As aforementioned, we take our New Year’s Resolutions pretty serious around this house. We did a good job– fair to middlin’, at least– last year, and this year we decided to bump it up. We have a very important reason for this:
SHE IS ALWAYS WATCHING US
Every time we power eat our way through a bag of burgers from McDonalds and wash it down with coke-flavored high fructose corn syrup, she stares at us with those big, soulful eyes. Every time we have a HUGE mess in our living room/kitchen/bedroom and would rather lie down and watch Gumby, SHE TAKES NOTES. Whenever we oversleep and decide to skip our shower/shaving/finding clean underwear– SHE KNOWS.
Here is a fun fact for you, courtesy of my degree in child development: the second year of life is one of the most important. Between their 1st and 2nd birthdays, babies set their food preferences and eating habits, they learn to talk, most of them learn to walk and set their activity patterns, and they start to decide what they’re interested in. I’m not saying that these things can never change– obviously, they can– but this second year of life is the groundbreaker, and after this, it gets harder and harder to change habits.
This is a pretty big responsibility, considering that EVERYTHING a baby is exposed to comes from their parent(s)/caregivers. If a child has never eaten spinach (or some other form of similar green) by the time they are 2, it is highly likely that they will NEVER like it. Likewise, the biggest environmental indicator of fluent-literacy in childhood is whether or not they have books at home. The biggest environmental indicator of book-enjoyment in adulthood is whether or not they saw their parent reading for enjoyment.
So, we made a list of resolutions designed around what behaviors and habits we want her to learn from us.
1) 2011 SHALL BE: THE YEAR OF NO DRIVE-THRUS
(Our one exception: Scooter’s Coffee. Because. Don’t argue with me about this.)
-This is in addition to our 2010 resolution to be a part of the slow-food revolution. We did an okay job at fending for ourselves at dinner time, but lunch was another story. We chose not to use the term ‘fast-food’ because that got us into a very sticky quagmire of trying to discern what exactly qualified as fast food, and since Mitch is employed at a restaurant that could, technically, be defined as fast food, we decided to modify it to drive-thrus.
2) In 2011: We shall abide by the 20 minute schedule for cleaning, which we stole from the Hipster Housewife.
-Cuz Mitch and I? We’re slobs. When we lived with roommates, we both were able to blame the mess on them. Then we moved in together, and found ways to blame the mess on each other. Now we have come to accept it: we’re both slobs. The minute– THE NANOSECOND– that my income breaks over a certain number, we will be getting a cleaning lady. TRUST ME ON THIS.
3) In 2011: I will run my first 5k. Huzzah. (Shooting for May of 2011, but we’ll see)
-This is probably a good time to check in on my aforementioned goal of losing 25 lbs this year. Technically… I succeeded. I went on Weight Watchers and lost 15 lbs. Then I started running, and became STARVING. So I gained like, five pounds back. Then I had a few weekends where we had company, and I found it impossible to keep my eating under control. So I gained the rest of the 15 back. Then I had a come-to-Jesus talk with myself and lost seven pounds, putting my total loss at 23 lbs…. if you count that I lost the same ten pounds twice. However– as I write this, I am only four pounds less than I was when I made my 25 lb weight loss goal. So in reality— where people and pant sizes exist— I am a failure at this goal. And I HATE FAILING.
4) By March 2011, we will be eating an all organic diet.
-I was sold on organic food as soon as I got pregnant. I read some harrowing article somewhere talking about how because baby’s bodies are so small, the chemicals in our food effect them so much more. Then I read this other article about how a typical first grader has five cancer-causing chemicals in his urine every day of his life– and the DAY he switches to organic food, the chemicals disappear. THEN I read this other article about how POTATOES are the number one vegetable consumed by children– IN THE FORM OF FRENCH FRIES– and the SECOND consumed vegetable by children is TOMATOES in the form of KETCHUP. I’ve never been a cook and I’ve never been healthy, but the amount of non-organic food that Maren has had in her life is so slight it makes me want to brag and give myself a medal.
Something that I love most about Mitch eer is how willing he is to learn and grow, try new things, and change. If someone had told him ten years ago that in ten years, he’d have a wife and a baby, be living in an apartment in O-town, and be getting ready to move to an organic, mostly vegetarian diet, he would have thought you were talking about someone else. And yet. The move to organic food is the right move, and now that Maren is eating more and more of the same food that we eat, we know its time to make the change.
So there you have it. I hereby decree 2011:
The Year We Actually Get Serious About Being Grown Ups
It Will Suddenly Become Clear That– While Mitch’s Jokes Are Always Funny–
They Are Not Always Appropriate
We May Buy Robes
One or Both of Us Will Probably Buy Really Ugly Shoes Because They Are ‘Sensible’
We Will Get Excited About Sales on Toilet Paper
And We Might Also Buy/Use Napkins
This is my decree unto you.