Has someone ever told you Oh my goodness, your kids have a lot of personality! Or have you ever heard something like Wow! That kid sure is a leader! Well, a few months ago one of our neighbors saw my daughter, Lucia, ordering us around and he smiled and said Uh-oh! You have a little CEO in your hands! Leader? CEO? Lots of personality? Yes, my kids are what some people call spirited kids.
A couple of weeks ago I googled the meaning of "spirited child" and one of the sites that I visited started with a questionnaire:
Are you the parent of a the child who screams, climbs on shopping carts and begs for candy or a toy?
Are you the parent of a child who can't stay still at a restaurant and wants to be running around or jumping instead?
Is your kid described as a handful?
Seriously? Isn't this the description of a completely normal child? (Or at least of Puerto Rican descent?) Or is a three year old supposed to behave like an adult at a restaurant? Well, Enrico and I decided to make an experiment and started paying more attention to other kids in public places.
Target Superstore. Packed with kids and their parents. All we could hear was I want cotton candy, Mama! and Toy Story! Toy Story! Toy Story! The angelical voices were the voices of our very own Lucia & Joaquin. I guess this is a "YES" to the first question of the above mentioned questionnaire.
RAM Restaurant. A family friendly place with balloons and crayons for the kids. Every child in the restaurant was quiet, enjoying their meal and coloring with their crayons. My little angels, well, not so much. While Lucia was popping off her seat to stare at other diners with a loud laugh, Joaquin was stuffing his sippy cup with crayons and carrot sticks. Uh-oh! I guess that's another "YES" to the second question.
At the kids camp, one of Lucia's teachers told me that my daughter got three stickers for good behavior. As I was looking at the other kids in Lucia's group, I realized that no other kid had stickers, so I asked the teacher and she just smiled and said She paid attention and cleaned up instead of ordering the group around. You know, Mommy, your daughter has quite the leader personality! Oh crap, I guess that's another definite "YES" to the third question.
As I was talking about the "spirited kids" to a couple of Mommy friends the other night, one of them smiled and said with a sarcastic tone I wonder where they get so much energy, Nina? I mean, look at you! You are like the energizer bunny. You have the energy of an entire army of men! This got me thinking...Maybe I, too, was a spirited child myself.
So, if you are like us, the parents of energetic kids, the parents of little CEO's, the parents of the kid who wants a toy at Target or the parents of the kid who is more passionate than the average child; you are not alone. Apparently, we have spirited kids. Oh, but don't worry, just give yourselves fifteen more years; we just have to go through childhood and adolescence to see them bloom into amazing adults...(ahem) Just like us! Ay Mama!
For today's recipe a fabulous green bean salad. The perfect energy food to keep up with our spirited kids. Enjoy!
Green Bean Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts
-2 pounds fresh green beans (Tip: Fresh bagged ones are already trimmed)
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-3 garlic cloves (crushed)
-Salt & pepper to taste
-1/2 cup pine nuts
Wash green beans and trim the sides. Boil water and add green beans. Boil for eight minutes until desired consistency. They should be firm and not too soft. Drain water and shock the green beans in an iced water bath. Drain and place them in a large bowl.
In a small bowl mix extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic cloves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in with green beans.
To toast the pine nuts just place them in a hot pan and stir constantly until golden (2 to 3 minutes). Add to green beans and mix.
This salad is very easy and delicious and can be made ahead of time. Buen provecho!