Saturday, July 7, 2007

Kids = Honesty

My first child is my most outwardly sensitive, open and caring one. The other two are very sensitive and caring also, but Tyler likes to keep it hidden, and Evan, well he's just almost 3. :) So today we have the t.v. tuned to Live Earth. ( Philip suddenly starts listening when he hears Al Gore giving a little pep talk. So, he starts asking questions. I start answering very simply, as I usually do, waiting to go further 'till he shows more interest. Oh my gosh! One of the major things that I have been putting on the back burner, and feeling like a failure about, and deciding to quit aiming for the Pedestal of Great Parenting Award for, is the use of organic, or at least natural, products for our home. So, I'm standing in my kitchen, reading labels to Philip and explaining how these cleaning products are just filled with chemicals that are hurting the Earth and part of the cause for global warming. (don't argue with me, this is MY blog, remember? LOL!) And I'm explaining why it's important to protect the Earth from these chemicals to heal what we've already done to it, are you with me? And to protect it from further damage, and of course, ultimately, to stave off global warming for a while longer, cause we like it here, right? OK, so he's looking at me, like What the Heck MOM? Why do we have these things IN OUR HOUSE if you're explaining to me that they are part of what's causing this thing you're so concerned about??? So I start explaining about cost, and budgeting and being frugal. Which product am I going to buy? The 10 dollar dish washing detergent, or the four dollar dish washing detergent? He understands that part, he gets being frugal and all that it entails. But he's still got this look like he can't believe I'd short change the earth for a couple of bucks. So I ask him what he thinks we can do. (as I'm unloading the dryer and putting more in the washer.) He puts his hand on my arm and says, "hey don't use that green stuff." Referring to the chemical filled dish washing detergent. So I gently explain that we're not using that for the clothes, that's for the dishes. ACCCCCKKKKKKKK!!! Hey, we're just going to eat the bad chemicals that are killing the earth, we'll wear the other ones that aren't as bad! (I get free and clear washing machine detergent, not as bad, right?) So by this time I am totally seeing the irony and seeing things through my very honest child's eyes. Maybe I'm really not feeling the judgement of other people for my choices, but my own? Maybe I'm confusing judgment with my own guilt for not doing a better job? OK, so now the question is: How can I respect the honesty of my children and the new revelation of the fact that in actuality, I really should be doing a better job protecting our Earth for them and for their children, and so on? While, at the same time, being able to eat and commute from place to place and stick to being frugal? Huh?? Just tell me that to ease my mind, K?

Boy, parenting sure is an eye-opener!


Jenny said...

Oh man I know what you mean...seeing ourselves through our kids' eyes can be an interesting experience! Just remember, Tracee, you can't do everything perfectly, and there's nothing wrong with setting the example of "doing the best you can". (((hugs)))

Amy said...

You are doing a good job Trac! Cut yourself some slack!!! Although, you know how I feel about Al Gore! ;)


Hannah said...

Tracee, I am so with you on this one and I have had similar conversations with Ian about global warming and being good stewards of the earth, etc. And YET, like you, we are on a budget, so what to do? Fortunately with cleaning, you can do a lot with white vinegar! :-) Also, I order a superconcentrated cleaner from and one bottle makes tons and tons of cleaner, which you can use on dishes, plus anything else in your house you want to clean, in your own reusable spray bottles. Just throwing that out there. It looks like you're paying a lot for cleaner but then you realize that that one bottle can last you a year or more! OK anyway, thanks for sharing. :-)