We are the People of the Spinach

by | Feb 13, 2009 | Food | 4 comments

My favorite scene of this past week:

I was at Sutswana’s house, and I was gathering up my kin for the short walk home. I had a small bag of random oddments: Eli birthday gifts and a purse Sutswana had borrowed. She started looking around saying, “What else can I give you?” and then said, “Oh! I know!” and grabbed a small plastic bag, opened her refrigerator, and there, in her crisper, was the largest box of assorted chocolates I’ve ever seen. Of course I completely lose my senses when it comes to chocolate, so I shouted something like, “Oh good gracious, WHAT is THAT?” And of course that brought all the children running into the kitchen. Sutswana, thinking quickly, said, “Children! Have you ever seen such a LARGE container of SPINACH?” At which point they all promptly turned and left, clearly disappointed that a giant purple cockroach wasn’t doing the old soft shoe across the linoleum.

I’m glad she distracted them. They were really good chocolates and I wouldn’t have wanted to share them. I just love that they now clearly think Sutswana and I are insane spinach people. I’m sure they’re talking about us under their couch-tents. “What is with our moms and spinach?”


  1. Emily

    wow! what incredibly fast thinking! I feel like we all could transfer that kind of thinking to more delicate situations, like being caught getting it on (Daddy’s helping mommy find a quarter she dropped! Where IS that quarter?). But also i need to practice sutswana’s quick thinking just navigating the world in general – the myriad truly scary posters for horror movies that keep popping up in the subway and need some kind of explaining – the subway sandwitch ads that have cropped up recently, for instance, depicting a really horrifying monster-head chinese dragon (it’s the lunch line, I guess) has become from us “a chinese new year’s dragon, scaring away all the bad luck and sicknesses and ouchies! lucky us to have such a dragon in the subway!”

    sigh. I need some spinach, clearly.

  2. Julie

    I’m trying to decide if “What a large container of spinach!” could be your catchall answer for all this stuff. “Mommy, what’s that scary monster thing?” “What a large container of spinach!” It might at least be proper distraction the first few times.

  3. Beth

    Whenever Alessandro catches me surreptitiously eating chocolate (more often than I’d like to admit) I tell him, “Oh, I’m just eating some onions.” Usually that gets him to walk away, because he hates onions and never thinks to ask why I’d be eating them raw in the kitchen, but one day he said, “They sure smell like chocolate. Gimme some of *those* onions!!”
    I went to the fridge and handed him an onion, and then he walked away, still very suspicious.

  4. Julie

    Eli has caught me in a sort of second-hand-smoke way, like if I eat some chocolate and then read him a book, and he’s all snuggled up with me and then will suddenly declare, “I want some chocolate!” and I know he’s smelled it on my breath.

    Sadly, the kids never ask what I’m eating, because I think they KNOW, and they’re viewing me as kind of pathetic with my chocolate-sneaking.


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