Any mother of teenage boys will be all too familiar with the species that enters one’s kitchen once they’ve launched into the massive growth phase that is adolescence. I kid you not there are times I can literally see my boys physically growing. To fuel this massive growth, they of course need food. And more food. And more food. We seemed to go from feeding two adults and three kids to feeding four adults and one kid overnight. Needless to say Aldi is now a regular haunt in addition to Safeway/Coles in a vain attempt to keep the grocery bill down.
I look on with jealousy at their ability to eat full hot breakfasts of bacon and eggs on a regular basis, followed by massive lunches and dinners. And when they eat anything, it’s not just one, it’s several of everything, inhaled with the strength of a Hoover. So if there’s anything that’s a special ingredient for that dinner party you’re having, or you need to make something specific, you best label it before the plague of locusts gets to it. Or better still hide it – very well. Mine seem to have an innate food sensor that means they can find almost any special treat I ferret away. I’m sure they inherited that ability from their father – sometimes referred to as the “rat” of the house, given what goes missing late in the night (he calls it supper).
Of course the worst insult to a mother is when you put a home cooked meal on the table, only to be told that they’re not really hungry. Gee, I wonder if that could have anything to do with the cold pizza they had after school, followed by a bowl of cereal, banana smoothie and three pieces of toast. Just the other night Man-Child declared he just couldn’t fit any more dinner in – conveniently he had left some veggies but somehow managed to swallow his portion of the family meat pie. I insisted he eat the veg or no dessert (now there’s a familiar threat). His response – a simple “NO”. Thereafter followed the familiar Mexican stand-off with Mum declaring he could stay at the table until he had finished his meal, all night if need be, and Man-Child declaring he’d happily sit there until 1am and he bet I wouldn’t still be up to watch him.
The only solution – I told him I’m not playing this game with you. Eat the food and leave the table. For some bizarre reason it worked – I’m a little surprised I got away with it – and to be honest I’m not sure how much longer I will wield that power. In the meantime I try to watch what they’re eating and when, so if the pre-dinner munchies hit you can stop them mid-mouthful and ask them to remember a man size meal is to follow shortly. Of course you have to endure the darkest of looks when you choose to come between a man and his food.