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T H E M A G A Z I N E T H A T B A T O N R O U G E FA M I L I E S L I V E B Y

IS PRESCHOOL

THE NEW

COLLEGE?

THE AFTER EFFECTS OF

QUARANTINE

SUICIDE:

A TEEN’S PERSPECTIVE


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Cravings ADVERTORIAL

THERE Satisfy your APpetite in AP! are so many amazing restaurants right in

our own backyard. When people come in the door,

and say hello to friends along the way to Duringthey thesestop unprecedented times, the Ascension Chamber of Commerce will continue to work diligently their tables. It’s just what neighbors to compile resources and collaborate withdo!various public and private entities in and around the Ascension AscensionChamber.com (225) 647-7487 community in an effort to support our area businesses. We will continue to monitor and•update you on all matters of importance to you and your business.

We would like to encourage our community to SATISFY THEIR APpetite IN AP by supporting our many chamber member restaurants in a way that is comfortable and safe. Many of our Chamber members are offering take-out, curb-side pick-up, and delivery options. Remember to look at these businesses' social media pages and websites for the most current information regarding their operation times, special menus, and pick-up guidelines. Also, consider purchasing a gift certificate for future use or purchasing an item from their online store if the business has an online merchandise portal.  Ascension Parish is resilient, and now is the time to support community businesses! Together, we advance Ascension!

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CONTENTS MAY 2020 ▪ ISSUE 358

FEATURES 30

ON THE COVER

2019-20 Cover Kid Evie P. is pure joy. Her parents, Tammy and Wayne, describe her as all rainbows and candy canes due to her happy and easy-going nature. While this was her first photo shoot with the magazine, Evie is no stranger to being in front of the lens, having posed for several advertisements before. During her time at home with her family, Evie has taken part in weekly Zoom meetings with her classmates, and she has even kept up with her physical and speech therapy appointments, where she is thriving more than ever. Evie has had a law named after her, Evie’s Law, which has inspired several other states to follow suit in helping those who are raising children with Down syndrome. Evie enjoys swimming, playing with sidewalk chalk, and watching Sesame Street. She’s really an all-around cool kid.

CRAWLING TOWARDS SUCCESS

How crawling can boost your baby’s brain

KIDDIE SWIMMING LESSONS Getting past your child’s fears and what to look for in classes

34

IS PRESCHOOL THE NEW COLLEGE?

Selecting a quality program for your little one

TEEN SUICIDE

A personal essay from a local teen

38

LIVING IN QUARANTINE

Understanding the effects of isolation

IN EVERY ISSUE

CONNECT

16 COMMUNITY 20 EDUCATION 21 ONE AMAZING KID

Photo credit: Erin Oswald The Front Porch Project

24 MOM NEXT DOOR

12 A MOTHER’S VOICE 14 LAGNIAPPE 46 CALENDAR 51 MARKETPLACE 52 THE LAST WORD 54 SNAPSHOTS

LIVE

24 MOM NEXT DOOR 26 EXCEPTIONAL LIVES 28 FAITH

PLAY

40 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF DAD 42 GET OUT OF TOWN 44 THINGS WE LOVE

36 TEEN SUICIDE 8

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IN EVERY ISSUE FREEBIES T H E M A G A Z I N E T H AT B AT O N R O U G E F A M I L I E S L I V E B Y

Win Freebies!

P U B L I S H E R / E D I TO R I N C H I E F A MY F O R E M A N-P L A I S A N C E A S S O C I AT E P U B L I S H E R BRANDON FOREM AN

Visit brparents.com and click “Register for Freebies.” Deadline to enter is May 18, 2020.

D I R E C TO R O F O P E R AT I O N S A MY L . F O R E M A N E D I TO R I A L M A N A G I N G E D I TO R A M ANDA MILLER

Whether you’re on a run, on a call, or just enjoying your favorite tunes, the Edifier: TWS1 Bluetooth Earbuds delivers up to eight hours of playback time and up to 32 hours of battery life in a single charge. They even come with a magnetic charging case, so you’ll never be left without your playlists. ■ edifier.com

S E C T I O N E D I TO R M A R I WA L K E R C A L E N D A R E D I TO R NANC Y LEBL ANC A R T/ P R O D U C T I O N SENIOR GR APHIC DESIGNER M E LO DY TA U Z I N GR APHIC INTERN C ANDACE NALL C O V E R P H OTO G R A P H E R K L E I N P E T E R P H OTO G R A P H Y A DV E R T I S I N G /M A R K E T I N G ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE TERI HODGES ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE RYN WHITESIDE COMMUNIT Y E VENTS M ANAGER L A U R I E A CO S TA COMMUNIT Y OUTRE ACH ROX ANE VOORHIES

Summer is almost here! Leap into the water with new ways to enjoy your pool. You’ll have a splashin’ good time with the Light Up Pool Party Kit. The Kit includes 10 game options and hours of glowing excitement, so you can enjoy pool time even after the sun goes down. ■ starluxgames.com

C O N TAC T B R PA R E N T S .CO M E D I TO R I A L @ B R PA R E N T S .CO M C A L E N D A R @ B R PA R E N T S .CO M O F F I C E 2 25-2 92-0 032 11 8 3 1 W E N T L I N G AV EN U E B ATO N R O U G E , L A 70 8 1 6-6 055

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Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. ISSN # 1050-8708

Last Month’s WINNERS

Look who won April’s Freebies: Charles Smith won the Intelino J-1 Smart Train and Lillian Foster won The LARQ Bottle.

Reproduction prohibited without permission. The opinions expressed in Baton Rouge Parents Magazine are those of the authors or advertisers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any paid advertisement.

Baton Rouge Parents Magazine is a division of Family Resource Group Inc.

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IN EVERY ISSUE A MOTHER’S VOICE

The Spirit of Mothers

S

ome people may have learned all that they needed to know in kindergarten, but my momma taught me things, year after year, that I’ll never forget. Some of the things she felt were important for the genteel rearing of a young southern lady have probably lost their significance. For example, never wear white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day. Doing so was a fashion faux pas, but is no longer considered a serious character flaw. My momma also gave me some very personal bits of wisdom, which I still remember today, though perhaps not in the way they were taught to me years ago. Momma taught me how to sew. She always felt that if you make a dress the right way, the inside would be finished so nicely that you could wear the dress inside out and not be ashamed. Because of her, I still know that “it is what’s on the inside that counts.” And I know she didn’t realize that in showing me how to make a button hole, she was giving me one of my first lessons in how I could keep things together. My momma spent one summer playing board games with us kids while living in Texas. She was determined to teach her children to play fair. Her question was, “What do you win if you win by cheating?” She also taught me that there were more satisfying ways to get more of something you like. That is when she showed me how to root cuttings of plants and flowers. I’m still using this method of multiplying what I have. It may take longer than a quick trip to a nursery, but I’m much happier with the results. She once expanded on the bootstrap philosophy that I learned from her as a child. She taught me to be grateful for what I have, even in times of trouble, and that happiness doesn’t always make you grateful, but being grateful will always make you happy. Here’s to the beautiful spirit of motherhood; may it continue to strengthen and enrich us all.

Amy Foreman-Plaisance Publisher/Editor in Chief

Have ideas? I’d like to hear from you.

By mail: Amy P., 11831 Wentling Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70816 Email: editorial@brparents.com. Be sure to include your name, address, and daytime phone number.

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IN EVERY ISSUE LAGNIAPPE FEELINGS OF MAY

May might look and feel a little different this year for all of us. We asked our readers how they felt about it in the form of a hashtag. Here’s what they said. What hashtag would you create for your feelings about May? Results

#

#CoronaGeauxAway

#MayWeGetOutOfTheHouse?

‘‘

#MaybeLookingUp

#SurvivingAnotherMonthOfHomework #Cancelled #ItsGonnaBeMay #FinallyFree #GraduationCancelled #VirtualGraduation #GraduationOnZoom #MayMadness #QuarenTEAM #ReleaseMeToTheWildPlease #LivingMyBestQuarantineLife #PleaseOpenThePools #MayWeHaveOurLivesBack? #StayAtHomeSuperheroes #ThankYouEssentialWorkers #ThankYouMedicalHeroes #ZoomLife #WhatIsScreenTime? #MAYkeItaDouble #CoronaGeauxAway

My favorite thing about being a mom is just what a better person it makes you on a daily basis. Every morning when I wake her up, the endgame is ‘Can I get her to smile?’” —Drew Barrymore 14

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CONNECT COMMUNITY DISNEY DONATES FOOD DURING CLOSURE

After temporarily closing its theme parks, Disney was left with a lot of food on hand that it intended to sell to park guests. During the closure, the excess food will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida while closely following all food safety guidelines. “Second Harvest Food Bank is known for their vital work addressing critical food needs in Central Florida, and we know the important role we play in helping to bring meaningful solutions to our community in times of great need,” says Tajiana Ancora-Brown, director of external affairs at Walt Disney World Resort. ■ disneyparks.disney.go.com

THE AUDUBON AQUARIUM IS CELEBRATING 30 YEARS THIS YEAR

Nearly 30 million people have visited the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas since it opened September 1, 1990. The aquarium is celebrating its 30th “aquaversary” with a yearlong party that will include ticket giveaways, animal enrichment activities, scavenger hunts and opportunities to help protect the natural world. “The Aquarium has meant so much to the people and visitors of the city for the past 30 years, and now we are asking the public to look ahead to the next 30 years and see how they can take action to help make an impact in their everyday lives to make our natural world a better place,” says Rich Toth, vice president and managing director. Follow the fun on the aquarium’s social media. ■ facebook.com/audubonaquariumoftheamericas

DID YOU KNOW? YOU CAN VISIT HOGWARTS FROM YOUR HOME

Casting a banishing charm on boredom, author J.K. Rowling has expanded her Wizarding World to help children, parents, caregivers and teachers add a touch of Harry Potter magic to our lives while we stay home. Harry Potter at Home, a team project from Bloomsbury and Scholastic publishers, Pottermore Publishing, Audible, OverDrive and WizardingWorld.com, provides special activity kits, magical craft videos, fun articles, quizzes, and puzzles. More than 500 million Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide over more than 20 years, so many homes are already familiar with the wizarding world. Just like Hogwarts and its staircases, the site will be changing all the time. ■ harrypotterathome.com

GIRL SCOUTS STAY CONNECTED FROM HOME

Physical distancing won’t keep Girl Scouts Louisiana East from finding ways to help during the COVID-19 crisis. Local troops have donated cookies to health care workers and have been making masks for nurses and doctors at hospitals across southeastern Louisiana. GSLE has also developed at-home learning solutions using Facebook. “When we first learned that we would be canceling events for the next two months, our Girl Experience team immediately got to work creating programs for Girl Scouts to complete at home,” says CEO Rebecca Pennington, “We’ve been posting new activities each day on our Facebook page, and now have a website where parents can search for activities by grade level or topic.” 16

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JAM TO NEWLY LAUNCHED SPOTIFY KIDS

With all the screentime choices available to families these days, it’s nice to have options for entertainment that can get you moving. Spotify’s first standalone app for children– Spotify Kids–does just that by providing safe access to music for ages three and older. The ad-free experience lets little listeners explore singalongs, soundtracks and stories selected by experienced editors. The app is exclusive for Spotify Premium Family members, and new members can sign up for a free first month. At its launch, the app features more than 8,000 songs, including a global playlist, “Wash Your Hands,” to help refine handwashing techniques.


WATCH CELEBRITIES READING BELOVED STORIES

Home and sometimes bored, many celebrities have taken to social media to share content with their fans. Sometimes that means online readings of popular books. Before COVID-19 changed our lives, Storyline Online, the awardwinning children’s literacy site, already offered videos of celebrities reading alongside creatively produced illustrations. With more than 50 books read by people, including Oprah Winfrey, Betty White, Kristen Bell and Chris Pine, Storyline Online also offers supplemental information to help strengthen comprehension and improve verbal and written skills for those learning English. ■ storylineonline.net

FREE VIRTUAL PLAYDATES APP

In this time of social distancing, our kids’ need for interaction doesn’t diminish. While many platforms exist for online connection, a familyfriendly video-calling app is making its service free during the pandemic. Caribu was built with grandparents in mind, allowing them to read books, play games and color with their grandkids during video calls. “We know this will be a tough time for everyone, and we hope to be a small way that kids can continue to do activities with their grandparents and friends in an interactive video call while they stay safe through social distancing,” says Caribu CEO Max Tuchman. ■ caribu.com

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CONNECT COMMUNITY WOMAN’S HOSPITAL OFFERS VIRTUAL CLASSES FOR EXPECTING MOMS

Expecting and new moms don’t have to forego the important becoming-a-parent classes that are offered by Woman’s Hospital during this time of social distancing. Woman’s online childbirth class has been offered for those who are unable to attend on-site classes at Woman’s, which now includes all expectant parents. The $60, eight-chapter program is interactive and explains pregnancy, labor and its stages, and helpful comfort techniques. Once baby arrives, breastfeeding consultations are only a click away with Woman’s virtual support called BreastTime. Each hour-long appointment with a lactation nurse costs $40 and can be scheduled Wednesdays and Fridays. ■ womans.org

GET CONNECTED AND LISTEN TO STORIES DURING LOCAL VIRTUAL STORYTIMES

Although hearing stories read by actors, professional athletes and other celebrities is an opportunity unique to this time of social distancing, there’s something comforting about hearing a story read by someone you know. For those who frequent East Baton Rouge Parish Library storytimes or The Traveling Trunk Show at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, familiar faces are just a click away online. The library is posting a new video on its Facebook page each Tuesday at 10 a.m. while its branches are closed, and Miss Marion can be seen each week on the LASM YouTube channel. ■ facebook.com/watch/ebrplkids ■ youtube.com/user/lasmbr

AUDUBON NATURE INSTITUTE EXPANDS COMMUNITY CONNECT

Although a trip to the zoo or aquarium is not possible right now, Audubon Nature Institute has expanded its existing Community Connect programming to maintain virtual connections with its supporters. Daily activities posted across Audubon’s social media platforms include keeper takeovers, interactive videos, virtual visits, and online quizzes. The first event in the series was a Facebook Live animal enrichment activity with Arnold, the zoo’s adult male lion. The zoo’s two new lion cubs recently had their second medical check-ups and were given clean bills of health. ■ audubonnatureinstitute.org

YOU CAN STILL WATCH MOVIES TOGETHER WHILE YOU’RE PHYSICALLY APART

Just because you’re apart doesn’t mean you can’t be couch potatoes together. A couple Google Chrome extensions have popped up to make it possible to watch streaming content from multiple locations. So, if you find yourself not being able to watch one of the new straight to digital releases with your besties, you’re in luck. Netflix Party allows virtual Netflix watch parties and includes a private chat room while you’re watching. Kast is a screen-sharing extension that allows one person to share Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other streaming apps. Kast can feature a group of up to 20 people connected via audio and video and up to 100 spectators who just watch. Sounds like an easy way to let grandma and grandpa share your little one’s latest screen obsession. ■ netflixparty.com ■ kast.gg

ENJOY FREE TV SHOWS, STREAMING STORIES AND EBOOKS

If your little screen zombies have run out of content, there are some free options. Amazon Prime Video has made many kids TV shows and movies available, even without a Prime membership. By temporarily releasing the paywall, the company has made many Amazon original shows and PBS Kids programming available for free with ads. Amazon’s Audible is also providing free content in the form of streaming stories for listeners of all ages in six languages. The Sesame Workshop has made 110 eBook titles available for free on all major platforms, including Kindle, Apple Books, Google Play, Nook and Kobo. The books are part of the “Caring for Each Other” portal for helping children learn at home. ■ sesamestreet.org/caring 18

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FINDING THE RIGHT CAR SEAT FROM HOME

While sheltering at home, our lives are temporarily not centered in the family car or van. But having the correct car seat for our littlest riders is still an important safety consideration. The Child Care Safety campaign, developed by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council, features a way for parents and caregivers to find the safest car seat options. The Right Seat Finder is an easy-to-use online tool. Input your kid’s age, height and weight and a personalized list of best fit car seat options will appear. Car seat needs change as our little ones grow, so bookmark the site and check it again after every birthday. ■ nhtsa.gov/therightseat

AAP RECOMMENDS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PRESCRIPTIONS

Physical activity is key for children to grow healthy bodies and minds–and it can prevent chronic diseases. Only one in four children report meeting the daily guideline of 60 minutes of activity per day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). AAP is calling on pediatricians to write prescriptions for physical activity. “Research tells us that physical fitness can and should be part of an overall treatment plan for every patient, from infant to adult, including those with special health care needs,” says Natalie D. Muth, MD, MPH, FAAP, FACSM, clinical report coauthor. “Ideally, every child will leave their pediatrician’s office with specific instructions and goals on how to become more active.”

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CONNECT EDUCATION LOCAL TEACHER USES CLASSROOM 3D PRINTER FOR GOOD DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Taking innovation and technology to the next level, Kathrin McGregor, a fifth grade gifted teacher at Shenandoah Elementary School, has used the 3D printer from her classroom to help make printed face shield visors for healthcare professionals who are in Louisiana. The first set of 30 were sent to the New Orleans area in partnership with PPE 3D Printing for CenLA. “It is an absolutely beautiful feeling to help those in need while staying at home where most of us feel disconnected to the larger community,” McGregor says. “Anyone with a 3D printer can reach out to me via email to join our mission!” ■ kmundinger@ebrschools.org

THE DUNHAM SCHOOL’S MUSICAL CAST PERFORMS A VIRTUAL NUMBER

Spring musicals are just one unfortunate casualty of the extended school closures due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop the cast of Dunham School’s High School Musical from uniting virtually. Brittany Spencer, upper school and middle school choir director at Dunham, organized creating a video of the song, “We’re All in This Together.” Mostly using TikTok, cast members filmed themselves singing and dancing and sent the clips to Spencer. The resulting video compilation was designed to encourage the entire school community, which calls its remote learning, Dunham at a Distance. ■ facebook.com/dunhamschool

DUPLESSIS PRIMARY SCHOOL WINS $10K PRIZE

Duplessis Primary School in Ascension Parish was recently named a finalist for the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching’s Founder’s Award, one of only five across the country under consideration for a $50,000 grand prize. The school received $10,000 as a finalist based on the school’s years of collaboration with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching to build a collaborative environment that drives student growth. “We are truly honored that Duplessis Primary is being recognized on a national stage, and we happily applaud their entire student body and staff for their commitment to educational excellence,” says David Alexander, Ascension Public Schools superintendent. NIET works hard to build educator excellence to give all students the opportunity for success. ■ niet.org

REMOTE LEARNING SUCCESS DESPITE CHALLENGES

Distance learning is harder for some, but one high school that serves only low-resource families has ensured all its students have access to keep up with their studies. Cristo Rey Baton Rouge, with support from the Cristo Rey Network and Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Schools Office, has fully supplied its students and families with technology hardware, Internet access and school food distribution to continue school operation despite campus closure. “In difficult circumstances like these, maintaining academic growth and work engagement for our students is a challenge,” says Eric Engemann, Cristo Rey Baton Rouge president. “These circumstances also present great opportunities for students to test their resilience, time management and communication skills–all of which are in high demand for employers.”

STUDENTS STAY CONNECTED THROUGH SONG WHILE LEARNING FROM HOME

Although they are currently unable to be together for their regular music classes, students at the Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts were still able to perform together, thanks to the help of technology. Juliette de Silva, the school’s music teacher, coordinated the online opportunity for her students to perform the song, “This Little Light of Mine,” which she had taught them before schools were closed in March due to the pandemic. The students were able to come together through virtual means to sing the song. Juliette de Silva then created a YouTube video of her students singing to share with their families. ■ brcvpa.com 20

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friends. Let’s be

Matthew Bui can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 40 seconds, although his best time ever is 17 seconds. His older cousin taught him just last year, so Matthew’s progress on solving the 3-D puzzle is dazzling. “It took me awhile, like two hours sitting with him to learn,” Matthew says. “I still solve it today because I find it to be a good hobby and a good way to pass the time.” A 17-year-old junior and recent transfer student to Scotlandville Magnet High School, Matthew found that the Rubik’s Cube was a great ice breaker. “It gets me a lot of attention,” he says. “I didn’t really know anybody, so I pulled out a Rubik’s Cube and started solving it to pass the time. Because of that, some people talked to me.” After learning himself, Matthew taught his little sister, Madison, how to solve the puzzle too. “I got too fast for her, so she doesn’t want to compete anymore,” he says. Matthew has an older sister, Michelle, and his parents are Michael Bui and Van Pham. Another family pastime is bowling, and Matthew’s best score is 212. Matthew attends Scotlandville’s engineering academy and plans to study electrical engineering at LSU. Matthew has taken part in robotics and programming competitions at Southern University. “I didn’t know anyone on my team (at first), but because of the competition, we’re now good friends.” Whether gaming on his self-built computer, promoting his school as a student ambassador or improving his Rubik’s Cube solution time, Matthew is definitely one amazing kid.

DO YOU HAVE ONE AMAZING KID? Email education@brparents.com.

/ BatonRougeParents

@ brparents

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CONNECT EDUCATION U-HIGH INSTRUCTORS EARN NATIONAL CERTIFICATION

Three more instructors at University Laboratory School have earned national board certification, bringing the total to 24. High school English instructors Candence Robillard, PhD; Anne McConnell; and Tamara Empson achieved the certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards by completing a performance-based, peer-review process. “National Board Certification is about elevating the teaching profession, and it is about helping children achieve at higher rates,” says Peggy Brookins, president and CEO of the national board. “The certification process impacts teaching and learning well beyond an individual teacher’s classroom.” ULS Foundation provides funding for its faculty to pursue the certification process.

EPISCOPAL RIBBON CUTTING CELEBRATES SCHOOL’S NEW FIELD HOUSE

Ribbon cutting day for the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge’s new field house had a pep rally feel complete with cheerleaders, dancers and drum corps members. Episcopal students, alumni, athletic supporters and donors attended the opening of the first new athletic facility on campus since the 1980s. “This building comes from love–love of the experience people have had at Episcopal over 50 years,” says Hugh McIntosh, head of the school. Once able to be back on campus, the new facility will encourage a focus on health and wellness among students of all ages, a representation of the school’s whole child philosophy.

RUNNELS SOPHOMORE NAMED AN ALL-STATE BASKETBALL PLAYER

TEACHERS PARADE TO CHEER STUDENTS

While schools remained closed, Capitol Elementary School faculty and staff wanted to find a safe way to communicate with their students in real life. Along with State Rep. Denise Marcel and the EBR Sheriff’s Department, the school held a “We Miss You” parade through their neighborhood. “We really love our students and want them to know that we understand they cannot be with us right now, but we want to show them continuous love,” says Principal Karla Johnson. “Our students can be happy knowing that we still care and it let’s them know and their parents know that we’re in this together.”

Collin Coates, a sophomore at Runnels High School, was recently named a member of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class B AllState boys basketball second team. The 6-foot-6 guard averages 17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Runnels senior point guard Ben Holliday also received recognition through an honorable mention, with an average of 15 points per game. The 2019-20 Raiders basketball team, coached by Ben Young, finished the season as the Division V state runner-up team. The 2019-20 team will be the final in the school’s history as the Runnels School is scheduled to permanently close its doors at the end of this school year.

ASCENSION SCHOOL RECEIVES GRANT FOR BOOKS PROGRAM

Books for Babes is a unique program at Sorrento Primary School in Ascension Parish. And, the Capital Area United Way has provided more than $1,500 as a grant to assist with the school’s literacy program. Sorrento Primary’s kindergarten has 41 percent of students reading below grade level. The school plans to purchase over 1,100 books that are level appropriate to help the children gain valuable reading skills. The goal is for as many students to read the books, which will in turn increase their love for reading. “Increasing literacy outcomes for children up to five years old is vital to their success later in life,” says Edy Addison, United Way director of community impact and initiatives. “With this grant, Sorrento Primary will be able to purchase new books that are level appropriate for the children.” The grant is part of the Ascension Parish Grant Funding Opportunity, which has provided more than $100,000 for nonprofits in the parish. ■ cauw.org/partners 22

B R PA R EN T S .CO M | M AY 2020


PARKVIEW BAPTIST SCHOOL HOSTS ARTSY EVENING

Books and art were the themes for Parkview Baptist School’s first Starry Night–Art & Literature Stroll, held before school at home began. In what will become an annual event, the stroll featured artwork by students from early childhood, elementary, middle school and high school. Original poetry readings, choral and band performances, and previews of the theatre department’s Beauty and the Beast production delighted audiences through the evening. Literacy-focused activities and games were on tap for elementary students and their parents, and everyone was able to shop at the Book Fair by Cavalier House Books. No one went hungry with the addition of food trucks That’s a Wrap!, Rouge A Roux, Honey Do Sips & Savory, and Geaux Cuban.

SCOTLANDVILLE MAGNET WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

The Scotlandville Magnet High School boys basketball team recently won the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Division I State Championship for the fourth consecutive year. The Baton Rouge team, coached by Carlos Sample, defeated New Orleans’ St. Augustine 66-39 to win the title once again. Although fans of the team were unable to attend the championship game because of COVID-19 concerns, the 12th-ranked Hornets were again victorious. “They showed us all how to #BRRESILIENT,” wrote Mayor Sharon Weston Broome in support of the basketball team on her Facebook page. M AY 2020 | B R PA R EN T S .CO M

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LIVE MOM NEXT DOOR

Dr. Elise Scallan Lalonde By Amanda Miller

OCCUPATION ▪ ENT Doctor HUSBAND ▪ Dr. Jimmy Lalonde CHILDREN ▪ James, 18; Isabella, 15; Sophia, 13; and Amelia, 11 HOBBIES ▪ Riding bikes, exercising, reading, traveling, and shopping A busy schedule is the norm for Dr. Elise Scallan Lalonde, but since the stay-at-home order was put into place, life for Dr. Elise has managed to speed up and slow down, all at the same time. Navigating from appointments with her patients at her office to one child’s activity to the next has been replaced with downtime spent on the couch, helping her children finish school remotely, playing card games, painting, and still making sure she is available for her patients. It has been quite the change, but Dr. Elise takes it all on with a smile on her face and a positive attitude.

Photo credit: Erin Oswald The Front Porch Project

How would you describe raising your children?

What was your latest mom win?

How has parenting changed your work ethic?

E: So far, we’ve had 18 years of fun-filled, busy,

E: We haven’t dressed up since we haven’t had

E: Before I had children, the way I approached

active times. Some times have been more

any places to go, but I do like my family to look

my patients was so different. Now, I see through

challenging than others. We’ve had a huge

nice. So on Easter, everyone came down looking

a different light. I’m way more sensitive, and I’m a

change in pace. All of them are active in sports

presentable and perfectly dressed. I was super

more understanding doctor.

and because of staying at home, we’ve had so

excited about that.

much downtime sitting on the couch.

How do you make time to relax? How has parenthood changed you?

E: Usually at night and the first thing in the

What do you like to do as a family?

E: It took me from being an independent person,

morning. I’ll read and relax, give myself time to

E: We have so many wonderful memories of

and by nature, a more self-centered person and

think a little bit. When I can, a nice vacation and a

vacations together. Going on family trips is very

caused me to put their needs first and find ways

spa treatment.

important to us. However, now, we’ve been riding

to help them succeed. I really matured more than

bikes more than we have in 10 years, playing

I ever imagined.

cards, and painting.

What’s your favorite date night? E: We’re simple people. We will go to a restaurant

What do you love most about your job?

we love and have a drink at the Country Club,

What’s the greatest thing about being a mom?

E: I love the day-to-day interactions with my

then home to watch a movie on Netflix.

E: The closeness and bond I have shared with

patients, from the infants to the elderly. I enjoy

them over the years. I wouldn’t trade it for

helping someone to feel better. It’s great knowing

What kind of mom are you?

anything, even the hard times.

I can do something to help them.

E: I am very involved and active in everything. I

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enjoy helping them. I’m definitely approachable for them. They know they can talk and entrust in me. That’s always been my goal. What do you hope to instill in your children? E: Good values and to serve as a good role model. What’s your biggest pet peeve? E: Two things: dirty, wet clothes on the floor and dirty dishes left in the sink.

Searching for summer fun?

What are some things you want to do that are still on your bucket list? E: Definitely travel more. We had a trip planned to Italy this summer that we have had to cancel, so Italy is still on that list. What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have? E: I had more time to be a child. There weren’t as many structured activities. Which family member has been your greatest role model in life? E: My mother. I remember how hard she worked, and seeing her work in a hospital inspired me. I would go to work with her growing up and get to play with the microscopes. Do you have any advice for other parents? E: Listen to your children, and stay active with them; be a part of their lives. ■

Q&A

The parenting item I couldn’t live without…wall calendar. In my fridge, you will always find…milk. Favorite movie growing up…The Breakfast Club. My guilty pleasure is…long, warm bubble baths. Music I’m loving…Adam Levine. I feel my best when I’m...with my husband and children. My favorite television show is...Ozark. My favorite ice cream is…Bluebell Coffee. My dream travel spot is...Italy.

Check out our online camp listings. w w w. b r p a r e n t s . c o m M AY 2020 | B R PA R EN T S .CO M

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LIVE EXCEPTIONAL LIVES

Finding Strength in Family and Fundraising to Help Others By Mari Walker

Looking at Maddee Helaire, you wouldn’t know anything is wrong. Although her struggle isn’t apparent, the 12 year old has been through a lot, starting in infancy. The Helaire family didn’t have any time to prepare for the medical issues Maddee would face. Her mom, Tongé Helaire, had a normal, full-term pregnancy, but once Maddee was born, no one was sure what was going on. “We stayed in the hospital for four months, and she was on a ventilator and had no muscle tone. She didn’t even cry or anything,” Tongé says. “Her story was such a mystery.” Maddee was given six months to live, and Tongé and Maddee’s dad, Shannon, decided to take her home to care for her 26

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there. “I regretted it the first week we were home,” Tongé says. Within a week, they were back in the hospital. Eventually, Maddee was diagnosed with congenital muscular dystrophy. Maddee didn’t just survive; she has thrived and exceeded doctors’ expectations. Although finding support was difficult at first, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) was there for the family throughout it all. “MDA pointed me in the right direction to support groups online,” Tongé says. “MDA helped us realize we weren’t alone. We weren’t the only family going through this.” Once she was able to walk at age three, Maddee started taking dance lessons, and she still dances with the same teacher. “She was behind, but she never gave up,” Tongé says. “By us never treating her like anything was wrong with

her, she never looked at herself as being limited.” Maintaining her muscle strength is key for Maddee. “She has to do something physical for the rest of her life,” Tongé says. “She’s got to stay active.” In addition to dancing and recording TikTok videos while social distancing at home, Maddee has kept up with sports news to know about the upcoming NFL draft, in which her brother, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, is a prospect. “Maddee and Clyde are my two little peas in a pod,” Tongé says. Maddee has three other older siblings as well. Maddee took her first steps with Clyde because he has always been her biggest motivator, and she has always been his motivation on the field. “It really helps her. He believes in her and pushes her.” A sixth grader at Our Lady of Mercy, Maddee does well in her studies. Each summer, she participates in MDA’s Camp Starlight, “which helps me to learn more about other people and their muscular dystrophy forms,” Maddee says. “And it gives us better insights and information to know the best way to care for me long term.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MDA camps have moved online for summer 2020, but Maddee will still be able to stay connected virtually with her friends and counselors, which also stay the same year to year. MDA has also given Maddee the opportunity to give back to those in need, as she was an ambassador with their Shamrocks campaign, raising money for research and care for others living with neuromuscular disease. The organization has created a microsite with COVID-19 guidelines and best practices specific to the neuromuscular disease community for those needing more information at mda.org/covid19. ■


M AY 2020 | B R PA R EN T S .CO M

27


LIVE FAITH

Fear, Faith, and Hope By Pastor Jeremy Pleasant of Vineyard Church

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B R PA R EN T S .CO M | M AY 2020

ear and its little brother, anxiety, have found their way into becoming a fixture of everyday life for most people. It’s a constant state that leaves us looking for peace and hope however we can get it. Now, add to that a global pandemic and we find ourselves as little Davids fighting a Goliath of anxiety. We often don’t realize how major events are affecting our lives in the moment. COVID-19 has gone from a localized problem to a worldwide concern. This generates a lot of stress. Throw in school closures, trying to work from home, and a new schedule, and suddenly, anxiety is knocking at the front door. As part of dealing with fear, we have come to develop practices which help us encounter the peace of God. Some of these things include developing our trust in God, casting our cares upon Christ, and leaning into our hope which springs up from our faith. What do we do now? How do we handle fear and develop our faith in this circumstance? First, we have to understand how the added pressure lowers our defenses and creates more avenues for fear. Recognizing that, we need to understand how news affects us. If up-to-date information helps you to assuage fears then stay informed. If your intake of news is generating more fear, limit how much you take in. Next, establish set times of silence and prayer. This guide will help: vineyardbr.org/silence. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Allow yourself to have a bad day. Express your emotions in a healthy way and come back to a place of focusing your mind on what is good and right and just. Talk to your children about what fear is and allow them to express what they’re experiencing without denying it or minimizing it, but guiding them towards hope. As you develop peace, your children will recognize and respond to that and you will be able to guide them to this same peace. What’s coming in the next few months is unknown. Don’t get lost in the anxiety of trying to figure it all out. Tomorrow has enough worries, focus and be present today. ■


M AY 2020 | B R PA R EN T S .CO M

29


CRAWLING

Towards Success Crawling Can Boost Baby’s Brain By Brooke Smith

Photo Credit: Kleinpeter Photography

“Where is the baby? Did you put her down for a nap already?” “No, I... She was just there. I swear I didn’t move her.” “Seriously, Sam?! I told you to keep an eye on her.” “She couldn’t be too far. She still hasn’t fully learned to crawl yet...” Panic and confusion instantly crashed through the young couple as they noticed their nine-month-old daughter’s left pink sock was in the middle of the hallway. “Oh, God… What if she tried and ended up being stuck face down again?” Two minutes later, they heard a loud squeal and a musical toy. They rushed into the nursery and found their daughter happily playing. “Looks like we need to baby-proof the house now.” “There is no way. She just learned to scoot two weeks ago.” Have you ever been in a similar situation? What were your first thoughts when your child reached the crawling milestone? 30

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Having a crawling baby can be nerveracking. However, crawling marks a new beginning of an exciting, new chapter in your child’s life. Not only will he have the chance to develop physically, he will start firing up different parts of his brain. Before you know it, he will build selfconfidence and make some of his first decisions, such as standing and walking. Many overlook the importance of the ability of crawling because many spend most of their lives being vertical. Imagine buying a different vehicle without test driving it. Would you automatically know where to locate all the controls? Crawling provides your child the fundamentals he needs to know how to walk properly. It is a basic movement that takes a considerable amount of coordination between all parts

of the body. Crawling affects more than the early stages of development. It also will provide your child skills he or she will need to succeed in school, such as copying the board. What if your baby skipped crawling and went onto walking? It is normal for some babies to skip crawling altogether. According to Dr. Andrea Ocmond, a pediatrician at Magnolia Pediatrics, “As long as your baby is moving around by scooting on their bottom or belly, usually we aren’t concerned. Parents should always notify their pediatrician if they feel their baby doesn’t move both arms and legs equally, if their baby doesn’t seem strong, or if they are concerned about their baby’s vision.” The following list includes four reasons why crawling is actually


important for your little one and shows how beneficial it is to your child’s life. Let’s Get Physical, Baby As your little one learns to move on all fours, he strengthens his muscles and joints in the head, neck, arms, back, and legs. His gross motor skills soon develop as he gets used to being mobile and has good postural control. The larger movements he makes with his arms, legs, feet, or whole body contributes to the development of gross motor skills. These skills provide your child with a physicality he will need as he grows to walk, run, and jump. Your child will not only learn how to use his bigger muscles as he crawls. During the development of fine motor skills, he will also strengthen the smaller muscles in his body, such as hands and fingers. Therefore, your little one will learn how to grasp things, chew, write with a pencil, and fasten a button. One Way or Another Crawling gives your little mover opportunity to learn spatial concepts. As he explores more and more, he will start developing a better physical understanding and orientation of the world around him, along with his relationship with and position within it. For example, a child who often prefers to go “through” things rather than “around,” he soon learns how to negotiate a more efficient path to his desired destination once he gains enough. This realization will be of vital importance throughout his life for problem solving, navigation, and self-preservation. Hungry Eyes Crawling can also encourage the healthy development of near and far vision. Babies learn to train their eyes to figure out the distance to an object they want or to a destination before looking back down to their hands. Binocular vision is the term for this experience. Binocular vision helps us to calculate distances and make sense of what we see. Binocular vision also helps your child learn to track objects that can help with reading books and other things.

Start Me Up Crawling boosts left and right brain coordination. As your crawler moves, his brain processes hearing, sight and movement, all at the same time. Crossing the midline is very important for the two hemispheres (sides) of the brain. It shows that the left side of the brain works with the right side of the brain and vice versa. For instance, a child would move his left arm and right knee together then make one forward movement before moving his right arm and left knee next. The more your child practices crawling, the more harmonized and developed each of these essential skills will become. Once he gains good control of his muscle movements, he will develop

“As long as your baby is moving around by scooting on their bottom or belly, usually we aren’t concerned.” a good balance. Balance is an essential physical requirement for your little gogetter to develop the ability to move on to being vertical. Let’s Play Doesn’t matter if your little one is on the edge of crawling or already walking, there are many games you can play with him to have some fun on all fours. The following examples will not only encourage him in his crawling but will also bring on laughter and enjoyment. 1. Toy Teaser Nothing motivates a baby more than getting to play with his favorite toy. Laura Wray, a local nurse and mother of two daughters, states, “We encouraged our oldest daughter, Rylee, to do those first crawling steps by placing toys slightly out of her reach to tempt her to crawl. Slowly but surely, Rylee would start taking a few steps toward her toys before fully taking

off. She was nine months old when she started crawling.” 2. Texture Tester Since your little mover is in the discovery phase, why not introduce him to some different textures? You can set out different items before he crawls, such as a soft faux fur blanket, a rubbery yoga mat, and gift tissue paper. 3. Tag, You’re it Remember the thrill of playing tag as a kid? You could get down on all fours with your little one and crawl away from him, tempting him to become the chaser. 4. The Fluffy Course If your crawler loves obstacles, you could create one with seat cushions, pillows, and blankets on the floor. You could even leave a special surprise, like a cookie, at the end. 5. Hidden Treasure Does your baby get excited when he finds a misplaced toy? You could get him moving by hiding his favorite toys around the house. Be cautious about where you place them though. Dr. Andrea Ocmond informs that, “At any ability level, parents should ensure that the environment that babies are exploring is safe, free of choking hazards, and far from any stairs.” Whatever you do to get him moving, make sure that it sparks his interest. Let everything happen naturally. All babies are born differently and develop at their own rate. For instance, local realtor Alicen Albin, mother of two boys, says that her oldest son, Axel, learned how to crawl properly the day before his first birthday. She notes, “I attribute this to two things: 1. At about 11 months old, we began introducing my son to other kids his age. Some of them could crawl and even walk. He found his own confidence to crawl through observing/mirroring their behaviors. 2. We had to work with him and help him develop this skill at his own pace.” So, when you are worried about your child’s development and when he will start crawling, remember that small victories always lead to greater success! ■ M AY 2020 | B R PA R EN T S .CO M

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Kiddie Swimming Lessons Getting Past Your Child’s Fears and What To Look For in Classes By Kimberly Blaker

So, you’re considering signing up your child for his first swimming lessons. Learning to swim not only provides kids the opportunity to enjoy lots of water-filled fun, but it’s essential to their safety. It also helps kids build strength and endurance, is an excellent form of exercise and builds kids’ confidence. But at what age should they begin taking lessons? Little research has been done on the effectiveness of swimming lessons. Still, one small study, Association between swimming lessons and drowning in childhood: a casecontrol study, by R.A. Brenner, et al., has been conducted. It found that kids between the ages of one and four had an 88 percent reduced risk of drowning if they had taken swimming lessons. In light of this information, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its recommendations for children in regards to their swimming lessons. AAP News staff writer, Trisha Korioth, explains in the report, Some kids have higher drowning risk: Swim lessons add a layer of protection for all, “All parents and children over one year old should learn to swim, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is especially important if your child is at a high risk of drowning.” 32

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Korioth explains that children need to learn at least basic swimming skills. These include how to: ▪ Enter the water ▪ Turn around ▪ Come up to the surface ▪ Propel forward a minimum of 25 yards ▪ Climb out of the water That said, parents must be mindful that while this reduces the risk for drowning, it doesn’t make children drown-proof. As many experts have pointed out, swimming lessons give parents a false sense of security. This actually increases kids’ risk of drowning. As it turns out, a substantial percentage of drownings occur in good swimmers and even under parents’ supervision. That’s because parents often let their guard down when their child knows how to swim. As for the age to begin swimming lessons, many medical experts recommend against it for babies under the

age of one. Infants are more susceptible to skin irritation from pool chemicals, swimmer’s ear, and hypothermia when water temperatures dip below 85°F. Also, leaky diapers in the pool increase the risk not only to your baby but to all the other swimmers of contracting a parasite. The nasty Cryptosporidium parasite causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and weight loss. Getting Kids Used to the Water As young children grow, they usually come to love bath time. But, as many parents can attest, getting splashed in the face is a whole different ball game for them. Add to that, a shallow bathtub is far less threatening to them than a vast, seemingly-bottomless pool. New environments, in general, can also be stressful for children. Some kids are even fearful of water. When kids sense their own parent’s fear of the water, or if the child has had a negative experience


with water already, this can also add to a child’s anxiety. Try the following to ease your kid’s fears of the water. ▪ Provide your child with a variety of water experiences and opportunities to get used to getting her face wet. Let your child wet and wash her own hair. In warm weather, give your youngster a kiddie pool to splash in and a sprinkler to run through. ▪ Read storybooks to your child about swimming and swim lessons. ▪ Don’t force your fearful little one into the pool. It can ultimately increase your child’s fears. At the same time, don’t make a big todo about your child’s fearfulness, either. Instead, offer encouragement and allow your kid time to warm up to the pool. ▪ Offer praise for each step of progress your child makes, even if it’s just dipping her feet in the water. ▪ Rewards can help. Offer your child an ice cream cone, park trip, or prize for taking a big step.

What to Look For in Swimming Classes Trained instructors. Claire McCarthy, MD, in Swimming lessons: 10 things parents should know, at Harvard Health Publishing, says to look for swim instructors trained and evaluated under the guidelines of a reputable agency. Instructor’s style. Make sure the instructor is child-centered. Teaching kids to swim is different. It requires patience, understanding, and positive reinforcement. A warm pool. Getting into a cold pool isn’t a pleasant experience at any age. It also makes it harder to focus on learning and get comfortable in the water. Make sure the pool is heated to at least 84°F for children over six. If under three, the temperature should be at least 87°F. Safety. Find out the class size and the ratio of students to instructors. If you won’t be in the pool with your child during the lesson, ask about lifeguards, especially if it’s a larger class. Also, do instructors get in the pool with the kids, or do they instruct from the deck?

Here are some excellent guidelines for student-teacher ratios based on the American Red Cross’s Learn to Swim program. 1. Children up to four years old and attended in the pool by their parent, 12:1 ratio 2. Ages three to five, with a buoyancy device, 6:1 3. Kids ages six and up, 8:1; for advanced classes, 10:1 Chlorine levels. Ask if the pool chlorine and PH levels are tested regularly. Low PH causes eye irritation. Low chlorine levels can be a health risk. If you’re in doubt, pick up a test kit at a hardware store. Open door policy. Make sure parents are allowed some ability to observe if they choose. It can be through a window or at the start or end of classes. When parents can attend the entire class, having additional eyes on the kids adds an extra layer of safety. The problem, though, is it sometimes reduces kids’ cooperation. So, decide what you’re comfortable with and what’s best for your child. ■

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Photo credit: Kleinpeter Photography

Is Preschool the New College? By Adrienne Gale

For generations, it was a rite of passage for parents and their young adult children to pour over, sort through and decipher the mounds of college entrance information bombarding their mail boxes during the junior and senior years of high school. Stress about choosing the right school and, ultimately, getting in was reserved for parents whose older children could communicate, express an opinion and even help make a decision. While that still happens daily across America, our country’s educational experts have thrown a whammy to young parents. They now say a child’s first years are the most crucial terms of mental, physical and social development and that their experiences during this time will set the stage for a lifetime of learning. So, the pressure is on for young parents. With so much more expected out of children entering kindergarten these days, the question has become less of “Should I send my child to preschool?”, but rather, “Where?” 34

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Add to this pressure, the simple fact that allowing young children out of the safety net of home can be difficult, if not downright scary. Knowing how to select a quality program can help a parent feel more confident and comfortable once the first bid day of preschool arrives. There are five questions that parents can ask about each school they look at that will help them make a more informed and more confident decision. 1. Who are the teachers? This is a crucial question because these

are the people who will be spending hours with your littles. Observe and listen to how they respond to the children in the classroom. Are they using positive versus negative words? In other words, do they say “Stop running!” or “Please remember to walk”? Always ask the teachers about their educational background, certifications, and whether they receive ongoing training and support. 2. Is the environment clean, safe, friendly, and inviting? Look around carefully for cleanliness


and safety yourself. Go one step further by checking with government agencies who oversee preschools and daycares. Ensure the one you are considering meets all of their requirements and guidelines. In addition to being safe, it is equally important that the facility is child friendly. Meaning, there should be plenty of child-sized chairs, tables, sinks, bathrooms, and water fountains. 3. What is the daily schedule? A preschool program should provide a healthy balance of structured education activities and free play. While some large group activities are good, children at this age should have a much greater degree of individual work and play time built into the schedule. 4. Is parent involvement encouraged? Education, particularly at the preschool level, is a team effort between home and school. Good preschools encourage and welcome parental involvement on a variety of levels, whether by serving on boards, volunteering in the classroom, or assisting with or attending special activities or events. In addition, good preschools encourage regular communication with parents through scheduled conferences, written notes, newsletters, and/or phone calls. Some schools even offer the opportunity for classroom observation. 5. Do the children appear to be engaged and happy? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, observe the children carefully. If they are fully engaged in their activities and appear happy most of the time, this is a really good sign. While asking these questions and following these guidelines will assist you in determining what qualifies as a good preschool, you will ultimately have to rely on your own intuition to determine what is the right preschool for your child. You know your child the best. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few good choices, look at each program carefully and compare with your child’s own learning style and your expectations. Make a decision and get involved. ■M AY 2020 | B R PA R EN T S .CO M

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Teen Suicide: Personal Essay from a

Teenager By Abby Johnson

My 13-year-old cousin, Kora, passed away on January 24, 2020 due to suicide. She was found by her family when they went to make sure she was up for school. She was on life support for a few days and then her organs were donated. This is my letter to her.

Dear Kora,

When I saw you for the last time, you were in the pediatric ICU because you decided to end your life. Kora, many of my best memories revolve around you, but my single worst memory does as well. When I saw you in that hospital bed, your body was limp; it looked like you were sleeping and would open your eyes any second and then, everything would be right in the world again. But everything was not right. You had already been pronounced brain dead and were only being kept alive so your organs could be donated. I wish I could go back in time and tell you how I feel. I think nice things about everyone. In my heart, I know I love them, care for them and appreciate them. I know the world wouldn’t be the same without them. But it was

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only after your death that I realized that I needed to tell people that. I realized it wasn’t too late to tell other people, so I sent a text to all of my family and friends to tell them how special they were to me. The replies I got back were even better. They were genuine, heartfelt responses that I wouldn’t have known if I had never taken the time to text them first. You never need a reason to tell someone how meaningful they are, and I can’t believe it took your suicide for me to learn that. Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend that you’re really gone. I’ll be thinking of you, and for a second, I’ll think about next time I’ll see you. Then I have to tell myself, “No, there is no next time. Kora is gone.” It’s so weird that we are…were the same age. It

makes it hurt more. When we were together, we were the dynamic duo, the dream team. Everyone knew we would be together baking a cake, doing a puzzle, or looking up cute baby animals. It’s hard to think that the girl I played Uno and made iMovies with felt so unwanted that she took her own life. It’s even harder to think that you will forever be 13 years old. Even when I’m 30, even when I’m 80, you’ll still be 13. You should have grown up with me. I miss you, Kora. Your cousin,

Abby Suicide is preventable. Scientists have given us warning signs to look for, but


they aren’t always obvious. We can do things every day to make a difference. Always ask someone how they’re feeling, check in with them from time to time, and even let them know that it’s okay to share their thoughts or feelings, even if those thoughts may be about suicide. Remember to always tell everyone how much you appreciate them, whether through texts or to their faces. Just let them know they matter and you care because you will never regret doing this. And, most importantly, never joke about suicide. Suicide is not a joke. Always remember that you never know what everyone around you is going through, or if they will take

something in a joking way or not. Never tell someone to kill himself or herself. It’s something I have heard middle schoolers around me say to each other before as a “joke,” but you never know if the person on the receiving end of that comment could take it as a joke. That “joke” could possibly have a very serious outcome. If you are thinking of suicide, call someone you love, who you trust, or someone who will support you. If you don’t feel there is anyone, call a suicide hotline. No one will judge you for it. It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to not say anything about how you’re feeling. There is always hope, help, and someone to call, so don’t let the rest of your life disappear.

There is still so much you can live for, so many reasons to stay. This is what suicide really feels like. No one is happy you’re gone, no matter how much you might think so. This is suicide. Regret. Sorrow. Confusion. Longing. Suicide isn’t the end of the suffering, just the beginning of someone else’s. The beginning of someone piecing together memories. The beginning of so many wondering...why? ■

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call (800) 273TALK (8255). It’s completely free and people are there to help.

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Living in Quarantine The After Effects By Chelsea Borruano

In order to escape the Great Plague affecting Cambridge, Newton retreated in isolation to Woolsthorpe where he soon came up with his theories of gravity, optics and calculus. After a wildfire, landscapes will explode with thousands of flowers known as a superbloom and come back even more beautiful and healthier than before. Hurricane Sandy rid Long Island Bay of its polluted water—the constant surge of the tides dispersed toxins in the bay and returned the water cleanliness to levels not seen since the mid-1970s. Shakespeare wrote “King Lear,” “Macbeth” and “Antony and Cleopatra” as London reeled from an outbreak of the bubonic plague in 1606. 38

B R PA R EN T S .CO M | M AY 2020


What a beautiful thought it is that things, and people, can come out of a state of devastation and isolation even stronger than before. COVID-19 forced many of us into self-isolation. In this isolated state, emotions can be heightened, and mental health can be gravely affected. A recent review in Psychology Today on the effects of quarantine on individuals points to increased confusion, anger, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and extended periods of grief, sometimes lasting even three years after the end of the quarantine. Stressors range anywhere from longer quarantine duration, inadequate information and supplies, and infection fears, to frustration, boredom, grief, financial loss and stigma. Of course, people with a history of mental illness are at increased risks, but no one is immune to the mental effects that isolation and fear can have during and after a pandemic. And for some, those effects will last long after the virus is gone. In addition, health care workers and others on the frontlines are facing even more dangers to both their physical and mental health. These workers, especially, will need continued support after this is over.

disorder. It is noted that there are factors that can decrease a child’s ability to withstand trauma. A child’s proximity to the event can be a factor. In this case, children are just as impacted as adults, but parents do have the ability to monitor their intake of news surrounding the pandemic and are encouraged to do so. The likelihood of long-term trauma also increases for children who are already in an unstable state. It will be more important than ever to make sure disadvantaged populations have adequate access to mental health care and ongoing support. Wozniak stresses that children most often look to caregivers for how to react

and understanding with one another. We are all experiencing this together, after all, and no one has all the answers. Shining a Light on Mental Health On the bright side, mental health is being talked about more than ever before, and people are even more aware of the importance of taking care of their overall well-being. During the pandemic, selfcare has been deemed a necessity for most, with many organizations sharing resources for taking care of one’s mental health, counselors switching to tele-health services and individuals sharing at home self-care routines. Crisis hotlines saw calls increase in the thousands during this time. We also saw people making an active effort to connect with each other through virtual game nights, Zoom happy hours, drive-by birthday “parades,” and through other innovative means. As we go back to normal, it’s important to identify which parts of “normal” are worth going back to.

We’re going to see a range of effects from this pandemic on children based heavily on family and community circumstances.

Effects on Children The good news for parents is that psychologists who work with childhood trauma agree that children are incredibly resilient. According to child psychologist Jessica Wozniak, we’re going to see a range of effects from this pandemic on children based heavily on family and community circumstances. Some will be mild and short-term, such as trouble sleeping, increased worry or behavioral outbursts, while others may see more long-term effects of post-traumatic stress

and cope with trauma. The more adjusted a caregiver is, the calmer children will be, especially as life starts to return to a sense of normalcy. As with adults, giving children some agency over the isolation and being away from friends by making sure they know they are helping others and contributing to the greater good can provide comfort and a sense of pride. That shared purpose can also bring a family even closer together and add value moving forward. It is also likely that we will continue to see small changes in this generation, such as being more reluctant to shake hands or leaning into technology even more. Only time will tell. What we do know is that we need to continue being compassionate

Where We Go From Here Matters As we’ve seen throughout history, some of the world’s greatest creations came from a forced state of isolation, and regrowth is often considered healthier after a state of disruption. Jessica Carson, a Neuroscientist and Psychologist, stresses the importance of using this situation as an opportunity to reallocate energy and find your balance. Imagine dividing 12 units of energy across four different areas: family, occupation, recreation and dreams (making dreams a reality). What did everything look like before Coronavirus affected our communities? Our world? What does our world look like now? But most importantly, it’s crucial to ask ourselves, where do we want to go from here? ■

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PLAY A DAY IN THE LIFE OF DAD STAY CONNECTED If you would like to read more of Brandon’s adventures from A Day in the Life of Dad, visit us online at brparents.com.

GEAR UP Fire up the grill and enjoy some perfectly grilled veggies with the Kabob Grilling Baskets. Made from steel wire and topped with a wooden handle, each basket allows you to prepare perfect kabobs for every member of your family with an easy flip. ■ uncommongoods.com

Don’t Stop, Can’t Stop By Brandon Foreman

S

o I am running down the sidewalk, holding my son’s shoulder with one hand and the seat to the bicycle in the other, and I’m giving the best version of the, “You can do it,” speech I can, which is a lot for me. I then find myself running out of breath and pushing off, hollering my best speech as my boy pedals down the sidewalk, only to hit the grass, fall down and have the bicycle roll over him. Then, I chase him down to make sure he is okay, and it’s a process. First, is he physically okay? Then, is he mentally okay? Is the bike okay? And then, we get up and do it all again. In case you have not figured it out, I taught my son how to ride a bike without training wheels. What makes this even more interesting is that I have twins, so I had to do it twice, and I had to keep running and keep the pep talks going till they both got it. Once they got the basics and I thought I was good and I was proud of them, my wife was watching them ride up and down the sidewalk. She would see them fall off in the grass and get back up and start going again. They would be going fast, and again, jump into the grass. She then looked at me and asked, “Did you teach them how to stop?” I said, “Come to think about it, no we have not gotten there yet. They will be okay. A few bruises never hurt anyone.” As I thought about it, two things came out of this. In the times we are living, we have to just keep going, and even if we don’t know where we are going or how we are going to stop, we have to be willing to just keep going, even if it is day by day. Second, once we got the training wheels off the bikes, I was amazed at how much faster they were on their bikes. It made me think that something that is keeping us safe is also holding us back, and we need to just take a leap of faith and go for it, and then we will fly. So, get out there and ride a bike, hunt some bears and smell the roses, and remember, even if you don’t know where you are going or if you’re afraid you might get hurt, the trip will be worth it. ■

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FROM THE MOUTHS OF DADS “There are men who have scaled Everest who wouldn’t dare to travel with two kids under three.” –Dax Shepard

PIC OF THE MONTH

Chuck S. stops for a photo with his daughters, Allie and Avery.


THINK!

DON’T DRINK

M AY 2020 | B R PA R EN T S .CO M

41


PLAY GET OUT OF TOWN

IRON MOUNTAIN HOT SPRINGS GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLORADO By Julie Engelhardt Coordinates: 39.54603° N, -107.3237° E Baton Rouge to Glenwood Springs: 1,377 miles Driving Time: 21 hours, 26 minutes Flying Time: 2 hours, 26 minutes Why Iron Mountain Hot Springs? If the grind of a daily routine has you pining for a slower lifestyle, and the thought of soaking your cares away sounds delightful, then Iron Mountain Hot Springs is the ideal place to turn that desire into a reality. This wellness destination is situated on the banks of the lovely Colorado River, allowing you to take in stunning views of majestic Mt. Sopris, Red Mountain, and the Roaring Fork Valley. Head out west to the Centennial State to see what kind of fun you and your family can discover! WHERE TO STAY The Hotel Colorado is a historic destination in Glenwood Springs, the ideal family lodging option while you explore Iron Mountain and other local amenities. Several U.S. presidents, including Teddy Roosevelt, found respite here on many occasions. Once you arrive, you’ll say “bully!” and know that Teddy was right when it came to making the hotel his home away from home. You’ll discover well-appointed accommodations that offer signature suites and family options. The Hotel Colorado is also very dog friendly. WHERE TO EAT Glenwood Canyon Brewpub Try the always tasty Glenwood Canyon Brewpub and their Trio Sliders– featuring pork, crispy chicken, or angus beef to start, or their flight of soups that include beef chili and potato bacon leek. For your main course, the Brewpub offers bourbon mango mustard glazed salmon and chicken cordon bleu. Your kids will love their flatbread pizza, crispy chicken tenders or their house-made veggie burger. Juicy Lucy’s Steakhouse Juicy Lucy’s Steakhouse is a casual fine dining establishment that offers the highest-quality entrees, side dishes and desserts. Chef David Zumwinkle and his staff are masters at creating specials that utilize the finest in fresh seafood, Colorado beef, elk, lamb and pork. Refreshing salads such as the Seventh Street includes strawberries and mountain greens. Let’s not forget dessert–their chocolate mousse pie, New York Cheesecake, brownie sundaes, and other sweet treats. Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant A stop at Tequila’s Family Mexican Restaurant is a must. You’ll discover the real flavor of Mexico when you dig into their grilled steak, grilled chicken and prawns meal, or the ‘mile high” taco salad, served in a fried flour tortilla bowl filled with crisp lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and your choice of meat. Adult beverages are aplenty with choices, including the tequila sunrise, a jalapeno margarita, or a margarita diablo. 42

B R PA R EN T S .CO M M AY 2020

WHAT TO DO Iron Mountain Hot Springs is really a vacation oasis. Their 16 pools are filled with pure thermal mineral water that ranges in temperature from 98 degrees to 108 degrees, and each varies in size, shape, and height. Two pools have smooth stones on the bottom where you can massage your aching feet. The smaller pools are adults only, but there’s a family pool that’s filled with fresh water and heated to approximately 93 degrees by geothermal exchange. An elevated spa rests on the edge of the family pool where parents can enjoy the hot water while supervising their children as they play below. An exhilarating day at nearby Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will get your motor running. The Adventure Park offers thrilling rides like the Alpine Coaster, Giant Canyon Swing, the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride and the Cliffhanger Roller Coasters, plus cave tours and a 4D motion theater, plus seasonal events. If hiking and biking are to your liking, there are over 50 trails you can explore through Glenwood Canyon, or hike from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, which is a little over 40 miles away. Popular trails include Hanging Lake, Grizzly Creek and Doc Holiday. Vacationers revel in the fact that there are so many options for water sports like rafting and kayaking on the Colorado River as well as the Roaring Fork River. The Colorado River offers kayakers everything from smooth water excursions to class III and IV rapids which will give you maximum thrills. There’s nothing more “Western” than saddling up and taking a ride through the scenic Glenwood Canyon, courtesy of Bair Ranch. The ranch is one of Colorado’s oldest family-run working livestock ranches, offering intimate and personal rides that offer views of the Rocky Mountains. After you’ve spent the day challenging your outdoor acumen, test your brain power at the Glenwood Escape Rooms. Available adventures include the Elevator, The Serial Doctor, or Christmas Chaos. Solve a series of puzzles, find clues and escape from your room. ■


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PLAY THINGS WE L

VE

Save your photos so you can access them wherever you go with the Epson Perfection V600 Photo. This high performance scanner ensures precision film scanning, helping to keep your photos in pristine condition on the screen. ■ epson.com

After all the handwashing, restoring the moisture to your hands is important. The L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is composed of Shea Butter, honey, almond extracts and coconut oil, blended together to help leave your hands soft and smooth ■ loccitane.com

Improve blood circulation, relax your body, reduce puffiness and wrinkles, and eliminate toxins with the Deciniee Jade Roller and Gua Sha Tools Set. You can even see a difference in face and eyes after only a few uses. ■ amazon.com

Take your kitchen scraps and create a highly mature, nutrient-rich soil amendment that’s ideal for making your garden grow with the Food Cycler Platinum Indoor Kitchen Composter. Just toss in your food waste, and push go. No pellets, enzymes or additives needed. ■ amazon.com

Move your food from the oven or stove right to the table in style with the Dansk Kobenstyle Casserole Dish. It even comes with a lid that serves as a trivet for dining or buffet table presentation. ■ dansk.com

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aces

OF GREATER BATON ROUGE

Visit our website at brparents.com to learn about the people serving your community.

M AY 2020 | B R PA R EN T S .CO M

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IN EVERY ISSUE CALENDAR

Happy y a D s ’ r e Moth

KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

2 SATURDAY

5

3 SUNDAY

Happy Birthday Harmony W.

VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

4 MONDAY STAR WARS DAY

BODY BASICS FOR GIRLS. Online from 9:3011 a.m. Virtual class will be held on a Zoom call. Girls 46

ages 9-12 can learn what to expect during puberty and how to take care of themselves. Pre-registration required. $20 per child. womans.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able

B R PA R EN T S .CO M | M AY 2020

to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

5 TUESDAY

6

CINCO DE MAYO NATIONAL TEACHERS’ DAY KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com ONLINE STORYTIME. Online with East Baton Rouge Parish Libraries at 10 a.m. Sing, dance, and read stories. facebook.com/ebrplkids

PARENTS/CAREGIVERS NETWORKING MEETINGS. Call in at 10 a.m. This networking meeting will provide an opportunity to gather and share information and resources related to behavioral health services and to increase your support network. (605) 313-4819, access number: 546755# VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz VIRTUAL READING WITH FIRST LADY DONNA H. EDWARDS. Virtual at 11 a.m. facebook.com

6 WEDNESDAY

HEAL YOUR BINGE EATING. Online event from 6-7 p.m. Heal your binge eating, emotional eating and endless eating.

15 Happy Birthday Lellani J.

1 FRIDAY

Happy Birthday Cate C.

May

Free. Registration required. eventbrite.com KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz WEATHER LESSONS WITH STEVE CAPAROTTA. Virtual at 1 p.m. facebook.com

7 THURSDAY

NATIONAL DAY OF


DRIVE THROUGH FARMER’S MARKET. Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon. One way drive-thru, enter from Kenilworth. Pre-orders are encouraged directly with vendors. breada.org HELPING HANDS SUPPORT GROUP. Virtual call from 6-7:30 p.m. Parents, guardians, self-advocates, and family members of individuals with autism and related disorders are invited to call in to talk with others who are walking in your shoes. Registration required. (225) 216-7474 or kshupe@fhfgbr.org KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com WE NEED OUR SPACE: LIVE. Virtual at noon and 7 p.m. lasm.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz VIRTUAL READING WITH FIRST LADY DONNA H. EDWARDS. Virtual at 11 a.m. facebook.com

8 FRIDAY

NO SOCKS DAY KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com MOTHER’S DAY CONCERT. Online. This is a virtual celebration of the women who have helped shape our lives: our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and more. theatrebr.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks.

9 SATURDAY

17 Happy Birthday Nalon S.

Happy Birthday Thomas K.

7

brec.org/bioblitz

DRIVE THROUGH FARMER’S MARKET. Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon. One way drive-thru, enter from Kenilworth. Pre-orders are encouraged directly with vendors. breada.org MOTHER’S DAY CONCERT. Online. This is a virtual celebration of the women who have helped shape our lives: our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and more. theatrebr.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

10 SUNDAY MOTHER’S DAY

9 Happy Birthday Ethan C.

PRAYER

MOTHER’S DAY CONCERT. Online. This is a virtual celebration of the women who have helped shape our lives: our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and more. theatrebr.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

11 MONDAY

NATIONAL BABYSITTER’S DAY KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

12 TUESDAY

BATON ROUGE CAREER FAIR. Crowne Plaza from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. eventbrite.com KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz VIRTUAL READING WITH FIRST LADY DONNA H. EDWARDS. Virtual at 11 a.m. facebook.com

13 WEDNESDAY

HEAL YOUR BINGE EATING. Online event from 6-7 p.m. Heal your binge eating, emotional eating and endless eating. Free. Registration required. eventbrite.com KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz WEATHER LESSONS WITH STEVE CAPAROTTA. Virtual at 1 p.m. facebook.com

14 THURSDAY

DRIVE THROUGH FARMER’S MARKET. Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon. One way drive-thru, enter from Kenilworth. Pre-orders are encouraged directly with vendors. breada.org KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ.

CALENDAR IN EVERY ISSUE Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz VIRTUAL READING WITH FIRST LADY DONNA H. EDWARDS. Virtual at 11 a.m. facebook.com

15 FRIDAY

NATIONAL PIZZA PARTY DAY PEACE OFFICER MEMORIAL DAY HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Online at 8 p.m. A wildly funny, surprising, and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. Tickets are $26. Student tickets are $20. theatrebr.org KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com PUBLIC POLICY SUMMIT. Capitol Park Event Center from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Learn how to be an advocate for mental health. This event is free and lunch will be provided. Registration required. eventbrite.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

16 SATURDAY

NATIONAL LEARN TO SWIM DAY BATON ROUGE SOUL FOOD FESTIVAL. Riverfront Plaza from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. The family-friendly event features blues, soul R&B and gospel music, a Vendor’s Village and a judged soul food cooking competition. VIP tickets that include food, soft drinks, photo ops and a reserved seating area are $25 and $100 per person. brsoulfoodfest.com. DRIVE THROUGH FARMER’S MARKET. Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon. One way

drive-thru, enter from Kenilworth. Pre-orders are encouraged directly with vendors. breada.org HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Online at 8 p.m. A wildly funny, surprising, and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. Tickets are $26. Student tickets are $20. theatrebr.org LAMAZE: A LABOR OF LOVE. Online at 8 a.m. Learn how to apply Lamaze techniques for coping with pain in labor and birth who plan to deliver without anesthesia. Pre-registration required. $75 per couple. womans.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

17 SUNDAY

BATON ROUGE SOUL FOOD FESTIVAL. Riverfront Plaza from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. The family-friendly event features blues, soul R&B and gospel music, a Vendor’s Village and a judged soul food cooking competition. VIP tickets that include food, soft drinks, photo ops and a reserved seating area are $25 and $100 per person. brsoulfoodfest.com HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Online at 8 p.m. A wildly funny, surprising, and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. Tickets are $26. Student tickets are $20. theatrebr.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

18 MONDAY

KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able

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IN EVERY ISSUE CALENDAR

HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Online at 8 p.m. A wildly funny, surprising, and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. Tickets are $26. Student tickets are $20. theatrebr.org KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz VIRTUAL READING WITH FIRST LADY DONNA H. EDWARDS. Virtual at 11 a.m. facebook.com

20 WEDNESDAY

HEAL YOUR BINGE EATING. Online event from 6-7 p.m. Heal your binge eating, emotional eating and endless eating. Free. Registration required. eventbrite.com HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Online at 8 p.m. A

wildly funny, surprising, and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. Tickets are $26. Student tickets are $20. theatrebr.org KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz WEATHER LESSONS WITH STEVE CAPAROTTA. Virtual at 1 p.m. facebook.com

21 THURSDAY

DRIVE THROUGH FARMER’S MARKET. Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon. One way drive-thru, enter from

Kenilworth. Pre-orders are encouraged directly with vendors. breada.org HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Online at 8 p.m. A wildly funny, surprising, and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. Tickets are $26. Student tickets are $20. theatrebr.org KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz VIRTUAL READING WITH FIRST LADY DONNA H. EDWARDS. Virtual at 11 a.m. facebook.com

22 FRIDAY

KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

23 SATURDAY

WORLD TURTLE DAY

21

DRIVE THROUGH FARMER’S MARKET. Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon. One way drive-thru, enter from Kenilworth. Pre-orders are encouraged directly with vendors. ■ breada.org 48

B R PA R EN T S .CO M | M AY 2020

7 Happy Birthday Sophia T.

19 TUESDAY

5 Happy Birthday Rosie M.

to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

DRIVE THROUGH FARMER’S MARKET. Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon. One way drive-thru, enter from Kenilworth. Pre-orders are encouraged directly with vendors. breada.org HOMEBUYER EDUCATION SEMINAR. Online from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Topics covered include: financial planning, understanding credit, loan programs, and home buyer grants. Free. Registration required. eventbrite.com HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Online at 8 p.m. A wildly funny, surprising, and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. Tickets are $26. Student tickets are $20. theatrebr.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

24 SUNDAY BROTHER’S DAY HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Online at 8 p.m. A wildly funny, surprising, and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. Tickets are $26. Student tickets are $20. theatrebr.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

25 MONDAY

MEMORIAL DAY NATIONAL TAP DANCE DAY KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz VIRTUAL READING WITH FIRST LADY DONNA H. EDWARDS. Virtual at 11 a.m. facebook.com

26 TUESDAY

KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

27 WEDNESDAY

HEAL YOUR BINGE EATING. Online event from 6-7 p.m. Heal your binge eating, emotional eating and endless eating. Free. Registration required. eventbrite.com KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com ROCKET LAUNCH. Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX will send two NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, on a test mission to help prove the systems meet NASA’s requirements for certification to carry astronauts to the ISS and back. kennedyspacecenter.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz WEATHER LESSONS WITH STEVE CAPAROTTA. Virtual at 1 p.m. facebook.com

28 THURSDAY

BODY BASICS FOR BOYS. Online from 6:308:30 p.m. Virtual class will be held on a Zoom call. Boys


CALENDAR IN EVERY ISSUE

29 FRIDAY

KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

30 SATURDAY

BODY BASICS FOR GIRLS. Online from 9:3011 a.m. Virtual class will be held on a Zoom call. Girls ages 9-12 learn what to expect during puberty and how to take care of themselves. Pre-registration required. $20 per child. womans.org DRIVE THROUGH FARMER’S MARKET. Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon. One way drive-thru, enter from Kenilworth. Pre-orders are encouraged directly with vendors. breada.org GIRLS ON THE RUN VIRTUAL 5K. All day. This 5K will allow girls to run at their own pace and keep moving forward. girlsontherunsola.org VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free

While the state begins opening during each phase, more events will be added to the calendar. To see those events and add your own, visit brparents.com/calendar.

APRIL BIRTHDAYS We didn’t forget these two! Due to the pandemic, our calendar was put on hold last month. However, we don’t want them to be left out. Join us in wishing these two a belated Happy Birthday!

APRIL 1

ST

7 Happy Birthday Jeremiah F.

iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz

APRIL 27TH

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Occasionally the date or location of an event may change after publication. Always phone ahead or check website to confirm important information.

SUBMISSIONS

Baton Rouge Parents Magazine welcomes submissions of events of interest to families. Send all calendar submissions to: calendar@brparents.com. Include: dates, times, location with address, recommended age, cost, public telephone number, website address, and photos. Submit information for the June calendar by May 10, 2020.

Happy Birthday Ryder P.

ages 10-13 learn what to expect during puberty and how to take care of themselves. Pre-registration required. $20 per child. womans.org DRIVE THROUGH FARMER’S MARKET. Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon. One way drive-thru, enter from Kenilworth. Pre-orders are encouraged directly with vendors. breada.org KIDZ BOP DAILY DANCE BREAK. Online at 2 p.m. youtube.com VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. brec.org/bioblitz VIRTUAL READING WITH FIRST LADY DONNA H. EDWARDS. Virtual at 11 a.m. facebook.com

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VIRTUAL BIOBLITZ. Online. Using the free iNaturalist app, you are able to visit four parks. ■ brec.org/bioblitz

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MARKETPLACE IN EVERY ISSUE

Make it your business to know their business

Call 225-292-0032

SUMMER FORECAST Plenty of blue skies ahead... and lots of beautiful homes to BUY and SELL! Marie Kennedy, REALTOR ®

Keller Williams Realty, Greater Baton Rouge 19850 Old Scenic Hwy., Ste. 100 Zachary, LA 70791 mariekennedy@kw.com 225.454.8289 cell 225.570.2900 office www.marieakennedy.com 225.570.2910 fax Licensed in the state of Louisiana Each office is independently owned and operated

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IN EVERY ISSUE THE LAST WORD

7 Things No One Told You About Having Kids By Denise Geelhart

puzzle books, and pens, in our end table drawers. No more. My girls thought everything in a drawer was one of their toys. I’ve had to be creative in hiding those items. By the time they were tall enough to touch the top of tables, I had to hide everything I kept on there, too. Any kitschy stuff has been hidden until they are much older. I’m thinking until at least 21.

When I imagined becoming a mom, I knew it wouldn’t be all cuddles and kisses. I knew it would come with lots of diaper changes, messes, dreaded potty-training and temper tantrums. When I was pregnant with my first child, I heard over and over again from friends and family that we wouldn’t sleep again for at least 18 years once the baby arrived. We also learned that my personal hygiene would get neglected (it did) and that we would become obsessed with our new baby’s bowel movements. Magazine articles and blog posts only reiterated what those close to us said. However, there were a few things that these well-meaning people forgot to mention. You know, things no one told me about having kids. 1. Moments of privacy? Ha! You can forget about it. Children have an innate sense of when you want (or need) time to yourself or a moment together with your significant other. They really don’t understand why anyone would want to be alone. They feel like it is their job to keep you company all the time, especially when you need to use the bathroom. I suggest a lock. Seriously. 52

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2. Personal space? What’s that? Babies and toddlers have no clue what personal space is. They have no misgivings about getting right up in your face. Not only will their face be right on top of yours, but every part of their body will be, too. For some reason, my three year old loves sticking her butt up in the air. Inevitably, it ends up closer to my face than I ever wanted. Never mind the fact that my youngest doesn’t understand that sitting on my face might cause me to suffocate.

5. You will lose your mind. I’m sure you’ve heard of “pregnancy brain.” Ha. That’s nothing compared to “Mommy brain.” Focus is a thing of the past with all that you need to keep track of now. I blame my kids. 6. There will be bodily harm. Be prepared to be harmed physically by your adorable bundles of joy! I’ve lost count of the number of times I have been head-butted by a child, whacked in the teeth and stepped on. I’m a bit amazed that bruises haven’t yet appeared on my face. My husband has seriously considered buying a cup for protection. (I’m thinking that might be the perfect birthday or Christmas gift.)

3. Whatever you are eating, they will want it. Now. My girls are master moochers. If I want to eat something I love and not have them share it, I have to hide in a locked bathroom (see #1) or wait until they are in bed for the night. Since the latter usually happens after 9 p.m., I don’t get to eat what I want very often. It has gotten so bad that I’ve been known to put off eating lunch until my girls are napping so I can eat my lunch without little hands and fingers grabbing at it.

7. Your boobs will never be the same! I’m not talking about the sag that happens after having a baby. (Although that does happen, too.) My girls have stepped on my “girls” (who saw that coming?) multiple times, randomly grabbed them, pulled them to help them get up and rubbed them for comfort, long after breastfeeding came to an end. If I had a dollar for every time I told the youngest, “Hands off my boobs!,” I would be able to afford a whole new wardrobe for my post-baby body.

4. Your stuff = their stuff. At least, that is what they believe. We used to keep some things, like coasters,

And, despite all the torture my little ones put us through, my husband and I decided to have a third. I blame #5! ■


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IN EVERY ISSUE SNAPSHOTS

Charlotte-Gray B.

WANT TO SEE YOUR CHILD’S PICTURE HERE?

PIC OF THE MONTH Rosalina T. poses for the perfect photo.

Go to brparents.com and click on the blue “Upload Snapshots” button to submit photos for consideration. All photos must be at least 1MB in size. “Pic of the Month” photos are chosen at random and must be at least 5MB in size.

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Robert T.

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