Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Here is a thoughtful blog post by a mom who is training to be an anesthesiologist and the real bias in that field against mothers. I found myself commenting in the story:

Thank you for this thoughtful blog post! I am not in medicine but have heard similar stories from working mom friends in general. If their kids are sick, they feel like they must lie in order not to be viewed as “slackers”. It doesn’t matter how many hours they work, how many awards they win and/or if they go to work sick themselves. The same is not true of any other employee or any other reason other than children to take time off work. And these stereotypes and perceptions are NOT in their heads. I work in a non-profit organization that advocates for mothers and families, and we have come across study after study that mothers face all kinds of discrimination in the workplace including less likelihood of being hired and unexplainable wage gaps compared to non-mothers (including fathers). Here is more information if interested: http://www.momsrising.org

Thanks for the heads up, BB!

And one more news item, I’d like to highlight in MSN. This year’s crop of SAT takers earned the lowest reading scores — an average of 492 — since 1972. The article blamed a record-breaking test-taking pool, including more minorities and English-as-a-second language takers.

This premise and this obsession over the SAT and standardized testing have always bugged me. I didn’t break 500 on the verbal either — in either of the three times I took the test — and I dare anyone to tell me that it harmed me in any way. I was always a good student, including in honors English, and found that my reading skills and vocabulary increased as I got older and went to college. I. Just. Choked. On. The. SAT. Three Times.

To these students, I’d tell them what I wish I knew then. I’d say study hard, keep your grades up and find additional skills — like sports or clubs — you are passionate in. There are many colleges out there and not one is a recipe for success. The SAT is not the be all and end all. /RANT.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

131 thoughts on “Wednesday Morning Open Thread

  1. I’ve never taken the SAT and I’m okay. There’s no such thing in Canada.

    I’m just hoping my kids opt for university in Ontario. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. The SAT is not the end all and I totally disagree with that premise. I have, however, noticed, that our incoming freshman students are terrible readers. Granted, I am at a mid-level college so we’re not seeing the best and the brightest, but our students are woefully underprepared in terms of reading skils. We do a pre-assessment in our first-year seminar with a short USA Today article and of my 40 students, only 2-3 were able to tell me accurately what the article was about. If they’re having a hard time with the newspaper, you can imagine what the textbooks are like for them.

    We have a reading specialist on campus who has done some looking into this. She has come back with data indicating that students don’t really have to read in high school or else don’t read for pleasure and don’t develop the habit.

    I’d be interested in what others have to say about this – mkkendrick, sheri, snarky… I so hope that what I’m seeing is isolated.

    • Kids don’t have to read in high school?? What? That’s unbelievable. I’ll admit, I may be cushioned from the reality of public school since my kids are in a charter and I went to Catholic school. But I shouldn’t be surprised – my husband hates to read and just won’t. Read maybe 3,4 novels in his life, Star Wars stuff and Vampire Lestat. He went to a crappy high school & dropped out because he had to work, PLUS his abusive dad would just force-beat him to read, so his experience with books is HORRIBLE. And me, a writer, who devours 3-4 books a month. Weird, eh? Still haven’t changed his opinion.

      As to the SAT, I did well, but I also took one of those “how to pass the SAT” courses, and it had nothing to do with knowledge. I was so good in English that this quiet, unpopular girl won a medal in HS, but those reading comprehension questions were outrageous, like they were written by someone who smoked pot and decided to mess with teens afterward.

      • As a reader myself, I, too, am shocked when the kids can’t name the last book they read on their own. My kid and DH like to read, too, so we’re just outliers on that scale.

        What I got from our reading specialist is that it wasn’t that the reading wasn’t assigned, but rather that students could get away with not doing it. (I would assume literature classes would be the exception to this).

        This is why I’d love some of the other educators to chime in – it’s hard for me to wrap my head around.

        • Not an educator, but outside of summer, my kids don’t read much for pleasure. They have so much reading in school already, when they aren’t reading school work they would rather chill watching TV.

          They did when they were younger but with their current course load, they really have very little time.

          • I found the same thing in high school – I had done it a lot before then, but with all the assigned reading I didn’t do much for pleasure at that time. It has increased a lot since I finished school.

    • I did have to take a remedial English class — with my school’s football players :) — at BU. I suppose that was my consequence for doing poorly on the SAT.

      I am wondering if an intensive reading course senior year of high school and/or first year of college is a good remedy? We had such a reading program at high school, but I never took it.

    • My experiences at a more elite school vs a state school have been vastly different. At the more elite school, I tend to have really good and high achieving students as a general rule (in the traditional student population, at least, not so much the nontraditionals). They CAN read carefully and well, though they certainly don’t always do so. They will slack off if it doesn’t seem like the reading is important, or if they don’t think a class session will directly engage the reading with discussion or a quiz. Usually when discussion drags or isn’t very thoughtful, I ask a few questions and find out that most of them didn’t get around to the reading.

      At the state schools, there are definitely some very high achieving students who can compete with the best and brightest anywhere. But there were lots and lots of middling to poor students who either couldn’t or just wouldn’t read or care. They were at college to party and find romantic partners and go to football games. Except in the highest level seminars, it was really really hard to get them to do the reading. They could take notes from lecture and study for exams and might even be able to write okay, but it was a constant struggle to have decent reading discussions. I had to use all kinds of more coercive tactics to make them read so I could lead a discussion-based class, which is what I wanted to do.

      Honestly, I haven’t seen a big change over time in this without also changing type of school, so I don’t feel like my experience offers that much helpful support or denial to the concern about reading ability being on the decline.

      • Thanks for responding – I do think your comments were helpful. It at least confirms some ideas about students just not reading. There was a very interesting interview on Wisconsin Public Radio about this a few weeks back. Someone did a study and looked at whether students read, the reasons why they didn’t read and how professors could encourage or reinforce reading.

    • My DS has never been a reader and I did worry about his college readiness for that reason. At his school, freshmen arrive 3 weeks early for an intensive reading/writing session. At the end of that, students can 1) matriculate, 2) matriculate while on academic probation, or 3) apply again in a year, with the expectation they would spend the interim preparing. DS knew several students who did not make it. They have non-credit remedial classes that I think those on academic probation need to take.

      I think that’s a good way to ensure the student body is capable of the level of reading/writing that is expected. They are fortunate to have many applicants so they would not go begging for students if the ill-prepared were counseled out. I know not all colleges can handle things the same way.

      DS has turned into a reader — not for pleasure — as a result of expectations. Right now he’s reading Plato’s “Republic,” among other things, and just ordered “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.” He has a work-study job and, drawing on his promotional skills, he is doing posters/outreach for a close reading lecture series. If you had asked me a year ago how he would be spending his time I would have been off by many miles.

      2-3 out of 40 is a shocking number. Are these kids capable of college-level work?

      • I wonder some days if they’re prepared and capable. We’re definitely one of those schools who will take a chance on an ill-prepared school and that is both blessing and frustration.

        Our first year seminar includes some of the intensive, close reading skills instruction. The activity was a pre-test and by the first exam we do see improvement. (I suspect this is due in part to students applying what they’ve learned but also taking the exam more seriously than an ungraded pre-test.)

        Sounds like your DS is doing rather well at school and made a choice that fits him in all the right ways. Love hearing that.

        • Thank you. And yes, I am so pleased with his adjustment. He did a careful job of choosing but even then kids can be surprised once they get into it. His experience has been very positive. We are very, very lucky. Lots of wood-knocking going on around here ;)

          One peer is dissatisfied to the point that he is thinking of applying out (from Tufts), and another is sorry he did not rush a fraternity — at Berkeley, of all places — because so many guys did that he is at loose ends when they are busy with frat activities. Times have changed! Most everyone else seems to have settled in well.

      • The specialist who assessed my younger son warned us that he may never read for pleasure. Forcing his eyes across the printed page is work, and it tires him. The goal of vision therapy is to improve his skill so he is able to read what he needs to read, not to make him like it. Hopefully with work and practice it will become easier but it may never be entirely comfortable, so we shouldn’t be surprised if it’s not a way he spends his leisure time. This is a little hard for DH and I to wrap our brains around, but perhaps not the tragedy it seemed to be at first.

        • I will be curious to hear how the vision therapy works. It’s kind of a thing around here. I hear more of parents/kids starting it than I hear post-therapy success stories. Have you noticed any positive effects so far?

          I had mine tested because I also had trouble getting my head around not reading for pleasure. I figured if you don’t like to read, there must be something wrong with you ;) He has no problem decoding or comprehending. He just doesn’t get his thrills from the printed word.

          He knew he was signing up for a very literacy-heavy college program and chose that intentionally. His dad got to visit him recently and DS showed him the shaded bower where he reads Wordsworth and Coleridge and even writes poetry. I’m sure y’all are as shocked as me!

          • Honestly? Not yet. And I remain skeptical. I do think it’s kind of a “thing” and it’s hard to know to what degree it’s a real thing or a trendy thing or a fixable thing. He just did his 8 week tests on Monday and he has improved on a couple of metrics but honestly those are tests that can improve with practice.

            I actually can see his eyes dysfunctioning during one exercise, though; he is unable to follow with his eyes an object moving counterclockwise if he’s focusing a foot or two away – his eyes jump and jerk at a consistent point in the circle. They don’t do this if the object is very close or further away, or moving clockwise. And that jump point comes just past the bottom of the circle, where you’d expect the eyes to travel when pointed downward and sweeping left to right over a line text. So who knows – at least I can see something odd. We’ll stick with it.

            • I wonder how that visual dysfluency affects reading, though, if it’s only noticeable at a distance, and in a non-reading (non-linear) context (counterclockwise). Like I said, I’ll be interested to hear how it works for your boy. Obviously I’m hoping it does work in your / his case! That therapy is not cheap, at least where I live, and it’s awfully reliant on parent labor.

              • I don’t claim what I see with his eyes is the reason he can’t read. I just found it reassuring that there is anything at all observable by me – it really is very striking. Whether his eyes also jump while reading isn’t something I can observe. And while the therapy is time consuming, it’s less time than I was putting into trying to teach him to read.

                But yes, it’s not cheap. The main reason for pursuing this is lack of any other suggestion. Nobody else has any idea why he has such difficulty reading or suggestions of things to try. The statements by this therapist are at least consistent with my observations, so it’s worth a shot.

    • There have always been students who over or underperform on the SAT. But this article suggests that either the test has changed, or the students have. That’s a bit worrisome. However don’t forget that we have a higher percentage of students going on to college in this generation; those kids who were previously considered “not college material” are now taking the SAT and pulling the average down.

      • Good point. There is actually a proposal here in Wisconsin that all students take the ACT instead of the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam that is currently being used. One of the first things noted in the article that I read about the proposal is that the state average score would be lowered since everyone was taking the test.

    • I think in non-AP classes my kids read less in English than I did in high school. I read Dickens freshman year, and my oldest made it all the way through high school without reading him. And I went to a fairly crappy rural school and they’re in a relatively well regarded district.

      But junior and senior year AP English has a ton of reading, which almost made up for the first two years. And I have one who reads a lot over the summer, and one who dabbles in books in her free time.

      • You know, I think part of that is that — at least for me — so many great books have been published in the 30+ years since I was in HS and my kids read/have read some of those. So I guess they have to drop something? We read Tale of Two Cities in 9th grade but for my kids it was one of several choices of additional books they could read 2nd semester sophomore year. But they are reading Grendel which was practically “just out” when I was in high school and certainly not on our reading lists. There are other books they read that either weren’t out when I was in HS or were so new that they would not have been considered for coursework. I don’t know that we read anything in HS that had been written in the previous 50 years or so — Gone With the Wind and The Great Gatsby being the only 20th century works I remember having to read.

    • Kids are expected to read every night starting in Kindergarten here, and I suspect that is typical.

      However, I note that when kids have 2-3 hours of homework a night, and the homework has an obvious, gradable work product compared to the reading… it’s not likely the kids are doing any reading, regardless of the s’postas. Or if they are reading, they’re skipping a lot of sleep, which is also damaging.

    • Kids learn to”word call” instead of comprehend as a result of some of the more intensive phonics-based reading programs- particularly those that focus on remediation. The result is that the kids sound fluent (they can recognize & spell 100 words, for example) but that’s it. It’s sort of the same idea as teaching someone pronunciation only in a foreign language- you can speak it but you can’t understand it. IME it sometimes results from programs that don’t bridge the Learning to Read/ Reading to Learn gap, assuming that because the kid *sounds* fluent, he must understand what’s being said.

      There’s a goo book on this called I Read it But I Don’t Get It. I forget the author…

      • Is this a general criticism of phonics based reading, in general? Cuz my girl sure was well served by that as a foundation in montessori and it doesn’t seem to have hurt her comprehension. Is she the exception, do you think? Phonics worked so well for her early reading skills that I had been wondering why everyone isn’t taught that way.

        • I don’t think so. Learning the rules of phonics is pedagogically a very sound practice. Very occasionally I will recommend a whole language approach for a child who has auditory processing problems and can’t “hear” words well enough to rely exclusively on phonics, as long as the child is bright enough to rely on context clues. I also co-recommend beefing up the auditory system using ear training in hopes that phonics-based decoding will eventually come online for the student.

          • Yes. There’s encoding, decoding, and comprehension. It’s a three legged stool. You can’t put too much emphasis on any one leg or the whole thing topples.

          • Reading came very easily to my son with questionable auditory processing. The school is not wedded to one approach with reading instruction so that helps a lot. Still, that little guy rocks!

        • Oh no! There’s a place for phonics instruction, absolutely! It’s when that’s *all* kids get- or when the emphasis is so purely on sight words and sounding out with not enough emphasis in using those words to make meaning that things get hinkey, IME.

          I was better served by a more whole language approach because decoding wasn’t an issue for me, but staying engaged with a text for any length of time was a problem. Having good books placed in my hands (and “good” of course means “books I liked”) over and over again made the difference for me as a reader.

          Every kid is different so teachers have to have the flexibility to adapt. Unfortunately, much of the test-is-best system doesn’t allow for that.

          • So true. I was just interested because I know that different approaches fall in and out of favor. For Lucy, the combo of early montessori phonics (if the child wants to do it) and more directive approaches to reading and writing have been magical. She’s loving reading and progressed a ton during her kindergarten year, but I don’t know what to call the approach they use in her public school.

    • Unfortunately, what you’re seeing isn’t isolated at all. Students don’t read enough in high school and what they DO read isn’t difficult enough to prepare them for college level reading. Research data shows that — there’s a HUGE gap between the difficulty of texts students read as 11th and 12th graders and the difficulty of texts they read as college freshman or even during the 1st year in the workforce or Army. Anecdotal evidence from my own experiences teaching in high school show that as well.

      Of course, kids in the more challenging tracks (IB, AP) get tougher readings, but some high school classes require virtually NO READING whatsover.

      In my school district, we’re on a push to get students reading more complex, challenging texts throughout their secondary ed experience. It’s a big shift.

  3. I got a perfect SAT score on both sections, and I can’t say that it’s done much for me…or that anyone ever asked me what my score was after the college applications. SAT goes in the basket of “so not as important as everyone tells you it is”. Along with high grades in high school. And which university you go to (in terms of prestige).

    • If it hasn’t done much for you, you’re doing it wrong. My MIL lets everyone she ever meets know that she graduated SUMMA within 5 minutes of meeting them. I’m sure that if she had those SAT scores, they would be mentioned too.

      First of all, you need to be in a country where people would even know the significance of your score. So you have to move to the states. Then you need to drop that little tidbit into every conversation you have. It will do things then. Mainly it will let everyone you ever speak with know that you’re the wackadoo who needs to share her SATs and educational prowess to everyone. But you make your own prestige. Trust me, TRUST ME!!!

      • your MIL must be my mom’s other-sister-from-another-mother. Graduated summa, you know. In three years. And even though she majored in English, she outperformed on the Math section of the SAT,even when nobody had any faith in her.

          • LOL! The worst part of it is every time my MIL goes into that around my mom, I get the business from her. You see, I missed graduating summa by 4 thousandths of a grade point. I had a questionable grade in one course that my mom always insisted that I should have contested. And I didn’t and will. never. hear. the. end. of. it.

    • My excellent SAT score saved my bacon on many occasions and was instrumental in getting me into and funded at a big name college… which in turn has dramatically changed the trajectory of my life.

      For what it’s worth.

      That said, I know a lot of smart and talented people who don’t happen to do well on the SAT. It rewards speed at multiple choice questions and an arcane vocabulary, neither of which strike me as the most important life skills in the grand scheme of things, not even for academic success.

      • Correlation between SAT scores and success in college (nevermind success in life) was around 12 percent the last time I heard. Hardly sounds statistically significant. But it’s like the CST sets here in CA: Everyone knows they’re crap but they’re all we’ve got.

        • Yeah…I guess that was kind of my point. I would have done just as well with a lower score (not really low…but lower than I had). Plus, it just doesn’t test anything useful. All my scores tell you is that I’m really really good at taking tests. Which I am. But being able to ace that sort of test never helped me with any other task in my life, including getting through university.

          And the university thing…I went to a reasonably prestigious school. But I would have been better off at a school that was better suited to me personally. I went with the prestige. And that was a mistake. My point was…the things that I thought were critically important at seventeen have turned out to be pretty insignificant.

        • Yup. I actually struggled in my first couple of years of college. And people who scored way below me managed the whole thing far better. I don’t think it tells you much, honestly. But I suppose it’s what you’ve got. I think it has changed a fair amount since I took it though…I think there are calculators (which I assume means more complex math), and an essay section.

      • Strong SAT scores were probably the only thing that got me into a decent college. My high school was so bad some of the honors kids didn’t go on to college, let alone the kids from the middle of the pack, and the class valedictorian went on to secretarial school. But schools will take a chance on a kid with excellent SATs from a crappy high school. I floundered in college, of course – I was sent into a panic by stuff my friends thought was review material – but at least I was there.

        • It seems like enlightened colleges with the resources to do more in-depth reviews of applicants are moving away from using SAT/ACT scores, knowing they are fundamentally flawed with regard to college success. Of course that leaves out a pretty big swath of schools, including many large research universities that get a billion applicants.

          I think the tests *are* a good screener for things like vocabulary and reading comprehension, which are obvs. necessary for many (though, interestingly, not all) college majors. But it seems like it must be quite tempting for college admissions staffs to consider them as a reliable pecking order generator, because a single 3-digit number is awfully convenient. I think the UCs routinely use them as a first- pass screener.

    • Isn’t that pretty much exactly the same story tjb told about her son’s girlfriend’s father?

      The Republicans certainly are lucky that there are so many people like that out there.

  4. My younger son had his echo yesterday–just a routine checkup, but there were a couple of surprises. He has a dual lead pacemaker, and the second lead is no longer working, which means his heart is beating slightly out of synch again. So far his heart looks fine, but they have no way of knowing how long it’s been like this (beyond at some point since the last echo), so we’re entering a new round of tests. The other surprise is an increase in reflux and stenosis on the pulmonary side. The cardiologist said he wants to look into doing an MRI to get a better picture. My son can’t have MRIs because of the pacemaker and the metal in his chest, but the cardiologist assured me I shouldn’t worry because they’ll have the resuscitation equipment there in case there’s a problem. Um, fingers crossed the radiologist says no? (Though I will add that I trust this cardiologist with my son’s life, so it’s his call.) Anyway, after a few years of being able to stick my head in the sand, it looks like we’re back on the roller coaster.

    • Oh dear. But I’m sure the cardiologist wouldn’t recommend the MRI unless he felt it was worth the risk and the risk can be controlled. Is your son facing surgery to repair the pacemaker?

      • Yeah, I think so, but they need to decide when to do what. The stenosis and reflux will most likely be addressed later, ideally after he’s done most of his growing. This is the first sign that it may have to happen sooner, but probably not immediately. The pacemaker still has two or three years of battery life left. I think they would prefer to change the pacemaker and the lead in a single surgery, but it depends on how things go. His heart didn’t do well on a single lead before, so I suspect it won’t do any better now. That would mean replacing the lead sooner, and replacing the lead means going through his left ribs. Ouch.

        • Gosh, sorry to hear this. I know it’s silly to suggest you try not to worry, that’s what I would be doing, too, but I hope the next steps go smoothly.

    • Oh boo. He has TOF, if I remember? Are they going to replace the lead soon? I suppose the one bright spot would be that these things were picked up on routine tests and not because he became symptomatic, so hopefully they can be corrected before they do cause problems…but still, ugh ugh ugh. Keep us posted and big hugs.

      • TOF with pulmonary atresia; pacemaker since the first surgery at 4 months. It is indeed good that they found this now, but it sucks that he has to have his ribs cracked again. The poor little guy has been through too much already.

        • Oh no, I didn’t realize that the lead change would be major surgery. I don’t do peds but for adults they just do it transvenously in the EP lab.

          How is he taking this news? Does he know yet? Hugs mama.

          • His pacemaker is still over his liver. This current one is huge, and I can’t imagine it fitting in the shoulder even in an adult, though they tell me that’s the norm. (Is it?) Since it’s over the liver, the leads cross his abdomen and attach to the heart on the outside.

            He actually told me yesterday, rather nonchalantly, that he didn’t mind dying except that it would upset me. After I caught my breath, I assured him he wasn’t going to die just yet.

            • Oh wow. What a thing for a mom to hear! I need to catch my breath too.

              I forgot kids pacers are not in the shoulder. Adults almost always are in the shoulder. And on skinny people they do stick out but they’re generally not too uncomfortable, from what I hear. They’re always coming out with newer and smaller technology so maybe there’s hope that his next one can be implanted in the shoulder and from then on, battery changes and such are just overnight quick procedures with minimal sedation…I hope I hope I hope…

            • Oh lots of hugs your way. I can only imagine the breath you took after he said that. May whatever procedure he needs in the future be easy on you both.

              • I’m beginning to think that might be the case. I had always assumed it was out of sight, out of mind. He hasn’t had any problems to worry about lately, so he doesn’t worry. Now, though, I think you’re probably right. It’s something he lives with much more closely than I had imagined. Me with my head in the sand again.

                • It seems to me that kids think this kind of thing through via a process that resembles fermentation more than conscious thought. He’ll be lying on the floor happily massacring a lego platoon and an interesting idea will occur to him, then he goes back to the battle. And the program that assembles these random thoughts is running in the background. One day he just pops out with something remarkable that seems like it’s right out of the blue but actually it’s the work of years.

      • Parenting sucks sometimes. Really, really sucks. When we signed up for this job we imagined the downside would be diaper blowouts, tantrums, slammed doors, loss of sleep, loss of date nights, and loss of freedom. Nobody ever warned us that was a best case fairytale scenario. Sometimes the suckiness sucks so much you can’t tell how much it sucks because it falls beyond the range where normal instruments can detect it. But it is what it is. We accept it and keep on going, because that’s the way parents are wired.

        • Sorry for the rant. I just came here from my support board where a frustrated mom is trying to figure out how to keep her teen in school. He’s falling way behind but he doesn’t want to homeschool because he desperately wants to have some semblance of a “normal” teen life. And today the school nurse told the mom she’s no longer comfortable dispensing narcotic pain meds, so the boy will have to come home every time an attack starts, which is often. I am feeling a strong need to go over there and punch the nurse senseless.

            • I’m not having a rough day, I’m having a fine and lovely day even though my son and I will be spending our afternoon in our new treatment location, the pediatric cancer center that I haven’t seen yet but I know our nurses hate. OK, maybe that is affecting my mood under the radar. But no, today I’m angry on other’s behalf. Sometimes you just want to punch a wall. Or maybe a nurse if she needs it. Though nurses are generally awesome.

            • I think it depends on the nature of the drugs and how they are given… and the fact that we live in a lawsuit happy society probably. I was surprised when Kelly went through nursing school she never got trained on giving IV meds… at all. so there are some things that are outside her realm of knowledge and school nurses generall practice the most basic line of nursing… I’m not sticking up for her or saying it’s right at all.. I feel for that boy and his parents deeply..just that not all nurses have the same level of skill or comfort with all things nursing.

            • It’s an abusable drug with a street value – I assume that has something to do with it. But that’s why we have the nurse dispense it, isn’t it? Though of course in our underfunded nurse-free CA school I got to instruct the secretary on how and when to give this to my son. Sweet.

          • She may not be “comfortable”, but the school is required by law to provide someone who is. If that student doesn’t already have one, he needs a 504 asap.
            A sack of the heaviest-ass doorknobs at that nurse.

        • I was thinking just this the other day when visiting friends and their newborn. They were speaking sort of officiously (first time parents = experts, right?) and proudly about his reflux and how they have that under control and, completely unbidden, came the thought, You have no f*cking idea how hard this is going to be, do you? Their naivete was adorable.

          Of course I wish them all the best and they will be wonderful parents through every up and down, they will rise to every occasion like any good parent does, but still I felt a twinge of relief that I am not entering parenthood with a brand new soul to raise. It is not for the weak. And I consider myself someone who got off relatively easy! I would have my son again in a heartbeat but my goodness, the gamble we take when we bring them into our lives.

        • You’re so right. Before kids my attitude was that healthy children are born every day, all over the world, NBD. After having babies I realized how insane that thought was.

      • Can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, but I’m sending healing thoughts and prayers to you and your son and hopes for clarity of mind and treatment for the doctors.

        And for a kid to have such little fear of dying except for upsetting his mother is amazing, though I totally see how that would bring you up short.

        • The lack of fear is disconcerting, though I suspect it’s superficial. Kids think they’re invincible, right? And death is this abstract concept that he only sort of understands. This is one of the (many) reasons the thought of him “dying” during the MRI and being resuscitated freaks me out. I mean, people are usually conscious for an MRI, right? So wouldn’t he feel/experience that? Wouldn’t it make death more real?

    • Let’s just say I wouldn’t find that reassuring. :-o

      What I might find reassuring is an explanation along the lines of “We don’t put people with pacemakers in an MRI willy-nilly or without everyone being very aware, just in case, because there’s a theoretical possibility of a problem, but we do this with some frequency and nothing bad happens.”

      Here’s hoping it all goes well.

  5. For anyone not on Facebook…or up at the ungodly hour that it is… There is a baby! The status says: ……… was born September 26 at 11:02 pm MDT. He weighed 7 lb11 oz, measured 20 3/4 inches, and provisionally has blonde hair and blue eyes. Photos will come after sleeping.

    I didn’t want to put his name on because I’m not sure how they feel about it. I’m sure she’ll share later!

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