This week’s homework for Parenting On Track Class was to make three lists.
- What your kids can and will do
- What your kids can do and won’t
- What your kids can’t do
Because I can never quite follow the rules I added fourth category: What your kids can do and do rarely. (To separate the “Practicing” category from the “It’s not my preference” category.)
We were instructed not to share our lists…but I will leave you to guess where “cleaning up from breakfast” fits.
One area a little less touchy feely than my addition “asking after other people’s interests” that my kids “cant’t do” is grocery shopping. They eat, they cook, and they even add things to shopping lists, but they haven’t run through the whole process alone. After school today I decided to give it a try. Instead of training slowly, adding one step at a time to build mastery, confidence and keep things happy I just decided to throw them in there. Unlike cooking and knife sharpening the short term health risks seemed low.
I gave them no budget and no instructions. Just told them to get what we needed for the week.
They talked first. Oliver volunteered to get snacks. Leo said he would do fruit, vegetables and cheese and yogurt. He asked me to get chicken and turkey meat (What he called “Dinner”). We arranged to meet at checkout. I bumped into them at the back of the store with their baskets. Oliver’s was empty. Leo’s had Trix, Fritos, organic yogurt, raisins, bread, ruffles,rainbow goldfish, skinny cow ice cream sandwiches, and he was asking Oliver to help him get the cheese from the top rack. I walked to the front to keep myself from reminding him about fruits and vegetables.
Here they are unloading their baskets. I kept the image really large so you could check out their selections. I’d say the carbohydrate group is well represented. In fact other than the chicken that I got (as instructed) the haul might actually be 100% carbohydrates. Wait, there are 3 kinds of yogurt. I hope we can really stretch those chicken breasts.
Meal planning might just need some training too.
On the upside the trip took 20 minutes from door to door (literally an all time low) and the boys really enjoyed it. Oliver projected that they had enough snacks for 3 weeks. So Checking his estimate will be interesting for them. They also asked about cost and we compared it to going to a restaurant and their allowances.
Plus…that bowl of Fritos I just finished was so so so good.
Training notes; meal planning, nutritional education (which I THOUGHT we had covered (perhaps they are stuck on the pyramid rather than the plate?), individually wrapped snacks (which both our family AND school has covered) Buying organic (which I thought would be passed on through osmosis) and bringing bags from home. (Who am I kidding I never remember the bags.)
So more work to do….always. But a pleasure of a shopping experience overall. Hope you like ruffles and fritos when you come over for dinner Friday.
PS The boys decided they each deserved a “treat” at checkout. Pretty sure you can see what Oliver got…but Leo picked cheese crackers with peanut butter. When he bit into them he noted that they tasted much more cheesy than he expected and then sounded out “bacon and cheddar cheese sandwich crackers.” His comment: ” I like bacon, and I like cheddar cheese, but this snack doesn’t taste much like either of them.” And calmly wrapped it up. There would have been many many times that he wouldn’t’ have taken the disappointment of the wrong treat with such grace. Perhaps it was the success of the overall mission. Or the promise of Trix at home. Whatever the reason I am noting it here, because I want to focus more on his ability to be reasonable and flexible than on his ability to be stubborn and shut down the family. I used to expect the worst. Now I don’t know what I am going to get, but I want to expect the best.
Walking to a meeting this morning it was so cold. As cold as I remember this year. At the same time that I was challenging myself to take a full breath and feel the cold define my air passages there was a bit of wind that lifted the snow into a glittery silver gust. Beauty and Pain. The reflection of the winter sun in each flake was a real life snow globe. I can choose which to focus on. The pain of the cold or the beauty of the snow. Today was a beauty day.
It reminds me of the sports psychology story of the free throw shooters. Great champions are illogical. When they miss many times in a row they tell themselves that they are DUE to make the next shot. When they make many shots in a row they tell themselves they are DUE to make the next shot. Not a typo…they use both scenarios to tell themselves that a swish is in their future. I want to do this for my kids. Obviously Leo will see the humor in picking the wrong snack. Bacon and cheese tastes nothing like peanut butter. So funny. Not cause for meltdown. Here is to funny mistakes and beauty days and expecting the best.