One of the greatest gifts of parenting is viewing the world through the innocent eyes of our children. But it can also present with a number of challengers.
Case in point, Ava returned to school this week after more than a week at home with Bronchitis. When I arrived to collect her on Wednesday afternoon, she excitedly took me to see the eggs some free range farmer in the area had delivered to the school, along with incubators etc so that all the children could experience the wonder of a hatching egg. All the eggs had been marked and they’d had a little competition to see who would choose the number of the egg that would hatch first. While we were standing there looking at the eggs, one of them started to wobble and cracked & a little beak poked through.
Ava was besides herself to get to school the next day to see how many chicks had hatched during the night and by the time I arrived to collect her yesterday afternoon, pretty much all the eggs had hatched and the incubators had a bunch of the cutest, fluffy yellow, chirping chicks.
But here in lies the challenge….
She then wanted to know if she could have a chick as a pet. So I explained to her that it was not possible because our dogs would chase the chick and besides, those chicks belonged to a farmer and they would go back to the farm and grow up to be chickens and we eat them.
She was HORRIFIED! So I asked her where she thought the chicken she eats comes from and after some explaining she made the connection between the eggs, the chicks, a chicken and the raw chicken’s she sees me cooking. She was disgusted and her only response was “we DO NOT hurt or kill God’s creatures!” My bad, that’s my motto for things like bugs and birds and even not playing to rough with our dogs, which Ava has now taken to a whole new level. I’m also not sure she’s old enough to understand the difference between factory farmed and ethically farmed and how we only support ethical farming, that’s a discussion for another day.
I asked her where she thought bacon came from and she was disgusted to discover it came from pigs and that steak comes from cows and lamb chops come from lambs.
She told me in the car on the way home that she will never ever eat chicken, bacon, steak, sausage or lamb chops ever again! As a side note, Ava has, for some time now, been pretty adamant that she’s going to be a vet when she grows up, so she does have a very deep sense of compassion and care of animals.
She’s already a fussy but meat loving eater. So I was very concerned after her anti meat statement as to how I was ever going to get her to eat again.
I needn’t have worried though, half an hour later I asked her what she wants for supper and she told me chicken – “because it’s her favourite!”