What’s chicken made from, Mummy?

DD3 will be 5 in a couple of weeks and has been at school for a little over a term now. In the UK, children start school the September after they turn 4, so she’s not the oldest or the youngest in the class.

I think she might be one of the most opinionated though. (And no, I can’t think where she gets this trait from!). At the moment she’s going through, what I like to think of as, a vegetarian-curious stage.  If she doesn’t like look of something on her plate, she wants to know a/what her food is made of and b/ does it come from an animal? She’s quite happy to eat tuna sandwiches and ham and eggs though, also sausages. She’s never asked where these foods come from. But give her a pea, carrot or potato, it’s scrutinised closely and the words  ‘What’s it made from, Mummy?’ are uttered.  She wouldn’t have any turkey at Christmas but she ate 3 pigs in blankets along with some roasties covered in gravy.

Rightly or wrongly, I don’t tell her that she’s about to eat an animal-derived meal unless she asks. I’m very happy to eat meat as long as it has been humanely reared and slaughtered and I kind of hoped my kids would share my attitude. It would be a pain having a small vegetarian in the house as my kids are a bit fussy, and I’m not an accomplished cook. I find cooking a chore and when the meal is ready, I just want to dish it up and have them eat it. I don’t want to have to endure a grilling from small children requiring ingredient details. And I don’t want to have to make sandwiches for those children who won’t eat the meal I’ve just slaved over for them.

When she’s older and can cook her own meals, she can be a full-blooded vegetarian, if she chooses to, but for now I’m going to let her believe that no chickens were involved in the creation of her stir fry, and her hamburgers grew in some one’s veggie patch, for as long as I can.

In which I give my 3 year-old a knife to play with.

I took DS out for ‘coffee’ this morning. Well I had coffee, he had frothy milk and a chocolate muffin. And a knife…the muffin came with a knife. It wasn’t something designed for surgery, it was more a muffin slicing, butter spreading type affair but I whipped it away quick smart.  Knives and 3 year olds are not thought to be a good combination.

My mistake was moving too fast; kids of this age equate swift movements with the removal of something desirable and he was in noisy tears before I could say ‘look darling, I’ve got Thomas in my pocket’.  He wasn’t fooled and continued pointing and wailing,  which soon escalated into good old-fashioned screaming. The man at the table next door moved and I earned a ‘look’ from a trio of pensioners a couple of tables away. Thankfully the mums nearby looked sympathetic, for which I was grateful, but DS got louder and louder until I caved- and handed him the knife. He shut up immediately and spend a happy 20 minutes reducing the unlucky cupcake to crumbs with his prize. Some of it got eaten but he had fun sprinkling the rest over his milk and torpedoing them with his chocolate stick.

I got to drink my coffee in peace, as did everyone else and DS didn’t poke his eye out or amputate a digit so in the end, what harm was done? Apart from to DS, who now believes he can get anything if he screams loudly enough, and to who ever had to clean up the remains of what used to be a chocolate muffin.