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What’s in a Name?

We call it "leaves and sauce," that lovely little dish most people call salad. Spinach leaves are the best with sauce because they have those nice little green stem handles you can use for the dipping. My kids love leaves and sauce, but salad? They won’t touch it.

Growing up I HATED split pea soup, lentil soup, and vegetable soup. The names were just so unappetizing and then when I tasted them, the flavors matched my expectations perfectly. Now I’m a grownup and somewhat literate, and after reading and studying I’ve decided that lentils are definitely in my future. They are full of fiber and protein and we must all consume them with joy and health.

So this week I whipped up a crock pot recipe called Bean, Herb, and Vegetable Soup. Laylee looked at the green concoction with nose upturned.

“Um, Mom. What is this?”
“It’s…um…HAM SOUP!”
“HAM SOUP!? I LOVE HAM!”

She then proceeded to eat a full adult portion of the veggies and lentils sprinkled with ham chunks. I felt a surge of joy at my own brilliance. Now I want to rename everything, although I know the magic won’t last forever.

Broccoli is “mini trees.” A super-long drive is an “adventure.” A girls’ weekend away for Mom is a “special party for Dads and kids.”

When I was little, my mom renamed “Cleaning the House” as doing a “15-minute Blitz.” She would play loud dance music to camouflage the actual point of the activity, set a timer for 15 minutes, and run around the house cheering us on as we all “blitzed” the toys away…like a party. This little deception worked for a couple of years, but eventually I caught on and the “blitz” became the bane of my existence. If she was gonna force us into slave labor, the least she could do was stop acting so HAPPY about it.

Now that I’m the mom, I find myself initiating blitzes all over the house. The music comes on, my jazz hands come out, and the children are forced into servitude. “It’s a CLEANING PARTY!” I cheer, and we run around picking up Polly Pockets and raisins off the floor. It totally almost works, too. I estimate that I’ve got at least 10 more days before the kids catch on and completely rebel.

I hope the appeal of “Ham Soup” lasts a little longer than that.

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