What does God eat?

This was the question Bruce the 5 year old asked at breakfast.  Just as he was tucking in to his own concoction of rice bubbles with blueberries.

Often he doesn’t wait for an answer.  He didn’t this time either.

“Maybe he eats dogs that die and….”  <look of absolute horror> “You don’t think he ate OUR dog do you?”.

Me:  “No, I don’t think God eats all the creatures that die.  I don’t know what he eats”.

Bruce is fairly happy with that answer.  He moves on.  That conversation ends.  It could go on but I let it go.  I don’t say “But Puddy’s ashes are under our frangipani tree…” because I’ve learnt from having my older boy Squidge and having had such conversations, that I’d just be opening up a world of pain in the form of never ending questions.  Never ending questions are okay, in the car, when we’re driving to my parents which is 40+ minutes away.  Not on a weekday when you’re trying to get ready to go to school and work.

Sometimes it pays to just let it go….

Puddy (RIP lovely dog) resting in the shade with the boys

Parenting Tip # 7

Mr Literal wanted a 5 cake for his 5th birthday - go figure

I know, I haven’t actually published tips 1 – 6 but well, who needs to see them in order?  In fact, I’m not sure if I have more than 1 tip in me.  So here goes.

5 year old boys take things very literally.  Perhaps 5 year old girls do too.  I don’t have one of those so I can’t say for sure (the dog doesn’t count).

Earlier this week, after having read Picklebums, I remembered that I used to make porcupines – all the time.  But I haven’t made them for ages, so long now that Bruce, the 5 year old had forgotten all about them.

Being a Tuesday and therefore karate night for Squidge, I try and cook something that can simmer/bake away while dropping him off.  Porcupines –  the perfect solution.

Don’t know about porcupines?  Taste has a very good recipe – and it helps to read the comments for some tips.  They are basically minced meat with grated onion, garlic, other seasoning and dry rice.  Roll in to balls.  Pop in a pot of boiling tomato soup and simmer away until cooked.  As they cook the rice cooks and puffs out – making them look like procupines.  We, not surprisingly, call them hodgehegs.

Me:  “Dinner’s ready, c’mon Bruce”

Bruce:  “What are we having?”

Me: “Hodgehegs, look, this one is perfect, looks just like a hodgeheg, all it needs is legs and a little face”

Bruce: <bursts into tears>

Me: “What’s wrong?  Come on – you’ve got to at least try one – they’re yummy!”

Bruce: “I don’t want to eat A hodgeheg!”

Me: <penny drops>  “Oh, they’re not real hodgehegs!  I didn’t go out into the bush and trap hodgehegs and chop their legs off and cook them in soup.”

Bruce:  “Oh”  <blows nose and wipes eyes, still highly suspicious>

In the end he ate two and thought they were yummy.  Sometimes I forget how literal he can be.  Other times I depend on it.  Like when I cook ‘cheesy rice’.  “It’s rice with cheese” I say, neglecting to mention the chicken, bacon, onion and asparagus which has cooked for so long it looks like oozy green cheese.  We lurve cheesy rice.  And now he loves hodgehegs.  Again.  Phew.

Sometimes I wish my kids were more like chooks

I love my kids, don’t get me wrong.  But there are occasions when it would be useful if they were more like the chickens.

Chickorita the Pokemon chicken

I’m thinking particularly in the first instance of Bruce – the boy who will only eat cucumber and potato if we serve it in chunks, boiled & plain, or dressed up to look like chips.

The chickens on the other hand, while also fond of cucumber and potato will have a go at everything I put in front of them.

Being a new chicken owner, I was slightly alarmed one day to notice that one of our chickens had a big lump on her breast.  Being a modern chicken owner I immediately Googled “my chicken has a lump on it’s breast” and discovered that this lump was a crop.  The crop is a storage tank for the chicken.

It’s a very useful way of knowing that my chooks are well fed and so when they come running towards me in their pre-historic dinosaur way expecting food, I can ignore them and just fossic about for their eggs instead.

There are some days when I dearly wish my kids had a crop.  The days when they just go on and on about being starving.  If they had a crop I could know instantly if they were putting it on or not.

Mind you, there are a lot of things to find irritating about the chickens. They peck at the flowers on my thongs thinking they are food (and often miss and hit my toes instead).  They’ve stripped everything green out of the section of the garden they’ve taken over.  They poo in their water and their food and they find crafty new ways to get out of their extensive chicken run (and yet can never seem to find the way back in and so, sit sqwarking like crazy as soon as the sun starts to rise).

At the end of the day I know Bruce will come to like his vegies and they just about know not to ask over and over for something when I’ve said no. They’re not so bad – and are a damn sight more intelligent and funnier than the chooks (and a lot less smelly).

John & Chickorita

Bella stalking the chickens