“I don’t eat chicken, do I?” he asked, a perplexed look on his face as he tried to understand.
“Of course you do sweetheart, what do you think chicken nuggets are?”
He scrunched his little face up in concentration as he took in my words. Then he brightened and said slowly, “Oh I get it now…chickens…lay chicken nuggets”
Cameron. You’ve gotta love him. This isn’t his first foray into understanding the whole concept of eating meat, but at least this time he didn’t think that chicken came from pigs. To be honest, I don’t even remember how the subject came up again. We were driving to school one morning and somehow got onto the subject of eating meat. That is one subject I am very honest with my kids on. There is no good to be gained from hiding the fact that we raise cows, chickens, and pigs as a food source.
Brendan is getting old enough to really understand the whole concept now. I mean, Cameron gets it to some extent…but as you just read above his facts are still a little fuzzy. Brendan decided to help his brother’s misconceptions and explained that we kill the chicken, cut off it’s head, and eat it. While I am blunt with the kids I’ve never gone into the explanation of how they are slaughtered so I was quite surprised with Brendan’s knowledge. And while I don’t see any reason to hide the fact that we do eat meat, I do see every reason to hide how they go from being alive to being on our plate so I cut that portion of the conversation short.
He’s been on a roll for a while now. A couple of weeks ago I had a function I was supposed to attend and at the last minute Matt found out he had to work. We called upon my brother to babysit the kids since I couldn’t take them with me. He was happy to do so for me, and I dropped off the kids that night right after dinner. Later, as I was leaving my function to pick them up, I got a text from my brother telling me of Cameron’s exploits.
Basically my nephew asked his mom for a popsicle. As soon as Cameron heard the word popsicle he jumped right on board and was angling to get one too. My brother and his wife, knowing I’m somewhat strict with my kids and sweets on occasion, tried to get confirmation from Cameron that I allowed him to eat popsicles. His answer, no. Perplexed, they then next asked him why they should give him a popsicle since his mom wouldn’t let him have them. To which he said, “Because she’ll never know….”
Now to be clear, yes I do allow my children to have popsicles. I limit my kids when we go out to hockey games, or other events where there is a concession stand. They’re allowed a single treat and that’s it. I also ensure that they’ve eaten a full dinner before I allow them any treats after dinner. Finally, on the way to my brother’s that night I’d had a discussion with my kids that they were not to go into the house and begin asking for food as I had just fed them dinner, but that if they were offered snacks or anything else to eat that they could have it.
Any of these factors could have caused Cameron to tell my sister in law that he couldn’t have popsicles. My favorite part of the whole thing was that he thought they wouldn’t tell me they’d given him one. My intention was to go into their house and make him think I could tell he’d had a popsicle just by looking at him, but it was late and he was actually quite crabby. He didn’t want to leave yet and was mad as heck that I dared to come and pick him up. So instead my brother and I got a good chuckle out of the situation and I took the kids home.