My Son The Junkie
No sir. I have a bona fide junk food junkie on my hands. I have to watch every bite that goes into his mouth. I have to watch even when I'm not watching, because things disappear mysteriously the moment my back is turned. Every shower, every nap, every personal grooming session, is, for Diminutive One, an opportunity to indulge his penchant.
I can't tell you how many times I have discovered an empty box, bag or package sitting deceptively upon my pantry shelf, looking for all the world as if it has never been disturbed, when in truth, it has thoroughly plundered and relieved of its contents.
I am pestered at least a hundred times a day for candy, cookies, ice cream...whatever. I don't keep those things in the house much, because that's just courting conflict. Diminutive One simply cannot stand to see treats languishing uneaten. The moment something even slightly sinful enters the house, Diminutive One calculates how many servings there are and how many each person should receive. He expects to be given that number of servings and then hounds me incessantly, until said food is either consumed or disposed of.
I don't think I'm exaggerating by saying that food is an obsession for him. In truth, I think he uses food to medicate himself against the anxiety he experiences just trying to get through every day. It worries me greatly.
So far, I think I'm doing a pretty good job. He's chunky, there's no denying that. But we keep him as active as we can, and I try to make sure a fair amount of organic matter makes it into him on a regular basis. I could do better with the fast food. We're so busy and it's so difficult to keep everyone fed with conflicting schedules....SIGH. But given his love of food, it could be much, much worse. I see lots of kids who are way, way, way heavier than he is.
But I don't judge. It's a battle that is incredibly wearying because it is never ending. Sometimes, I just don't have the energy to say no. Sometimes, after we've battled over clothing and hygeine and homework and chores and computer time and.....I can't muster up enough willpower to battle over a cookie.
Diminutive One is smart. And he's not one to let an opportunity slip past him, especially when it comes to food. One thing he loves about baseball season is the numerouse opportunities and his ability to capitalize upon them. There's concession food. Late night runs to Waffle House because Pubescent One is starving after playing a double header. A trip to Brewsters to celebrate a victory. Oh yes, he rides those coattails with no compunction whatsoever.
The other night, Pubescent One's team had a terriffic victory that put them in the Championship game. Pubescent One had pitched the entire 7 innings and done an amazing job. He has developed endurance and control far beyond what most kids his age are capable of. He only gave up one run and had 9 strike outs. The entire team was high on victory, but Pubescent One was particularly intoxicated by the accolades he was receiving.
It was very late when the game ended, and we had a 90 minute drive ahead of us, so no group celebration was taking place that night. We piled into the car, hot and weary, but happy. Pubescent One, predictably, said, "Mom, I'm STARVING."
Diminutive One, quick to pick up on the potential for exploitation in that simple statement, piped up and said,
"We should stop and get some ice cream. You know, Pubescent One TOTALLY deserves it!"
There was dead silence for a moment, and then we all began to laugh. We laughed because he thought he was being so clever and sly. We laughed because he wasn't about to let that opportunity go by. We laughed because ice cream is his manna. We laughed....just because he is Diminutive One.
He sat in the back seat with his cheeks flaming, grinning, knowing he has played his hand too eagerly.
And did we get ice cream? Yeah. We did.