It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Say what you mean or it’s cucumbers all the way

Arthur happens on me sneaking a private cookie. The tots have just had their (nutritious) snack in the next room. I was hoping to enjoy my less virtuous one in private.

“What are you eating, Mary?”

I hate this question. Kids do it all the time. He does not mean “what are you eating?” He knows what I’m eating. What he means is, “Can I have one, too?” Annoys the crap out of me, truly it does. You want something? Be direct!

(Plus, he just had a snack and I don’t want to share mine. What?!? I can’t hoard my cookies? I have to be noble every minute of my day? Did he share his grapes with me? No, he did not.)

Anyway… since it’s a non-sensical question, I figure I can give it a non-sensical answer. I’m not playing your game, kiddo, you’re playing mine.

I consider the cookie in my hand. “It’s a cucumber.”

“A cucumber?”


Any other child would have given me a blank or perhaps an accusing stare, and wandered off in disgust. Arthur, however, has never yet let an opportunity to talk pass him by. I want to pretend that cookie’s a cucumber, he’ll go right there with me. Talk is talk, after all!

“What colour is it?”

More consideration of the Lemon Temptation I’m rapidly eliminating. “It’s yellow.”

“Some cucumbers can be yellow. After they’re ripe, they get yellow.” Arthur nods, an encouraging, we’re-in-this-together nod.

“So they do. You’re quite right.” I answer, brushing cucumber crumbs from my hands. Arthur pauses, then cheerfully trots off, his interest in conversation lasting only as long as the cucumber.

You know, some people have to hide a drinking habit, sip their martinis from cracked old coffee mugs. Some people have a lover, risk and reward, slip him out the back door as hubby comes in the front. Exotic and daring. Me, I’m hiding in the kitchen, trying to hide my cookie habit from three-year-olds.


December 23, 2005 - Posted by | Arthur, food, manners, the dark side


  1. I love how Arthur was totally playing along with you. I like Arthur. And he’s smart, too. Sticking around hoping you’ll cave and give him a bite…what a kid.

    Comment by Kristen | December 23, 2005 | Reply

  2. Sometimes I feel really guilty that I feel guilty for sneaking a yummy snack without giving any to the kids:-)

    But it’s all for their own good – honest!

    Comment by Mrs.Aginoth | December 23, 2005 | Reply

  3. Kristen: Hope springs eternal, and all that. Arthur hasn’t learned the second line of that poem, though: “Man never is, but always to be blessed.”

    MrsA: Feeling guilty for feeling guilty – if that’s not a mom thing, I don’t know what is! LOL

    Comment by Mary P. | December 23, 2005 | Reply

  4. Wow, it was such a GUY thing to say, with the broader expectation embedded in the question. When guys ask, “What`s for dinner?” it means, “I fully expect you to be taking care of dinner.” Similarly, as you note, “What are you eating?” includes, “I expect you will share it with me.” Ok, ok, women do this, too — Christmas Eve is not the time for genderbashing.

    Comment by L. | December 24, 2005 | Reply

  5. Hey, I resemble that story. Good job I just started a diet. In time for the season of excess, too. Sigh!

    Comment by Simon P. Chappell | December 24, 2005 | Reply

  6. Broccoli wouldn’t work either with my grd.babies. They LOVE broccoli 🙂 Not sure about cucumbers yet. Enjoyed

    Comment by CINDY | December 26, 2005 | Reply

  7. And welcome to my life.

    Comment by MIM | December 27, 2005 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: