Thursday, March 02, 2006

Beginning Lent

We prepared for Lent in traditional fashion by cooking (and eating) large quantities of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday - widely known in the UK as Pancake Day. Now I admit I have been known to eat some rather unusual combinations of food myself, but I drew the line when I caught Star about to add whipped cream to a pancake smothered in grated cheese and vanilla ice cream. Ewwww!!! Though why I thought the cream would make it any worse, I have no idea.

I was proud of myself for getting the girls to make Lenten Crowns on Monday instead of doing my usual trick of leaving things until past the last minute, which in this instance would have meant making them after Ash Wednesday. Angel and Star took very different approaches. Angel managed to find half a dozen purple tea-lights lurking in a drawer, giving hers a suitably Lenten appearance. (I'm not sure that the lavender scent is particularly suitable for Lent, but it goes with the colour.) Star's effort was rather more flamboyant, but she had to settle for white candles. Now we just have to get into the habit of remembering to light them.

We went to the 9.30 Mass on Ash Wednesday, where the girls were somewhat taken aback by the spectacular large black crosses Father made on everyone's foreheads, thoroughly outdoing our previous priest's delicate smudges. Unfortunately Star was undergoing an unintentional fast, which did not exactly aid either her temper or her attention span at Mass. In one of those bad parenting moments that sneak up on us with sad frequency, both Tevye and I had given her instructions to get and eat breakfast, but neither of us had supervised her. We should have known better. In the car I checked ...

"You did have breakfast, didn't you?"
"Oh yes!"
"What did you have?"
"A plum."

By the time we got home she had been up for four hours, subsisting on one solitary plum. I decided to consider the grumpy seven year old my first Lenten penance. A self-inflicted penance.

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