Follow Me on Twitter

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Annals of Successful Parenting: Modeling

Oh, hello, Readers. It's kind of grim out there, don't you think? Shootings and bombings and bombast and rain. Well, I don't want to be grim. Or deep. One commenter on the blog said my blog was the deepest she'd seen in a long time. I suspect it wasn't actually a compliment - although I took it as such for an hour or so. It might actually have been code for, "Wow, this blog is a slog."

So let's talk about this photograph of the big glass and the little glass. Also, yes, of the speck of something on my counter, and the slats of my appliance garage. I have an appliance garage. Isn't that funny? Just forget the slats and the speck. Look at the big and little glasses. Mamma and baby. This is a snapshot of something that cut the grimness for me. It's cute. Not because it's objectively cute, but because it reminds me of something cute.

See the big glass? It's mine. I keep a big glass, usually with water, good old H20, next to the fridge every day. Lately, little glasses have started to appear next to my big glass. Someone in the family, one of the offspring, has picked up my habit. That's cute, don't you think?

Or maybe it's not so cute. It's certainly illustrative of the corollary to the maxim, "Do what I say, not what I do." The corollary is something like, "Kids learn from what you do, not from what you say."
In this case, no harm done. I'm demonstrating that you don't need to take a clean glass from the cupboard every time you need a drink of water, as well as the importance of regular hydration.

Now if you're peering closely at my glass, you are correct, that is not water in there. It's kombucha. This weekend I had coffee with someone who didn't know what kombucha is. My explanation wasn't very enticing: fermented tea and something about The Mother, which is the starter for the kombucha. Just as sourdough bread has a starter, kombucha has one, too. The bread starter is fermented yeast. The kombucha starter is fermented tea that turns into really a very disgusting, mushroomy-looking thing. You can make kombucha. After every batch, just like sourdough bread, you have to save a little bit of starter - The Mother - to make your next batch. I know this because once we had a hipster twenty-something stay with us. She was perambulating around the country with a jar of kombucha and a camera. When she left, she left me the recipe for kombucha, as well as a jar of starter in the fridge. It was not pretty. It looked like a giant fungus, which I believe it indeed was.

The husband took one look at it and said, "What is THAT?"
"It's The Mother," I said. "I don't know what to do with it."
"Throw it out," he said.

If that wasn't a deeply symbolic conversation, I don't know what would be.

So I buy my kombucha bottled. It's kind of fizzy. I like it mixed with seltzer. I drink it and I feel like I'm being productive. It has lots of probiotics, which are very in, hip, and now - and also very 1970.

This weekend I also had coffee with someone who didn't know what absinthe was. Okay, it was the same person who hadn't heard of kombucha. I was like, you know absinthe: the green poison - wormwood? Toulouse-Lautrec? French Impressionists? Paris, 1880s? Oscar Wilde?

This was during a conversation in which my companion told me she was pretty naive and always had been. By the time we got to the question of absinthe, I believed her. But then I thought about why I know what absinthe is, and I thought about how, in high school, I used to say - rather, I used to pronounce - "I may be innocent, but I am NOT naive."

I'm sure I was extremely irritating when I said that. I know I was not entirely correct in that self-assessment.

Pondering what I've modeled for the offspring besides saving glassware and remembering to hydrate. Scary.


  1. Deep as in thought-provoking I suspect. And I have never heard of either of those things--kombucha or absinthe. But I don't care cause now, thanks to you, I have something new to try. And as for the glasses, At least someone picked up a good habit.

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Andrietta!
      And please avoid absinthe. I think it rots your liver worse than most alcohol! It's probably illegal or something, because it might also be psychotropic.
      But bottled kombucha is quite refreshing!