Adventures in Drool: Finding your 'no'

Thai green chicken with cabbage slaw and extra green sauce for dipping. BY RACHEL SWICK MAVITY
March 26, 2012

I had this blog post all ready yesterday afternoon when things looked bright. And, while the information is still pertinent, I feel I must first tell you about yesterday.

While hubby was working all day, Droolface decided it would be the perfect opportunity to test his mama's strength. Isn't this what our children like to do - test our strength?

I was not proud of myself as a mama yesterday. Tears were shed and at least twice I had to leave the room while Droolface whined and cried for the majority of the day.

I couldn't figure it out. I guess that's how it goes - we don't always have all the answers. He was dry, comfortable, fed and should have been happy with life on our lazy Sunday; but, he was not. He was cranky, ornery and whiny.

Part of it could have been not feeling well. He seems to have a long-term running nose that just won't go away. Even so, I still don't understand what was going on with him.

While we don't always understand the 'why,' we should still try to provide comfort. That's all we can do I guess. I comforted, walked him around in the sling and did my best not to lose my marbles as the frustration mounted.

I didn't solve anything. There was nothing to solve. The feeling of accomplishment only came when hubby got home and we were both still alive. Scratch that day off the record, and let's start again, shall we?


Finding your 'no'

Around 9 months children seem to start developing their independence. While Droolface still loves mommy snuggle time, he is becoming aware that he is his own person. This includes antics such as banging on his high chair tray when he wants to get down and launching himself off the couch, off my lap or off his own bum when sitting on the floor. And, the end result often is a crying baby who hit his head.

Up to this point, my husband and I have just corrected his behavior by removing his hand, stopping the banging, etc; but now we feel the 'no' must start to come out. Is it too early? Does a 9-month-old even understand no?

In my experience, I believe the answers are: it is not too early and yes, he gets it.

The trick seems to be to stand behind your 'no'. Don't just mumble out a quick no and move on. You have to stand firm - say no firmly and in that mommy-means-it tone. Then don't back down.

If he doesn't stop what he is doing by you saying no, then you have to remove him. Continue to say no firmly, physically stop the unacceptable behavior, or if he won't stop banging, then ignore him. Don't give him attention and he will generally stop what he is doing because he realizes you are serious.


Recipe Alert!

I tried this recipe out on hubby Saturday night and it was a huge hit. It is a very quick and easy recipe that I hope you all try out this week.

Thai Green Chicken

Thai green chicken marinade:

1/3 c basil

1/3 c mint

1/3 c cilantro

1.5 tsp fish sauce

1.5 tsp soy sauce

1.5 tsp brown sugar

1.5 tsp oil

3 TB ginger

2-3 cloves garlic

1 jalepeno, chopped

Take all ingredients and place in food processor. Blend until a paste, but liquid enough to pour over chicken. If too paste-like add a bit more oil. Also add some salt and pepper at this point - in my end result I felt like I could have used more salt. Best best is to taste the marinade before pouring it over the chicken to make sure you like the taste.

Pour marinade over chicken to coat in plastic resealable bag. I saved some of the marinade to put over the chicken in the end.

Marinate 30 minutes to an hour.

Remove chicken from bag with tongs and place on hot grill. Grill about 6 minutes each side, depending on thickness of chicken. Serve with extra sauce and steamed sticky rice - a Thai favorite.


I also served my version of a sweet and sour cabbage slaw.

Cabbage slaw

First make the dressing by whisking together the following ingredients:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 TB honey

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp. celery ceed

2 tsp. brown mustard

salt and pepper

crushed red pepper if you like it a bit spicy

Then add:

1/2 head of red cabbage, cut into chunks or slivers, whichever you prefer

Half an onion, thinly sliced

2 small carrots, grated

dried cranberries or raisins - about a handful

Stir to coat, cover and let sit an hour, or longer.

The cabbage slaw was delicious after just under an hour with dinner, and it was even more delicious with lunch the next day.




  • Real Parents. Real Food. Real Fun.

    Welcome to Adventures in Drool! Talking about green living, getting rid of plastics and toxic chemicals in our homes and raising happy kids on a budget. Join the conversation ( and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!

    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."