Raising A Gifted Child... and "Gifted" The Movie

In the summer before my son entered 2nd grade, with the encouragement of my sister, a Psychologist who specializes in gifted identification, I had my son tested for giftedness. It turns out that not only was he gifted, he was also showing signs of a learning disability.

After testing, meeting with professionals, advice from friends, I decided to let him go through 2nd grade at the public school, where his teachers could give him slightly more challenging material, but where he could still be with his friends. As a parent, it's a tough call - do you push your child to become what you imagine they could be, or do you let them be a kid? Somehow, it feels like I'm doing him a dis-service either way.

And, to be clear, my son is gifted, but not a prodigy. Right now, his 2nd grade class is learning how to add 3 numbers together. He's currently doing double-digit multiplication and long division in 2nd grade, and it seems to be easy for him.

As a parent, this is my first time being exposed to this whole "gifted" thing, and I've found great comfort in learning about gifted children whenever I can. That's why I'm so excited for "Gifted" to come out.

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) - in a coastal town in Florida.  Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.  Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend.  Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

In Select Theatres April 7.

Mckenna Grace as "Mary" in the film GIFTED. Photo by Wilson Webb. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

Mckenna Grace as "Mary" in the film GIFTED. Photo by Wilson Webb. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

Thanks for reading. Please leave any comments with your experiences in the comments. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. 

This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network. 

Why I Reverse Retired In My 30s

Years ago, when I was a graphic designer with a 9-5 and a 1 hour commute, I remember long discussions with my husband how much retirement sucks. Well, not the retirement part itself, but the age at which we do it. Wouldn't it be nice if we could retire first, while we were still healthy... travel, have fun, all that great stuff in our 20s, 30s & 40s, and then work once we get older? Oh, to dream.

Well, fast forward to a few months back. My dad recently retired from being a pharmacist, and was living it up in retirement. Sitting at home watching television all day? Not him! He's hanging out with his friends, running, kayaking, hiking, brunches, bars, traveling... living the dream. And, seeing him retire made me remember how I had once dreamed of retiring first, working later. And then, it hit me.

As a stay-at-home mom with a working husband, my life often felt like I had retired. I'm not on anyone else's clock but my own. I have freedom to to anything I want (as long as it's baby-friendly) during my days. Sure, I have three kids. But, that still didn't change my mindset. I'm 37 years, and holy shit, I've somehow managed to live my old dream and retire first.

Ever since coming to this realization, I have treated life differently. Being a stay-at-home-mom often seems less than glamorous. Being retired? That's the shit. Sure, there's still the daily chores that need to be done... cooking, cleaning, etc., but those will always be there. And, who needs grandkids when I have my actual children?

And, then there's the other part about my reverse retirement. When I'm done, I'll be the one working, and my husband will get to enjoy retirement. To be honest, I'm pretty stoked about that too. I have a lot of ideas circling around in my head of what I'd like to do. Right now, being a social media specialist is at the top of my list.

I used to think that by not having a career I was sacrificing future career opportunities. Now I know that isn't the case. While I stopped working, I never stopped learning. Every Facebook post, every Instagram pic, every Snapchat story, I'm learning about social media. How do I gain an audience genuinely interested in my content? I study the science of shares vs likes vs comments, and, that's not something you can learn in college. That's something you learn by doing, so I am.

What's something you've always dreamed of doing but haven't? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one.

The SNEAKY & CREATIVE Places Germs Are Hiding

This post has been sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

I don't obsess about germs, but ever since my daughter caught MRSA, I've been a bit more aware of the harm they can do.
After a diaper change? I always wash my hands.
After I use the restroom? Even when nobody else is home? I always wash my hands.
I try to get my kids to wash their hands after using the restroom, but they're not very good about it yet. 
While I understand being super-sterile isn't healthy either, I think there's a good medium. It also helps to know where germs are hiding. I'd like to thank pediatric doctor Dr. Nina Shapiro and microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba for sharing their expertise with me on how germs exist beyond what meets the eye and how to get kids back to being kids again when germs cause those "Sick just got real.™" moments.
Germs at play
  • The sun's ultraviolet light rays kill bacteria, so playground equipment in the shade will have more bacteria. 
  • Sandboxes are a germ culprit, particularly if they remain uncovered overnight, which allows bacteria to enter. 
  • Any microorganisms on kids’ hands will spread to monkey bars, slides, teeter totters, swings and other touched surfaces where other children can then pick them up when playing.

Germ class is in session 
  • Half of students don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom ­ – and of those who do many don’t even use soap. 
  • Less than one-third of teachers said they regularly disinfect germ-laden objects in the classroom. 
  • Desks often have more bacteria than a toilet seat and if eating happens in class, the number of germs multiplies. 
  • Up to 2.7 million bacterial cells per square inch live on common school surfaces such as water fountains, desks, computer keyboards, bus seats and cafeteria trays.
  • Shared technology in classrooms introduces new high-touch surfaces for spreading germs – the computer mouse, keyboard and tablet surfaces have some of the highest germ counts. 
    • Each keyboard key contains up to 1.3 million germs—that’s more than 135 million germs on the entire keyboard, and a standard iPad screen has up to 192 million bacteria
“Ew” is in the air 
  • In addition to school and the playground, the supermarket is a festival of “ew”, with shopping carts, credit card machines and reusable grocery bags acting as the leading germ carriers. 
  • Some germs can live on dry surfaces, such as toys, for several hours.
  • Colds and other respiratory infections are spread by the hands and touching the nose or eyes, while 81 percent of people with the flu virus spread it through the air when they cough.  
  • Most kids touch up to 20 objects per minute and touch their face 50 times per hour – leading to wide germ spreading. 

Say goodbye to perfect attendance 
  • More than 38 million school days are missed by U.S. children each year due to the flu.
  • Parents miss about 126 million workdays annually caring for a sick child, which equates to 40 billion lost dollars.
  • Missing work to stay home with their sick kids and worrying about sickness outbreaks going around the classroom were the top concerns parents have when their child is sick at school. 

Okay, want to wash your hands yet? Go ahead. I'll wait right here.

Feeling better now? Good, let's continue. 

Kids get sick no matter how much you do to prevent it.  The pediatric brands of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare are there with three solutions – Children’s Advil®, Children’s Robitussin® and Children’s Dimetapp® – to tackle the “ew”iest of symptoms. 

Ease those aches and pains, while reducing a child’s fever fast with Children’s Advil®, a great solution for kids as young as 2 and up to 11. Children’s Advil® comes in several great-tasting flavors, including: Sugar-free Dye-free Berry, Bubble Gum, Grape, Blue Raspberry, Fruit and Dye-Free White Grape flavors. There’s also Infants’ Advil® White Grape, which provides unsurpassed fever relief (among OTC pain relievers) with a syringe for easy dosing for children 6-23 months.

My 8-year-old takes Children's Robitussin® Extended-Release 12 Hour Cough Relief  to help with his cough.   
For your child’s cough, trust Children's Robitussin® Extended-Release 12 Hour Cough Relief to control and relieve symptoms all-day or all- night. Available in grape or orange flavor, for children ages 4 and up. Please note that while most Children’s Robitussin® products can be used starting at age 4, some are only for children age 6 and up.

Children’s Dimetapp® Multi-Symptom Cold Relief Dye-Free eases your child’s stuffy and runny nose, while quieting a bothersome cough. All in a great-tasting grape flavor that’s dye-free, for children 6 and up.

*It is important to remember to always read and keep the cartons for complete warnings and dosing information on Pfizer Pediatric products and to use as directed

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one.

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