KOOL-AID

Grandma gives Kool-Aid in a Goblet. Let’s first start with the goblet.  Mom’s gonna kill me but the truth is in my mom’s house as a kid, it was paper or plastic. You did not dare touch a good glass or some crystal. I dunno what’s going on with my mother but now the kids are given glass, crystal and real plates to eat on. NOT everything has changed. All I can do is shake my head and laugh. I grew up on Kool-Aid but it’s not something I give my children. Shit, it’s not something I drink myself. Sugar water as we call it. Her father said, “Look how she leans back and turns her foot in, that’s how you know it’s good! She got that from me.” It’s true when he drinks something he likes, he leans back and turns his foot in. All I could do is laugh. She closed her eyes every time she took a sip. Mouth bright red with a huge smile on her face. How could I not just smile back at her?

Yes, I hear you granola moms cringing. As a certified nutritionist myself, part of me cringes as well and another part of me giggles and says, “Oh, let her be a kid and live.” If it wasn’t sugar, it could be dirt. Yes, I’ve seen my kid eat dirt too. Do I freak out every time? NO, I just encourage her to drink water and brush her teeth just like I will after she finishes this goblet of Kool-Aid. LOL.

Often childhood memories revolve around what we drank and ate as children. Because we are using all 5 senses. Right now, if I close my eyes I can smell and taste my grandmother’s spaghetti. Now that my grandma is gone, the memories are all I have to hold onto. Food memories are so nostalgic because there’s all the context of when you were preparing to eat this food, so the food becomes symbolic of other meanings. Life is about memories, make the best of them. 40 years from now our daughter may be sitting around talking about Kool-Aid at Grandma’s house. Who am I to stand in the way of that?

THE MIDDLE YEARS

Children ages six to twelve are developing their identity from family reflections and are not yet evaluating themselves for distinct adolescent or puberty changes. The middle years are an extension of the first six, but focus more intently on autonomy, mastery, and defining who they are from relationships outside the family, such as playmates. Overall acceptance from their playmates and mastery of physical and social skills add to a child’s increasing sense of self. Children ages eight to ten need to be exposed to an adult role model of the same sex. For girls, this is usually easier because most divorced mothers have primary custody and women, such as elementary school teachers generally surround children more. In divorced families there may be fewer options for boys and it is rare that a distant relative may fulfill this role. If role models are not readily available, children may seek out a scout leader, television hero, or same-sex sibling, but it is important to seek out a substitute so the child has an adult model to follow.

The middle years are a time for developing physical, social and academic competence. Parents should become familiar with their child’s activities at school and help them with their homework. Parents should encourage their children to interact socially with other children their age and join activity groups that interest them. Allow children to invite their friends into your home and make them feel welcome. Refrain from assigning too many chores or responsibilities to your child, allowing time for him to spend time with friends and allow his sense of self to grow.