Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Peas & Thank You's

I recall watching Maria Shriver on Oprah last year promoting latest book on motherhood. She said that what she remembers most about growing up was not what she was given materially, but what her parents taught her about life and thinking.

Dinner time was not about "What did you do at school?" Since Dad founded the Peace Corps, it's not surprising that it was about "How can you use your talent at changing the world?"

Shriver drove home the point that sitting together at the table is more than food for our bodies. It's food for our souls.

Take last night for example. My son dropped a green veggie in my water. I thought it would be a great opportunity to school him on saving the planet, but settled on teaching him bad jokes.

Me: "Hey, don't pea in my water!"

Him: (Confused look)

Me: "Get it? 'Cause it's a pea. And you shouldn't pee either. It's a double entendre. A joke! That we say at home - never at school. Especially not during circle time. Or when you're practicing the sign of the cross. Jesus and veggie jokes - not a great combo. Though it worked for Veggie Tales. But I digress."

He looked at me in a daze. Oh well. He'd understand later.

I got up to get water. Just when I thought my material was going to be wasted, Rex sits down. Stink drops a green veggie in his water.

Stink: "Hey, I peed in your water, Papa!"

Papa: "Cute."

Stink: "Get it? PEEEEED!" Guffaw, chuckle, hee hee heee.

Papa: (Serious) "Very nice. But no toilet jokes at dinner."

Stink: "You mean you didn't flush before touching your noodle?"
(I showed amazing restraint at that one.)

Papa: "I mean no talk about pee, poo, or anything related to the bathroom."

Pip: (Suddenly piping up, huge brown eyes, all earnest) "And no talk about diarrhea either?"

Stink is now hysterical and Pip, though not sure why, joins in the merriment.

Papa, to quote a book I just read, morphs into Ward Cleaver. "No talking about anything that exits from any orefice. Which means hole. As in your body. ENOUGH."

There's quiet for a minute.

Stink: "But if we really have to pee, that's okay, right?"

Rex is speechless now. But he had to admit, Stink did have a point.

I'm not sure if this was the kind of "thinking outside the box" Shriver was talking about, but it's a memory for me, that's for certain.


TroyBoy said...

And YOU didn't get in trouble with Rex? You started it!? :-)

liv said...

those are the meals that are the best. the funny ones. your kids are precious.

His Girl said...

there really can't be anything more fun than dinner at the Mama P(ee) house!

*resolves to invite herself over at a mealtime real soon*

Monnik said...

Oh dear Lord, Mama P. You have me spitting out my coffee this morning.

"Especially not during circle time. Or when you're practicing the sign of the cross. Jesus and veggie jokes - not a great combo. Though it worked for Veggie Tales."


Jenster said...

Yeah. I tried that "no toilet humor at the table", too. Nobody listens to me. NOBODY!

I agree that the table is a great way to make memories. Like the day I got my nipples. We were putting the food on the table and sitting down and I said, "Hey! I got my nipples today. Taylor, will you please pray?"

It was a great conversation starter. After the prayer, of course. Which included something like, "And thank you that mom got nipples. I guess."

Talk about family bonding.

Love the picture, by the way!

Gretchen said...


That always gets us going. ;)

patches said...

Your family dinners remind me of my family dinners hen I was growing up. No topic was sacred. We're classless that way.

sari said...

We have a LOT of family conversations that end with "And we only talk like this AT HOME, not AT SCHOOL, OK????"

Princess in Galoshes said...

Hee. That made me giggle out loud. Thinking outside the box is important, but I'd maintain humor is equally important.

Pgoodness said...

LOL. what a great dinner!

Valerie said...

i love kid jokes. pee-pea and all.

Pam said...

I was in desperate need of a smile today. Instead of a smile you gave me a laugh, this was delightful!

capacious said...

This is hilarious. And so like it is.

I listened to two kids in Target the other day, chanting, "POOP! POOP! POOP!" and giggling with such glee that I couldn't help but smile. There's just something about poop, it makes you want to chant it. Come on, admit it, you love the word. It's just so great.

Betsy said...

It must be in the water. Tee hee. Just this morning Esther asked me if the , Queenlizabeth II of England, ever farted. "everyone farts, Esther. Now get dressed for school." What a missed opportunity that was for some fun.

Susie Q said...

This is what dinners together are made for!
Just recently our dinner conversation sounded like this:

Out of this air my daughter says...

Grace: So, if people have sex, they have a baby?

Me: No, but that can happen IF people have sex.

Grace: Not always?

Me: No, not always.

Grace: Tell mt again why not.

Dan, the grown son: GRACE! No sex talk at dinner!

Grace: Why not Dan. Mom and Dad have had sex right Dad?

Dad: Wha? Huh? Um...

Dan: GRACE! I do not want to talk about Mom and Dad's sex life at the dinner table!!!

Grace: Okay. Let's see...DAN! Do YOU have sex????

Oh kids....gotta love 'em.

Love you and those sweet family members of yours!


Susie Q said...

Son, you have a panty on your head.
-Raising Arizona

Rex is the handsomest man I ever saw with a panty on his head. Hands down.


Maxine from Texas said...

Ok, that was hilarious! Thanks for stopping over, it was nice having a comment from someone I haven't met ;) I've been reading you over at Babycenter for a while...not stalking, I promise. I agree with what you said about going green opening your eyes, that is exactly what keeps happening to me. We have a long way to go, too. We are no where near Ed Begley, Jr over here!