I’m not always a very good parent, readers. Sure, I get it right enough most of the time, or at any rate I haven’t done anything that would alert Children’s Services, but a good portion of Olive’s life has been me going, “Oh God!”
The day I brought her home I couldn’t figure out how to put a onesie on her. I had her sitting upright while desperately trying to keep her obscenely floppy neck from snapping in half (which is, naturally, what I assumed would happen) when my Aunt came into the room and took over. It was incredibly embarrassing and I felt absolutely terrible for subjecting my infant to what must have been the most horrible kind of pain. I may have been a bit over dramatic.
A few months later she caught her first cold. Infants can’t blow their nose, so I had to use the suction bulb. Olive HATES the suction bulb. She began to writhe and scream as I attempted to force the little tube up her nose. When I pulled out, a small drop of blood came out of her impossibly tiny nostril. I was positive I’d hit her brain. The doctor, thankfully, assured me otherwise.
Over the years I’ve made many a bad parenting move from ignoring her to letting her accidentally lock herself into a closet. To be honest, I’ve even dropped her a few times. I’m pretty much an incredibly negligent parent.
Every now and then though, I’m able to pull my head out of my own butt enough to pay attention to my kid and have a moment that’s not marked with bad parenting. This is good, because from what I understand she’s now at an age where she will remember our interactions. When she’s a grown up, I want her to look back on this time in her life and say, “I remember that time I told my mom I wanted banana flavored energy bars and we came up with a recipe right then and there,” as opposed to, “Man, Mom dropped me. A lot.”
Banana Nut Energy Cookies
1/4 cup nut butter (peanut, almond, or sunflower butter are great choices)
1/2 cup almonds, ran through a blender or food processor until it forms a crumbly flour
1/2 cup oats (buy uncontaminated oats to make a gluten free version)
1 tbs cinnamon
1/4 cup dried fruit
Preheat oven to 350F.
Put the bananas in a bowl and let your fabulous helper mash the crap out of them. This can be as dramatic a process as she chooses.
Once it’s mashed, stir in the nut butter. Then stir in the oats and almonds.
“Can it have raisins mommy?” “Oh, well I suppose it would have to, wouldn’t it?”
Stir in raisins.
It’s ok guys, we’re going to bake them anyway. Also, I’m fairly certain she remembered to brush her teeth.
Add a little bit of the mixture to the bottom of 12 muffin cups. This is easier and less messy than trying to shape them on a cookie sheet…in theory.
Again, I’m going to bake them. She may have even washed her hands.
On the plus side, I did manage to teach her a few good habits.
Bake for fifteen minutes, or until they look kind of like this.
They come out chewy, nutty, fruity, lightly sweet, and four year old approved.
They even look like energy bars, and they cost almost nothing to make.
The best part about these bars though, is that they are little hand friendly. I don’t have to worry about her over stirring something to create a horrible glutoney mess (learned that lesson), nor do I need to be afraid that she’ll accidentally pull the mixer out too soon and I’ll spend the next hour washing the kitchen walls (learned that one too). Instead of the drama, we just squished a bunch of ingredients together and hoped for the best, and they came out just fine. With any luck, Olive will, too.
Unless I broke her from all those times I dropped her..