That's what boys are made of... And dirt. And sweat. And a couple of words they probably shouldn't use, much less know and a hairbrush they really don't care to use at all. That pretty much sums it up.
(photo: Flickr / Sharon918)
I have a little boy (he's four) but I also have three big boys (11, 13 & 13) and by big I mean they eat big meals, wear big clothes, carry big backpacks and play big sports. It's costly, and if you're not careful, it can be a big green pitfall. Going green was certainly an adjustment, not only for me, but a big one for the boys. Some of my favorite lines from the past year, some funny, some annoying, but all part of the journey!
"I can't live without Gatorade! I just can't. Seriously. I play better if I have the blue Gatorade! I do!" It didn't matter. We went cold turkey. No more bottled tea for me, no more gatorade for them. SIGGs fill of lemonade or water all around. After a month or two, we forgot all about it and it became habit.
"No offense Mom, but this lemonade tastes rancid." OK, note to self, getting A's in grammar isn't always a good thing. When did they learn the word "rancid"?!? And, why does my homemade lemonade taste rancid? I taste it. OMG, I think it fermented or something. Are they drinking a homemade version of moonshine Limoncello? Well, at least they didn't like it, that's something, right?
"Don't we have any fruit roll ups? Um, yeah. I'm just not that into fruit leather, OK?" Yeah, well you're eating it. Funny enough, after a couple of weeks they were all scrabbling over the green apple flavor, so it seems they just might be into fruit leather after all...
"Did you make this pie? Oh, OK. Never mind." So, they're getting smarter. Don't tell Mom who slaved all last summer putting away bushel after bushel after box of freakin' peaches that her pie is runny. Or you might get the ice cream scoop chucked at your head. They learn fast. Or they learned to duck. Whatever.
"My laptop / cell phone / PSP is just chaaarging. OK. I'm just leaving it there until it's done. I swear, I'll be back to unplug it in a sec. Promise." Fast forward to 11:27 p.m. I wearily wander from room to room yanking cords, pulling wires and muttering under my breath like a crazy woman. The dog follows behind me wondering who I am talking to... Maybe I could train him to yank cords when the little green lights go off!
"Why do we have to eat this gross peanut butter? Where's the Jif? Why does this stuff have seeds in it? There are NO seeds in peanut butter!" I did cave a little on this one, going back to basic store brand organic peanut butter, foregoing the locally made PB with flaxseed and such. They win. Secretly, I really don't mind. I don't have to admit that I really didn't like the flaxseed either.
"Ooooh, great. Crunchy towels. I just luuuuv crunchy towels Mom." Said with a grin, of course. Yeah, you're real funny, OK!?!
"Awesome, I don't have to take a shower today? Yes!! That rocks!" Hmmm, I am not sure how this "saving water" plan of mine is really working out. It's beginning to stink... I might have to abandon this one come summer time!
However, I'm making my mark. These boys of mine pick up random plastic bottles they find at the park and bring them home for our recycling bin. They haul water from our basement dehumidifier to water my containers of flowers in the summer. They save empty cartons, their old sports magazines and empty shoe boxes for their little brother's preschool classroom. The chilly winter temps inside our house don't faze them, they wear slippers and sweatshirts like tough guys. They have learned that words like Farmer's Market, food club and local all mean food - and lots of it! And, they eat with gusto.
Yes, it's hard to go green, making that first step is treacherous. It's hard to change, but it's actually easier than you might think. Hey, did you know? You CAN win a baseball game without blue Gatorade. Apparently regular old tap water on ice does the trick just fine.