Sunday, August 1, 2010

the un-American family

The other day, some woman was lecturing me in the grocery store. (This must happen to all young moms, but that doesn't make it any less ridiculous!) I couldn't escape, either; she was my cashier!

The short version is that she noticed that my face was slightly sunburned and decided I must need to be taught about the dangers of skin cancer, and that she needed to solve my "problem" that Jack could get sunburned on his scalp.

The conversation really wasn't that interesting. What was interesting was when she decided that because he had a hammer on his shirt, Jack's "favorite thing" must be Bob the Builder, and that the perfect way to get him to wear a hat was to slap Bob the Builder on it.

"He will LOVE it," she assured me.

With most American children, she probably would have been right. But Jack has NO idea who Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob, and all those idiots are. The only item we own with a pop-culture character on it (aside from books) is a classic Winnie the Pooh umbrella stroller.

This got me thinking about what weirdos we are. In our house, a popsicle is homemade ice cream, made from berries we picked ourselves, and frozen in a mold in the freezer. Soda is flavored seltzer water mixed with weak juice. Jack eats "peanut butter and jelly" which is actually pure ground almond butter and homemade jam. It's not all food-oriented (we don't have cable TV, for instance), but that's probably the most visible difference.

I was feeling distinctly like an expat in my own country until I realized that my food choices are quite American after all -- just from the wrong decade. Before fast food hit and mamas, for the most part, left the home, my homemade jam and ice creams would have fit right in!


2littlebeans said...

This needs to become more of a trend! We don't have tv either, in fact I'm all for getting rid of it entirely, but when my brother comes over, well, ancient video games are a must. :)

It's one of my goals to do more cooking and baking with my kids. So far, not much luck.

I actually do like Bob the Builder, but Dora is evil. I've successfully purged her from our home, except for a backpack Lily received as a gift.

Do you prefer almond butter to peanut butter?

Melissa said...

You know, Bob the Builder is one of my favorites but I still feel pretty strongly that I'd rather Jack see a REAL builder making something. You know?

As for almond butter, I actually don't much care between that or peanut butter, but our grocery store has a feature where you can get pure ground almonds or ground peanuts, and the almonds come out with a smoother, more spreadable texture.

Melissa said...

I also try to have Jack do SOMETHING with dinner every night, even if it's just chopping lettuce for the salad. We got an awesome salad knife, kind of like this one:

He can't cut his hand even if he saws right on it, so he gets to help a lot with dinner now!

Sebastian said...

You're obviously a bunch of hairy, unorthodox hippies!

Most people up in the Pacific North West are a bit 'odd', no? :P

(FWIW, there were no such restrictions as I was growing up, and I've turned out very healthy. I had TV, junk food, sugar, processed foods, etc. Anything in moderation, eh? :)

I've only seen a doctor once in my life, when I was one year old, getting my first round of inoculations...

Alison said...

Seb, "ODD" doesn't even begin to explain the Pacific Northwesterners!!!