The kids and I made ice cream today. It turns out that putting chocolate chips into a ziploc bag and then beating the crap out of them with a rolling pin results in holes in the ziploc bag along and unchanged chocolate chips. Dumping those same chocolate chips into the blender results in very tasty chocolate dust, which can later be added to mint ice cream and enjoyed after dinner.
This was important, because other than church and the grocery store, we went nowhere and did nothing today. It was about 150 degrees outside, too. And we were still recovering from yesterday. At least, I was. So in exchange for being trapped in the house together, I offered up a lesson in custard bases.
Other than making ice cream, I’m sure I did lots of other important things today. I just can’t remember what any of them are. But, um, I do know that I wrote this post. You should read it. And then make your kids some ice cream, to celebrate your neglect of them! Wooooo!
So, um, I would tell you more, but there’s really not much else to tell. I am boring. But if you want to come on over for ice cream, please do, because we have kind of a lot.
[Bonus: Keep an eye out at Want Not for a special! guest! post, coming soon. That is code for “I didn’t know something and so I batted my eyelashes at someone who did.”]
As someone who has not managed to actually have kids, but who deeply desires them, I have to admit – I have often read Mommy blogs and felt conflicted about the role many parents seem to have adopted in their kids’ lives. Namely, that of cruise director. My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom for most of my growing-up years, and yes, we did the whole play-outside-till-the-streetlights-came-on bit. When Mom played with us, it was awesome… she was the queen of fun and could make us laugh till we literally ached. :-) But just like the post at It’s Not All Mary Poppins, she frequentll dismissed us with a hug and kiss and cheery “Shoo!” to go play. We never felt neglected. It was just understood that Mommy had to go do Mommy stuff and we went to play! If we pestered her too much, she would act all delighted and say “Oh! Well if you’re going to keep me COMPANY! Here!” and hand us a dishtowel or broom. We vamoosed. LOL
I know we can’t allow our kids today the same kind of freedoms we used to have, but I think it’s gone too far in the other direction. I’m so glad you and Mary have addressed this. Here’s to “benign neglect”! Love that phrase…
Benign neglect really isn’t a new concept in parenting — even Dr. Sears of attachement parenting fame (and let me say that the catch phrase “attachment parenting” drives me nuts. does that mean because I let my child sleep in her own room and don’t wear my baby ever minute of the day that I am practicing “detachment” parenting? more guilt, please!) recommends stepping back a little when your kids get a little older and delaying your reaction time to give them time to work things out for yourself. It just seems that in this culture of hyperparenting that we should feel guilty for giving our kids room to be themselves, to be kids.
My three year old and I attend a community education playgroup once a week, parents required to attend. There is little to no socialization going on in that room (between children) because mothers are hovering at every turn. One day my child and another got into a pissing match over a fake plate of spaghetti and before they could even begin to work it out (and I have confidence they would have), the other mother snatched it from my child, gave it to her boy and said, “There. We have to share.” I want to tell everyone to take a big collective step back and let our kids PLAY, since that’s indeed what we are there for.
That said, it’s easier to give some kids space than others. I’ve been trying to (benignly!) neglect my 3 year old all morning, but she keeps showing up at my knee. My 15 month old, however, enjoys her time playing by herself immensely and will walk away from you if you try to interrupt it.
Wow. Long comment. I must feel wordy today!
I love mint chocolate chip ice cream. It is my favorite.
Mmmm, ice cream… ;)
Benign neglect, I love it. I am all about this and as a former teacher, I will tell you that your children will benefit from some alone time. It means they probably won’t approach their teachers with questions like, “But how do I do it? Show me, ” for every assignment given.
Just a note, benign neglect should morph into benign observance like a freakin’ hawk from a safe distance, when your children enter middle school. Just saying.
Delurking to wonder with you about the emergence of benign neglect idea….I was thinking about it the other day while driving and calling it some “healthy neglect” in my mind.
While balance is the goal, I agree that kids need some freetime to just BE without our control or entertainment to play and learn and discover.
and I have experienced the plastic bag/choc chip phenomonon…..didn’t try the blender!!
Oooooh! Excited about The Guest Poster! Is it me?
(I SLAY me.)
I didn’t take the time to register on the other blog, but wanted to nod along in agreement.
Boredom is a good thing—that is what creativity stems from. The guilt comes in to play when you begrudgingly get up from your work/the computer/hang up the phone to “play” but you find yourself falling asleep/not paying attention/not being present. I’ve found my children (and the children I currently and have worked with) “leave me alone” when I am conciously playing with them, rather than doing it half-assedly.
Which I do all too often…
I love making Ice cream with my kids. Licking out the freezer bowl when you put in too many chips and it won’t all fit in the container is the best part! LOL My kids are onto me on that trick now… so I have to share the job.
When I took my 3 YO to get his child ID from the police at the Y healthy family day, they did a video ID of him. They asked him some questions to get his voice on file, and one was “Who is your best friend?” He said “My mom” and I was so proud!! :) Then they asked “What does your mom play with you?” And he said “No, she doesn’t play with me. She just wants to read the paper.” :( Boo Hoo I felt like bad mommy. And it’s on the record!!!
I really enjoyed your post on blogher. Thank you for sharing. I needed to hear it, as a mom who works full time from home.
Btw, hershey’s bars and a cheese grater work much better for chocolate “chips” in ice cream :)