Well, it’s over.
When my children were six, three and one, my six year old daughter told me she didn’t eat meat. I answered her without missing a beat. ‘We’re not having meat for dinner,’ I said. ‘We’re having chicken.’ She ate it. My husband later complimented me on how fast I was on my response.
I wasn’t being fast, I was just tired and I said the first thing that came to mind. Did I mention my kids were one, three and six at the time? Did I mention we were living far from home and my husband was working and traveling ALL the time? I was tired and I gave a stupid answer that just happened to work. It didn’t always work out that way, but on that particular day I got lucky.
For the next few years my children stuck to their guns – They didn’t eat meat. I, in desperation more then anything else, also stuck to mine – we weren’t eating meat we were eating special chicken. We had a special chicken called pork, we loved the special chicken called steak and my kids favorite was a special chicken called hamburger. There were many more, but I’m sure you see the pattern.
But now my children are twelve, nine and seven.
Last night, my husband put a lovely platter of barbecued steaks on the table in front of us and I said in a squeaky, annoying and possibly slightly crazed voice – ‘Oh look, it’s that special chicken called steak.’
My older two children rolled their eyes, but said nothing.
My youngest however looked at me with pity, placed her small hand on my arm and said very gently, ‘Mom, you know it’s really just called steak.’
My babies are all grown up.