Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Believe In A Good Spank

I'm that mom.  The mom I guess people like to talk about.  The mom that apparently has no self control or emotional maturity.  Yep, you've guessed it, I am the mom that has spanked her children.  Sound the alarm.  Call in the troops.  Get the judgement stick out.  That's me.  Well, was.  I haven't had to do it in quite a while, but this was part of my parenting repertoire as my boys were growing up.

I came across this article on someone else's Facebook page, called 'Spanking Kids is a Result of Your Pain, Not Their Behavior' and man did it get me fired up.  I posted this big, long response on her page but subsequently deleted it because I wasn't really mad at the poster, even though she supports the article.  She has a right to her opinion.  I'm friggin' pissed off at the person who wrote it.  What the actual fuck?

The author of this article seems to suggest that all children that have been spanked are suffering.  That spanking a child is a childish response of an emotionally immature parent that cannot control themselves.  Although I'm sure this is the case for some people, evil ones that don't know when to stop hitting, it is not the case for all.  She even compares spanking a child to put a stop to bad behavior to stealing from the grocery store because you really want something.  (I'm making a total WTF face even writing that sentence.)  How does that compare... what... so confused.  She also suggests that parents who spank were likely to have been spanked as a child.  Wrong.  I was not spanked as a child.  Well, once I was.  But I would have spanked me too.  It was after a bath with my twin sister.  I was using my Grandfather's towel rod as a trapeze.  Jumping up and down while holding it.  Yanking it around.  Not surprisingly, it popped off the damn wall.  I got spanked and grounded for 2 weeks.  My twin sister also got grounded, even though she didn't do anything, but hey... at least I wasn't alone in my 2 week grounding.  Sorry, sis!

The article also suggests that when children are being "bad" that doesn't mean they are bad children.  Which I actually agree with.  But then she babbles on to say that it must mean that they are in pain, having trouble or struggling with something.  I don't necessarily disagree with that statement... I think kids can behave in certain ways because of certain things going on around them that they may not understand and it takes a toll, making them behave in unfavorable ways.  I do not agree that this is always the case.  I mean, if your child asks you for a cookie and you say no, but then goes and scales the pantry to take one anyway... it's not likely it's because they are in pain or struggling.  It's more likely it's because they are being a little shit who wants a cookie regardless of what you say.  It's showing a lack of respect for your authority and under no circumstances would coddling the child and trying to sit down with them and gently find out why they were exhibiting such a poor choice in judgement be appropriate.  Would I have spanked my child under that particular circumstance?  Probably not in that case unless they kept doing it, but  there would be punishment.  Be it a time out or grounding from special treats or what have you.  Coddling though?  Doesn't happen in my house when you show a lack of respect.

Let's talk about tantrums.  Before I do that, I want to say that I am a very understanding person.  I try very hard to not be judgmental.  Even people who try though do it sometimes, even without really knowing they are.  But I do try.  I have two special needs kids.  I know many people with special needs kids.  I know that tantrums aren't always a result of a badly behaved child.  Sometimes it has to do with a disability such as autism or something along those lines.  When I see a child screaming in a store, I judge way less than I used to.  I have grown up to be more understanding of the situation because I don't know that child or that parent or what their struggle is.

I will say this, I expect MY children to behave in public.  I have six children.  I don't want to live under a rock because of that.  Even with my two special needs children, I have always made it a point to set up expectations.  I explain before we do anything what I expect.  When they were younger and I had to bring them to the grocery store (back when maybe it was just 3 or 4 of them), we would arrive at the store, I'd turn the car off and I'd turn around to talk to them.  I'd explain that we are going into the grocery store.  I'd explain that they were not getting any candy or special treats unless I decided to get it for them, so they shouldn't ask.  I'd explain that we pay attention to those around us, walk in a straight line and the younger kids were to hold onto the cart.  I told them that there would be no crying or complaining and that if they chose to misbehave there would be consequences when we got home.  These expectations were so drilled in that last week I took my 11 year old to Walmart and the second I grabbed a cart, his hand was on it.  I had to remind him that he didn't need to do that anymore.  He looked at me, smiled and said, "it's okay, I want to!"

According to this article, if a child throws a tantrum in public there is nothing wrong with it.  We should just let our children feel their feelings and if we stifle that, they may grow up unable to show their feelings.  What?  Feel their feelings because they want something you said no to?  Seriously?  Just let them get it out?  What about teaching your children about "time and place".  What about teaching your children to respect you as their parent and to respect those around them?  What about teaching them that they cannot have everything that they want and stomping their feet and screaming is not how we cope with things in life?  I mean, I guess I really fucked up if that wasn't what I was supposed to be doing.  I guess every person that has walked up to me and told me how well behaved my children are (because their grandchild would be running mad all over) didn't really understand that I was stifling their emotions.  I can't even wrap my brain around this.

Kids these days are spoiled and entitled.  Am I condoning anyone to spank?  Absolutely not.  Do I think parents who don't spank are doing it wrong?  Of course not.  Do I regret the occasional spank?  Nope.  Not one bit.  Would I spank again if a situation warranted it?  Hell yes.  Despite their childhood spanks, my kids are growing to know they can share their emotions with me and their father.  They understand boundaries.  They understand time and place for certain actions.  They have goals, they do well in school, the are well rounded.  I do not feel badly for any way in which I chose to parent them. I do not expect some blog writer to tell me I'm doing it wrong and not choosing more bonding ways to parent them.  I am their mother, not their friend.  I refuse to let ANYONE make me feel like I've caused long term damage to my children because I've swatted their rear ends.  I'm a good mom.  I love my children.  I love my family.  Articles like those are meant to shame people for not parenting the way that they do.  Packed with judgement.  Packed with ideas she thinks are actual facts.  She doesn't know what impact her parenting will have on her kids any more than I do.  Maybe her kids will grow up and be super wonderful, super understanding, well rounded members of society.  Maybe they will be total fruit loops that have no ability to control their emotions because no one taught them how to cope, but to act out instead.

All I know is that I'm doing my part to parent my children the very best way I can.  Teaching them along the way.  Helping them when they need it.  Encouraging their ideas and hopefully inspiring them from time to time.  Not putting up with their bull shit and making sure they know it.  Explaining what they can expect in the real world.  That is MY job as I see it and I'll tell you what... I won't judge you if you won't judge me.  Deal?

Friday, July 7, 2017

Waffle Pizza - Broz Style

Home made pizza is one of my FAVORITE things to make.  Even though our new family food plan is trying to eliminate carbs, I am still a sucker for a great pizza... and so is my family!  I have spent years working on my pizza dough and my sauce, trying to get it just right.  I'm pretty happy with the state of my recipe right now.  So much so that I've even tossed around the idea of having my own pizza shop.  There's no way on God's green Earth that I could afford to do it now, but it's always on my radar.

Pizza Friday was on the menu this week and I had pre-made quite a bit of dough on the 4th of July.  I had enough for 2 larger pizzas and 2 medium sized ones.  That is typically a lot for one meal but we like to make a variety of pizzas so I wasn't worried about it.  Last night though I had a brain child.  I thought, "I wonder what would happen if I tried to cook pizza dough on the waffle iron."  My husband and I tried to think about the logistics of making that happen and what we might call it.  A 'paffle'?  A 'wizza'?  A 'wafizza'?

All good choices, but the name matters not just yet!  Tonight we were going to make it happen.  I made three pizzas before we gave this a try.  A pepperoni & pineapple (sorry Chef Ramsay), a cheese & sausage and a barbecue & chicken pizza.  Then it was time to fire up the waffle iron.  I melted some butter to brush over the grates (top & bottom) and then I melted a little more butter to drown the pizza dough in.  I do mean drown.  I let is soak.  The entire time the waffle iron was heating up, that dough was soaking in delicious, fantastic, so so good butter.

I know it looks kinda gross, but it's totally not.

Once we heard the ding of the waffle maker we put the dough on and crossed our fingers, no clue how it would turn out.  I'm not exactly sure how long the dough was on the waffle maker, maybe 5 minutes or so, but we observed the dough lifting the lid... rising up in all it's yeasty glory.

Another ding later and we were ready to take the dough off of the waffle iron and put the fixins on top.

We added sauce.

We added mozzarella cheese.

Then it was oven time!  We used a pizza stone heated in an oven at 425 degrees F.

I don't ever time my pizzas.  I watch the cheese.  When the cheese is nice and browned, that pizza is ready to come out.

I have to say.. I did not expect the result we got with this once it came out.  It was fluffy, it was airy, it was delicious!

Only after being super impressed with the results of this amazing waffle iron pizza did I Google waffle iron pizza recipes and see that I was not the first to do this.  Even one of my favorite go-to's for recipes, The Pioneer Woman, had a recipe for it.  What the suck??  I was all excited that we were doing something revolutionary.  Oh well, it was still good!  However, most of the recipes I saw instructed to not take the dough off of the waffle maker after it was done but to leave it on, add the toppings and then close it again.  I guess if you really want the pizza to look more waffle like, this would be a good technique.  Messy, but good.  My initial idea was that I would take the dough off and then cook it with the toppings in the oven.  I fully support my initial idea and would highly recommend this method over the other.  Because I'm super smart.  And talented at pizza making.  Haha.  My way is definitely less mess on your waffle iron and the result is so very friggin' yummy!

I love making pizza!!