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It’s one thing to have a hard time with parenthood. But what if you wholeheartedly regret it? 

Hear from two parents who feel this way, and find out how they balance feeling full of regret while wanting to make sure their kids are well taken care of. And is it really possible to love someone whom they regret bringing into existence?

Boys playing
Pxhere

When you think back to your childhood, what was your favorite thing to do? Did you have a favorite stuffed animal or did you spend a lot of time outside? Today, we talk about the importance of play. There are lots of conversations about learning loss in the pandemic but learning through play is as important as classroom learning.

courtesy of Erwin C. Smith Collection / Texas State Historical Association

Nat Love was born a slave, but died a free cowboy and a legend of the Old West. After the Civil War freed Love from slavery, he walked to Dodge City, Kansas, and got a job breaking horses - after he could prove that he could rope a bucking horse, climb on its back without a saddle, and ride him without falling off. He got the job. Thus began Nat's life as a cowboy.

We don't typically include Black cowboys as part of the American story of the West,  even though one in four American cowboys are Black. Black cowboys are as American as baseball. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Up until last year, 22-year-old Yenimar Cortez spent her whole life growing up without health insurance.

“In high school, I started realizing my mom, when she was struggling to pay to take us to checkups,” she said. “We would go to free clinics when we were younger as well. We had to wake up really early and make sure we got in line, because if they had no spaces, you couldn’t go.”

Anthony Kelly / Flickr Creative Commons

The night before 11-year-old Ella was admitted to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in early May, her father Sean thought his daughter’s mood seemed “wonderful.”

Ella had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and their nightly strolls, which helped her relax before bed, were a chance to reflect on the day and talk to her parents about how she was feeling.

Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

It took just a couple of seconds for a nurse to administer the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine into Sadie Sindland’s arm.

Getting vaccinated has been a hot topic lately with 14-year-old Sindland and her friends. 

When you think back to your childhood, what was your favorite thing to do? Did you have a favorite stuffed animal or did you spend a lot of time outside? Today, we talk about the importance of play. There are lots of conversations about learning loss in the pandemic but learning through play is as important as classroom learning.

vastateparkstaff / Wikimedia Commons

Another school year in a pandemic is winding down. That means parents have been thinking about summer plans like summer camps.

The Lamont administration has said it will invest COVID-19 relief money to make summer camp experiences accessible to all Connecticut students.

This hour, we talk with a camp director and hear from state agencies that serve kids.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Pharrell Bright sat in a plastic folding chair in the middle of a gym auditorium at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford.

The Capital Preparatory Magnet School senior had just received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"I saw a lot of the commercials that the hospital has been posting on TV and through the news and it’s saying, 'get vaccinated, it could save some lives,'" he said. "And I felt like I just heard it enough times that I was like, you know what, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to do." 

Rep. William Petit, left, and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg debate a bill curtailing religious exemptions for school-age vaccinations.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The state House of Representatives approved a bill early Tuesday that would remove Connecticut’s religious exemption from mandatory school vaccinations, a major step for a hot-button proposal that has been raised three years in a row with no vote in either chamber until this week.

DCF Commissioner Says Old Juvenile Detention Center Could Humanely Shelter Migrant Kids

Apr 8, 2021
Vanessa Dorantes, the commissioner of DCF, said the juvenile training center could be humanely reimagines as a shelter for border migrants.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The troubled history of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, a high-security detention facility closed in 2018, should not disqualify it from becoming a shelter for migrant children now housed in overcrowded facilities in Texas, state officials said Thursday.

Bain News Service / Library of Congress

Cartoonist Bill Griffith based his legendary character Zippy the Pinhead on Schlitzie, a real life sideshow 'pinhead' who appeared in Todd Browning's 1932 film Freaks. Early audiences were appalled by Browning's use of real sideshow characters to seek revenge on those who treated them cruelly.

Griffith's graphic novel is his effort to understand Schlitzie and the sideshow family who cared for him. We talk to Griffith and a member of Schlitzie's sideshow family.

Also this hour: the man who saved thousands of premature infants by exhibiting them in incubators at the Coney Island sideshow.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

An overwhelming number of people signed up to testify Tuesday during what was expected to be a contentious public hearing on school vaccination requirements -- so many that lawmakers, by a majority vote, decided to cap the duration of the virtual hearing at 24 hours.

The limit was criticized by several Republican members of the state Public Health Committee, as well as those who testified throughout the day. 

William Neuheisel/flickr creative commons

Much has been made about how the pandemic we're all living through has severely hampered things like air travel, dining out and gathering for holidays. Something that’s not talked about as much is the chilling effect the pandemic seems to have had on adoptions and foster kids in Connecticut.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The holiday season is coming up, but Coronavirus cases are on the rise. This hour, we check in with Governor Ned Lamont. Many of us want to see our families, but is that the best thing to do for our state and our health?

Many of Connecticut's surrounding states have been placed on Connecticut’s travel advisory list. And Connecticut's own positivity rate is rising.

ELLA'S DAD / Creative Commons

A new statewide mandate that requires children 3 years and older to wear a mask while attending child care and preschools took effect last week.

Child care providers and educators will have a grace period to adjust, but Carly Adames said the kids at her center in Greenwich probably won’t need it. 

The vast majority of children dying from COVID-19 are Hispanic, Black or Native American, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers analyzed the number of coronavirus cases and deaths among people under the age of 21 that were reported to the CDC between Feb. 12 and July 31 of this year. They found more than 390,000 cases and 121 deaths.

A toddler looking at a play pen
Pikist

Many Connecticut families have faced a child care crisis during the pandemic and it hasn’t changed despite most schools opening. Remote learning during the school week has some parents struggling to balance work and child care.

This hour, we talk with Beth Bye, the state’s Early Childhood commissioner. How are you managing childcare and remote school while working? 

First, we talk with a Fairfield woman who ran for the Connecticut General Assembly in 2018 and wanted to use public election funds to pay for child care while she campaigned. A recent court ruling has sided with the former candidate. What does this mean for working parents in Connecticut who see child care as a barrier to running for elected office?

Illustration by Chion Wolf

***This show originally aired on June 20, 2020***

Speech disfluencies are mysterious. They are defined as breaks or disruptions that occur in the flow of speech.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The pandemic is raising questions about what’s best for children as they head into a new school year, as many schools continue to finalize plans for this fall and parents make individual decisions for their families.

Megan Goslin, a clinical psychologist and research scientist at Yale’s Child Study Center, said it’s a difficult time for everyone. 

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

My son, Simon, is a year old. His mother and his grandmother are both librarians. His father is, well, me. Simon is, predictably, obsessed with books.

Back before everything changed, we'd gotten into a pretty good reading routine. Every morning before Simon went to his grandparents', we'd read a big pile of books. Every evening when I got home from work, we'd read a big pile of books.

We'd read Goodnight Moon. We'd read Little Blue Truck. We'd read Peek-a Who? and Peek-a Moo! and Peek-a Zoo! We'd read Who Hoots? and Who Hops? We'd read Dear Zoo and Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? and Each Peach Pear Plum and Spooky, Spooky, Little Bat and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? And then we'd probably read them all again.

National Human Genome Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons

Right now the world population is 7.8 billion, and growing fast. We have doubled our population over just the past 50 years!

Even though the population is growing, fertility rates, overall, are dropping. So, more people are here, but we’re having fewer babies. There’s a lot of reasons for that, and one of them is infertility. The CDC estimates that nearly one out of eight couples struggles to conceive, but because of assisted reproductive technology, we’re upping the population numbers in the United States. The CDC reports that almost 2 percent of all U.S. births annually - or about 4 million babies - are here as a result of things like in-vitro-fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, and egg donation.

Thinkstock/Stockbyte / Thinkstock

Many Connecticut child care facilities could disappear as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Parents already had a limited amount of licensed care slots available to them before COVID-19. And now, a national study finds that about 46,000 Connecticut children could lose out on day care as providers run out of money. 

File Photo: Children that go to the Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan School dig right into their meals served by Hartford Public Schools at Samuel Valentine Arroyo Recreation Center in Hartford.  
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Connecticut’s Department of Education says that state COVID-19 data will guide the decision-making process regarding how K-12 students should learn in the fall, but Thursday's numbers inched in the wrong direction:  The state reported 101 new positive COVID-19 test results and an uptick in the number of hospitalizations by two.

Speech disfluencies are mysterious. They are defined as breaks or disruptions that occur in the flow of speech.

For over 10 years, I was the midday host at Connecticut Public Radio, telling you the weather, the time, what show was coming up next — And at the top of every hour, the call letters.

Tameeka Coleman, a single mother who was previously homeless and living on the streets, was able to find a condo through the nonprofit Alpha Community Services, YMCA, in Bridgeport.
Contributed photo

Tameeka Coleman and six of her children lived on the streets before moving into a shelter in Fairfield.

“We were together, so it was bearable,” Coleman, 38, said. The hardest part was when her children cried for their home. “They wanted to know how we had lost our apartment,” said Coleman, who was evicted after she couldn’t pay the rent.   

Illustrative amendment by Chion Wolf
John William Waterhouse (1902) / Wikipedia

May 20th was the long-awaited date in Connecticut when the first phase of reopening began after the Coronavirus caused life as we know it to be put on hold. Offices and malls were allowerd to open with precautions; restaurants, museums and zoos could open outdoor areas as well.

A few weeks ago on this show, you heard how Gaylord Health is using the song “Don’t Stop Believin’” every time they celebrate the release of a Covid-19 patient. This hour, you'll meet one of them. After being hospitalized for 7 weeks, 42 year-old West Haven resident Anthony Spina came home last week.

New Connecticut Cases Of COVID-19-Related Child Inflammatory Disease

May 13, 2020
COVID-19 testing
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut officials are reporting a growing number of cases of a rare but potentially deadly COVID-19-related disease that causes severe inflammations in young children.

Branimir Balogović / Pexels.com

You remember what the mother of Mr. Rogers said: Always look for the helpers.

Turns out, they're everywhere. Sometimes they're livestreaming themselves doing great work on social media, sometimes they're in a photo, smiling behind a mask as part of a group of volunteers (spaced six feet apart, of course), and sometimes you never even know they're there.

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