One of the great delights of being a parent is lying to your child. No really, it is.
"Don't cross your eyes like that, they'll get stuck."
"Stop that, or you'll grow hair on your palms."
You get the idea. Now, ordinarily there's a reason for telling these lies to your children, not just to amuse yourself. As I've already posted, I have my not-quite four year old convinced that our towns merchants are a collection of pirates, aliens, professional wrestlers and vampires, so it probably won't surprise anyone that I've been telling Danny that people eat cat. You know, cat-"meow, meow."
Alright, let me backtrack a bit. Danny really hates squash, and when he sees it come to the table refuses to eat it. The refusal is often dramatic, with rolling eyes, gagging and waving hands.
"I hate squash! I hate it!"
Now, I think that's fair. We all have one food we can't stand (mine is cucumbers) and I have no intention of forcing him to eat it. We've given it well over a dozen tries in various forms and he still hates it. That's OK, there are plenty of carrots and sweet potatoes in the world to keep him from beta-carotene want. Still, it's awfully fun to lie to him.
"Well Danny, if you don't want squash, how about some cat?"
"Nooooooo! I don't want to eat any cat!"
"Are you sure? We have plenty of cats running around the farm, I could just go outside and grab one (I try to reach for a large chef's knife when possible because it is more convincing).
"Well, why don't we have some squash instead?"
So we'd do this for months, though one time it backfired on me in the supermarket where a woman was handing out samples of some roll-up type food in the produce department-right next to a display of squash. Danny started screaming:
"I don't want a cat sandwich!"
Yep, that got us some confused looks. Anyway, one day he realises, pretty much out of the blue that we were making it up.
"Nobody really eats cat."
He was really proud of himself too, figuring that out. Then, I did something really awful.
Do you know the cooking blog, Anne's Food?* It's a wonderful blog, and she's such a lovely person which makes what I did all that much worse. You see, Anne breeds cats, and often has photographs of her adorable kittens on the same page as pictures of food and well....you know where this is heading.
"Hey Danny, come here-I want you to see this blog."
"What is it?"
"It's a cooking blog from Sweden. Look what she's cooking."
And the poor boy's eyes settled first on a plate of some sort of salad and then as I scrolled down I saw the look of horror register on his face as he saw the cuddly kitten.
"Swedish people eat cat!"
Again, I should have thought that one through a little better as we live in a town founded and inhabited by Swedes. I'm waiting for the day this dawns on Danny and he runs out of the bakery screaming that he doesn't want to eat cat.
But nobody really eats cat...except Swedes.
*I'm hoping she has a sense of humour.