Category Archives: BLOG

10 Things about Bad Moms…My review

Okay, so because people keep totally asking me “What did you think of Bad Moms?” “Should I go to Bad Moms?” “Did you like Bad Moms?”

My Advice: Choose wisely who you see this movie with. In retrospect my SIL and I should’ve NEVER invited my Mother. I could feel my Mother’s disdain radiating off of her, burning a hole in the right side of my face. I really couldn’t have an honest, unbiased opinion. I was left extremely disappointed at the end of them film. I’m not sure if it was because I brought my Mother, or because I hated the movie. TRUTH!

 

The thing is too, this movie is not for everyone. I repeat THIS MOVIE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE.

 

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It’s just not my Mom’s style or her cup of tea, and that’s what I should’ve done. Left her at home with a cup of tea to watch the Hallmark version of this movie. And you know what? That’s completely okay. What I thought might be a fun afternoon, was a little awkward and uncomfortable, but we had stuff to talk about, and I think we still had fun. Well kinda????

I really think that it’s important to get female driven movies made. I think it’s important for women in film. I think that going to this movie and contributing to box office sales was important. Women, mom’s, girls we need a voice in Hollywood. Even if that voice is a Fuck slinging, dick spouting voice…No? Others may disagree. Stating “Absolutely not! Women should want more for ourselves. They deserve better.” It got me thinking. What do you think?

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Serious, if you’ve seen the movie I’d really like to hear what you thought. I think that this movie had a lot of potential too, but I felt that the characters in the Hangover were a little more dimensional actually than the Bad Moms. Seriously! Man purse wearing, baby acquiring, and more developed!  Another comment I heard was “You can tell that this was written by a man. ” After breaking it apart I’m kind of not quite sure if these characters were more stereotypes or as developed, as the characters in Bridesmaids.  The actors in Bad Mom’s were however, on point!

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So what you need to know…

  1. Don’t go in with huge expectations of what it will or won’t be, but just know that it’s RAUNCHY, and if you don’t like raunchy or the word DICK or FUCK for that matter. Don’t go see this movie. Don’t bring anyone that can’t handle that. Don’t bring anyone that would be slightly uncomfortable.

  2. Don’t bring anyone under the age of 18. It’s not a mother daughter date movie. Your 15 year old daughter will possibly be mortified, but more possibly scarred for life.

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  3. If you’re a prude. Don’t go see this movie. If you have someone like that you’re considering inviting,  don’t bring them to the Bad Mom’s party.

  4. If you hated Bridesmaids or the Hangover you won’t like this movie.

  5. It’s RAUNCHY AF, No but I mean like soooooo RAUNCHY AF, like you have to reassess if the women you know ALL talk like this. Or if maybe you should let loose and incorporate more inappropriate slang into your daily diet? Maybe? Maybe not?

  6. Kathryn Hahn is the major stand out, she is HILARIOUS, but if you don’t want to hear her say Fuck, or talk about Dicks galore…like in every single scene…(even describing one, and uncomfortably using Kristen Bell as an example) don’t go to this movie.

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  7. The message of the movie may have been lost under all of the other stuff going on. Or was it? What was the message?

  8. I’ve not seen any reviews by Mom’s, but men found it to be hilarious, and non-Mom’s found that they couldn’t really relate to it. That bothers me a little bit.

  9. It was kinda awesome. I’m not gonna lie. There were things in it that I was embarrassed for the actresses doing, but I couldn’t look away OR stop laughing. If you’re cool with that than you’ll probably like it.

  10. It is naughty, and watching it will make you feel a little naughty.

What I liked? I laughed A LOT. I mean like so much!!! Even when I knew that my mother was all like:

 

 

What else? It gave Mom’s permission to not really be “Bad Shitty Moms” but to be imperfect Mom’s, but Bad Mom’s is a more catchy title. In the beginning none of them were really “Bad Moms,” per say, but they all had their own struggles. They were sick of doing everything and it not being good enough, but it was really about how it’s tough to balance it all.

The movie was kind of  Mom’s reevaluating that balance of motherhood and their own lives, and not giving into societal or peer pressures. They did kind of become super irresponsible, and law breaking Mom’s, but after all it’s only a movie. Perhaps, more of a cautionary tale. lol

I guess they were looking in mirror at who they are as a Mom. Who they are separate from being a Mom. Maybe a little bit about finding out who they used to be, and either taking a piece of that identity back, walking away from it, or becoming stronger.

I think that Moms…Raunchy AF would have been a more appropriate title for this movie. Definitely pushed the R rating to the max.

A Christina Applegate sequel would be Mean Girls: Mom’s 

I think the movie was well intended to be all in good fun. It  gave amazing actresses an outlet to let loose, and kind of say “F it!” While, it was amazing that women were the leads in this film it still left me kind of confused on how I felt. ( I need a redo!!! Good thing there is a sequel on its way!! I’ll give it a go!) Someone would probably less than tactfully remind me that I’m not a Mom, so I couldn’t possibly ‘get,’ it.  I also loved that the supporting characters were women.  As women we need to be like the Bad Moms, say ‘f-it'(that’s  super important), and let loose once in a while.

 

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How to Grow Your Tween’s Self Esteem

originally posted on www.WhattheFlicka.com by Erin K. Moffat

My Mom has a friend whose daughter is having a difficult time in middle school, and it has spurred a few conversations. Apparently, she is not only being bullied by her peers, but by a parent who is texting her, and getting more catty then a Middle School student. WTF is that about? I can see getting involved in a productive way, but a grown woman texting a 12 year old and calling them awful names? There is definitely a problem here, and what are you teaching your kid?

Through a crazy twist of fate I ended up volunteering at the same dinner as this little girl. There was a situation and coincidentally I ended up sticking up for her. She reminded me of me. I didn’t know until later that night that it was the same girl. How awesome is that?

There are moments when I feel like that little girl. That tween who was just too innocent and naïve to be cool, and I realize that everyone was afraid of something at that age. We’re all afraid of something still! Hopefully, you find your Romy to your Michelle and make it through life less scathed.

My birthday is in August and the year I was going into 7th grade no one came to my birthday party. Before you feel sorry for me just know that while there are moments I’m haunted by this, it’s more that I’m haunted because I know some kid somewhere is facing the same struggle or worse.

It turns out the girls all conspired that I wasn’t “cool,” enough and they would RSVP and then just not show up. They thought that it was really funny, but for me I thought that it defined my worth. I’ve since forgiven those girls. One even apologized.

I was also that kid that just kept going back in for more because I just really wanted to be liked. The same girl that didn’t come to my birthday party was telling me to ask my Mom what a condom was so she could laugh at me. My poor mother was caught so off guard.

I know that it can be difficult. On one hand you want to help your kid, and on the other hand you want to teach them to fight their own battles. I think that we think that once kids are at that self-sufficient age of tying their own shoelaces, washing their own ass, and telling you that you’re annoying and they don’t need you. I’m pretty sure that I can tell you from experience that that is when they need you the most.

Beyond unconditional love, which is super important, here are a few things that may have helped me. I hope that everyone can help each other and it opens up a dialogue…

1. COMMUNICATION: How do you communicate? Do you communicate? Pass each other notes under the dinner table? Do you talk it out? Have a family meeting? Dance it out? What works for you? (Find a way!)

2. RESPECT: you can treat your kid with respect, respect their privacy, and still be aware of what they’re up to.

3. DA TRUF: Be honest and open with them. I didn’t know my Mom was ever 12.

4. WHERE ARE YOU WALKING: Teach them that sometimes the best answer is to take the high road…

5. LEAD BY EXAMPLE: Tell them that it’s okay to stick up for themselves, and know that you’re allowed to stick up for yourself too.

6. NO CELL PHONE RULE: Put your electronics down and really listen to your kids even if they’re being assholes. (Even if you think that they don’t deserve it) I’m not saying to coddle but I’m saying to treat them with respect.

7. YOU ARE WORTHY: Don’t put yourself down in front of them. This breeds similar behavior. Know your worth too!

8. THE SILENT TREATMENT: If they won’t talk to you find someone in your life, maybe even a neutral person that they will talk to and make sure that they are super present.

9. CONTROL: Be specific with your words, and honest about yourself. Do you mean right now or can you wait for them to complete a task? Don’t ask them to do something later, but you mean right now. (I felt like I had no control as a kid.)

10. VALIDATE their worth, their likes, their dreams and goals. They may be different from yours. Their accomplishments. Let them know that you’re proud of them.

11. MISTAKES: Remember that we can all learn from our mistakes, and we’re allowed to make them.

12. LET IT GO! If we can learn one thing from Frozen, Let It Go. Are their things that you can let go of, but you just can’t? Is the end result is the same, but the task at hand is performed in a different way? “You never help! Why don’t they help?
Or do they just not help YOUR way? Is it just what they do is not good enough? It’s okay to let it go.

13. EXPECTATIONS: Expect Less, Encourage More. Strive for excellence not perfection. No one is perfect. Everyone is an individual, we all learn differently, we all have different talents. We all have our limits, and if we set an unreasonably high standard for someone, that person will always let you down. They will feel like they’re letting you down, and that will make them feel inadequate.

14. STOP beating yourself up, parents. There will come a point when your kids realize that you were just doing the best that you can.

15. BE PRESENT

Sounds Like a Booty Call to Me

originally posted on www.WhattheFlicka.com by Erin K. Moffat

DISCLAIMER: Mom, just don’t even read this. No, seriously please don’t go any further.

I have a question that I really need answered. What do you really think of the booty call?

For a while I had this guy calling me only at night. He said that he just wanted to spoon, but trust me I know that was a big old lie. So, I simply refrained from putting myself in that situation. I said, “sounds like a booty call to me.” He of course denied it.

The other problem was that he was smoking hot, and I was super attracted to him. That can totally confuse ones body causing them to make bad decisions. Not that I did. Oh, and he had also previously asked me to… So, I’m pretty sure that I can confidently state that he was looking for more then just a long awkward body hug.

I really want to create a security system or device for the neither regions. It’s like the modern day chastity belt. Someone can create an app, or a chip or something for that. Right?

Sound the alarm! Every time you’re about to make a decision that you’re going to regret. You’re in bumper to bumper in the club, and someone is all up in your junk. You’re back on the dating scene and guys can smell that you haven’t had it in a while. Your sniffing for love, and they’re just sniffing for a good time. Maybe it’s the other way around?

The alarm goes off. It’ll prevent bad one-night stands, booty calls, etc. It would be called Va-JJ Security! Some guy will call named Stan “This is Stan calling from Va-JJ security just wanted to be sure that you’re making smart decisions…and please hold while we play this message from your Dad.” I’m still working on the guys’ version of this security system.

I also had to google booty calls because while I have friends that have had an occasional booty call. It’s not like I get an influx of them. So while I’m flattered, I’m pretty sure that if you give most guys a tube sock, some lotion, the Victoria’s Secret catalog, or a warm apple pie you not only know what they’re doing but know that they’re happy whilst doing it.

My feelings on booty calls

1. In the infamous words of Sweet Brown “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Or do they?

I’m not into it, and maybe I’m no fun, but I want to know what you guys think. I also hope to save some poor desperate soul out there like me that actually believes for 14 seconds that you’re the exception to the rule, and this guy could be the one. I don’t know maybe he is! (But probably not!) However, there are some definite signs that a guy is not calling because while he wants to mate with you he doesn’t want to spend holidays with you, and isn’t going to wine and dine you first. He’s going straight in and asking you to s*ck his d*ck! Or whatever! I want to save you from wasting your time on a guy that calls strictly for a booty call, even when he says it’s not. He’s truly just not that into you; but he will be for about 1 minute and a half while he “spoons you and maybe grabs a boob.” (You understood what I meant by the quotations right? Same page? Getting what I’m putting down?)

If you’ve driven to the house, and gotten in the bed, and are lying on your back there is a high probability that it’s a booty call. If he asks you to do any strange yoga pose on his bed, or anywhere else while completely naked or partially clothed=booty call. You will most likely be waking up the next morning sans clothes, perhaps somewhat fulfilled (but probably not) and possibly doing a major walk of shame. Oh, and he will call again. Trust me! It will be at night just to “cuddle.” Mail them a tube sock and lotion, and call it a day. Seriously!

Here are some red flags…

1. When all of his friends on Facebook are female…

Sounds like a booty call to me

2. When only girls comment on his Facebook statuses and call him pet names… Hun, sweetie, your baby mama, (anything like that really)

He’s calling them for booty calls too…

3. When he only calls you at night.

Sounds like a booty call to me

4. When he wants you to sext him.

Sounds like a booty call to me

5. When he has a girlfriend or a wife and wants to hang out for the weekend some time…or asks if you’d date a married man

Sounds like a booty call to me.

6. When he blatantly asks you to do things with him, to him, or for him that don’t include several dates first…

Sounds like a booty call to me.

7. When he’s refers to himself as a recording artist or a member of a sports team (even not professional)

Sounds like a booty call to me; and the only person he’s playing is you. (& At least 7 other girls)

8. When he says that he just wants to snuggle or cuddle…

Sounds like a booty call to me

9. When he keeps calling you for booty calls; and you keep going thinking that things are going to work out…

It still sounds like a booty call to me.

10. When you’ve never met in person (like you’re online dating say) and he thinks that you’ll make the perfect couple…

He’s clearly just trying to get some.

Talk to me about booty calls. Have you ever gotten one? Are you cool with them? Or were you at some point? College? Last week? What are your thoughts? What sounds like a booty call to you?

What to Do When Your Kid Eats a Glow Stick (Yes, Really)

originally posted on www.WhattheFlicka.com by Erin K. Moffat 

My parents have Sunday dinner at their house and January through March there are several Sunday dinners that include birthday cake. The last Sunday dinner that included birthday cake also included glow sticks.

The candles were lit and we were ready to sing that familiar tune. Suddenly, my Mom came running around the corner for a bucket. My niece was gagging and said she was going to throw up. Did you know there is a touch of the bug going through the second grade? My niece is in kindergarten, but whatever.

Apparently, my 5 year old niece started to chew on the glow stick and cracked the plastic. Some of the liquid seeped into her mouth causing her to gag/dry heave and spitting out something pink. No sooner did my Mom yell “get the bucket,” we found a chewed up glow stick with pink liquid glowing on the ground. When we came to the realization that she ate the glow stick; panic and chaos ensued.

Between scrambling for the ripped package of glow sticks to read what to do in this situation which said “Ages 5+” and not to ingest them) someone screaming “I don’t care what you do just call poison control, call 911 just call somebody.” My brother called her pediatrician and I called poison control. Thank G for cell phones with internet! My heart racing as the woman on the other the end of the phone calmly asked me questions. “Why was she so calm? This is an emergency!” She asked me for my name, town, and phone number as my sister-in-law yelled “Get me milk, somebody get me milk, you drink milk for poison.” Later, my grandmother a former RN said never to ingest anything after ingesting something that could be poisonous until you know that it’s safe.

We figured out several useful things about what to do if a similar situation happens to you, and a few useful facts thanks to several poison control websites…

1. Don’t panic. Stay Calm. Just breathe!

2. The former RN in your home might be of some use.

3. Have a list of important numbers somewhere accessible to everyone.

4. Both Poison Control and the Pediatrician were more concerned about the child swallowing or choking on the plastic and if she was having a reaction.

5. There are chemicals in the tube specifically Dibutyl phthalate, but they are supposedly non toxic (if it’s possible for chemicals to be non toxic) Referred more specifically as “Non-Deadly” Dibutyl phthalate is also found in nail polish…I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t drink nail polish. Just saying!

6. Still call poison control or your pediatrician just to be safe as everyone has different reactions to things and chemicals.

7. Irritation of the throat may occur and stomach ache. If it persists contact a professional.

8. Rinse and wipe out the mouth, wash any exposed skin.

9. Poison Control gets calls like this all of the time (more specifically an influx of calls on the Fourth of July, and Halloween) “It’s a very common call,” is what she said to me.

10. Water, milk or ice cream: are things that they suggest you drink/eat to flush it out of the system, because it may cause irritation, and the liquid inside tastes nasty.

11. Your child’s tongue or lips may glow for a short time.

12. If a child is in a public school there is chance that they’ve caught whatever is going around 2nd grade. Even if they’re in kindergarten. #Germs

13. Just don’t eat the glow sticks.

14. If you do…”Get The Bucket!” & “Get the milk!”

For More information about Glow Sticks and the dangers click here or here.

Poison Control

1-800-222-1222

Waiting in Line

originally published on www.WhattheFlicka.com by Erin K. Moffat

So, I got laid off this September because they eliminated my position. Being unemployed I’ve noticed that besides “Do you have a boyfriend” the other topic for discussion is “what are you doing for work?” “Where do you work?” “Still working at the same place?” (This can vary depending on the last time you saw a person).

If people know that you don’t have a job they ask “Find a job yet?” “Any luck with the job search?”

I’ve gotten laid off twice in six years for similar reasons. People say things like “Well, at least you know that it’s nothing that you did.” Rather than looking at this like I’ve been thrown out like yesterday’s trash after 5 years, I’ve been looking at this as a blessing in disguise.

I’ve made the executive decision that my answer will no longer be: “I got laid off,” “Nowhere” or “Nope!” My new answer is “I’m in line.” Cue the puzzled reactions.

Truth, I’m on the unemployment line and I’m waiting in line; but I am in line for a really great job, one that feeds my creativity and keeps me on my toes. After years of working in dead end jobs only to be unfulfilled, I’ve decided to attempt to follow my true passions. I feel like I’ve been working toward nothing. I have been playing it safe, and attempting to live someone else’s definition of what reality should be. It’s not working for me! I need to live my truth! Anything else is just cause for misery and complacency.

I’ve made the commitment that going forward I will be applying for jobs that my parents may think are unconventional, but that people actually make a living doing.

Case in point…

My friend knows someone at SNL, and she said “I don’t even want your resume, just write a funny cover letter, and say that you’ll do whatever. Dude, you can like sweep the stage or something it doesn’t matter.” Now, I’m not exactly sure what kind of a living a stage sweeper actually makes but I applied anyway. I’ve decided to share my cover letter for SNL with you.

To Whom It May Concern:

Please consider my application to do anything at Saturday Night Live. I am willing, ready, and able to sweep the stage. I’m not sure what the exact title would be for that. If the stage sweeper job is already taken I am also willing to plunge toilets. Within reason! I’d kind of like to sweep the stage because I’d imagine that all Stage Sweeps are similar to Chimney Sweeps, and will dance to the Step-In Time Dance from Mary Poppins. I’d also imagine that I would get an official badge.

I will give tours of the green room, or snack bar. I will rev up the audience. I’ll wear an unflattering uniform that will make me look more stocky and matronly than I already do; exposing my pizza crust otherwise known as the muffin top. I would wear Mom Jeans, Culottes, Gauchos, Pajama Jeans, or a 1980’s track suit even. You name it! I don’t know why you’d want me to wear those, but if it was a prerequisite for the position, I would oblige.

I will brush wigs, and/or tap weaves. I will hang costumes on a rolling rack. I will tap dance, but it will depend on the level of dancing that you expect. I will tap dance while tapping a weave, and hanging costumes on a rolling rack. However, let’s not get too crazy here. I’m no Savion Glover! Just stating for the record that while Abby Lee Miller wouldn’t approve of my tap dancing skills; an old lady that smokes a pack of Pall Mall’s a day and teaches dance out of her makeshift studio in her basement would LOVE me.

I’m constantly told that I belong at SNL. I’m sure that everyone says this but just hear me out. I’ve never really “belonged” anywhere to be honest. Doesn’t everyone deserve to be where they belong? I’m pretty sure if there was a superlative in the High School yearbook that read “The Most Invisible Misfit to Society.” It would’ve been me, except; I was kind of invisible so they would’ve given it to the most unpopular popular person. I sat the bench for double headers in softball. Well, because I was really bad at softball. I was always the last one picked for dodge ball, or Hi-Li, which I guess is technically, spelled jai-alai. Wow, learn something new every day. Which I’m sure I would do at SNL. (Learn something new, not play Hi-Li, or jai-alai unless that’s a job requirement) I just don’t see how you could begrudge a person of the opportunity to be where they belong. Just saying!
Thank-you for your time and consideration! Call me!

Best regards,

Erin K. Moffat

They still haven’t called, but I’m still holding on to the hope. I’ve got my push broom, and a copy of The 1982 Movie version of “Hard Knock Life,” from Annie prepared as my Stage Sweep audition piece. Wish me luck because I’m in line!

Reese’s Pieces Troll Guy, E.T. and True Love

When I was in college, an acquaintance set me up with her friend.  He was very sweet but didn’t say much, well, he didn’t say anything, really.

We went on a triple date (a BLIND triple date, no less) to the movies . To this day, I’m convinced the guy my friend set me up with was a living breathing Troll Doll. I know that sounds harsh, but seriously!

He was really tiny and had crazy hair and everything. I’m pretty sure that if he had lifted his shirt it would have exposed a gem in his belly button. That’s actually kind of awesome!

 

Anyway, he didn’t say two words to me the whole time, but according to the girl who had set me up, he apparently thought that we were a perfect match.

WHAT?

 

He wanted me to meet his parents.

 

HUH?

 

 

Were you on the same date as me because I’m pretty sure that it was a Toy Story train wreck.

 

Show of hands! Who likes Reese’s Pieces? Everyone, right?

 

Well, Mr. Troll Guy  knew, the minute I got a pack of Reese’s pieces, that we were meant to be. So, if Reese’s Pieces are the basis for true love, I’m not a perfect match for who ever just raised their hand.

 

You’re welcome!

 

Wow, that’s a lot of options. I’m such a lucky gal!  While I’m fairly certain that Reese’s Pieces aren’t the basis for true love you have to wonder whom else I might be a perfect match for.

 

Do you know who else loved Reese’s Pieces? A special little guy named E.T… (Hence my video)

 

RIE-SPECT: Mama Can You Hear Me? Part II

originally posted on www.WhattheFlicka.com by Erin K. Moffat

When I was in my early 20’s I was in a beauty pageant – or scholarship program, if you will. My platform was promoting self-esteem in today’s youth. When it was time for the Q&A portion of the pageant, they asked me a question that, at the time, I believed was irrelevant. “When do you think that a child should start listening to music?”

My answer: “Um, the womb?”

To be honest, after spending 20 minutes in the room with the people that came up with that question. I truly believe that the questions’ purpose was about how music can contribute to a child’s self esteem, and it got me thinking. For every friend who has had a baby, I truly believe that a child comes into the world with a personality. So, maybe it’s not too far fetched to believe that while they are developing they are learning, maybe? Now before I spark a debate about what a baby learns in utero, here is the second part of my interview with Deborah Carlisle Solomon the author of the book Baby Knows Best: Raising a Confident and Resourceful Child, the RIE® Way,and the Executive Director of RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers). If you missed it, you can find part one here.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO YOUR BABY

EKM: Now, for someone who has never heard of RIE or hasn’t read your book, could you explain a little bit about what RIE is all about?

DCS: Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach gives us practical tools to create a respectful relationship with a baby from the beginning of life. How do we pick up a baby and diaper her respectfully, set limits respectfully, etc? The Educaring Approach shows us how to slow down and observe our baby, and this helps to increase the possibility that we will respond to her accurately rather than quickly assume that we know what she needs or wants.

EKM: How does RIE parenting contribute to raising a confident and resourceful child?

DCS: Since we come from the point of view that even a very young baby is not utterly helpless, we invite the baby to participate in his care. A diaper change, for example, is something that we do with the baby rather than to the baby. We may invite a newborn to lift his bottom on the changing table. At first, we will need to lift his bottom but over time and with repetition, he will learn what those words mean and respond by lifting his bottom for us. As he develops, the exchanges will grow; he may pull open the tab of his diaper or hold the new diaper until it’s time to put it on.

During play, we give the baby or toddler time to problem solve on her own. This can be a challenge for parents who believe that it’s loving to hand a toy that’s just out of reach to their not-yet-crawling baby or nest the cups for their toddler who hasn’t figured out how to do it on her own. But those responses assume that the baby or toddler will become frustrated if she can’t accomplish those tasks, yet we see over and over again that this is not true. Most adults are goal-oriented so we assume that if a baby is reaching for the toy, we should hand it to her. But the baby is engaged with the process and when given time to try and try again, she will experiment and accept that struggle is a necessary part of that process. If she can’t quite reach the toy, and if an adult has not been in the habit of problem-solving for her, she will turn her attention to something else. When we give a baby the opportunity to try and try again, we support the growth of her tenacity and resourcefulness.

LET’S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING

EKM: Take me back to the beginning of your journey when you first discovered the RIE way.

DCS: I discovered Magda Gerber’s book, Your Self Confident Baby, when my son was one; he’s 15 now. My husband and I found our way to RIE Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes and I breathed a sigh of relief. I realized that I had been working so hard to keep my son happy all the time that I sometimes neglected to really take him in. RIE gave me the tools to learn how to observe and understand him better, and to relax. The Educaring Approach is the antidote to helicopter parenting.

EKM: What are some differences that you noticed in your son and yourself after you starting applying RIE?

DCS: My life as a parent became easier because RIE gave me a foundation from which to make all sorts of parenting decisions. I learned to slow down and give my son time. Our life together felt a lot more calm and peaceful. My confidence grew and I was more relaxed. Parenting became more enjoyable and more fun. Before RIE, as soon as my son cried I thought the goal was to help him stop crying, so I’d quickly pick him up to nurse him. He’d stop crying but I know there must have been times when I nursed him when he wasn’t hungry but was tired or uncomfortable instead. I learned to slow down when he cried, to take a few moments to try to understand why he was crying so that I could respond to him more accurately.

EKM: Now that he’s a teenager how do you continue to use the RIE approach in your everyday life?

DCS: I still rely on RIE principles to consider how to respond to my son in a way that respects our sometimes two different points of view. RIE principles don’t just apply to people between birth and two years of age. They can inform all relationships.

THE RIE PRINCIPLES

EKM: What are the RIE principles?

DCS: There are many but here are three things that parents can practice that can make a big difference to everybody’s sense of well-being:

1. Slow Down: when you are with your baby. Pick him up slowly, carrying him slowly to his crib, and slowly enter the room where he is present. Moving slowly helps to create a sense of calm and peacefulness.

2. Tell your baby what you’re going to do before you do it. “I’m going to pick you up now.” “I’m going to the other room.” “I’m going to take off your diaper.” It is respectful to tell your baby what’s about to happen and he can relax, knowing there will be no surprises.

3. Tarry time: After you’ve told your baby what is about to happen, wait a few moments for him to process what you’ve said. Since babies take longer to process verbal communication than adults do, it’s respectful to wait for your baby to let you know that he’s ready. He may squirm with delighted anticipation of being picked up or let you know in his own unique way that he understands what you have said.

ABOUT RIE AND DEBORAH

EKM: How did you become the Executive Director of RIE?

DCS: RIE made such a positive impact on my life that I wanted to do what I could to help it to endure and prosper. I became RIE Executive Director in 2006 and am committed to bringing Magda’s message of respectful care for babies and young children to more families and caregivers.

EKM: What made you decide to write the book?

DCS: I wrote Baby Knows Best as a guidebook, particularly for people who might not be able to attend a class in person. It is not just theoretical, but gives specific examples of how to implement the Educaring Approach. It also has wonderful stories from parents who practice this approach with their children and these stories, I think, help to bring the approach to life.

THINK LIKE A BABY

EKM: In a section of the book you mention showing parents not only the importance of communicating and observing, but also what it feels like to be a baby. Even swaddling them!  Have you ever been swaddled?

DCS: Yes, I was swaddled in a class, as part of an exercise to experience things from a baby’s point of view. I immediately said, “Take this off!” I felt confined, constricted, and claustrophobic. We shouldn’t assume that a baby needs a swaddle. We first observe to see how he manages on his own. During sleep, a newborn baby may shudder and his limbs may twitch, but he may be able to settle back down to sleep. (There is a lovely video of just this scenario in the Kindle version of Baby Knows Best.) If parents choose to use some sort of device, I would recommend a sleep sack because it allows the hands to be free so that the baby can access them to self-soothe. It is also loose around the hips and legs, which is important because we never want tight swaddling around the hip area as this risks developmental hip dysplasia.

EKM: I don’t think that I’d like to be constricted like that either.

MILESTONES

EKM: What does focusing on and talking milestones do to a baby?

DCS: All babies develop according to their own individual timetable. Until a child is developmentally ready, she won’t be able to roll over, crawl, sit, stand, and take her first step. Pay attention to what your baby is doing, take pleasure in it, and try not to compare her to another baby. As Magda Gerber said, “Babies are not racehorses” and there is wisdom in practicing something slowly to understand it completely before moving on to the next thing. Of course, your pediatrician will be there to guide you, so try to relax and appreciate how your baby is moving and developing new skills.

POTTY TRAINING

EKM: What about potty training? You hear a lot of people worried that their child isn’t potty trained yet. They bribe them with candy; which always makes me wonder if they’re going to have to run to the snack machine every time they use the bathroom as adults.

DCS:  It’s all about readiness. When a child is ready to use the toilet, he can learn to do so quite successfully and without too many mishaps. It is up to the parent to know what the readiness cues are and to look for them. It’s unwise to use bribery or call in a brass band when a child is successful, either of which can create tension around a natural bodily function.

WHEN THE GARDEN GROWS

EKM: What happens when you start to grow your family, and have more than one child?

DCS: Sometimes things go smoothly when the second (or third or fourth) baby is born but most often, there is a period of adjustment during which the first born may show regressive behavior, act out by being aggressive, or ask the parent to send the baby back from whence he came! It’s important to give everybody time to adjust to the newest member of the family and all that that means.

BABY KNOWS BEST

EKM: Lastly, why does baby know best?

DCS: Magda Gerber said, “Nobody knows better about what a baby needs than that baby.” To me, this points to the fact that nature has a plan for a baby to grow and develop. Magda’s quote was the inspiration for the title of my book. Nature has a plan. We need to be respectful of that.

To Learn More about RIE® and Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach, please visit www.rie.org.