Monday, October 6, 2008

The Circle of Life Explained

Last night, we watched a little of the Planet Earth series that was playing on TV. Emma has always been intrigued by sharks, the first time she saw a documentary where a shark was hunting and ate a seal, she decided she wanted to eat a shark. "But not the eyeballs. Or the head. Cut off the head, oh, yeah, and cut off the tail, and I want to eat the rest." She had just turned three. I tried getting her gummy sharks at the gas station, but she insisted she wanted to eat a real one. This girl's gonna be an expensive date someday.

I have always been really open and honest with her about where our food comes from. "Mommy, what is for dinner?" "We're having steak. Steak comes from a cow. We are eating cow tonight." Growing up, I always knew when we were trying something new or different, my Dad would get vague. Maybe it was because I was already incredibly picky, I don't know, but if he told me it was "just meat" or "just a vegetable" I knew to steer clear. I decided that with my kids, I would be up front from the beginning and hope it would not bite me in the rear later on. So far, so good, but I know I have a long way to go. Emma will eat just about anything, she loves shrimp and crab, asparagus, tofu, Thai food, Chinese food, the list goes on and on. She really wants to try lobster after seeing some in a tank at the grocery store, "But not the pokey part (antennae), or the eyeballs, just the rest."

In the movie last night, it goes through the squid laying eggs, then the seals hunting the squid, and to get to the hunting area, the seals have to swim through a shark infested canal. It shows the Great White devouring a seal, and Emma thought it was pretty cool. This morning, she wanted to talk about it. "Mommy, I really like where the seal was swimming along and the shark just came up and ate it! Why did the shark eat the seal?" "That was the shark's lunch. He eats seals like you eat quesadillas." "He doesn't cook it first?" "Nope. He can't make a fire in the ocean, so he eats it raw." "Oh." Suddenly, after spending her entire life in complete acceptance of the way things work, the realization of it all hit her. "Wait! That's bad! The shark can't eat the seal, the seal just wants to be with his family and he can't be with his family if he gets eaten!" Crapola. I was hoping we could just skip this part. "Well, honey, the shark needs to eat to stay alive and he eats seals. The shark needs to eat the seal, it's not too fun for the seal, but that's just how life goes. It's how God made the world to work." I watched to see the thoughts working in her little brain, and I could tell the moment she had come up with a "better plan." Excitedly, she explained. "Mommy, if the shark eats the seal's whole family, then it's OK, cause they will all be together in the shark's tummy!"

I love the thought process of a four year old.


Snow Mommy said...

Gotta love ya Emma! We had the same conversation the other day about crows and thier place in the food chain. Fun stuff. My favorite answer is "God made it that way".

Kristl said...

Emski is awesome. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

She is hilarious!