a parallel between deaths in SIDS and overheated babies). After he was born I would check on him multiple times during the night. Liam was a silent sound sleeper. On a few occasions I was caught (by my husband) sitting him up in his crib to wake him and once he opened his eyes I quickly put him back down. When Liam turned one a huge sense of relief came over me (SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age.) After Ava was born even though she was a light sleeper and the smallest disturbance would wake her, I checked on her all the time. I took all the same precautions as I did with Liam and when Ava turned one I breathed a sigh of relief. Until a week ago ….
I was on Facebook and someone posted an article about a two year old that died of Sudden Death Unexplained in Childhood (SUDC). SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood) is the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of twelve months, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, is conducted. Similar to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), SUDC is a diagnosis of exclusion – given when all known and possible causes of death have been ruled out. I was heartbroken for the parents and felt the fear creep over me. I remembered in my head all of those times that I checked on Liam and Ava because they had slept longer than normal during naptime.
That is when I had to shake myself a little bit. I could easily let this terrify me. Being a parent is a balancing act of living and not letting the fear overtake and control you. Finding the balance between being concerned and even at times fearful without it dictating how you live. It is something every parent experiences, but it is important to not let it overtake you. I think about Ava and Liam when they were babies and all though I did not obsess over it, I did think about it a lot. After reading the article about SUDC, I knew I could quickly get carried away with worrying. The problem is besides always being in a constant state of fear and unable to enjoy anything, you will also miss out on a lot of opportunities and experiences. Life is about the unexpected and the ever changing flow. With that being said below are the few known facts about SUDC for informational purposes only. Read them and then go give your kids a hug and do something worth living for today.
Here are the known facts about SUDC:
- Occurs in children over the age of 12 months. Is a diagnosis of exclusion- assigned when all known causes of death have been ruled out
- Its incidence is approximately 1.2 deaths per 100,000 children. In comparison, the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is 45 times more common
- We do not know of any way to reduce the risk of SUDC. Presently, SUDC cannot be predicted and/or prevented since its cause is unknown. Most SUDC deaths occur between the ages of 1 and 3, but researchers have looked at cases of children as old as 15.
Do you remember when you went school Sunday nights you would get that pit in your stomach? Another week is about to start. There is no running, there is no hiding, I am going to have to go to school. That’s exactly how I feel about going to work this week.
Work has been especially tumultuous lately for me. My son’s temper tantrums and my daughter’s marathon crying episodes pale in comparison to the knot forming, anxiety ridden, stress inducing day I am looking forward to tomorrow. Another person quit on Friday and with her leaving not only do I lose a co-worker, a friend, but my commiserating ally. It’s hard not feel like lone woman on an island.
I am so glad that this week is a short week. I get out early on Wednesday and then I have a four day weekend to look forward to. I am really excited about that and I am trying to concentrate on the date night on Wednesday with my husband, Thursday good eats at my in-laws, and then Christmas decorating on Friday.
I guess in the long run I should be very thankful. As hard as my work days have been lately, at least I have a place to go to work to. Sometimes its very easy to lose sight of those things when you are in the midst of hard time or a pity party. This week I am going to try my hardest not to concentrate on what’s so wrong in my world right now but what is so right in my world right now. To my husband, children, family, friends, and even work, thank you.