The funniest thing I’ve read online today was in the blog of my brother-in-law Jeremy, a mischievous father if I’ve ever known one. His blog basically recounts interesting episodes with his children. Here’s the entry that made me laugh out loud….

It is middle of the afternoon on no particular day. The birds are chirrrping outside and I am inside with two of my children playing ‘supper’ or ‘tea party’ or something to that effect.

So the kids are happily sitting there, with plastic ware, inviting dad to join them and have some soup. (Air soup, I am guessing, because the plastic pan looked empty to me, but don’t tell them that).

As I join the circle, I notice that Isabelle has invited several of her friends to this little eating festival. Among the stuffed animals and baby dolls gathered there, I select a small stuffed cat for my experiment.

In the Brain: Children really need to know the difference between humans and animals, and that animals, well, are pretty much like plastic toys, except more intricately made. And they have their uses.

Having selected an orange tabby (not daring to grab Isabelle’s favorite one, Fussy Kitty)… I drop the cat in the pot, and cry “Soup’s On!!!”

Both of my children give me horrified looks. Both Ender and Isabelle seem shocked that I would do something like that; even more shocked than I had anticipated.

But what happened next reminded me that whether nature or nuture won out in these kids, they belonged to me.

Both of them reached for the kitty, and took it out of the pot. Isabelle said, “You can’t eat the poor kitty” Ender said, “No, Dad. No.”

And then, Isabelle with her sweet kitten heart said, “You have to kill it before you cook it.”

She’s got perspective, that one.

Then Ender proceeded to feed this poor kitty some of the air soup. And would not allow me to toss the kitten back in the pot.

And then his parenting came through in all its shining glory, and he was my son once again. “Dad, you don’t want to eat that skinny kitten. Let’s fatten it up first.”

And thus stands the whole kitten issue at our house.

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