Posted by: canthold | August 9, 2007

Ham and Cheese and Crackers and Chicken

My kids and I ate some cheese and crackers today at snack-time. My oldest daughter likes to make sandwiches consisting of two crackers and only one piece of cheese, which makes it too dry for me. She fed them to her little sister calling them “ham sandwiches.”

I didn’t say anything.

Finally, as I knew it would come, “What’s ham, Mommy?”

“It’s pig.”

You should have seen the look on her face. My little vegetarian was pretending to eat meat.

My husband complains when he can’t get through the sports section of the paper without being interrupted. He acts like it’s his Constitutional right or something to be able to finish reading it from the beginning. I haven’t been able to write eight sentences without interruption. In fact, I have 13 drafts that I’ve started and never finished.

At one point, they were relevant to some newsworthy item which has long passed by now. I don’t know how to delete them, or I would. Sometimes I just type over them, but it doesn’t matter.

Did you hear it? Another interruption. My youngest is trying to avoid her bedtime. And yes, it’s ten right now in my world. That’s not her bedtime, but we’ve been playing this game for an hour. And I see her little shadow peeking around the corner – out of bed – again!

So, as I was saying…about the ham…

I didn’t have anything to do with my children becoming vegetarians. They used to eat chicken nuggets like all kids do. Something happened and they just stopped, but everything. At the beginning, one of the kids would be a good eater then the other, but never at the same time. Now, I’m trying yet another book on how to get them to open their minds a bit. I’ll tell you how it turns out.

This Not Eating Animals Thing isn’t a picky eating trick, though. They’re just very compassionate animal lovers. I don’t want to force them to compromise their moral choices, either. I just try to get them to round out what they eat, and my husband religiously gives them vitamin supplements.

I ate a piece of chicken leftover from a party recently. I sat patiently while the smell of heavenly barbecue wafted past my nose for about three hours before I finally got some. Then, there was no way I was going to turn down taking some home to enjoy later. And I did. But while eating it, my oldest daughter asked me what I was eating. She asked if it was chicken and I said yes.

“Promise me you won’t eat chicken again, Mommy.”

I couldn’t do that. Just like I couldn’t promise her that I wouldn’t donate blood again. Nor could I promise her that I wouldn’t throw her toys away when she wasn’t looking.

Sometimes a mommy has to do what a mommy has to do. I don’t tell her I will and I don’t tell her I won’t. I change the subject and we move on to the next thing.

And the little ham sandwich cracker sandwiches became simply cheese again.

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