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Crib notes: Want to run faster? Have a baby

Want to shave some time off your marathon best? Get knocked up. Some say that the best way for women to get a competitive edge in long-distance running is to have a baby. One woman claims that her marathon times improved after the birth of each of her children. Maybe the baby serves as resistance training and once a woman's running post-birth, she can go so much faster because she's not hauling th

Want to shave some time off your marathon best? Get knocked up. Some say that the best way for women to get a competitive edge in long-distance running is to have a baby. One woman claims that her marathon times improved after the birth of each of her children. Maybe the baby serves as resistance training and once a woman's running post-birth, she can go so much faster because she's not hauling the extra weight of the baby?

Maintaining a work-life balance is difficult under any circumstances, but military families are faced with extra obstacles. A recent study shows that parents in the armed services(including parents who are deployed) say "stressing over early care for their kids tops their daily to-do lists." Relocations and deployments exacerbate the challenges, as parents who are far from family and friends have fewer resources for help when they're pulled in all directions.

Does your husband have a "World's Best Dad" mug? If he's not Australian, then he'd better exchange it for one that reads "In the Top Two-Thirds of Dads Worldwide." According to a recent survey, Australian men spend more time with their children than fathers elsewhere around the globe. Danish fathers are excellent at helping out around the house, though they're kind of slackers when it comes to hanging with the offspring. Unemployed American fathers have other unemployed fathers beat when it comes time to hours logged with the little ones, and everyone should lend a little sympathy to South Korean women whose husbands help out the least around the house and with the kids.

In all of the angst related to too much screen time and worries about kids becoming couch potatoes, sometimes parents forget that, on occasion, television can introduce children to worthwhile concepts that might be difficult to explain in a different medium. From learning about habitats with Big Bird on Sesame Street, to counting in Spanish with Dora, when used correctly, kids' TV shows can help parents better explain abstract concepts or make counting fun (especially if you've mastered The Count's accent and laugh). One woman explains how some new shows that focus on "emotional intelligence" help make her a better mom.

The American Academy of Pediatrics are putting a lot of pressure on one little caterpillar. The group has chosen Eric Carle's book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" as their new mascot to help teach children about the dangers of overeating and obesity. Of course, parents should exercise caution when explaining the philosophy, as kids could easily see a caterpillar who binges in order to become the most beautiful model, erm, butterfly.