Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Snakes & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

A wondering from the EcoWonder...

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.


Electronic Goose said...

Too funny! And so true ...

Green Resolutions said...

This is hilarious. I'm lucky I wasn't drinking anything when I read about your lemonade or my computer would be wearing it! Good for you sticking to the changes in spite of being outnumbered :)

Billie said...

Sadly, my husband is not onboard. He will chuck some of his recycling in the bin but the cardboard and paper still goes in the garbage. He finds it easier to toss the #5 in the sink than in the garbage so that was easy. I found a place that will take #5.

But give up any of his plastic? Heck no! It is Gatorade for him and kids and me and my water in the reusable bottle. He must have his Gatorade every day for work. Buying used instead of new? Only if it favours his pocketbook and substantially.

He has made some little changes like eating my homemade bread but most of those changes are because they are no effort on his part. *sigh* Not even suggesting that what he does now will save the planet for the kids helps. It is his kids problem. Sometimes he even laughs at my efforts *sigh*

The kids are seeing little influences tho. Not even a second look at the fact that I don't use commercial moisturizer. They dip their fingers into the jar of coconut oil to moisturize just like me. Of course... I need to find something OTHER than coconut oil because I have some kind of short term reaction to the oil on my skin. But I thought it was a good idea when I bought it.

Green Bean said...

It's not always easy. It doesn't always smell good. It is an adjustment that requires getting used to and some tinkering but woohoo! What a romp.

Billie: Hang in there. It was slow going with my husband but I won him over with the food and convinced him to watch a couple green movies, 11th Hour and King Corn, with me. Everything else gradually fell into place.

JessTrev said...

Hilarious. You are reminding me of my efforts to make homemade electrolyte drink for my daughter when she was barfing. Let me just say that the coconut water was a no go! Glad your boys are on board. And really, it's a public service. Your kids need to have something to roll their eyes at and bond over when they wax nostalgic about their childhoods. Flax seed peanut butter is just *easy*! Great stuff.

Carmen said...

I can really relate!! I have three boys. The oldest is 6. They love recycling, hanging out clothes, finding ways to save energy, etc. It's the homemade food that they fight me on... "I want the store granola bars" "I want the store yogurt". Any new food I make for which there is a "store version" is met with extreme skepticism! (Maybe I'm just not a great cook/baker)... All in good time I hope! Thanks for the post.

Leah Vanessa said...

Thanks for sharing! I hear so many people blame their kids for not embracing a green lifestyle. Next time I hear it, I'll refer them to your post!

Donna said...

Funny post! With just one (4yo) growing boy in our family, I'd still like to know -- what do you feed your guys to fill them up?

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post, and I don't even have kids. Thanks for making me smile.

Ha! The word verification is "lerpl." I think it will be my word of the day tomorrow. Lerpl!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin