I have a new swear word.
Actually, it’s less a swear word and more a cheery way to acknowledge a minor mishap.
The word was born in the kitchen, while scooping quinoa out of a bag and into a pan. No matter how careful Bubba and I were, grains of quinoa always leapt from the measuring cup onto the counter.
Have you ever found yourself muttering under your breath about being clumsy, careless, stupid over something minor? Over something you’d never criticize a child for?
Well, when the quinoa fell, our voices muttered.
Some things are habitual; tracks laid down years ago and reaffirmed so often they’re solidly etched into being automatic. Bubba and I have a few of those tracks; we work at counterbalancing their automaticity with more intentional responses. Sometimes we find something that works and is fun.
It was in the kitchen, with quinoa falling and voices muttering, that we found our counterbalancing tool: the quinoa itself.
Quinoa, when spoken, sounds like keen-wa. Which is quite fun to say, especially if you elongate the vowels.
Now when the quinoa falls, we call out keeeen-waaaa! with a cheery voice; it’s so much easier to feel upbeat when the music is soaring. It’s become our way of simply recognizing what is—the quinoa is going to leap—rather than responding as if it shouldn’t be doing what it’s doing.
It’s been so effective at quieting our spilled-quinoa-muttering-minds, we now use it regularly, in all sorts of situations. Because, at least in our house, life serves up plenty of spills, drops, tumbles and minor mishaps.