I brought mum and HQ to the fish market one Friday morning. While mum and I were choosing the fresh array of fishes, HQ too was busy feeling, touching, poking the different types of fishes and other shelled sea creatures. While asking a lot of questions. After paying for our fishes for the week, the fishmonger's helper cleaned the fishes for us.
HQ watched intently as the helper scaled the fishes, slit the bellies open and pulled out whatever's inside. He instantly asked me whether he can bring the scales, gills and innards home, so that he can "learn from them". He said he wanted to separate them to see the different components, compare them to see the differences between fishes and to dissect them to see what's inside. Eeww... Of course I refused his request. They're so dirty, smelly and full of germs! (On second thought, I should have said yes as it's really a good way of learning since he's so keen).
After I sent mum home and we reached our home, I just chucked the cleaned fishes into the fridge to be washed again later. HQ took his bath, ate his lunch and went to school.
So, HQ has always been curious about animals. While QQ will squirm and squeal when faced with cold and yucky things, HQ will relish in the experience and will not bat an eyelid.
After QQ came back home and taken her lunch, I took out the fishes from from the fridge to be washed, and put into different containers to be frozen according to different meals. QQ came over to take a look. She saw me washing the fishes, with their heads intact and all. She was very quiet for awhile, then said while looking at the fishes with big wet eyes:
QQ: I know food (fish and meat) is good for us, but they are so pity (for the animals). I wish I don't have to eat them (fish and meat) anymore :'(
Ok, my fault. After this previous incident, I have been very careful in serving her fish... cannot let her see fish heads, bones or skin. Only the flesh of the fishes is fine. Now I reminded her of this "unpleasant activity" of cleaning fishes again :-s
She has voiced out that she rather not eat meat or fish and just eat vegetables, but I'm not ready to start her on being a vegetarian yet. Not now at a growing stage and so young an age. I'll let her make her own decision when she's older.
See how a simple activity of buying and cleaning fishes can produce such different responses from my two children? :-)
(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without expressed written permission.