Today’s Parent

Today's Parent

It wasn’t too long ago when Muslim students in public schools didn’t have a halal food option at school events. They had to abstain from eating anything, bring their own food, or avoid the event altogether. Growing up in the 80s and 90s in Scarborough, my siblings and I were one of the few minority families, let alone Muslim families, in the school. I can’t tell you how isolating it felt not to have food options at school. And then to have to explain to friends and teachers why we weren’t eating the burgers at the school bbq or the pancakes at the annual pancake breakfast, (they were usually cooked on the same griddle as the bacon and pork is a no-no for Muslims), was very hard and at times, created misunderstanding. So, seeing this paragraph in an article about Parent councils in the Sept. issue of Today’s Parent (Cdn. Ed) is very telling. Awareness of student needs is increasing and accommodations are being made. It may not seem like a big deal, but as a former student of the public school system, and as a teacher in that system, I’m telling you it is.


Scientists Discover One Of The Greatest Contributing Factors To Happiness — You’ll Thank Me Later

Who would have thought that such a simple action can have such a profound effect on the level of happiness in our lives? Catch the setup in the first 30 seconds, the beauty of the experiment unfolding, the perfect moment at 4:25 that had me a bit choked up, and the best takeaway from it all at 6:25.


White Coat, Black Art

LOVE this episode from White Coat, Black Art: When the Patient is Racist. Unfortunately, these sorts of incidents happen in every profession and in everyday life. Around 5:50, you’ll hear the conversation about the question “where are you from?” Sheesh..I hate that question. When I get that question- my answer is simple: I’m Canadian.


When the Patient is Racist


Dr. Sanjeet Singh Saluja (CP)

Dr. Sanjeet Singh Saluja (CP)


White Coat Black Art looks at one of medicine’s most uncomfortable secrets: the patients who discriminate against the growing ranks of health professionals who belong to visible minorities and the system that lets those patients get away with it.

In a feature interview, we talk to Dr. Sanjeet Salujah, a Sikh MD in Montreal who has been avisible opponent to Quebec’s proposed charter of values. Salujah talks about life in a Montreal ER and the ethnic slurs he faces on a regular basis when he’s on duty.

South of the border, Dr. Sachin Jain tells why he wrote The Racist Patient, the storm it created in medical circles, and his prescription for a medical culture that lets patients cross the line.

It’s an episode we hope you will listen to, read my blog post about racist patients and then add your voice to the discussion.

You can hear more of Sanjeet Saluja in this interview from our CBC Radio One colleagues at Home Run in Montreal.

Packing for a baby or toddler? Here are some tips from Apartmenttherapy

Packing Checklist For A Baby Or Toddler's Suitcase

What to pack? It’s hard enough sifting through our own clothes, books and toiletries, let alone someone else’s. Here is a checklist to help you through that crazy adventure of packing a bag for a little one, that will help you avoid that dreaded “world’s biggest baby suitcase”.

Clothing: Babies and toddlers get dirty fast. Plan for 1.5 outfits per day you are away. If you want to pack less, then plan 1.5 outfits per day you are willing to go without doing laundry. Minimize clothes by only packing one or two sweaters, and only one jacket (if you think you will even need one).

Feeding: For eaters: bibs (two), a plastic bowl, spoon, fork and sippy cup. For breastfeeding bubs: a breast pump (if you use one), feeding cover (if you use one), formula, two bottles and a bottle-brush. Formula is useful to take, even if you usually exclusively breastfeed, especially if you are flying or heading to a different time zone. Breastfeeding can get thrown off schedule by travel, so it’s best to have a back up plan.

Sleeping: For bed times, take both summer and winter pajamas, just in case you have a surprisingly hot or cool place to sleep. If you will be without a crib: take your pack-and-play and a sheet. A small blanket from home may help baby get settled (and can be useful for picnics, cold weather, breastfeeding etc). Take extra pacifiers if your child uses them, they can easily get lost and your favorite style might be hard to find.

Bathing: Baths can happen in sinks, tubs, wherever so leave the baby tub at home. Baby’s cup/bowl can be used for bath toys. All you need is baby wash, shampoo and a washer.

Changing: Take a couple of plastic bags for dirty diapers. For a few days before packing, keep a record of how many diapers you go through per day, and multiply that by days you are away, plus a few extras in case of emergency. You can reduce this number if you are using disposables and can buy while you are away.

Playing: Don’t go overboard on toys. Take small things that can keep bub occupied while waiting in queues and in transit. Limit yourself to just a few. For out-and-about time, pack your baby carrier. Check if you will need to take your stroller and carseat (though obviously they will not fit in your suitcase!). And don’t forget your camera, memory card and charger for cute holiday snaps!

A key tip to keep in mind: Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to buy a whole lot of new “traveling with baby” stuff before your trip. Think of the things you use every day, these are the very things that will make your little one at ease while away from home, and will keep your time away from home running smoothly.

Anything we’ve forgotten here? Anything you think we can leave behind? Add or subtract it in the comments!

(Image: Lasse C from Flickr, licensed through Creative Commons)

Time flies when you’re having fun!

We just celebrated Amina’s first birthday a few days ago.  I cannot even begin to explain where the time has gone.  My sweet, little girl is 1 years old.  We are tremendously blessed to have her in our lives- she brings us joy and happiness and her sweet smile can turn a bad day into a good one.

We didn’t have a huge birthday bash- just a few fuzzy friends, some cupcakes and family Skyping and Facetiming in from Canada.


Amina’s fuzzy friends- new and old