“I Eat Leaves”

[True confession: this blog post began with my discovering, with a slight panic, the WordPress app wasn’t working on my phone.  I was terribly disappointed I wouldn’t get to post this little dinner conversation–until I remembered I could do things the old fashioned way, and busted out the laptop!]

Tonight for dinner, Kabyn had made spaghetti (rice pasta, yes, but after a year or two you kind of cease to notice) and yummy sauce with veggies and sausage in it, and some salad that was essentially romaine lettuce and your choice of dressing.  Quite tasty, simple, hit the spot.

I wasn’t sure Cos could do the pasta or sausage, so I cut some delicious leftover Mama Keren curry chicken and carrots up into teeny tiny toothless person sized pieces, which she happily began to devour.  Alaythia got a small pile of noodles with “sprinkle cheese,” and a very small pile of sausage pieces on the side (sauce makes the skin on her face hurt and get all red — so weird, the same thing happened to me as a kid).  And a bunch of lettuce pieces, mostly the spine-middle part of the leaf.

Alaythia chomped away at her lettuce spines, occasionally eating a noodle drowning in Trader Joe’s version of Kraft grated parmesan.  Kabyn began to gently encourage her to eat her sausage too.  I reminded her, “you’re an omnivore!  eat your meat!”  Usually she reminds us she, like many of the dinosaurs on Dinosaur Train, is an omnivore.  But tonight, she announced, “Cos is an omnivore, but I eat leaves!”  And chomped on another lettuce leaf.

Kabyn and I looked at each other, trying to express no amusement, anger, or confusion.  I had a very strong flashback to the Parenthood episode where Sydney announces she’s a vegetarian.  Kabyn began the gentle cajoling again, talking about the merits of protein for kids.

Then it came… the inevitable question, the one we knew was coming one of these days, “But where does sausage come from?”

I decided instantly that there are plenty of things the mom has to talk to the kids about when the kids are girls.  Where babies come from is probably all mine.  But where sausage comes from?  That’s so all daddy-from-Montana’s.  So I smiled, and with wide curious eyes echoed, “Yeah Kabyn, where does sausage come from?”

Kabyn thought briefly, and answered confidently, “From pigs.”

Alaythia of course was unsatisfied.  “But HOW does it come from the pigs?  Does it grow like a plant?”

Gulp.  Even Kabyn-from-Montana gulped.  I contemplated various lies in my head.  Kabyn took the direct approach: “They kill the pigs and that’s how they get the meat.  But it’s real fast and they don’t feel any pain.”

Alaythia stared for a bit, pondering this.  I felt suddenly like I might become a vegetarian, at least until the next time Kabyn grilled hamburgers made with cilantro and feta cheese.

Then Kabyn added, “But you know where bacon comes from?  Pigs!”

Alaythia LOVES bacon.  Her eyes got wide and she gasped, then smiled.  She knew she still liked her bacon.

Kabyn went on, “When I was little, we had cows.  We fed them lots of healthy food.  And when they got ready to be made into meat, we killed them real fast.  They didn’t feel anything and they weren’t ever sad.  And that meat was REAL good.”

Alaythia smiled and laughed.  She said, “I want to have cows like that!”   I felt really horrified at this point.  I think I asked timidly, “Why honey?”   To which she quickly replied, “Because I want that good meat!”

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One Response to “I Eat Leaves”

  1. Marc Fulmer says:

    That is a great story! “Because I want that good meat!” Love it.

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