Chickens, Diapers And Doritos

The other day, my 4year-old daughter Jada was picking through her dinner.

“Eat your ham,” I said. “Daddy, ham is pig, right?”

I nodded yes.

“I don’t want to eat pig. That’s not nice.”

Hmm, she had a good point. Trying to remedy the situation, I said to her, “But you eat chicken.”

I knew I made a mistake the moment she looked at me with a quizzical, worried expression.

“Daddy, chicken is … chicken?”

Oops! I wasn’t comfortable with where this discussion was headed. My wife is very patient with me, but before the situation got out of hand I quickly told Jada about Sally, the 2-year-old chicken that came to our hospital.

Jessica brought her pet Sally in for an exam because she noticed Sally limping. After a full orthopedic exam, I diagnosed a strained ACL. This type of knee injury would sideline a football player for weeks, and my recommendation was no different. I told Jessica to keep Sally confined indoors and prescribed meloxicam, which is an anti-inflammatory medication.

“Doc, keeping Sally indoors is not a problem because she lives with us in the house. We let her out in the yard every day so that she can get exercise, but she’s basically an indoor pet.”

I took a moment to go over the logistics of such an arrangement and decided to ask the question: “How do you prevent her from pooping all over the house?”

“We put a diaper on her and just change it periodically. Sally is really domesticated. In fact, her favorite snack is Doritos.”

I stood speechless. I’ve seen a lot of chickens in my day (which in itself sounds a bit funny), but I don’t think any of them wore diapers or ate Doritos. The dedication by Jessica and her family was very impressive. I bid Jessica and Sally farewell, again stressing the importance of strict rest. Little did I know that one day sharing Sally’s story would bail me out of a tough predicament with my daughter.

After telling this story to Jada, I turned to her and said, “So chickens can be great pets. Maybe one day if you are a good girl we can get a pet chicken.”

“Daddy, so the chicken that we eat is … chicken?”

My ploy failed. Fearing my wife’s wrath when Jada stops eating food with chicken in it, I resorted to plan B and replied, “Hey, do you want some ice cream?”

With a huge smile she ran to the refrigerator.

Another close call on the wild side.