What my children, don't know about making Leprechaun Traps isn't worth knowing. Their knowledge of other Irish trappings, or symbols has reached it's zenith. The subject has been fully covered in each of their classrooms, interwoven into every lesson including occupational and speech therapy. Yup, around here, the subject has been licked. Since St. Patrick's Day is not a school day this year I am saved the pain of trying to dress three children from head to foot in green. We have always failed in the green shoe department, so that is yet another couple of meltdowns that we have managed to skirt. I must admit to being ignorant about the ‘mint’ lure, but there always seems to be something new every year that I’ve missed.Yes, ‘Green’ Day has arrived. Senior is o.k. with ‘green’ just as long as you don’t refer to it as green. He needs specifics; chatreuse, lime, neon. Junior shuns green as a secondary colour, currently not in favour. He is mollified by because ‘golden’ or yellow a primary colour is also king. We have pots of ‘gold’ cut out at great pains due to the torture of scissors on the fine motor skills, lined up with precision, accompanied by a lot of screaming since Scotch tape is the material from hell. There again he did help me hang to Shamrock decorations that adorn our home, held gingerly between thumb and forefinger in a squeamish pincher grip. He did drop them a few times because obviously holding paper is similar to holding a hot coal, but with persuasion he would try again.
I contemplate some kind of burger [meat] on the barbeque, whether that would increase my chances of success? Caramelized cabbage and onions instead of a dill pickle? Cucumber relish as our token green? I know that a baked potato would fly, but that would probably be literally thrown, depending upon how you define fly. Irish stew in the garden when the temperatures in the mid 70’s doesn’t sound that attractive to me either.
I chop parsley to throw into the Irish Stew, my mother's not particularly authentic version. I peel some potatoes in case the Colcannon doesn't fly and ensure that we have a full bottle of tomato sauce at the ready to disguise, if not drown the menu. I rinse the cabbage and tip it into the steamer. I debate the ultimate destination of each? There is a wide choice of options, between the floor, the compost bin or the garbage disposal unit. I blink hard and think positive = liquidize to make soup.
I regret that the tricks of yore with a different generation of children, fail so miserably with the current one:
“They're strawberry flavoured crisps!”
“No, really, it is a Kangeroo burger.”
“The more green food you can eat the faster you'll be able to run.” I feel quite wistful thinking how easy it all was once.
It's a good thing really, that as a parent I have learned that 'lies' are not the best policy, even if it's taken me a couple of decades to come to this realization.
We will don our sparkly green bowler hats, well everyone except junior of course, as his head is still strictly off limits. Since they have already had their classrooms destroyed by a plague of marauding leprechauns, I’m probably not obliged to repeat the exercise at home. Junior was not impressed with this social joke and needed a great deal of reassurance that we probably would not be similarly invaded at home.
All in all, I think maybe we got off quite likely by comparison with last year. We may not have advanced to St. Patrick’s Day Parades, but a lot of people don’t like crowds. Perhaps next year they might actually enjoy it, a bit of it, or a few bits. There is a watered down Irish gene in there somewhere, at the end of some rainbow or other, even if the pot of gold is made of scratchy paper.