So my human has been driving me a LOT lately – up and down the 401. It’s pretty boring. I’m not sure why we have to do the same route every time. She tells me it’s for work but this seems like a funny job to me. And it’s been so hot – my wheels are rubber and I think she forgets that sometimes! And again with the letting me get soooooo hungry between meals – what’s with that? Right now she has me pretending to be a driveway car when I clearly have a house – it’s got stuff in it that prevents me from fitting comfortable. Geez, I mean I don’t clutter up HER house. Humans …. hmmmppphhh!
So now I’m an advertising car. I’m not sure how I feel about it. The magnet sign feels weird on my skin and I’m a little self-conscious – I saw other cars staring at my door at the stoplight this morning. But maybe this means my human will wash me more often – to keep the sign clean I mean. Hmmm maybe I am the Director of Advertising! I like how that sounds … hmmm …. maybe Vice President of Advertising … even better! HA!
by P. Lloyd BScN RN
July 31st 2018
Keeping children healthy in body and mind is a full time job – hence parenthood being a full time job! The two types of health (physical and mental) feed each other. For example, what children eat impacts their ability to learn, sleep, play, and be active. Vice versa, their activities, sleep patterns, and acquisition of knowledge of the world inside and around them, in turn impacts how they view the fuel they put in their bodies. When it comes to the physical fuel, things can be a bit more obvious, for example, choosing fruits and vegetables over a steady stream of sugar and simple carbohydrates. However, when it comes to the mental fuel, things can be more subtle and sometimes harder for both parents and children to identify. Healthy mental fuel are things like positive reinforcement, praise for good choices and decisions, hugs, listening to a child’s version of the day’s events, and good eye contact when a child first sees you after a school day or even just coming in from outside. Seeing your eyes light up with a genuine smile on your face, can do more for a child’s self-esteem and good mental health than anything else. As a nurse I try and watch my facial expressions, especially around my young patients. I might just be mulling something over medically in my mind but if my face is frowning then both parents and child patients get worried for no reason and it causes stress. It’s the same with parenting – watch your “resting face” when you look at your children. Try and make your default expression a smile when you look at them (unless you’re disciplining them of course). You are feeding their good mental health the equivalent of an apple a day if you can.
by the Editor
July 31st 2018
Today’s buzz word or phrase is “quality time”. This is one that rankles many people – particularly those of the generation above us. I understand the impetus behind the phrase – reflecting the making of those moments we spend with our families and friends meaningful and positive. But I do have a little nausea when I hear the phrase being used only to describe what I call “active time”. For example, “we went hiking in the mountains today with the kids – pure quality time”. Blech. The phrase seems to insinuate that unless you’re “doing something” with your kids, you are not spending “quality time” with them. Hogwash. Eating breakfast with your 5 year old and talking about their favourite cartoon for 10 solid minutes is just as much quality time as anything! Your child has learned that eating can be a positive, social time, and that they are worth listening to as a person for their opinions. Quality moments indeed. Do we really need to label everything about parenting and childhood? Are these labels just a way for the adults to justify what they were going to do already, or going to do naturally as part of their parenting day? Ie: go for a walk with your 3 year old in a wooded area and look at the frogs in a pond, help them with their homework after dinner, or read a book with them. Can we not just dispense with the “quality time” label and just acknowledge that ALL time can be quality?
July 30th 2018
I’m so excited to be the first author of this new Canadian publishing company! I’m so excited that I want to start rhyming. I had no idea how much work went into the book after I finished writing it. It’s been a steep learning curve. But when I held my book for the first time, it was almost surreal. Does anyone else feel like that? Like there has been a warp in the space-time continuum and suddenly a book has popped into existence? It’s a wonderful feeling but also scary. I hope the children (and the parents!) who read the book, understand everything I was trying to say and convey. Time will tell. The illustrations for “My Daddy has One Leg” are amazing and the little sock monkeys are the best! Although the most poignant images to me are the looks on the monkeys’ faces when they are feeling sad or confused – how is it possible that I feel so much from a little monkey face?! So grateful to the illustrator, Ren.
July 30th 2018
Today’s topic is the use of slang in children’s books: should we or shouldn’t we use it? Is there any middle ground? Well I am of two minds really. On the one hand, children seeing their usual, spoken language in the books they read might find it helps them to relate better to the written word. This in turn might encourage them to keep reading and to spread the word to their peers or siblings. On the other hand, surely when stories are written down, we as the adults in the industry, should take that opportunity to introduce teachable moments. If the immortalized written word is deliberately misspelled or invokes improper pronunciation when reading aloud, are we doing our children a disservice?
July 30th 2018
Excellent feedback from focus groups on the new book “My Daddy Has One Leg”. Adults are really liking the ethnic diversity shown in the illustrations and the kids are loving the sock monkey illustrations. We have an excellent illustrator and are feeling very fortunate to have found him! Snaps for René.
April 20th, 2018
It was cold today. The sun was warm on my hood when I was parked in the driveway but my wheels were chilly on the pavement as my human drove to work. I got my snow shoes off last week, just before the ice storm hit. I spent three days in the tiny box-garage weathering the storm; I find it claustrophobic but at least my wipers didn’t freeze up. I hate it when that happens – they’re like my eyelashes. But today was sunny so when she left me in the parking space my insides got toasty warm.
April 22nd, 2018
Ahhhh I’m a driveway car again! It’s warm outside … ish. I mean it’s warmer than last week but it’s not quite summer yet. But all this sunshine means I can see that I’m filthy. I’m not sure why my human doesn’t take me for a car-shower – I’m clearly dusty all over. At least she fed me yesterday, I was so hungry! I was running on fumes.
April 25th 2018
Well my human is leaving me out in the driveway on purpose tonight – the rain is showering me clean – yay. That ding on my right door from the mall parking lot looks sooooo much bigger when I’m clean. Maybe I will do a little dog roll in the dust tomorrow morning – that’ll show her! Ha!
May 15th 2018
OMG why doesn’t she feed me regularly?! She waits until my stomach is growling – it’s not like SHE has to wait when she’s hungry!
May 31st 2018
So I heard we’re moving! I hope my house is bigger and my doors don’t touch the walls. I’m tired of always being a driveway car except when it’s bad weather. I mean, come on, I’m NOT a driveway car! I don’t want to sound stuck up but … I’m better than that!
June 9th 2018
I just saw my new house! It’s sooooo much bigger! I can have car friends over and no one has to use the visitors parking or the street! Yay! And my human can get into her house from my house so she’s happier too. I hope that means she will feed me more regularly. I’m not following a paleo diet people!! Yeesh. A car needs to eat, you know
July 15th 2018
OMG OMGOMGOMG we just started a loooooong trip today! The human told me it would be a test of my engine and that I could really stretch my wheels. I wonder where we’re going?! It sounded like “So scratch me one” but my human said it was the prairies … maybe the prairies are itchy?
July 23rd 2018
Holy crap we’re still driving! My wheels are so tired and not all of those roads are smooth, you know. The human made me pass a LOT on those stupid two lane highways – sometimes I wasn’t sure she’d make it back into our lane! Soooo tired. When is this trip going to end?
July 26th 2018
Home again! YAY! I have never been so glad to be absolutely still in my own house before! My wheels have rolled thousands of kilometers – waaaaay too much in such a short time as far as I’m concerned. Oh, and “so scratch me one” turned out to be “Saskatchewan” – weird name but nice straight roads. And a LOT of A & W’s in the middle of nowhere. So my human ate regularly but I must say she did feed me frequently too. So I can’t complain … much.