Wednesday, February 24, 2010

An Open Letter to Helicopter Moms (and a yummy meal)

Day 55.

Dear Helicopter Mothers,

I'm writing to address a number of issues that your overflowing love for your child has presented to the rest of us average moms. For starters, would you please consider spending less time in the classroom? We know you want to be involved in your child's education. We know you want to show your support of the teachers. We know you want to spend more time with Junior. We know you want to make sure your child has the best education possible, and by making yourself a presence in the classroom, you're ensuring your little Junior will succeed. We all want the same things. But becase you're there, day after day after day, the teacher doesn't need the rest of us. We'd love to be there for our little Juniors, too, but you're hogging all the volunteer time. Please think about how the other children feel knowing that only Junior's mom comes in to read to them. We want to read to the kids, too.

There's also the issue of Girl Scouts. When little Jenny's snack time rolls around, please let her serve the cupcakes that you painstakingly decorated to match the plates and napkins you also provided. We appreciate your contribution. But wouldn't it serve Jenny better to be able to perform her duties as Snack Person instead of you performing them for her? Also, do you have to stay and watch every meeting? It's okay if Jenny has a cookie crumb on her chin. It'll probably still be there when you pick her up. You really don't need to lick the napkin and wash your seven year-old's face every few bites of snack. It's a crumb, not a disease. You'll note the other children with happy frosting mustaches aren't dropping like flies around your precious Jenny. Additionally, your constant prompts to get Jenny to answer questions and volunteer are detracting from the group's natural rhythm and flow. The rest of the girls keep looking at you. Please stop interrupting our leader. Her time is valuable with our children.

On the sports field, please do cheer for Johnny. But don't run to him and pick him up if he falls down. Let him learn how to stand up after he falls. And for heaven's sake, stop booing the opposing team. It's not a very nice thing to do. Don't be so concerned with grass stains. Do you really need that Tide to Go on the soccer field? Really? Do you KNOW how ridiculous you look running out to the sidelines to dab Johnny's bottom with Tide? We wear grass stains as badges of honor out there.

I do so hope you'll bring Jenny over for cookie baking with my child on Saturday. You're welcome to stay, too. But I'll probably try to usher you away from the kitchen while the girls decorate their cookies. Your daughter wants to express herself, not eat your perfect cookie. Who knows? Maybe I can teach you how to enjoy a latte in a separate room.


Free Range Mom

With that said, let the feasting begin!

Slow Cooker Honey-Nut Chicken over Vanilla Rice
serves 4


for Honey-Nut Chicken:
  • 4 chicken breasts (I used frozen ones)
  • 2 Tbsp white vingear
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
for the Vanilla Rice (adapted from Public Aprons Menu):
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp sugar
for dessert (gingerbread from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book):
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon (I had none and subbed pumpkin pie spice)
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger (I used a full tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup light molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
How it's Done:
  1. Dump chicken, vegetable oil, vinegar, honey, cayenne pepper, and almonds into slow cooker. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. After 7 hours, proceed with step 2.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" square baking dish. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the gingerbread (flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. Beat shortening on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg and molasses.
  5. Alternately, add flour mixture and water, scraping sides of bowl frequently.
  6. Pour into prepared pan.
  7. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. After putting gingerbread in the oven, set a pot of 4 cups of water to boil.
  9. When it's boiling, add the scraped-out insides of a vanilla bean, vanilla extract, sugar, and rice. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook on low 20 minutes. Fluff with fork.
  10. Serve chicken over rice. Spoon sauce over chicken and rice. Serve gingerbread warm from the oven for dessert. I dusted mine with pink and blue sugar for fun. A lemon or orange glaze, simple vanilla glaze, or plain are all good, too.
Now go devour some more eye candy and gain a few new slow cooker recipes at Dining with Debbie!


Michelle J said...

Ok - I didn't get the "helicopter" thing at first. Hovering - got it. ;)

We have a few of those mom's at our kids' school too. I just want to slip some valium into their coffee. LOL

Andrea said...

Wow that looks good! And so different, too, I can't wait to try it! Must buy honey - that's all I'm missing :)

The little Witch isn't in school yet, I'm dreading dealing with other parents, especially the helicopter variety.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

You know, I have not yet read your recipe yet (though I'm sure it's as stellar as always!) because I had to comment and say BRAVO!!!!

Not only do I resent these 'helcopter mothers' and their inability to let their children LIVE, I am so sick and tired of them looking down their noses at me, a 'free range' mom!!!

And the booing thing? Sheesh! When I was in college, I came home to go with my family to my brother's soccer game. He was 6 at the time. 6!!!! it wasn't like he was in high school, he was a BABY! They still followed the ball around in a big swarm of kids who were just following the crowd and trying to get a kick in. My other brother, who was 17 at the time, and I were dancing around and doing dorky cheers, totally embarrassing our mother. But we noticed some moms and dads on the other team getting IN THE KIDS FACES and yelling at them, booing the other team, and shaking fingers at their children when the 'missed' a goal. For heaven sake, people. Lighten up. It's called PLAYING soccer for a reason. It's a GAME! It's FUN!!!

Anyway, once again, BRAVO!

Debbie said...

I can't wait to try this chicken recipe. Love the idea of it. Also...I'm a 28 year veteran teacher, a former softball umpire/scorekeeper, mother of an All-Star athlete, and grandmother to a soccer player and a gymnastics beginner...AMEN! I wish these moms and dads would read this and see themselves. Unfortunately, they won't.

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