Every week or so, my older one has a spelling test. They get a list of words that all follow the same grammatical rule along with a few sight words (usually these are words that have come up during the previous week that kids in the class have had trouble with). The older one is pretty good at these “spell well’s”; he’s had great teachers along the way who have taught him how to read and spell really well, he seems to have no problem applying the grammatical rules, and yes, we do run through the words once a day to practice before the “test”.
This week, the day after his spell well, the older one and I were driving home from school together – the little one was already at an activity – and I asked him if they had got the results from their spell wells.
“Well Mom”, he said, “I got one wrong”.
A series of thoughts sprinted through my head: “What went wrong?”, “He knew those words”, “How did he not get them all right?”.
Despite the unpleasant tone of my inner voice, I gently asked him “What word did you not spell right?”.
“Mom”, he said, “It was the word night. I put the “i” after the “g””.
And in that instant, all I could think was:
“Well that was a preventable mistake”.
Ahhhhhhhhhh. Words from my childhood. Words that I am pretty sure play on a continuous loop in my subconscious on a daily basis. Words, that when I look at them now, on paper, make absolutely NO sense. By definition, how can you have a preventable mistake? And as this thought train started to pull away from the station at full speed . . . I heard from the backseat:
“Mom, I don’t always have to ______ (he used a verb here, I honestly can’t remember if it was be/get so you can fill in the blank with whatever word you prefer) perfect all the time”.
Yup, my heart broke a little at that. I’ve never wanted or asked for perfection from my kids; in fact, my guiding parenting principle is that I want HAPPY kids. But it would seem that maybe I’ve been expecting a little more than just “happy” from them when it comes to their school work. . .
After that, we had a long discussion about how it absolutely IS ok to make mistakes and how none of us are perfect (case in point).
(Just to clarify, I really hope this little story doesn’t make me sound like a crazed tiger mom – I try to provide a happy balanced childhood for my kids . . . really, I do . . . but schoolwork is important to me and the Husband, and we do want our kids to reach their full potential at school – so yes, we do place an emphasis on doing homework . . . and reviewing for spelling tests).
Also, on my list of preventable mistakes this week: making a paleo rice krispie bar for ladies’ night . . . (should have just stuck with the tried and true peanut butter cups)
I’m on a desperate quest to find healthy nut-free snacks that the kids can take to school. Finding paleo recipes that don’t have nut flour in them is next to impossible. And the attempts that I have made to create a nut-free snack have all ended in spectacular failure.
This recipe came to me from a friend; a friend that I trust when it comes to these sorts of things; and her kids LOVE it. And to be fair, I LOVE them. Oddly, the Husband also really liked them (making this paleo baking recipe #2 out of 1,001 that he will actually consume). The ladies on my street did NOT LOVE them. So, do what you will with this one . . . you might have success . . . or you might have a dud. Either way, they take about 10 minutes to put together, and the ingredients are relatively cheap, so failure with this one doesn’t come at too steep a cost – just your reputation as a baker amongst your friends and family! Ha!
Crispy Rice Cereal Squares
4 cups puffed rice cereal (I used puffed kamut, which is probably my first mistake. . . but my local grocery store didn’t have puffed brown rice . . . I would use puffed brown rice if you can find it)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (here, I might also use a nut butter if you aim for actual consumption of these bars – but like I said, I was aiming for nut free)
2tsp of vanilla
- Prepare a 9×9″ pan by lining it with waxed paper.
- Melt the honey, sunflower seed butter and vanilla in a saucepan over lowish heat. Mix this a bit while it’s melting – I used a whisk, but you could just use a spoon.
- Pour the cereal into a bowl. When the butter & honey mixture is melted and well mixed, pour it over the cereal and mix it well so that all the cereal is coated with the honey/butter mixture.
- Transfer this mixture to the prepared ban and, using a big spoon, really press down on the mixture so that it fills the pan and there aren’t large air pockets.
- Put the pan in the fridge for a bit to let it set up – an hour or so should be all it takes. Just note that these bars, unlike traditional crispy rice treats made with marshmallows, will get softer and fall apart as they come up to room temperature. So if you send these to school with your kids, you might want to warn them that this isn’t a snack you can hold while you run wild on the playground!