Welcome to another SouthernMamas Q&A with one of our savvy readers about parenting tips, troubles and triumphs. Meet Barbara McQueeney. (If you know a SouthernMama you’d like to nominate for a profile, email email@example.com. Read past profiles by clicking here. )
Your Family: Sean and Barbara McQueeney, Connor is our only child, and he is 2-years-old. We live in the Georgetown area.
Describe your parenting philosophy? Constantly evolving. I have discovered with a toddler that things are always changing…just because one thing worked one day, doesn’t mean it will work a week from now…I have really learned to adapt and be open to new ideas a lot more now that I’m a parent!
What are your son’s favorite books and toys? Connor has two bookshelves overflowing with books!! A few of his absolute favorites are Peas and Thank You (a Veggie Tales book), Cookie See Cookie Do….because he has it memorized and can “help” read it and does the actions along with the book…and lately the Foot Book by Dr. Seuss, he cracks up at the “slow feet, quick feet” part.
What are your son’s favorite TV shows or movies? My son likes a show that comes on the Learning Channel in the mornings; it’s called Hi-5. They don’t make new episodes anymore, so we bought the American Hi-5 DVDs….he adores them and knows all the songs!! Of course he loves Elmo and could sing all the words to the Veggie Tales Theme Song!
What are your son’s favorite foods? Well, I’m a vegetarian, and his Dad is not…so Connor has a unique palette….he is probably the only 2-year-old in the world that loves sushi and miso soup, and he would prefer soy chicken nuggets over real ones! But he also could eat his weight in “real” breakfast sausage and fresh grilled tuna steaks!
What one adjective would you choose to describe motherhood? Entertaining! My 2-year-old keeps me on my toes! I never know from one day to the next what weird habits or phrases are going to be his new “favorite”….he surprises me on a regular basis…and makes me smile!
Describe your most humbling parenting moment: My son had some issues with being bit at daycare, then turning into the biter…and one night after his bath we were playing and I nibbled on his clean little toes….he immediately told me “stop it mommy, no bite, time out, not nice”….it reminded me that everything I do, even in play, should set the example of how he should behave…..how could I tell him biting his friends at daycare was wrong, only to turn around and bite him in return, even it was just in play.
Describe your most beautiful parenting moment: The day our little monkey was born. It sounds so cliché, but leading up to his birth was so stressful, and to see this tiny little guy that we’d been waiting on so long….it was magical!! We had been in the hospital for a day already, trying to induce labor and he just wasn’t coming out…and his heart rate had been dropping….so we ended up doing an emergency C-section only to discover that the umbilical cord was around his neck 6 times!!! The doctor said she had never seen a baby with the cord around their neck so many times, and never seen such a long umbilical cord!! Despite that, he was fine….he didn’t have anything but a little red welt on his neck…which was gone by the time we checked out of the hospital!
Favorite local kid-friendly eatery? You’ve heard it a thousand times….but we LOVE Beef O’Brady’s in Richmond Hill….no matter how fussy and loud our son gets, their staff are always more than accommodating! They bring his food out as soon as its ready and he loves the crayon holders shaped like sports balls
Favorite local kid-friendly spot/event? We love taking Connor to new places that are fun for him….we hang out in the JF Gregory Park in Richmond Hill as much as we can, and really enjoy going to Telfair’s Jepson Center for Arts., and visiting Oatland Island. We recently took Connor to our favorite city, Charleston…it was a different kind of trip that we normally take (we always celebrate our anniversary there as a couple, but this time we decided to make it a family affair) and we went to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry…Connor had such a great time and so did we…we love sharing a city that is so close to our hearts with our son…and seeing it from a different point of view this time!
What resource for children does our area lack, one that you would like to see here? I am a working mother, and I always want to take Connor to local story times and events, but they are typically only available during the week. While we love the festivals and activities our city has to offer for children, I wish more of them were aimed at working mothers. I would LOVE to see a children’s museum in Savannah. With resources like SCAD and Savannah’s rich history, I think a children’s museum that teaches about regional art and history in a fun way would be fantastic!!
What is your pick for the area’s best preschool? We use the Richmond Hill Montessori and just love it!! Within the first week of being there, Connor really opened up and started talking more and he learns so much everyday…it amazes me. As a parent, we are constantly teaching our child….but the Montessori goes above and beyond what we do. They are able to teach him things I would never have imagined…and in a way that is both fun and educational. We’ve been there less than a year and I am really happy with the progress he’s made.
Most valuable baby gift you received that you couldn’t live without? Maybe its not valuable, but it meant the world to me……I had decided to nurse our son, and was doing great while at home….but I wouldn’t leave the house because I was hesitant to nurse in public…I would schedule errands around his feeding time, making sure to be in the comfort of our home when he was hungry….one day he had a doctors appt right at his feeding time. There was no place for me to nurse in private, and the waiting room is entirely glass windows for the entire world to see into….and here I was, with a hungry baby!! I lifted up my shirt and covered myself with his blanket the best I could…hoping I wasn’t exposing too much….and fed my baby….Later I was talking to my mother-in-law and she was like “they DO make special nursing shirts you know”….what??? I was floored….who knew??? She went online and ordered me some nursing shirts in every color she could find and had them shipped to our house! It was the greatest gift ever…..I was able to have my freedom to run errands and go places for more than two hours at a time, and my son could eat wherever we were!!! It was fantastic and made me feel cute as well as functional!! They looked like regular t-shirts and were in the greatest spring-time colors!
If you had zillions of extra bucks to donate, what charity/cause would you select?: I would pick the American Brain Tumor Association. My mother recently passed away from a very aggressive form of brain cancer and I can’t help but wonder if more research and available treatments would have given her at least a few more months with us.
What’s the one phrase you hope your son will say to you when he’s all grown up? “I may not have agreed with you at the time, but I understand why you made the decisions you did. Thank you”