Remember to always be alert and never let down your guard. This morning our sweet son asked for a boiled egg for breakfast. Seemed innocent enough! Since he wanted to help with the cooking, he got the egg out of the refrigerator and jokingly said that if he dropped it, it would be “chicken murder.”
After we all had a good laugh- or not (the kid is seriously morbid)- I could see the little wheels turning in his head. He was up to one of the most treacherous of juvenile activities: thinking. Nothing more dangerous than a little information with no great smarts to back it up!
“Wait, is there a chick in the egg, Mommy?”
“No, son, of course not. You have seen plenty of cracked eggs and you know that there is nothing there but yolk and egg white.” I knew where this was going….
“So, why isn’t there a chick in the eggshell?” Like I am about to explain fertilization to the kid. You introduce sex into the infantile world and childhood is over. I know. We have already discussed this, but I feel the need to reiterate. No more tooth fairy. No more Easter Bunny. No more Santa. Would Santa do that to Mrs. Claus? I don’t think so!
“Well, son, there are two kinds of eggs. Some eggs become chicks and the others become breakfast. Two kinds, see?”
“Oh! I get it! How do the eggs know which kind they are, Mommy?”
“How do you know what you are, kid?”
“Hmm. OK, but how do the eggs know?” Push-back. Expect it. Go monotone and glassy eyed.
“Really, son, I am no expert in the chicken industry and my advice is not to look into it too much. You’ll never eat fowl again. That’s a homonym to remember.”
“Sounds boring. Hey, I’m hungry. Can we make the egg now?” There we go. Start sounding like a teacher and anyone will tune you out. I know. Because I am a teacher.
Kids don’t want the real answers to these sorts of questions. No one does! Plus, chicken sex- what’s that about? Gives a whole new meaning to “gamecock.” Not a visual I need any time soon.
Children are exploring the world at large and it is our responsibility to keep them safe. It’s the same logic as why you would never let your kid cross a street alone just because he wants to go to the playground around the block. You certainly don’t want them wandering around out there considering the insemination of chickens in tacky, poorly lit hen houses with some pimp farmer barking out orders to an oversexed rooster nicknamed “Max the Roto Rooter. ” No, you really don’t.