May 1, 2009

Booger Soup and Other Goodies

The other night, I made turkey burgers for the kids. Very simple - wee bits of garlic and onion powder, a breath of worcestershire to make it taste more like beef, a little egg to hold it all together, and classic American cheese melted on top.

My older two love this. They ooh, they aah, they call me the best cook ever. Fun for me. As a result, they now get these lovely burgers every single week. So, fun for them too.

My little guy, though ... this is like torture for him. One look at a burger on a bun and he runs screaming from the table. Thing is, he's got a bit of a speech impediment. Can't say his r's too well. So what's he screaming, over and over again?

"I don't like boogers!!!!!"

It is very hard to make your cranky kid sit down and eat when you can't stop laughing at him. (Sorry, peanut!)

But it did bring to mind a few of my favorite dishes.

When I was a kid, I was constantly asking what's for dinner. And, like most kids, I was pretty much always hoping it would be Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese. And ice cream. Lots of ice cream. That was rarely the case. But as a kid, you're hopeful, and you cannot stop yourself from asking that question. Incessantly.

The daily conversation with my mom would go something like this.

Me: "Mom, what's for dinner?"
Me: "Mom, what's for dinner?"
Me: "Mom, what's for dinner?"
Mom: "Urgh! Stop asking!"

Until she got creative ...

Me: "Mom, what's for dinner?"
Mom: "Frogs legs and rubber mushrooms!"

Conversation over. Or, at least, on a totally different track. Kid laughs, doesn't ask again.

If you can be funny, your kids usually forget to be annoying. This is a huge mom lesson. And believe me, with my low annoyance threshold, there are many days when I wish I had a better sense of humor.

This line, though, is one of my favorite hand-me-downs from my mom. Now when my kids ask the big question, that's always the big answer. And they leave smiling every time. It's become the family joke. They beat me to the punchline. They don't ask what's for dinner. They say, "Frogs legs tonight, Mom?" We look for frogs legs at the grocery store. Then we spend time staring at mushrooms trying to figure out which are the most rubbery. They smile. It's fun.

And then there's booger soup.

Booger soup got its start one lovely cold and flu season when I couldn't get my kids to keep their fingers out of their noses, and then out of their mouths. Now, when I catch them with a finger in flagrante delicto, I say, "Guess what! No frogs legs tonight, guys. We're having booger soup!" A round of ew's ... and the finger-wielder usually stops what he (or more often she ... wait, did I say that?) is doing.

I tell you, laughter really is the best cure for annoying behavior.

So that's what's for dinner at my house. Frogs legs, rubber mushrooms, and a tasty bowl of booger soup. As my pal Rachael would say, "Yum-O!"

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