Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where I've been

Just an FYI for those out there-- I am on my honeymoon (follow our travels from the blog link at and will return Friday the 7th, hopefully to a renewed dedication to blogging.

PS- European kids are pretty well behaved-- the tantrums have been at a minumum over here!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mean Moms Poem

My sister in law sent me this today, so thanks to L. for this:

Mean Moms

Someday when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will tell them, as my Mean ole Mom told me:

I loved you enough . . . to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.

And someday when your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tough Love Update

This past Monday, I saw my little 3 year old that I posted about in Tough Love. Apparently, the same night that they saw me, his parents started having him dress himself and feed himself, and are working toward having him sleep in his own bed. When he came in with his little brother (who was there for his 9 month old checkup), he was more interactive, answered most of my questions, and smiled a few times. His marked improvement earned him a Lightning McQueen sticker and a "yummy stick" (I use flavored tongue depressors, that are impregnated with a nondescript fruity taste but are non-sugared-- kids LOVE them, but I happen to think they taste way overly sweet-- blech). I am all for positive reinforcement.

Thought you would like to know. It sure made my day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It Takes a Village

Riding the NY Subway over the weekend, I was not surprised to see a 2 yr old having a meltdown. Mid-afternoon, probably missed her nap, tired and crabby. She was hitting her Mom and screaming, didn't want to get into her stroller, and Mom was threatening her with a time out on a crowded subway. God bless her. I heard Mom say, "Do you want a time out? I'll put you in the time out chair!" At that point I stood up and gestured to my open spot and said, "Look, a time out chair!" Mom looked at me gratefully and sat her child down. She thanked me, and I told her, "That's okay, I'm a pediatrician. Thank you for letting me help you." She said, "That's allright, it takes a village to raise a child these days...." The girl of course was having none of the discipline, squirming out of the chair, but Mom was dutifully putting her right back in. I walked her through it, and then we actually put her back in her stroller for the remainder of her time out since she kept squirming out of my seat. I told Mom to turn the stroller away from her so she wasn't getting any attention, and the toddler slowly calmed herself down. I kept giving Mom verbal support during the tantrum, and she seemed grateful (actually mentioned that "The time out thing is sort of new to her.") When the toddler was quiet, Mom took her out and gave her a hug and some juice, and she was fine for the remainder of the subway ride.

I wish for more moments like this, where we can help one another raise well disciplined, secure, happy children. God bless that Mom and her daughter, and a special blessing for her having the courage to take some help.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday....?

The Cheeseguy and I went to our very good friends' daughter's birthday party yesterday. E. is the first grandchild on one side, and the only grandchild on the other. Lovely food, lovely conversation, cute games (who doesn't like the Hokey-Pokey?) but then the gifts started coming. Wow. It was as if FAO Schwarz, Target, and The Children's Place all had a colossal collision in mid-air over this house and vomited all their contents into their living room. Okay, that's a bit of hyperbole, but when E. opened a box and started to play happily with the tissue paper, I wished we could have stopped there and given her the rest of the presents later (as in months later, for Chanukah, and she STILL would have had plenty to open). My friend told me she tried to veto the party but was overruled. She really tries hard to keep her daughter grounded, but in the face of overwhelming opposition, I can see how her resolve failed. Now they have to figure out what to do with an entire dollhouse with the entire contents for every room. How many pieces? I don't know if I can count that high-- I know E. can't (although she is very smart, in my completely unbiased opinion). I feel badly that we contributed to the madness with three Crayola coloring pads, ponytail holders and a placemat with a fill-in-the-blank map of the United States (that came from Cheeseguy, who insisted that despite E.'s inability to fill-in-the-blank, it was still okay since it was for ages 3+. He loves maps so much that I thought it was adorable that he wanted to share that with her).

So what do you readers think? How have you handled birthdays for your children? There's got to be a balance between Mommy-Dearest giving away all but one present and the toy-explosions that are all too common today. Share, and let others learn from you!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Just plain lucky

Cheese Guy and I are in San Francisco, partially on business, but a little time for vacation. We were lucky enough to spend the day in Berkeley with our friend Class-Factotum. We had lunch at a vegetarian Indian restaurant, and as we were perusing the menu, a family of three walked in. Mother, grandmother, and daughter, about 5 years old in my estimation (although the child was in a flowered top and polka dotted pants, she had quite the boy's hair cut so I wasn't completely sure it was a girl, but that is for another post).

To begin with, the child was not wearing shoes, and continued to walk around the filthy restaurant floor barefoot. Then, as the mother and grandmother ate their lunch, the child wandered around the restaurant, towards the OPEN DOOR, and the adults did NOTHING! They didn't EVEN NOTICE!! The server was standing in the doorway, and the child walked towards her and began to ask, "What are you doing?" When the server shooed her away from the door, she began to do pseudo-somersaults on the entry carpet. I was glad I was almost done with my meal, because I couldn't have stood it for much longer. This mother was just incredibly lucky that no one came along and enticed that child out the door, because as I saw her interactions with complete strangers, she had minimal boundaries, so it would have been a shockingly easy task.

Parents, when you take your children out in public, you are ALWAYS responsible for them! Don't ever assume that a server or staff will watch them. Besides the fact that it is not their job, it is YOURS, that is just an unbelievably stupid thing to do. Don't even assume they can take care of themselves, unless they are teenagers (and even then, only to a certain degree). Don't ever, ever, EVER let your children wander off in public. Every parent of a missing or abducted child can tell you, they never thought anything would ever happen to them. In the space of an eyeblink, the worst thing you can ever imagine can happen.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dark Knight for one little girl

My husband and I went to see Dark Knight last weekend, and just as we were settling in, a family walked in and sat down behind us. Mom, Dad, little girl-- maybe 6 or 7. I was stunned. I had a really hard time enjoying the movie, because every time I winced at the gore and violence on the screen (disappearing pencil, anyone??) I turned around in disbelief that there was a little girl behind me and her parents were sanctioning her viewing it.

What were you thinking?? You should be ashamed of yourselves. If you cannot afford a babysitter, either go see a G rated movie or rent from Netflix and wait until the kids go to bed. How selfish are you that you take your child to a movie like that? Nightmares, night terrors, anxiety, bedwetting, clingy behavior, that's what you can expect. Your child's brain is still forming, still developing, still thinking the world revolves around them at that age. They are immersed in the fantasy world, and cannot differentiate fantasy from reality. The Joker is as real to them as the librarian.

Be a parent. Do what's best for your child, not what makes your life easier.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tough Love

I usually try to be nice when coaching parents, believing that a caring approach will get you further in terms of changing behavior. I always said when talking about my choice of going to my state medical school (rather than the high powered, well-known private one which was my other option) that when you have a choice of having someone lead and inspire you or kick you in the butt from behind, you'll get to the end either way, but one trip will be infinitely more pleasant.

Recently I saw a 3 year old who was so meek, so soft-spoken, so timid that he could barely tell me his name (and I've been his doctor since birth), so I dug a little deeper. Turns out he still sleeps in bed with his parents, and his mother still feeds him, she still dresses him. She felt like when he dressed or fed himself, it was too slow, so she just did it for him. Looking at this little boy, I couldn't be nice any longer.

I said, "You have to stop this. You are hurting him. You are hindering his development. I know you think you are being loving and caring, but by continuing to baby him, you are doing him a lot of harm. I am going to repeat myself-- you HAVE to stop babying him-- he will cry, he will get upset, he will be slower at dressing himself and feeding himself than you would be, but he HAS to do it himself, or he will never develop properly!" Mom was smiling in this sort of apologetic, "I guess you're right, but I don't know what else to do..." sort of way that I was quite familiar with. I had been seeing it for three years now. It wasn't the first time I had had the conversation with her about needing to be tougher. It started with him being brought into their bed since he didn['t want to sleep through the night in his own bed. It continued with him being a picky eater, and the parents not being firm enough with forcing him to eat. It was the first time I'd been so blunt. Encouraging good behavior apparently hasn't been enough.

When they're 6 months old and they're still bringing the baby into their bed when he or she wakes up and cries, I don't always pick that battle. I tell parents that while I think it's a bad idea, I'm not going to come to their house and pull the baby out of their bed. I understand they need to sleep.

It was a real lesson to me that I need to be firmer in my advice when I see parents not being tough. Even caring too much can be harmful. I'm going to be following this family more closely now.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Circle of Life

I have been struggling with how much personal info to bring here, stuff not about being a Mean Mommy, not about kids. Frankly, with how little I've been blogging lately, I may not have any readers anymore, so this may be a moot point. I guess, though, this isn't so much about having kids as it is about being a kid, or about me being a kid. I hope if I still have readers they understand.

This is about my Gran, my Mom's mom.

I like to think of Gran as a real "broad." As a child, she would teach me Yiddish curses that translated to things like, "May you grow like an onion with your head in the ground!" She also taught me that you always dress for the theater, and it never hurts to have "your people" at places like your bank, your department store, and your favorite restaurant.

The week before last, she fell and broke her hip, in that horrid way that only elderly people can do, requiring surgery and a rod to put the pieces back together. As we feared, she did not do well. Pain control was difficult to achieve, and she was too stubborn and tired to go to rehab. My uncle decided to have her transferred to hospice last week, and on Thursday morning, she died, surrounded by my uncle, aunt, and cousins. Ironically (and blessedly), Patrick and I were already in Oklahoma for myhigh school reunion when we got the call. She will be buried here in OK next to my grandfather and near my mother, where she wanted to be since the day Mom died. I am so glad I was here so I could help with local arrangements.

So I've been thinking a lot about what goes into making us who we are. Gran was a big part of it. Sort of your typical New York Jewish grandmother, lots of guilt and mixed messages-- "Eat, eat!" "You're putting on some weight, you have such a pretty face..." but not really the warm, cuddly, bake you cookies type. She was the epitome of a "real lady," always well put together, got her hair and nails done weekly. Always gracious to people, even when she didn't feel like it. When you think about it, for a role model, I could have had worse.

Hopefully the injection of some personal stuff in here will be a good thing. Only time (and comments) will tell.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Working it Out

I want to give props to my sisters-in-law for how they have been dealing with their sons these past few weeks.  One family recently moved here, and their son is 4 1/2.  The other family lives here, and they have 2 sons, the older of which is about 3 1/2.  Both of them are used to being stars, and getting lots of attention.  This makes for a painful wake up call-- necessary, but painful.  It's extremely hard the day you have to deal with the fact that you are not the only golden child.  

I have to say, both Mean Mommies are handling it quite well.  I saw them both in action recently at a family event.  Lots of "not sharing" and lots of whining about it.  Both Mean Mommies stood their ground, were fair yet loving, and wanted no part of a whining little boy.  They made them share, and took toys away when the boys simply could not do it.  

Two wonderful examples, proud to know them both.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Great Minds Think Alike

The other day I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea-- a portable time out mat! One that fits in your purse, so when you're at the store and your little one decides to pull a fit or do something unacceptable, you flop it on the floor and they have their time out right there. It also serves the purpose of showing those around you that you're not just ignoring your child's poor behavior, but dealing with it-- that can stave off some of the dirty looks strangers give when you're trying to discipline in public.

I still think it's a brilliant idea, it's just already been done-- sigh. Take a look at this. I want to buy a stash and give them to my parents as needed.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Because I Said So-- Part 2.

Thanks again to my blog-mentor, Class-Factotum, for alerting me to this blog entry of testosterhome (Love that name, btw!). It is an unsettling reminder of how important it is to get the message to our kids to listen the first time.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

He's Got the Right Idea

Much thanks to my friend, Class-Factotum, for bringing this to my attention:

“If we took our own children off the streets, we wouldn’t need so many police,” the Rev. Emanuel Adams said.

He castigated parents for negotiating with their children instead of setting firm rules.
“We’ve got to control our children,” he said. “You want to argue with them, and yet you feed them and clothe them. I see parents arguing with a 3-year-old child over whether to sit down.”

He, too, offered to help if parents were too afraid to discipline their children themselves.

“You’ve got to discipline that child,” he said. “If you don’t do this, I don’t care what the mayor does, I don’t care what the police do, I don’t care how many cameras you have, you will not resolve this problem.”


Friday, April 25, 2008

Single-Minded Creatures

I want to make all the MeanMommies out there feel a little better about how exhausted they are from the constant struggle with their SmartOnes. You have to remember, you as MeanMommies have many jobs. You work, you take care of your kids, you may cook and clean the house, you have to run errands, you are a friend, a spouse, a daughter, maybe a sister... That's a lot of jobs for one person. Your darling little precious children? One job. One.

To Get What They Want.

That's it. That's the only job they have, the only thing they have to worry about. Day in and day out. No bills, no putting food on the table. No trying to remember Aunt Rita's birthday while making plane reservations and talking to your father on the phone.

And because they only have one job, they are spectacularly good at it. Single-minded in their pursuit of their goal, whether it be five more minutes before sleep, or a piece of candy in the store.

Remember that, when you're exhausted from the fight. Remember that, stay strong, don't give in, but give yourself a break.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

High-Level Love Manipulation

This post is for my friend T, whose little boy is my absolute favorite boy ever on this earth, and always will be. I first laid eyes on this wonder when he was 3 months old, and I knew then (as I whispered in his ear) that "We are going to be really good friends, you and I." He is a very, very smart boy, and knows it-- a living example of why I tell my parents that the smarter your child is, the less leeway they can get. Give a smart kid an inch, and he will negotiate the entire football field.

The other night T and I were going out, and I came over to her house. As we started to leave, this wondrous little boy started his usual, "Momma, don't leave." Not surprising at all. He, like all children, want just a little more- a little more time with their parents, a little more time before bed, a little more candy, a little... more. We continued to leave, but then-- and here's where it gets good-- he began to say, "I love you, Momma. Please, give me a hug. Just one more hug." She gave him another hug, but then disengaged and started to leave. He followed us down the stairs, saying, "Let me give you one more kiss, because I looooove you, Mommy." Mommy. He never calls her Mommy-- it's always Momma. I almost started to laugh. We kept on going, and then he tried to follow us out the side door-- he would have, had I not blocked him and put him back inside.

He called out, opening the door (and it's a good thing he doesn't have shoes on and it's snowy) and leaning out, "Goodbye, Mommy! I Love You!! I Love You Mommy!!! I Love you Ilee (his nickname for me)!!" When we wouldn't answer he got louder and more insistent, " I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!" Finally, we collapsed into the car, and I started laughing. "Wow!" I said. This is really high level love manipulation. Brilliant, really. It's easy to say no if they want to stay awake, or have you get them some water, or want you to buy them something. How do you say no when they want you to LOVE them!!! I told T that I was really impressed that he'd figured this out at his age. I also told her I was impressed that she didn't get sucked in. It's hard to do, and she did a great job. She told me he does this all the time. I'm not surprised.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


This is for my friend S., who is one of my inspirations, as she has a child who needs extra understanding, and she still remains a MeanMommy in every sense of the word.

I remember the first time S. first used the term “evacuation” in my presence. She was describing a scene her child (may have been children) was making in Target, and she said, “I had to perform an evacuation!” I laughed so hard something may have some out of my nose. I told her she was brilliant, and promised her I would always give her credit when I used the term.

I wish more parents would perform evacuations. I have applauded in stores when witnessing one, and have gone so far as to stop the parent, explain that I am a pediatrician, and commend them on their discipline. If a child (especially a smart one) gets a whiff of the fact that you really need to get your errands done, and are not willing to evacuate, they realize (with the childlike glee that is to be expected at their age) they are holding you hostage! They will scream, they will cry, they will wheedle, they will whine. They will wear you down until you give in and get them a cookie/candy bar/toy/soda/game/fill-in-the-blank. You have at once reinforced the notion that they are in charge, and you are right back to square one in terms of your child understanding that YOU are to believed, because you say so.

After a few immediate scoop-and-run evacuations (with AT MOST a second chance to listen to you, but NEVER a third), the shock-and-awe will set in, and they will listen better. You can even threaten, “Do you want an evacuation?” If they have experienced a no-words, no-turning-back, no-negotiations evacuation, complete with appropriate consequences of your choice, they will not want to experience it again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Drive-by Parenting (WARNING- LONG POST)

In all my years of practice, I have never had a fight with a parent. Never. So I guess I was due.
I’m not the pediatrician for everyone. If you want a doc who’s going to prescribe a ton of antibiotics, I’m not your gal. If you want a doc who’s going to let your kid misbehave in the office and not call you on it, or put your kid in time out, I’m not your gal. If you want to drop your 12-year old off at the office and not come in with them (at least to check them in at the front desk), I’m DEFINITELY not your gal. And that’s what happened the other day.
My assistant told me that my next appointment was here, but her Mom had dropped her off without coming in. I was flabbergasted. She was 12. 12!!! Granted, she had had to grow up quickly because her parents were really dysfunctional- her dad had died recently of what we suspect may have been an overdose of painkillers. Her Mom came in not long after that telling my assistant about her new boyfriend (a friend of her late husband’s), and all the great sex they were having—spilling all of this in front of her children!!! The girls were both morbidly obese (as were both parents), I think a combination of terrible food choices and eating habits modeled at home, and using food as a crutch to smother all their misery.

So I told my assistant to put “Sunny” in a room, but I would not see her until her Mom got back from picking up her other daughter at school. When she arrived about 20 minutes later, I examined the girl and when I was done I pulled Mom into the other exam room and closed the door. I said, “I have to tell you that I am disappointed that you dropped off “Sunny” at the front door without coming to at least check her in.” Mom responded with, “She’s growing up, and she can check herself in just fine.” I said, “She is TWELVE, and our practice’s policy is to not see children without a parent present, unless there is a note or verbal consent given. I think that is not being a responsible parent.” Mom said, “I had to get my other daughter at school!” (raising her voice) and I said, “Then you could have come earlier. I understand you think she is grown up, but she is TWELVE and YOU are her parent.” (not raising my voice, although I am beginning to shake inside a bit)

At this point, Mom starts to lose it, opens the exam room door and spills out into the hall, shouting, “I am a responsible parent! I have never abused my kids!!” Inside, I thought, “Well, that’s debatable…” but I kept my calm and said, “And I will always care about what’s best for my patients.” She responded by yelling, “I never liked you anyway!! I only brought my kids here because my daughters liked you!!!” I said, “Well, that’s really all that matters to me.” At which point she shouted at her daughter, “Sunny, do you want to stay here??!! (Sunny looked at me horrified, and I smiled at her, trying to tell her it was okay, I didn’t blame her for her crazy Mom.) Come on! We’re leaving!!” The girl looked at me helplessly and followed her Mom out.

I was shaking inside, more from pent-up anger at how this Mom was so crazy and her 3 kids were going to be trapped with all her madness until they could escape. I was also so powerfully sad that I had such a horrid example of what their life was. I am sad that I will be losing them as patients, but I am in no way sorry I won’t have to deal with their craziness anymore.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I do not think that word means what you think it means

So much is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty. Art. Well-behaved children.

I've been reading a lot of blogs, and there are many people who post and say, "We'd like to go to restaurant x. We have a well-behaved two-year old, so..." At that point I tune out. There really is no such thing as a well-behaved two-year old, to other patrons who do not have children with them. They can be cute, they can be precious, but they are two and as such should not be expected to be well-behaved. I guess it depends on what your definition of well-behaved is. Do you mean they don't throw screaming fits? Okay, then your child is not ill-behaved, but that doesn't mean they are well-behaved. Do you mean they obey when you tell them no (at least the second or third time)? Okay, maybe.

However, if your definition of well-behaved is a child who sits quietly and isn't disruptive in any way, then that is not possible-- if your child is developmentally normal and healthy. They will throw their food around, because they do not have the best manual dexterity to get said food to their mouths. They will demand attention, because they are two and that is their job. If you are not paying attention to them, they will drop things for you to pick up. If you take things away, they will get mad-- again, they are two, and that is their job! They are in the process of defining the world, and that takes a lot of time and energy.

Parents, understand that your toddler is supposed to be like that, and don't subject other patrons in restaurants or movie theaters to a definition of well-behaved that still impinges on their enjoyment. Get a babysitter, get takeout, or wait before going out to a non-family establishment-- I promise, if you are being a MeanMommy, they will soon be a joy to take out in public.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Escape from Alcatraz-- or alCARtraz

Yesterday I saw a patient of mine whom I've been following since birth- she's now going off to kindergarten. Very smart kid, mom kind of soft. I began my usual discipline discussion with, "How's the minding going?" Mom rolled her eyes and began to chuckle, so I knew what was coming. She recounted a recent story: Last week, they were out running errands, and Angel (not her name, and I use that with full irony) was very sassy in the car. When they got home, Mom said she was getting a car time-out. She could sit in the car for five minutes while Mom went inside the house (I would not have okayed this in the summer, but it was about 30 degrees out, so no risk of hyperthermia). Angel then gave her Mom a rude response, so the time was upped to ten minutes. "Shut up!" bought her an additional five minutes, and something even ruder got her up to twenty. At this time, Mom got out of the car and went inside the house. I was proud of her up to this point. However, Mom then told me that seven minutes later, Angel walks herself into the house. Mom's response? Laughter.

Stunning. Just stunning.

I appreciate the absurdity of what happened (the five year old discovered a way to get herself out of her car seat, out of the car, and into the house, just to spite her Mom), but what message did she give Angel? That disrespect is acceptable. That Angel could treat her mother like that with no recourse. That consequences delivered by Mom have no teeth. That Angel is in control of that relationship. Is that going to lead to a healthy and happy child?

I told Mom that Angel needed to know that Mom was in charge, needed to believe she was safe because Mom was in control and nothing bad would happen to her as long as Mom was looking after her (now, as adults we obviously know that nothing is certain, but a child should absolutely feel 100% certain of their safety with their parents). As long as that was in question, Angel would continue to test the limits of Mom's patience. Once she believed it, once she KNEW it and internalized that, the battles would be fewer and farther between, and Angel would settle down, be less crabby, less clingy, less the anxious child that pushed every button Mom had.

I hope that Angel's Mom can be the MeanMommy that Angel deserves.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Because I said so!

I see it every day. Parents trying to reason with their kids.
"I want some ice cream!"
"If you have ice cream, you'll ruin your dinner."
"No I won't. I promise I'll eat dinner!"
"No you won't."
"Yes, I will!"
"No you won't!"
"Yes I will!!!!!" This escalation is sometimes (... often.... usually) accompanied by screaming, crying, pouting, etc.

It doesn't have to be ice cream. It can even be as mundane as, "I want to go to Amy's house to play."
"Because we have to go to Grandma's house."
"I don't waaaaant to!"
"We have to."
"Noooooo!!!" with the aforementioned crying, kicking, etc.


We did our children a disservice when we took the phrase, "Because I said so!" out of our collective vocabulary. You should not be reasoning with your children, especially when they are below the teenage years. You should not be explaining, cajoling, bribing them to be respectful and listen to you. You are their Mommy- their MeanMommy. That should be enough.

Say there is a reason you don't want them going to Amy's house. You don't like the way Amy's father acts, or you don't agree with their parenting decisions, or they plop their kids in front of the tv and you don't like that. Whatever. It's not your child's business why you make your decisions. You should not be telling your child your reasoning-- there are some things a six year old doesn't need to know.

You are the MeanMommy, and what you say goes. Because you said so. Period.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Welcome to Mean Mommy

This is for all the mommies out there who wish their kids could sleep through the night, or get off the bottle, or eat their veggies, or listen when they say, "No!" or stop hitting/ biting/ pinching/ kicking/ whatever behavior du jour you wish would simply STOP.  This is for all the mommies who wonder why their child laughs when they tell them to climb off the couch but behave like angels for everyone else.  This is for all the mommies (and daddies, but really, it's more a mommy problem) who think they can be their child's friend as well as their parent.  I am here to tell you you can't.  You can only be one or the other, at least as long as your child is a child.  When your child says, "You're a mean mommy!" I want you to smile and say, "Thank you!" and know you're doing your job-- and doing it well.

In these posts and comments, I will share with you what I see every day as a pediatrician.  I will tell you the horror stories and give you the simple truths that will allow you to see that while raising children is the most difficult job in the world, it is really not as complicated as you have been led to believe.  I hope you will share with me your questions and trials, and support one another in the quest for healthy and happy families.