I am a graphic/artist illustrator. I have over 12-plus years of professional experience in the graphic arts. When I'm not designing or creating I spend my time with my family. I am married and have a 6 year-old son and 16 year-old stepdaughter. I also love animals and have 4 cats and 1 very spoiled English Bulldog. I consider myself to to be very lucky to be at a job I truly love. Not many people actually get up every morning and are happy to be going to work. For me, my job, my family and my life make me smile. Carpediem!

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A child’s independence vs. a mother’s piece of mind

Vincent Dellinger, 6, wants his independence. His mama wants some piece of mind.

Smart Mama

My 6-year-old son, Vincent, is growing faster than I like sometimes.

I will admit it’s nice that he can climb into his car seat and fasten the buckle.

He helps set the table at mealtime. And, if you can believe this, he keeps his room cleaner than his 17-year-old sister keeps hers.

But, along with his newfound grown-up responsibilities, he’s also requesting more independence. And it’s a little bittersweet.

“I want to walk home by myself,” Vincent announced to the family recently.

My immediate response was a flat “No.“


My next immediate response — and not a good one — was the “Because I said so” bit.

Vincent whined another “why” and turned toward his dad. That’s what kids do. If they don’t get the response they want from one parent, they move on to the other one.

“We’ll see,” William said.

I gave William my silent death stare.

Vincent flashed a smile and left the room.

I protested to William that there was no way we were letting our 6-year-old son walk several yards from the bus stop to our house alone. Of course, when I was about Vincent’s age I walked much farther on my own from school to home, but Vincent doesn’t need to know that.

“We can’t always protect him all the time,” William said.

“Why not?”

“Don’t worry. I won’t let him walk home alone,” he said.

When I came home from work the next night, Vincent greeted me with a big smile.

“Mom, I walked home from the bus by myself!” he said.

“You did?” Trying my best not to sound too aggravated.


“OK, well, go play,” I told him, thinking that I was going to find my husband and have a few choice words with him.
“How could you let Vincent walk home alone?” I asked William.

“I didn’t,” he said. “ I drove the car to the bus stop. I followed him in the car a couple of paces behind and let him walk to the house on his own.”

“Oh.” I said.

“See, I told you I wouldn’t let him walk home alone. And I should tell you, at one point he stopped and asked me which way to go.”

It turned out to be a good compromise for both son and mom.

Vincent got his independence, and I got my peace of mind back.

Samantha Dellinger is the graphic designer for Smart. For more Smart Mama columns, visit www.smartmamapa.com.

From our Facebook fan page

What we posted: What’s the best children’s cough medicine for kids? I gave my 7-year-old Delsum last night and it didn’t seem to help.

What you posted:

Staci Wise: Just a spoonful of honey (assuming the child is over 1 year) is the best thing we’ve found, as well as warm liquids like decaf tea with a little added honey. The honey coats their throats and helps with the coughing. A bonus is it tastes good, and you don’t have to worry about drug interactions or spacing dosing!

Megan Couch Southwel: Vicks VapoRub on feet and put socks over that.
Carol Shafer: Are they coughing because of postnasal drip? If so, you may want to try something that will dry up the nose or sinuses and use a humidifier in their bedroom. Oh, and also check the organic section in Giant. They have a good selection of organic teas for all sorts of cold symptoms. We love “throat coat” for sore throats

Shannon Faircloth: Honey! My son just got over a cough, and I was giving him cough medicine, and it wasn’t working. I gave him a teaspoon of honey and *poof* it stopped til a few hours later and then I just gave him more!

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