The other day Mark and I tried to have a conversation in the car. Mistake number one.

We were talking about an article, or maybe a show? I don’t remember. It was something we saw or read or heard somewhere about health, specifically cancer risks. This show, or podcast, or article spoke to the cancer risks involved with consuming too much meat.

During our conversation we spelled most of the big, telling words. A discussion that should take two minutes takes us about three days when we’re in the car with H, because we have to spell everything. He is nosy. And he’s learning to spell, so I’m doomed, but that’s a whole different post.

Anyway, at one point I said, “You know, we eat a lot of vegetarian meals already, and P and I both have some very anti-meat, pro-veggie tendencies, so maybe it wouldn’t be too hard to reduce our meat consumption even more.”

I was so into our conversation that I forgot to spell. Mistake number two.

From the backseat, H, who up until that point had been talking to his brother and to some imaginary friends (yes, we have several and they are dragons, just FYI), stopped chattering and practically screamed, “What did you say about P?”

“I said, darling child of mine,* that P acts like a vegetarian sometimes.”

Incredulous, “What?”

“P. He’s a bit of a vegetarian.”

“Mom, he’s way too little to take care of animals.You are crazy, silly.”

“Not a veterinarian, sweetie, a vegetarian. Someone who doesn’t eat meat.”

“Why don’t the people who take care of animals like to eat meat?”

“Okay, let’s back up. First, veterinarians, like your uncle M, take care of animals. The word veterinarian describes their job, not what they eat.”

Skeptically, as if I am about to punk him, H says, “Okay…”

“And then we have vegetarians. Those are people who don’t eat meat. They can have any job in the world. The word vegetarian just describes what they eat, not what their job is.”

“Okay. I see. Since Uncle M takes care of animals, he doesn’t like to eat them?”

After that I screamed, silently, in my head for a moment. Then I got the giggles. Who’s on first? anyone? Once I recovered, we re-reviewed the two words. Eventually he got the concept. I think.

I wonder…

:: Do you spell everything when you talk around your kids or do you just wait until they’re asleep to talk?

:: If you’re a vegetarian, what are your favorite resources: web sites, cookbooks, etc.?

*Some editorial liberties taken here.