Do I need a pocket protector to go with my copy of the DSM-5?

I kept my excitement under wraps when the DSM-5 went into editorial review but now that it’s publication date has been announced I’m ready to press my nose to a bookstore window and quiver.   DSM-IV_092DSC_0791

Admittedly, that’s a little outside the norm on two levels. One, that I still prefer brick and mortar bookstores, and two, that it’s an odd book choice since I’m not a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or attorney working with the mentally ill. Truth is I’ve had some edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a guide to mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, on my bookshelf for many years.

Yep. Throw a log on the fire, pour a cup of tea, and curl up with the DSM – the perfect evening.  That officially makes me some sort of nerd I suppose. However, nerd conjures up images of tortoise shell glasses, tailored shirts, high-rise trousers and plastic pocket protectors.


I think I’m only missing the pocket protector. Kind of an embarrassing image when you consider that I’m a middle-America soccer mom.

Nonetheless, as someone who has morphed from a psychiatric research wannabe to a special ed teacher-in-training to a stay-at-home professional parent, I have an intrinsic interest in mental and educational challenges.   From the day a psychiatrist and room full of social workers told me to choose another child because the one I’d selected had deficiencies and should be institutionalized instead of adopted, I’ve been fighting to make a difference in the lives of differently-abled and at-risk children.  It’s never been wise to tell me something can’t be done.  I have this annoying habit of replying “watch me.”

So, if you see someone in the reference isle of a bookstore snatching up editions on educational methodologies or mental health topics with all the enthusiasm of an avid yard-sale shopper, please overlook the yellow highlighter stain on my shirt.  I don’t have a pocket protector.

Shopping with Toddlers, Then and Now

When I had four young children at home there was enough pushing, shoving, toy grabbing, and cheerio tossing in the triple stroller to keep my three non-walkers occupied while I shopped.  A generation later when the grand-munchkin arrived I was thrilled at how much easier it was to get a single stroller through the door at JC Penney.  However as time went on he sat up and grew bored. I discovered that traveling with one active child, as angelic as he is, was going to require some degree of entertainment. Voila! The addition of some educational apps and a couple of Disney movies to grandma’s iPod and we were set for a day at the furniture warehouse store.


In the old days pacifiers and toys were attached to the stroller with a piece of elastic to facilitate search and rescue. iPods aren’t as easy to tie down so we do have to keep a close eye on the device  to ensure that it isn’t lost overboard or traded to a passerby for a less valuable trinket.


My imagination wanders to the capabilities of the next generation’s strollers. Techno travel pods with chillers for organic yogurt, integrated iPads accessorized with yogurt removing towelettes, surround sound, and a communication system to transmit soothing words from Momma to baby without breaking the jogging stride to bend down and make actual eye contact.


I think I’m starting to miss that old package of elastic.