Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kiera and the Mighty Turnip

As strange as this sounds, I was at a church picnic the other day... really, a church picnic. Last Sunday, Sara asked if I wanted to come to church with her, and before I knew what was happening, she was packing lunches for the after-picnic. On the plus side, it was a pretty mellow affair with tables strewn across the lawn, and plenty of non-church discussions flowing.
We picked a table where a woman and her three-ish daughter were already eating, purely for show... to appear like we are social... which we are not... In the bustle of settling the kids down at the table, the lunch Sara packed (which was actually a fairly healthy one, as far as lunches go) tumbled out on to the table, each part in it's own little ziplock bag. Faster than Linsey Lohan going to rehab, the kids grabbed the bags with marshmallows and Ninja Turtle fruit snacks in them. Since neither of us were in a mood, we let it go, and said that they could have them if they promised to eat their lunch after.
It was only then, of course, because god hates me, that we noticed the woman and her daughter staring slack jawed in our direction. After a somewhat long and uncomfortable pause, the perfectly blond and perky three year old spooned some sort of kidney bean salad out of her reusable container made of recycled materials and said matter-of-factly "We're vegetarians."
"Of course you are," I said, "because today my kids are eating corn syrup, sugar cornstarch, gelatin, and whateverthefuck a Ninja Turtle fruit snack is made of... and even though you might think one would have to be relatively healthy to qualify as a 'Ninja Turtle' fruit snack (the most violent, and I assume, the most energetic of all the fruit snacks) as opposed to a regular fruit snack, I'd bet my pants there isn't any fruit, vegetable, or even turtle in there. So go ahead, wee little blond child with perfect porcelain skin and frighteningly cheery disposition, let me open your soy yogurt for you (she really had one) while you eat your pasty red beans, cause in my house we're waiting for the scientific community to come around and change their opinion on childhood obesity."
Actually, I just sheepishly mumbled, "wow... a vegetarian... cool". So there we were, munching away at our crap out of bags that pollute the earth, while Kiera moved on to her Tupperware container full of broccoli and other veggies - which were raw, by the way... not even lightly steamed. Suddenly, she stuck her healthy little hand into the container and pulled out what for a moment looked like a marshmallow ("I'm saved!" I thought) and turned out to be A WHOLE BABY WHITE TURNIP. As if the whole picnic was captivated by our shame, someone from ANOTHER TABLE shouted over "hey Ann, does she really eat turnips?". "Sure," Ann replied, "I've found that if she picks something from the farm we go to, she is more invested in trying it."
Could it have been worse? Sure, I was just waiting for someone to say "hey Joe, is that a Ninja Turtle fruit snack? What's in those things?"

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