People say cows have three stomachs. This is not true. Cows actually have one stomach, consisting of not three, but four distinct parts. It’s a large, complex stomach, but it’s only one organ.
Why am I, out of the blue, choosing this time to correct the mythology surrounding bovine digestion? Well, isn’t it just a crying shame that cows and their eating habits are so widely misunderstood? I mean, who gets blamed for all the most dangerous farting going on in the world today? Cows, that’s who. It’s so unfair.
Also I’m about to use this intro to transition to a human topic:
You know who does have three stomachs? My kids.
The smallest of the three stomachs is known as the Broccoli Stomach. In some anatomies, this is referred to as the Green Vegetable Stomach, but since the only green vegetable two of my three boys will condescend to eat is broccoli, we call it the Broccoli Stomach.
The Broccoli Stomach is so small as to be barely there. It fills up after the consumption of just a few broccoli florets. Since the digestive structure of these children does not allow any green and/or healthy items to pass beyond this stomach, vegetable consumption is severely limited.
The next stomach is known as the Dinner Stomach. This organ is larger than the Broccoli Stomach. Its main distinguishing feature is that it expands and shrinks, depending upon what’s for dinner. Chicken nuggets, pizza, and burgers with bacon on them can make this into a stomach of useful size. Any food roasted in herbs, or dishes with too many combined ingredients, will make this stomach shrink to the size of the Broccoli Stomach.
The largest of the three stomachs is the Dessert Stomach. The Dessert Stomach is too large to fit inside a child’s body, but by some miracle of biology, it’s in there anyhow. This stomach has strict standards and will absolutely not accept any overflow from its smaller brethren. Though quite large, it must reserve all its space for sweets.
Though highly discriminating, the Dessert Stomach always has room for more cookies and other treats that fit its strict requirements for entry. Its motto, “No cupcake left behind!” exemplifies its commitment to provide safe haven to all the homeless sugar in the world.
Through this three-stomach system, evolution has provided children with the remarkable ability to execute their primary functions (bouncing off walls, jumping on beds, and leaping onto napping fathers) without being held back by the weight of too many vitamins or inhibiting proteins in their bodies.
If you wonder how a child can say they are so full to the top that they cannot eat one more bite of dinner, and then ask for ice cream in the next breath, puzzle no more. The miracle of the three-stomach system accounts for this world-benefiting phenomenon.
Nature is an amazing force, and did I really need that nap anyway?
Awesome analysis. You should try get this published in the New England Journal of Medicine!
Do they publish articles about animals (e.g. cows and my kids)?
I think my 3 stomachs stayed the same as an adult. Grandpa used to say “There’s always room for ice cream; it just melts and fills in the cracks.” He also thought it was possible to make room for pie by jumping up and down a few times and compacting what was already in there. That was his theory. Yours makes much more sense, Snoozin. 🙂
I admire your grandpa’s wisdom, and his iron stomach. If I jumped up and down on a full stomach, there would be consequences.
In my family we always say that there is a separate stomach for dessert. But 3? You’re onto something. That was absolutely hysterical. As per usual.
Thank you. Sadly, I have only one stomach, whose main purpose is to argue with me after every meal.
That’s a bummer indeed.
Maybe one of your kids can sell you their Broccoli one?
I’d probably be all right with the one I’ve got if I could keep every meal to three bites of broccoli.
Brilliant. I love this post.
Thank you very much!
A delightful review of childhood anatomy.
Scott, I can say without reservation that parents everywhere owe you an immense debt of gratitude. I just went through the entire Human Body Atlas and there was not a single word on the Green Vegetable, Dinner, or Dessert Stomachs. Obviously, these so-called “Experts” in the field of human anatomy are all a bunch of frauds! 😀
They’re just in it for the money. Phoning it in and collecting a pay check. It’s us volunteer anatomists who really care about the work.
😀 !!!! So true, so true. Why I’ll venture to bet that most of the bozos down at the Human Body Atlas offices likely learned all they know about the human body while they were playing “Operation.” I can see that red nose going off now.
And they always won at Operation, because they played with the batteries taken out.
So that’s how they did it! 😀
Well this explains a whole lot! Thanks for clarifying what has been a complete mystery all of these years!
We live and learn, right?
I think this phenomenon not only applies to children but males period. And yes you did need that nap but maybe instead you can have a scotch?
Now, the scotch stomach is a whole different animal.
A fish, of course.
Of course. How could I not know that?!
I was laughing out loud, Scott, all throughout this post of yours. I remember the “good old days” when a child was told if you don’t eat all your vegetables you are not leaving this table.” How would that work with your boys? LOL Sorry. I understand kids and vegges, for the most part do not agree with one another. Sugar on the other hand, does. LOL
I remember the good old days too, Amy. But they are gone. Nobody has time to make a kid sit at a table all night anymore. There’s too much that has to be done. Having time for a normal dinner is a rarity – everything is on the fly. It’s just the pace the world runs at these days. The one thing that hasn’t changed is kids still prefer dessert. 🙂
So funny — I love it!
Thank you so much!