"Mrs. Half Baked?"
"This is Miss T., from I's school. Do you have a minute? I wanted to talk with you about I.'s behavior lately."
It turns out that I. has been using potty talk in the classroom, and today, no less than four times, called another child names, presumably using said potty language. At my son's school, they work a lot on teaching respect for others, and though the teachers always try to find out what caused the child to behave inappropriately (treating each child with respect, as well), name-calling to this extent crosses the line. I.'s teacher was particularly concerned because he's generally been a good kid. I thanked her for calling, and promised her we'd talk with him.
|I have to say a word about the bowl here, which |
was made by my neighbor, who even makes
his own clay ... beautiful, no?
The other day, after the Costa Concordia disaster, I read an article about heroism that described the general lack of human decency aboard the ship as people tried to evacuate, lauded the noble acts of a few people, and wondered whether it is possible to get more people to behave like the few heroes on that ship did. One of the researchers mentioned that it's possible to give children the tools to make change and "build up social influence" long before disaster strikes, to help them to feel empowered. But to me, that's not a recipe for altrusim. This researcher also found that heroes tend to live in urban areas, be more educated, and volunteer. Though it's unlikely that we're ever going to move to an urban area, we hope to give our children a good education, and model volunteerism for them so that they feel like it's an important part of their lives, too.
And as I'm having a discussion about name-calling and potty language, I'm thinking about the Costa Concordia, hoping I can instill in my son (and daughter, eventually) enough respect for himself, for his fellow human beings, and for all living things, that even if he doesn't leap in front of a subway to save a stranger (actually, I hope he doesn't do that), at least he won't fight over life jackets, push aside the elderly, or launch a life boat before it's full. Because those seeds, I suspect, are planted very early.
We sent these muffins to I.'s school last week for snack for his classroom (each family takes a turn at providing snack for the week). They're packed with all kinds of things that are good for you, and they're not overly sweet (you could even sub in apple juice concentrate for some of the sugar, if you reduce the amount of milk a bit). Because the littlest heroes need the right kind of fuel to learn the important lessons of kindergarten--the ones that last a lifetime.
What do you think? Can heroism be taught? What would you have done aboard to Costa Concordia? Do you think you'd risk your life to save a stranger?
Banana Oat Mini Muffins
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. rolled or quick oats
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 egg (or 1 T. flax meal w/ 3 T. water)
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. applesauce (or canola or coconut oil)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. mashed bananas (about 3)
Preheat oven to 400, and prepare two mini muffin pans: line cups with paper liners or spray lightly with oil.
Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. Beat egg lightly in a large bowl and then stir in milk, applesauce (or oil), and vanilla. Add mashed bananas and combine thoroughly. Stir flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined, making sure not to overmix it.
Divide the batter among cups of mini muffin pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.