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Marlena Rice

Marlena Rice

When my three-year-old son was first born, my husband and I decided against buying a bassinet to place in our bedroom, in large part because we were gifted with a great crib from my mother-in-law. However, when it came down to his falling asleep, and me having to actually leave him alone in his crib – well, I struggled. His bedroom was located directly across the hall, in full view from my master bedroom, but it seemed extremely far away. What if he cried and my husband and I didn’t hear him? What if he rolled over and suffocated in his pillows? 

Editor’s Note: As we enjoy all of the wonderful things going on around town this week, it is most certainly not lost on any of us that we will mark a somber five year anniversary on Wednesday – of the April 27, 2011, tornado that devastated so much of our beloved city and took so many lives. Several DCL columnists wrote about their own very personal experiences that day, including Marlena Rice. Thank you for sharing, Marlena!

I remember during the early morning hours of April 27, 2011, my husband and I found ourselves sitting in the closet of our master bedroom, our Great Dane, Midnight, laying between us. We were frightened; in all of the years I had lived in Tuscaloosa, a tornado threat had never seemed so real. Waking up later that morning after a short, anxious sleep to what sounded like a train running constantly just outside the windows of our bedroom, and seeing the damage caused in our neighborhood, we understood just how close the damage came to home, hours before a second, larger, EF-4 struck Tuscaloosa later that afternoon.

By Marlena Rice

Sometimes, our children are labeled with titles as they develop unforeseen habits that make even the best of us moms cringe: “Defiant.” “Biter.” “Whiner.” As a toddler mom, I have watched my son’s cries evolve from the “I’m really aggravated” cry to the “I’m crying although there are no tears” cry to the “I have my mouth open to make noise, but I really just want to see if you’re going to do what I want” cry. I have also gone through a terrible biting phase and an annoying (but thankfully) very brief “no” phase. How do we control these things? By knowing that we cannot control everything, and understanding that each of our babies is different. We can change their habits by taking a look at how we interact with them, and by paying even more attention to their surroundings.

Lake Tuscaloosa Living (LTL) is the premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


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