Playing With Our Food

Sep 1 2011

I am always on the lookout.  Constantly at the ready.  Aware.  Present.  Prepared to pounce on each and every new way I can find to mess with my kids.

Because it’s fun.

Because I can.

Because they have it coming.

Ah, messing with my children.  It’s one of life’s grand pleasures.

I don’t know about you, but I’m new to the world of banana graffiti.  In case you’re in the dark, like I so sadly was, google images for banana art.  Holy Banana, Batman!

A toothpick.  A banana.  A little scratchin’ on the surface of the peel.  And the best part is, it’s like invisible ink; what’s indistinguishable at first grows gradually darker until your magic message appears.

I feel like I have to make up for lost time.  Think of all the messin’ with my kids time I’ve lost.  Gone!  Never to appear again!

Quick!  Someone get me a banana or 12.

I got right to work.

I was mysterious.  I was subtle.  I was a Banana Ninja, sneaking into the kitchen under cloak of darkness. (It was under cloak of “If you come in here now, I’m totally giving you a chore,” but whatever.  Told ya I was subtle.)

I slid that hidden toothpick outta my sleeve, and I started writing.

I was sneakiness personified.

So imagine my surprise when my kids saw our banana messages and were on to me.  Even my 4-year-olds.  Every single child accused me – me! – of being the Secret Banana Author.

I tried to throw ’em off my trail with my “Mom has cooties” message to no avail

I even blamed the zombies with an uber-subtle “A zombie wrote this.”  See, guys?  See??

No one bought it.

They are darn fine detectives, I tell you.

Greg didn’t believe that the bananas wrote on themselves, either.  In fact, after squarely blaming me, Greg faulted my banana-grams.  Can you believe it?  He said one should’ve read “Bite me!” and another “Why, yes!  I am happy to see you.”  (Tee hee.)  Next time, Greg’s in charge of tagging the fruit.  (And explaining stuff to the kids.)

In completely unrelated news, my children will not stop playing with their food.  The punks.

Actually, not only do they play with their food, they also eat the flower arrangements. They’re monsters.  All of them.

My friend, Leah, is an extraordinary florist.  She’s the creative genius behind regular arrangements at our local wineries and boutique (read: fancy schmancy) hotels.  And the BEST thing happened today.  See, an aforementioned Fance Schmance Hotel needed arrangements.  But only for one day.  One day! I keep flower arrangements for two weeks.  Minimum.  Pollen shedding on my table?  Pppffffttt.  Who cares?

Well, who should appear at my door today, but Leah’s mama?  Lynn, bless her ever-loving, gracious presence, knocked on my door armed with this masterpiece,

which she deposited into my surprised (and grateful) arms.  The hotel contracted for the One Day Only flowers, and then requested that my florist friend retrieve them.

Fresh, gorgeous, day-old flower arrangement?  Um, yes, please!

Of course, my house was a complete and utter sty at the time.  And, also of course, I wanted a picture of the flowers.  And, also of course, I made the kids clean stuff up so I could take said picture.  And, also of course, we only cleaned from one angle so I could get this shot:

Greg calls this “artfully deceptive photography” or “artificial cleaning.”  But I like to call it “reality” because reinventing facts is comforting.  Soothing.  And, heck, we can all use a little bit o’ sooth.  FYI, sooth rhymes with truth.  Which I’m creatively inventing, but, again… whatevah.

At any rate, it’s WAY better than this picture – from the opposite side.

This is why I lie to myself, ladies an gentlemen.  This is why “artfully deceptive photography” and “artificial cleaning” are necessary.

But I am way, WAY off track.

Remember that bit about kids eating flower arrangements?

And remember how beautiful this particular arrangement is?

And do you see those two little hands at the bottom of the picture?

Um, yes.  Well, Leah is an artist, and, as such, she uses all kinds of local flora in her work.  In this case, she used wine grapes.

And my kids LOVE wine grapes.  They’re local.  They’re tiny.  They’re sweet and bursting with flavor.

And my kids disrespect flower arrangements.  So they had no trouble – none – dismembering the flora to get at the food.

My next banana’s gonna say, “I said, ‘Keep your tiny mitts off of my flower arrangement and leave my grapes alone, you little punks!'”

They’ll never know it’s me.