Friday, July 6, 2007

Your New Favorite Summer Drink (Nonalcoholic)

Pammy was here today, as planned, and it was fabulous, as expected. (Marin slept SOOOOOOO good last night. I bow to you, Oh Gods of Pink Bubble Gum Medicine.) We made pita pizzas with hummus and tons of veggies for us, and regular cheese pizza for the kiddos. We ate guacamole and black bean dip and baked a cake (the Better than Sex kind, you know with sweetened condensed milk, caramel, and topped with whipped cream and toffee bits). And then Pammy pulled off the drink of all drinks; it was so tastalicious that my mouth waters as I type this. Here's how:

Pammy's Lemon/Mint Slushie
Juice of 2 lemons (I don't have a juicer, she just used her hands)
1/3 to 1/2 cup of honey
5-7 mint leaves

Put in blender, add ice to fill blender and chop her up.
Taste, to make sure it's not too sour. Add more honey if needed.
Blend some more.
Pour slush into two tall glasses and enjoy.

Seriously, even if you don't particularly like honey or mint or lemon individually, together this is amazingly refreshing.


Now that you have a yummy drink in your hand, mind if I bother you with one more question? Does any one else out there feel like our generation of parents are held MORE accountable for their kids than ever before. I'm thinking specifically of supervising the children, and how now days we parents are expected to NEVER let them out of our sight, even in our own homes.

When I was growing up, I played outside for the majority of the summer while my mom, and all the other moms, were inside. They fed us, and bandaged us if we needed it, and we had to come home when the street lights came on, but they certainly didn't watch us while we played. Even my cousins, who are high schoolers now, were allowed- expected even- to go out and play on their own. Back then, if kids got hurt it was because accidents happen and kids get hurt and that's just how things go.

As a parent today, I feel like magazines, parenting experts, and books all put the pressure on us parents to be there Every Second. I want to protect my kids from harm as much as the next guy, but the pressure to not allow them to get hurt is a little overwhelming. I feel like the attitude that sometimes kids get hurt has disappeared. Kate's broken arm is a perfect example. Everyone is always asking her/us what happened. Luckily, I can say- truthfully- that it happened at Grandma's. But their reaction is "Oh, I bet she feels terrible. I guess she'll be watching them like a hawk now." And I keep thinking, Um, No, she doesn't feel terrible because it was not preventable and sometimes shit happens.

For the record, I do allow the kids to play, both inside and out, when I am not right there. Yes, they have gotten hurt, and cut each other's hair, and colored on things they shouldn't have. Bad decisions have been made, and consequences have followed, but I feel like it's GOOD for them. I'm always within earshot, and I check on them regularly. Yet. I feel like if anything serious ever DID happen, I'd be to blame. Does anyone else feel this way? Do you allow your child/children to play unsupervised in your home? In your yard? At what age, if ever, is this ok? (Sure, babies and toddler DO need to be watched like hawks, but what about 4 1/2 year olds?)


Brillig said...

Oh my goodness, yes. I have felt this exact same way SO often--that I'm supposed to be everywhere and that any injury or spill is MY fault because I wasn't watching closely enough (and it's rather tricky, with four kids, the oldest of whom is FIVE to watch them every blooming second). I do let my oldest two, ages four and five, play outside with their friends without my constant supervision. And they have friends in the neighborhood whose moms do the same. We're all there, within earshot as you say, but not hovering. I really do think it's so much better for them that way. Great post!!

Erin said...

Yes, I hear ya! When we were kids during the summer when we were all home (6 kids within 7 years of each other), my Mom worked 30 hours/ week and left us home to watch after each other. I guess we were all between ages 5-12? Which by today's standards would probably be reason to send in Family Services.

And yes, we got hurt occassionally. Once my brother broke his arm. Bad. Bones sticking out, etc. But DANG, we had fun too. We are poptarts and bologna and were NOT allowed to touch the stove. We rearranged the furniture and wore our roller skates in the house. But we (almost) always cleaned up before my Mom got home from work. I think we all learned a lot from those times: how to be a kid but also how to grow up a bit.

This is getting long, but at a recent OB appt., I was reading an old Parent Magazine and there was an article about how just keeping an eye on your toddler was not enough. You needed to be within arm's reach because they are so accident prone. It sort of pissed me off.

Mrs. Incredible said...

Sending you a high-five on this post, because if I watched my kids outside every moment I think they'd stop GOING outside. They need breaks in order to stretch their decision-making skills, and we live in a court so they don't stretch their wings very far.

Germany Mom said...

My first post on your blog! Anyways, I just wanted to way that I spent the most wonderful evening yesterday with some friends drinking great wine - inside - while our kids ran around the house outside playing. Even as I write this I cringe because it just seems so irresponsible, but what you said is so true! Kids need to be kids! Let's throw out all of those parenting magazines that just make us feel guilty about how we are raising our children - we are not Superwomen, but they make us feel like we should be. You've had me thinking about this all day, about the pressure we feel to live up to the standards of the other moms, when in reality, they're probably feeling the same way about us! Okay enough from me...

Mommy Brain said...

OOOOooooo! Me, me, me! I completely agree. As I walk the THREE aisles of safety/child-proofing gear at Babies R Us, I can only assume that in a few years they will just sell giant protective bubbles to keep your children safe.

I don't have the ability (or really desire) to watch my kids every second of every minute of the day. Having twins pretty much forced me to be a more relaxed parent. Once they learned how to walk in two seperate directions it was either learn how to astral project or just deal with the fact that I can't watch both of them every second.

I draw the line at playing with knives but there are times when I might need to go into the other room to, say...prepare lunch. Our living room is reasonably child proof and I'm within earshot so I feel comfortable leaving them in the other room to play for 10 minutes.

One of my daughters had her first black eye by 15 months so I might not be the best person to talk. Of course, I was standing there watching her when it happened. She just happened to tackle her sister for a toy and landed on toy. Short of only providing my children (18 months old) with soft toys OR only letting them play while seated - I can't think of anything I could have done to prevent this.

Your last paragraph is right on target and skinned knees, broken bones, etc are all just part of childhood.

PS - Love the recipe - will definately have to try.

Swistle said...

YES, you're absolutely right. Warning labels have gotten a little nuts, saying that, for example, the child must be within sight AT ALL TIMES while using this product. And I'm thinking, "Oh, uh huh."

When I watch my kids too closely, I micromanage them. I can't seem to keep my big mouth shut as they try to figure things out for themselves.