I roasted a whole chicken with all the fixings, and the kids and I sat down to dinner. I hadn’t finished half of my food before Joey asked for seconds, and specifically for another piece of chicken with “the skin on it too.” Jake immediately echoed his brother’s request although he has never eaten the skin (at least from a roasted chicken). After fulfilling their second round of requests, I sat down hoping to eat 50% of my meal before it got cold.
Jake picked up the skin and smelled it. He then rubbed it between his thumb and index finger before patting it between his hands. He then proceeded to lick it, and finally, he took a bite. As a general rule, I try not to look directly at Jake while he eats because it’s always a catastrophe. The remnants of his meals reach feet from his chair, but the epicenter is always in his booster seat and around his plate. My place at the table is directly across from him, so I spend most of my meal facing other directions. Anyway, after he molested the chicken’s skin (hungry yet?) he starts a line of questioning …
Jake: Why do you call it the skin of the chicken?
Me: Is that a trick question, Jakers? It’s the skin (laughing) of the chicken.
Joey: No! That’s not true! Chickens have feathers…
Me: The feathers come off before we even get the chicken at the store.
Jake: But we can’t eat a chicken. Is this from inside of the egg a chicken lays?
Me: Jake, the only thing from the egg we eat is egg.
Jake: What about this chicken? Isn’t this from the egg?
Me: Huh? (I point to the chicken) This is a chicken, from a farm. See the bones? This is a bird.
<Joey drops his fork and puts his head down. Now I’m thinking, “Great, now I’ll be making vegetarian meals going forward.”>
Me: You guys eat meat every day.
Joey: I don’t think so.
Me: What do you guys think bacon, ham and hotdogs are made from?
Joey: A pig. Just like chickens give us eggs and cows give us milk. Duh.
Me: Duh? Really? Are you saying we milk a cow?
Joey and Jake: Yeah.
Me: And chickens lay eggs?
Joey and Jake (look at each other): Duh!
Me: And a pig…
Jake: Lays hotdogs and bacon.
Joey nods in agreement. I just smile and finish my now cold dinner.
I’ll save the rest of this conversation for another day…I didn’t press the kids, and I’ll let them live in ignorant bliss a while longer in a world where chickens lay eggs and pigs lay bacon and hotdogs…mainly because I don’t feel like preparing vegetarian meals going forward.