Our recent trip to Wisconsin was great in so many ways...it was a grand adventure on so many fronts for my kiddos. A notable change from last year's trip was that Ben was able to land the fish all by his big boy self. Typically, they cast and hook the fish....and then with a frantic and freaked out wide-eyed look on their face, they'd screech "I GOOOOOT ONE!! as they hand the pole to the nearest adult to reel in the fish.
But not this year. No siree.
Ben was quite the little fisherman. He casted, hooked those fish, and then fought them the whole way to the shore (screeching still involved). Maybe next year he'll be hooking his own worm?
The kids were catching some good sized fish, so we offered them the option, "Do you want to throw it back in the lake or should we keep 'em and clean 'em up?"
"Let's KEEP them!!"
It's all about expectations, you know. That, and careful (or not so careful as the case may be) word choices.
I got back from a store run, and the kids ran to the end of the dock screaming for me to join them. They had something important to show me...
I love Sammy's enthusiastic "Ta Da Mommy! FISH!"
Later that day, we decided to follow through on our promise to clean the fish. Like I said...expectations.
Ben was horrified to learn that "cleaning" a fish is a tidy word for "cutting up a fish until it's no longer recognizable and then EATING it."
Ben wanted nothing to do with it. He wouldn't watch the "cleaning" process, and he certainly wouldn't eat his beloved fish.
Well, I guess he watched for a minute, because the poor little guy watched as Papa made the first cut. The filet was removed...and an (obviously) involuntary nerve reaction in the fish caused the little side fin of the fish to start flapping.
"OH! That fish is waving at me! He's saying BEEEENNN HEEEELP MEEEE!"
I'm telling you - we're keeping some future therapist in very good business.
Clara felt differently. She was fascinated by the whole process....especially when we could see stuff like hearts and eyeballs and the food that was in the fish's tummy.
My poor little tender-hearted Ben was in the sun room tearfully mourning his fish
"I didn't know cleaning a fish meant killing it! I thought it meant washing his scales!"
And in comes my sensitive Clara, skipping into the room when the "cleaning" was finished.
"Hey Ben, it's over so you can come into the kitchen now. And guess what? I poked that fish! In the EYE. WITH A FORK!"
More wailing from Ben...
PS. It really was delicious (but don't tell Ben I said so).
PPS. We tried to comfort Ben by telling him that God gave us fish to eat - that it's okay and that the fish can help us grow healthy and strong, and that those fish were sort of like a gift from God to us. FYI - Did you know that God initially gave humans a strictly vegetarian diet at first? It wasn't until after the Great Flood that God also gave animals to Noah and his family to eat. I thought that was interesting...