Play with your food

The best chicken nuggets are shaped like dinosaurs… or so I used to think.

Tonight, I made the incredibly adult decision of purchasing the non dinosaur shaped, chicken nuggets because they were a dollar cheaper. These are the concessions that we must make as parents. I was however, still burdened by the weight of my decision as I imagined that my children would judge my dadness negatively by the merit of my chicken nugget selection.

It’s important to me to be a fun dad but a buck is a buck.

So I baked their dinner and then served it proudly, hoping desperately that they would not descend upon me like an angry mob because of their plainly shaped food.

Instead, what happened was both relieving and inspiring. They chewed their otherwise boringly shaped nuggets into their own shapes and played with them accordingly.

As it turns out; all one can really do with a dinosaur shaped chicken nugget is bite off their head and limbs but a regularly shaped nugget… this is a creative playground.

My kids made robots, soccer legs and superheroes. They giggled maniacally while nibbling their dinner into playthings and then devouring them.

They played with their food and it was magnificent.

I did my dad diligence and yelled at them to quit playing with their food and eat it but mostly I was just proud of them. Life gave them lemons and they chewed those lemons into action figures, crafted a dramatic story line and then weaved a tale that was both compelling and enlightening.

It was the true embodiment of the creative spirit; it reminded me of my own childhood.

Perhaps this is the secret desire of every parent, to give the gift of the magic of our own upbringing. Or perhaps I am just excited by my own children’s inclination to have fun above all else.

Either way, my opinion on chicken nuggets has evolved.

Life is a playground; play often, play hard and play with your food.