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Winning Stories
Read the winning stories from the
31 Hours parents' intuition contest below.
43 Lies About My Child
by Lisa Romeo
But he's such a good baby. But he's floppy and never comfortable.
He's developing at his own pace. He's lagging behind.
Stop reading books. Books are often right.
So what if he doesn't point? Pointing is a developmental milestone.
The pediatrician says he's fine. He says I'm a nervous mother.
The baby talks so well. A 16-month-old speaking in full sentences is odd.
Well, he's smart. Smart people have problems.
He'll catch up. Any idea when?
Jordan didn't walk until he was two. Shall I wait?
So what if he never crawled? Skipped stages mean something.
Things will work out. Will you be there if they don't?
He repeats everything - how cute. It's called echolalia.
Well, what do experts know? What do you know?
Lately everyone thinks their kid is autistic. Some are.
You don't want him labeled. Without labels, insurance won't pay.
See, he's not autistic. He needs physical, occupational, speech, listening, vision, and oral therapy.
God must have a reason. I'm listening
Maybe if you stopped working. Maybe if you paid the mortgage?
It could be worse. Then would you feel better?
He's just sensitive. Sensory Integration Dysfunction. It's a lot of work.
All that therapy is tiring. What good is rested if he can't tie shoes or catch?
Maybe if you went back to work. Would you take him to therapy four days a week and nurse the new baby?
So, he can't color. Today he screamed, "Mommy, why are my hands broken?"
You expect too much. Good thing.
Can afford extra therapy? Can you offer me a loan?
You're pushing too hard. I'm pulling, against inertia, regression.
Some kids are just not athletic. Running without falling is not about sports.
Let him be a kid. If only he knew how.
You should call it play, not therapy. I thought you said he was smart.
Why are you going to out-of-state doctors? Why aren't you watching my other child on those days?
You just have to accept it. Acceptance won't train sleepy muscles to snap jeans.
You should find a support group. I was hoping for support from friends.
All kids are clumsy. Most can fasten Velcro.
He's so mature. He should be silly, loud, goofy.
There's only so much you can expect from the school. I expect it.
One day he'll resent you. One day, he'll know I loved him enough to make tough choices.
Maybe he needs medication. Maybe we need a vacation.
Lots of boys have ADD. Who said anything about ADD? Please pay attention.
See? He's outgrowing it. He is coping.
Many successful people have issues -- like Bill Gates. He is coping.
Now that he's better, don't tell him there was anything wrong. Won't he remember how he spent his childhood?
I wouldn't write about him. Of course not.
You must be so proud he came through it. I'm proud anyway.
You'd never know there was anything wrong. That's what everyone said all along.
Call it luck. Call it coincidence. I call it Mother's Intuition.
by Joanna Tebbs Young
As usual I was sogged out on the couch watching TV. I have to admit, once quiet has descended upon the evening - that deep sigh of silence only sleeping children can bestow - the corner of the couch is usually my first - and last - stop before bed. It is here I pay the bills, write, go through paperwork, and of course, eat ice cream.

But on this night, for no particular reason, I decided to rise from my lazy repose and brush my teeth during a commercial. Once upstairs I noticed Tator's door was closed and light still on. I went in to turn it off, but as I reached for the switch I realized there was something red atop the lamp. At first I couldn't identify what I was looking at or that anything was overly amiss, but when I reached for the item I figured out what I was looking at - and what was happening.

A red plastic fireman was slowly melting onto the hot bulb. I quickly turned off the lamp and pried the gooey, slightly smoking mess off the glass.

As I looked at my peacefully sleeping little boy, covers thrown off and padded bottom up in air, the could-have-beens began whirling around my head and my heart started pounding. Why had I come upstairs early? The extra half hour I would normally have been downstairs with eyes glued to the box could have been enough time to turn smoke to flame. And with his door closed to curb the constant trips downstairs... it's too much to contemplate.

Intuition. Can't explain it. Can't discount it!
A Story by Kim Riegel
My experience was my intuition which kept my daughter safe. My mother remarried Rex after my father died of a sudden heart attack at age 45. Fifteen years later, my mother passed away from breast cancer. My three daughters were extremely close to my mother and Rex-but my youngest, Kailey, was the closest. She was nine when my mother passed away. After my mother's death, I felt uneasy and unsure about allowing Kailey to visit Rex overnight-unless my niece and/or nephew were going to be there too. I felt VERY guilty over even thinking this way-Rex had never done anything to make me think he would do anything to harm the grandchildren. However, my husband convinced me to go with my intuition. I did not make a big deal about it, simply only allowed her to stay when there was someone else there also. In April 2008, my niece, at the encouragement of a friend she had confided in, disclosed that Rex had been sexually molesting her. What was initially reported as "touching" grew into the truth-which was much, much worse and included my nephew, who sustained the worst abuse of all from the ages of 5-10 (present). Rex is now in prison after he was indicted by a grand jury of eight felony counts. Kailey was involved in a bit of this, but not to the extent of my niece and nephew. I have not always followed my intuition in the past (and especially not when it went against logic and reason) but I am SO thankful that I did that time.
A Story by Cara Holman
One look at my 15-month-old son as I carefully unstrapped him from his carseat, and I knew something was wrong. Seriously wrong. To anyone else looking at him, he would have appeared fine. But to me, his appearance was enough to raise red flags. In the first place, he was totally subdued. No, make that lethargic. There was scarcely a time in his young life, outside of sleep, when he was completely still, and that alone alerted me that something was up.

What was even more worrisome, though, was the way he was holding his neck at a peculiar angle. I quelled the impulse to immediately dial 9-1-1 from the parking lot of the mall where I was standing. What would I say to them? That my baby was holding his neck in a funny way and he was too quiet? Put that way, my fears seemed ridiculous.

My concerns persisted though, and when I returned home and discovered that my son was also running a low grade fever, I finally called the doctor. "Just a reaction to the immunizations," the advice nurse breezily informed me. "Keep him comfortable with Tylenol, and he should be better in a few days." But he wasn't.

"Take him to the emergency room immediately," the pediatrician on call said, when I called back a few days later. "Although highly unlikely, there's a slight chance that he could have contracted meningitis from his immunizations. Good luck," she added. Good luck? Possibility of meningitis? I had been a mom long enough to know what that meant! We raced to the hospital.

The attending physician was clearly puzzled. "Well," he finally told us, after running a battery of tests, "your son has a bad case of strep throat that we'll treat with antibiotics, but that doesn't really account for the stiff neck. The good news, though, is that we've completely ruled meningitis out." That was good news! Still, I was, to put it mildly, a bit apprehensive to take home a child whose malady hadn't been completely diagnosed.

The fever spiked later that night at 104°, but the nurse at the hospital said that was no cause for concern. "It takes 24 to 48 hours for the antibiotics to kick in," she admonished me. So we watched and waited, until I could stand it no more. By the next morning, our son was almost completely lethargic and refusing food. I called our pediatrician's office, and reluctantly, they agreed to see us.

I will always be grateful that I persisted. The pediatric ENT who operated on our son hours later for an abscess behind his right tonsil, told us that in a few more hours, the abscess would likely have ruptured, creating a life-threatening situation. The next morning our son was, amazingly, right as rain and we were sent home on our merry way. What I learned from the experience was simply this: to always trust my mom's intuition, because who knows my child better than myself?
A Story by Lisa Glidewell
I have five beautiful children and I am always in tune with them mentally and spiritually. My biggest intuition (if this counts) would be when I was with my last pregnancy. I know women are more in tune with their bodies at that time, but I had never been before. With this one, I knew I was having twins, twin girls to be exact. I bought double girl outfits, swings, everything, the whole nine yards. I even had each one named according to where their position was in my body. Everyone laughed at me! And I was right! Mackenzie (1st born) and Madison were born 20 years ago this month. Another example: last November I knew my oldest daughter Alexis was pregnant even before she knew! Mothers know and feel everything!

All photos by Cheney Hamilton Orr