Brainwashing at Its Finest Part I: Creating Little Green Consumers

Truman Wrapped in a Burrito

This week will be dedicated to my 4yr old, my first, my Einstein, my little man Tru. Believe it or not people, the usually ultra cool calm collected organicneedle you turn to as a beacon of wit & sophistication has been a puddle of tears this past week. I had to register my baby for kindergarten. I knew it would be hard when the time came but boy…I am a sobbing ball of mama jelly. In honor of my Peanut I decided to focus this week on moments of motherhood that really make me smile and make me think I half know what I’m doing…even if just for a moment…and even if I’m just deluding myself.

(Tru is demonstrating his skills as a human burrito.)

My little people go everywhere with me. As a result, they are exposed to a lot of the family purchasing…groceries, clothes, etc. Now many of my friends opt to leave their kids with relatives, nannies, long shore men, whomever they can in order to avoid bringing their crew to the grocery store. I can understand this resisstance for fear of the tantrum for boxes of Count Crapula or the occasional very loud “whisper” about other shoppers physical…..uniqueness we’ll say, but I think they are really missing a great opportunity to wash those little minds.

  • First..the bags. At 2 and 4 my boys already accept that we shop with our own bags. I hope it will be so ingrained that doing anything else would feel weird…like wearing disposable cheese pants.
  • Second…food choice. My little man can already read the word organic and knows what it means. (Okay…there is some drawback to having an eco-smartypants. He informed his PreK teacher that he would not be drinking the milk when he saw that it wasn’t coming out of an organic milk container and demanded to know why she was trying to give them “hormoney” milk. Thaaaaat was a fun parent-teacher chat.) We talk about balanced nutrition, culture, price, season, blah, blah, blah. The point is to treat the trip like you would one to the museum or zoo. (And if you go early enough Sunday morning there won’t be too much of a difference.)
  • Third…packaging, recycling, and waste. As we move away from disposables as much as possible we include our little people in the talks. Why do we buy the jumbo container of yogurt verses the cute little cups? Why do we buy bread supplies verses bread in a bag? (My little men also get to watch mama in action as she pesters the poor produce boys about why the organic bananas are in plastic even though they clearly come prepackaged from Dole that way and the young men have absolutely nothing to do with the choice. It is a lesson in annoyance transference….I’m annoyed…and now I have passed that along to the whole produce staff….free of charge.)

My overall goal with these shopping trips is to help my kids really enjoy and appreciate food in all aspects and to practice responsible consumerism. Are my husband and I the greenest when it comes to our consumerism? Not by a long shot. But we do THINK about our food and try to balance nutrition, culture, environmental concerns, and most of all enjoyment. Well, I must go cry into my son’s baby book now. Ooops I think I rehydrated his umbilical cord. Do you think it is too late to reattach it?

7 Responses to “Brainwashing at Its Finest Part I: Creating Little Green Consumers”

  1. Added by arduous on April 28th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Your son demanded to know why his teacher was giving him hormoney milk?! That is hilarious! Tell him to keep it up! Maybe he can get the other kids to start recycling their construction paper. Or at least waste less of it. (Seriously, why do kids think they need five pieces of construction paper for one art project?)

  2. Added by Heather on April 28th, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Ahh! I love it! This reminds of a friend of mine who has been growing herbs in her backyard. Her oldest son thinks it really cool (he’s 4). Last time they were at our local Farm Patch, he rubbed his hands on some rosemary then ran over to my friend at the check out counter and said, “smell mommy! It’s ro-se-ma-ry!” The checkout lady just looked at my friend like she had the weirdest kid alive. How wonderful that kids are interested in this stuff! Her 2 boys love to go to the farmers market and recently they all picked berries on a family walk.

  3. Added by Erin on April 28th, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Great. First you tell me I can’t shop at The Gap, now you’re telling me I can no longer wear disposable cheese pants. Holy mother-of-popsicles, you’re one tough eco-nut.

  4. Added by heather t on April 28th, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    re: the umbilical cord – heh. ew.

    Also, try making your own yogurt. I couldn’t believe how easy it is. I’ve done it twice now and it worked both times! The boys can help monitor the thermometer and pour it out when it’s done.

  5. Added by Green Bean on April 29th, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Too funny. Aren’t kids the greatest? It’s great that you take them with you and that they absorb it. 🙂

    And, no, Arduous, they don’t all use five pieces of construction paper for one art project. My oldest will happily use 1 – back and front. The 3 yo, he draws a single line across a page and demands a new one.

  6. Added by organicneedle on April 29th, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Arduous…I wish his teacher thought it was as funny.

    Heather…4 is a fun age. No preconceived notions yet.

    Erin…Only you could make cheese pants look Gouda. Snort. Snort.

    Heather t…I have thought about the yogurt thing. One problem is that the temp. in my apartment is all over the place. I may try this summer. Plus, I pay about $5 for a half gallon of milk…not sure if it would really be very cost effective.

    Green Bean…I know they are like little cute sponges. Trick is they absorb all the stuff you don’t want too…like what mama thinks of the neighbors. Whoops.

  7. Added by Heather on April 29th, 2008 at 8:46 am

    About yogurt – I’m guessing you are worried about temperature while incubating? I made a makeshift incubator with an old kitty litter box, a kitchen thermometer, some towels and a heating pad. I took the kitty litter box (clean of course), put a large towel in the bottom, then wrapped a heating pad around the inside and turn it on to start warming it up. Then put your yogurt filled containers inside and fold the heating pad around them. Put in one of those kitchen thermometers with the long cord (insert the cord inside and let the reading device lay outside the box), pack a second towel on top, close the box, and monitor the temp for however long you want it to incubate. After a while you’ll get good at how many clicks on the heating pad gives you the right temperature. I have to watch mine because it is a relatively new heating pad (one of those that turns off after 2 hours so I need to click it back on until incubation is done). I’ve done this probably 50 times and I’ve always come out with perfect yogurt.

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