Monday, January 12, 2015

Introducing Cathy the Brave

Believe it or not, sometimes my brain gets overtaxed with work duties and home life, leaving me with very little time or creative energy to write articles for Adventures in Health. That’s why there’s been a three month hiatus since the last entry. Thankfully, my friend and colleague Cathy Franklin has offered to step in with some guest blogs. Cathy is a Registered Dietitian who serves as the nutrition coordinator of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program at the state Department of Health. She’s smart and funny, and she is very brave – raising two teens as a single mom. Her perspective will add a new dimension to Adventures in Health. I’m looking forward to taking a leap in time to see what’s in store for me in (gulp) seven short years. And I’ll be back soon; meanwhile, please welcome Cathy.

The Older Your Children Get... (by Cathy)

As the mother of a 13 year old boy and 14 year old girl I have discussions about teen health — and see them in action — daily at our house. And as a dietitian at the state Department of Health and long-time advisor/advocate on maternal and child health, I’m continually surprised how the things I do and the things I know intersect — or not. More to the point, it’s surprising what my kids do, and of course, they know everything, so that’s not in question.

I enjoy reading the blog of my friend and colleague Amy. It’s fun remembering the challenges of having young kids — the chaotic trips to the grocery store, the decisions about what to offer the kids to eat in hopes they won’t just chuck it in the floor. Those memories make it a delightful opportunity to post on Amy’s blog.

There are remarkable similarities between parenting a four year old and a 14 year old. Those four years, between 0 and 4 years and the time from 10 to age 14 are a time of similar incredible brain growth. Think about the difference between what a newborn can do and what a four year old can do. Now apply that metamorphosis to the 10 year old. It’s a similar amount of brain growth, but in different parts of the brain. Between 10 and 14 they go way beyond being able to talk, they can tell you what they think of your bright ideas. They can no longer be wrestled into their winter coats, but must be carefully negotiated with to take their sweatshirts when the temperature dips below 40 degrees. (Nope).

Another reason I look forward to posting on Amy’s blog is to get things out of my mind where they tend to revolve like hamsters on the wheel at 3 a.m. Did I really think my daughter would spend the money I gave her for lunch on lunch? Did I really believe my son would think twice before leaving his wet soccer clothes in his backpack for four days? And where could the bag of oranges have ended up? (In the freezer – small mis-communication during the grocery unloading swirl).

I look forward to posting on Amy’s blog. It’s cheaper than therapy.