Seattle Mama Doc

A blog by Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson.

A mom, a pediatrician, and her insights about keeping your kids healthy.

Verbatim: Talking About Talking About Sex

3 year-old boy, overheard when talking to his dad:

“My penis! When I pull on it, I can make it longer and longer.” Yes, this is real. Today, Dec 7, 2009. You heard it here first. This is my glamorous life.

Instant proof that curiosity about the body and sex is a normal part of your child’s development. Truth is, by 3 most children are showing keen interest in their own and others’ bodies, according to Seattle Children’s Hospital health educator, Heather Cooper. It’s the answering and talking about sex where we seem to get into trouble.

In January, a study in Pediatrics will be published with some sobering statistics; timing of parent and child communication about sexuality is off. Greater than 40% of children have intercourse before any discussion about sexually transmitted disease, condom use, choosing birth control or learning how to refuse their partner in a sexual act. Read full post »

Loving Number 2 Just Like Number 1: Prioritizing Your Pregnancy

Home pregnancy test

Before O (my second baby boy) was born I couldn’t really fathom loving him like I did, F (my first born).  I’m not alone in this, I know.  One of my friends recently told me she was so bewildered by the idea of number two that when she, her husband, her first son and her brand new baby were on the way home from the hospital, she leaned over from the passenger seat and whispered, “I’ll always love you best,” to her first born.  Whew.

It happened though.  Just like everybody told me.   I really love number 2. Read full post »

The Forecast Changes Everything In Seattle

Seattle Five Day ForecastI’ve been quiet. Two reasons: we’ve been sick in our house and I didn’t like the posts I’d written.

It’s sunny in Seattle today.  This changes everything for those of us who inhabit this part of the globe.  It is goodness.  I’m finally feeling more than just battery powered.  So I’ll be speaking up again.

I also got some sleep last night.  All parents know how good this is after days of not having it.  It’s a zebra in the horse world when you live with and care for 2 boys who have colds. Read full post »

National Day Of Listening

F TriToday is being offered up as a day to set aside for listening.  Just after a day of thankfulness.  This is kind of a nice one-two punch. Especially when we’re often around extended family on this particular Friday on the calendar.  I’d not heard of this until 10am today when NPR posted this on Facebook.

Thanksgiving Day then Listening Day. I like it. Read full post »

If It Were My Child: No Benadryl For The Plane

Plane windowThe holidays are here.  Someone just plopped thanksgiving in my to-do list. I like it. Celebrating with family and friends is one yummy thing in life even in the face of family dynamics-drama.  I know it doesn’t feel yummy for everyone.  I’m not trying to sound Pollyanna-ey.  I’ve had the dark years of holidays, too.  When the being together made me feel lonelier than truly connected.  But, that’s not where I find myself now, fortunately.  The people in my life who are less than 3 feet tall also decorate these times together and make it better and better.  Who knew you could get so excited about a little, “gobble, gobble.”

The smallest in our family also make holidays more complicated though.  It’s the over the river and through the woods part that can be really tough. Read full post »

Verbatim: Fastballs In The Exam Room

BaseballVerbatim: a repeating entry of things overheard while taking care of kids in my clinic.

One of the best parts of my job is coming to know the families I care for.  It sounds trite. It’s true.  Over the few years in practice, they have come to know my style, I suppose.  I’m direct.  I don’t want families to have to guess what I’m thinking.  I share stories (both the mess-ups and successes) of raising my own kids.  I can be self-deprecating at times if I think it’s important and true.  Like I said yesterday, it’s hard to do this parenting thing, and hard to do it well and feel glamorously successful all the time.  We don’t get a lot of thank-yous from our own children for the labors of providing safety, a roof, food, humor etc.  But we do get them.  Reward enough, of course. Read full post »

Genius Boy And His Lunch Date

Evan Go PeeEvan is 4 ½.  His mom is a pediatrician.  So is his dad.  His mom and I were sharing stories of feeling like inept parents in the face of trying to help families with behavioral problems.  It’s hard to do what we say, and frankly, hard to master this whole parenting thing.  Does anyone?

We were having coffee, trying to get some work done when we downshift to talk about pee. Read full post »

Moving Day – The Most Dangerous Day Of The Week

Baby eating a popsicleMy story of 9 stitches, 2 parents who feel as deflated, flat and small as the bottom of your worn shoe, a near 3-year-old boy, and 1 orange Popsicle.  This is about our mistakes and the dangers of the events that followed moving day in my world, October 31, 2009.

But let’s go back in time; history is supposed to be one of our most sage instructors.

Circa 2003.  I took care of a 3-year-old girl in the ER at Children’s when I was an intern (my first year as a physician, while training in pediatrics, after medical school). In medical training, there are certain patients that stick out, jump off the exam-room-pages, of the hundreds of patients you can see in a month’s time.  I know some will stay with me forever. Read full post »

Parents Just Want To Do What Is Right

Seattle Mama DocThis blog caters to one principle I’ve learned along the way:  Parents just want to do what is right. The desperate love we have for our children can shock us into good and sometimes bad decisions.  I believe parents search for and sincerely desire simple answers to the How-What-Why–Who, the essence of doing right for their children.  Often it’s not a simple, isolated situation, and/or one as complicated as it may feel.  And, the abundance of online noise invokes fear in all of us.  Over time, I hope to illuminate the reality that in pediatrics, doing less is often more.  Prevention reigns.

Parents just want to do what is right. Read full post »

Happy Birthday Blog

Happy Birthday, Blog.  Welcome.  Welcome to Children’s. I hope life unfolds easily for you.

We’ve been waiting for you.  Prepping the room, painting the walls, putting things in piles. We’re hoping for great things from you.  I painted the walls yellow, not knowing what flavor you’d be.  I hope we can make you prosper. Read full post »