Shortly after B3 joined the family, a friend stopped by with a meal. Actually she brought enough food to feed an army. She’d grown up with a brother and regaled me with ‘horror’ stories of the amount of food he could put away. She suggested I get a part-time job and start saving…for my future grocery bills.
I did not grow up with a brother. My sister and I definitely put away mass quantities of sweets, but not food. Now, surrounded by members of the male species, I’m definitely getting a sense of what lies ahead.
The boys usually have cereal in the morning when they wake up. An hour or so later when the professor and I can bear to think about food, and make our own cereal or oatmeal or pancakes, the blondies usually clamor to join in. Breakfast number two.
An hour after that, they inevitably demand a snack. ‘We want a snack!’ they shout. ‘But you just ate,’ I reply. Using the same four words mothers of boys have used for centuries, I’m sure. Another hour or so after snack, it’s lunch-time. Though here I’ll confess that, due to the noon start of the Gort’s Kindergarten, lunch is often served after school rather than before school.
Before dinner there’s usually another demand for some kind of nourishment and if there’s more than forty five minutes between dinner and bed-time, well that’s plenty of time for another snack.
I remember when we were a one-kid family. I think it took the three of us a little over a week to get through a gallon of milk. Three years later we’re going through two-plus gallons a week. And that’s with only four milk drinkers. What will happen when the babe joins the ranks? What will happen when they hit the middle school years?
We knew a family in Indiana who had seven or eight kids. We could never remember the exact number. I saw the mom at the grocery store once. She had ten gallons of milk in her cart.
The other day, when the Gort was particularly unhappy with whatever I’d made for dinner, I sat down beside him and did a bit of math.
‘Let’s say you’re going to be in this house for another twelve years. And let’s say I make dinner every night. That’s 12 times 365.’ (I think the number was 4380.) ‘So I have to cook you dinner 4380 more times before you leave our house. You’re going to have to figure out a way to eat dinner (and not complain about it) even when you don’t like it.’
The number depressed me a little. It seemed astronomical. And then the professor added ‘just remember, you have two more in the house after that.’
It’s not always good to look at the big picture. Sometimes the big picture is downright scary.
I might have to get a copy of this book.