Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

The pack stalks its prey, watching…waiting…looking for the right moment to make its move…go in for the kill…One of the pack members—the alpha male—gives orders to the others. “Climb up to its nest, using whatever means necessary.” The others obey, eager for the reward that awaits them. And suddenly, quick as lightning, its over. Plastic and paper fly as the pack devours their quarry. Their hands and faces drip with the sticky satisfaction of a job well done…That 6-pack of Hershey’s Chocolate Bars never had a chance.

You’ve heard the phrase, “They’re eating me out of house and home”? Well, I’m pretty sure that was first uttered out of the mouth of a mom with three boys. At first, I thought it was good—”They’ve got such strong appetites!” Then it became annoying—”OK, who put the licked-clean peanut butter jar back in the cupboard??” Now? Now I’m downright scared. Scared that they have a tapeworm or that disorder that causes them to never feel full. Scared that if it’s this bad when they’re 10, 6, and 3, what’s it going to be like when they’re 17, 13, and 11? Scared that our income will not rise proportionately enough to offset the rise in their ability to devour. Hunger inflation, if you will. Scared that we’ll have to cash in our 401(k)s to pay the grocery bills and will then be working at those grocery stores until we drop dead at the age of 98 while asking, “Paper or plastic?”

Let’s take last night for an example. It started out innocent enough. Another gourmet meal of Hamburger Helper (Cheesy Potatoes this time), baby carrots, and grapes. Of course, Boy #2 wouldn’t eat said Hamburger Helper, so he got his old standby—PB&J. Well, then #3 wanted PB&J, so I made him one too, which he then proceeded to “eat” by licking the peanut butter and jelly off the bread and then taking one bite in the middle of each slice of bread. Boy #1, being a tweener and all, was still hungry after the HH, so I proceeded to make him a sandwich as well. I then got ready to attend a meeting and, being the nice mom I am, told #1 that I would stop at the store on my way home and pick up some ice cream so he could make us all milkshakes, which he learned how to do at school. (I’m pretty sure that’s on the ACT test.)

So…fast forward through meeting…trip through the grocery store at 8:00 to pick up ice cream and various other staples…finally carrying in the groceries to the kitchen at 8:45. #1 was waiting as I knew he would be, blender in hand. Even though it was bedtime, I was going to let him whip up some quick shakes for us all. THEN, I saw it—laying on the counter. A scream caught in my throat as my brain attempted to process the information. One Hershey’s full-size candy bar. The little cardboard piece that cradles the 6-pack of bars. Plastic wrap, shredded to bits. “DID YOU GUYS EAT THE CANDY BARS I HAD HIDDEN IN THE CUPBOARD?!?!?”

Looks of guilt sprinkled with a dash of pleasure came over their faces. No one spoke. “I SAID, DID YOU GUYS EAT THE CANDY BARS?!?!” I then noticed the bar stool that had been scooted across the floor and sat, incriminatingly, right beneath the cupboard. “Yes,” one of them finally squeaked.

“You ate FIVE candy bars between the THREE of you while I was gone?!”

Silence.

“Okay, so obviously someone had more than ONE full-size candy bar. I can do the math! WHO ate more than one?”

And then it came out. #1 had eaten a half of one. #2 ate a whole one. And—yes—that leaves 3 1/2 candy bars for my 3-year-old. At 8:00 at night.

Then came the lectures. “You do NOT eat food without asking!” and “Your teeth are going to FALL OUT, and I’m NOT going to pay your dentist bill!” and “Do I EVER buy candy bars for you just to snack on? EVER?!” (Which, by the way, no, I don’t.) and “We do NOT have money to just BLOW on a SIX-PACK of CANDY BARS that you SNARF DOWN FOR A BEDTIME SNACK!” Then, “Well, I guess we won’t get to eat s’mores when we use our fire pit then. That’s why I bought the candy bars!” (I don’t know who was more disappointed–them or me, because campfire [or fire pit] s’mores are my FAVORITE!)

Needless to say, #1 didn’t get to make the shakes.

Seriously, though, it’s like they’re savages! Nothing is safe in the kitchen. A bag of apples is gone in a day (and the slimy apple cores left on the floor, under the bed, in the car–yum!), cereal is looted the moment I bring it in the house, and yogurt? We won’t even go there. I try to at least buy healthy things for them to snack on, but it’s just ridiculous how much they eat! I can’t keep up! Husband says, “Don’t buy them ANY snacks anymore!” But I feel like such a sucky mom saying, “No, you CANNOT have a banana, #3! What are you thinking?” I mean, they need to eat, don’t they? I think I’ve read somewhere that they’re supposed to get vitamins and minerals, right?

I’m sure the blame lies on me. If I had any sort of control of my household, my kids would think twice before just helping themselves to whatever tickled their tastebuds. They wouldn’t think that the kitchen was like Wal-Mart, open 24 hours a day. Crap. Why does everything always have to fall back on parenting? This gig’s hard.

Although I do have to mention that #3 fell asleep RIGHT AWAY last night, without the usual begging, pleading, up-and-out-of-bed-54-times routine…Sugar coma? Maybe.

Hmmm…

9 thoughts on “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”

  1. OK, people, what’s going on today? It’s 11:28 a.m. and not ONE COMMENT yet??? You’re letting me down! Don’t you understand that there is a direct correlation between your comments and my self-esteem? I mean, Heather Armstrong (Dooce.com) had 1041 comments on her post last Friday. 1041!!! (Ok, yes, she’s the most popular mom blogger on the Interweb and I can only dream of one day being HALF as talented as her…but still…)Geez, people, can’t you at least throw me a bone?
    😉

  2. as a mom with 2 boys,ages 2 & 3, i understand the eating everything in site problem. sunday i bought yogurt, as of this morning there was no yogurt left. 6 cartons of yogurt in less than 48 hours. at least it wasnt 5 candy bars

  3. Hi! Sorry, went along on a field trip today, so that interrupted my all-important blog-reading time!!!
    LOVE your post today! Boys really DO eat so much more than girls! My boy should weigh about 120 pounds, not just 30. I don’t know where the food goes. The second his eyes are open in the morning he is saying “snack-eeee!!! snackeeeeee!!!!” And he is begging for food from then until the minute he closes his eyes, AND we do actually feed him all day! I guess he needs energy to climb the curtains.
    I don’t know how they could have eaten that many Hersey’s at one sitting, to begin with. I can only tolerate about 4 little sections before I am foundered. I can’t imagine 3.5 bars at once!

  4. Would you believe I haven’t commented yet today because I was out getting…groceries? Just kidding! But that would have been funny, wouldn’t it? No, instead I was out stimulating the economy at Kohl’s (though I DO need to check that we actually still have money to stimulate with) because I earned the coveted 30% off this month! Today was the last day I could use the discount and it was the third trip to Kohl’s for me since Friday. But on Sunday, after I got done shopping at Kohl’s, I then went to Wally World and dropped another boatload of cash on…any guesses? Yes! GROCERIES! It had been over a week since I’d gotten them, so I ended up spending almost $300. Yes, $300!! Yikes! And my kids are only 8,6 and 2. Yep. I fear the future grocery bills as well. And do you know what most of my grocery list consisted of? SNACKS! Yes, honestly. I think this was what all Wal-Mart shoppers must be looking for on Sunday because there were two-fers on ALL the snacks I normally buy. In fact, one little girl was eyeing my cart with obvious envy (at least ONE person that day wished I was her mom!) as it was heaped with four boxes of gummy fruit snacks, two family-sized boxes of Pop-Tarts, two cartons of Oreo ice cream, a box of ice cream sandwiches, three bags of potato chips, milk, chocolate milk, two bags of lettuce (for me), four boxes of S’mores bite-sized crackers (each boy needed two boxes for his class snack at school this week), a box of Twinkies, a box of Suzy-Q’s,and some string cheese. I bought NO meat whatsoever. (Wait. Are hotdogs meat?) Anyway, still…$300?!?! So, yes, I hear you loud and clear pjmom! It’s been TWO days since I got groceries. Do you have any guesses as to what’s already disappeared before I got to have any? My favorite: the Suzy-Q’s. Figures.

  5. Um. Have you thought about giving prizes to the person who writes the longest comment? I don’t know who that person would be, but I MIGHT be in contention. (What can I say? I like to be thorough.)

    Anyway, if you’re having a hard time thinking of prizes, I could use some salad toppers for my lettuce. And I noticed you had some still left in your cupboard…

  6. Aaah, my peeps are back. Thanks for giving my blog some love…

    And momof2boys…thanks for your first comment! I wish I had some sort of prize for first-time commenters, like confetti that falls from the ceiling or something…but that would require me knowing who you are…and where you live…and that may be a bit scary for you… Keep the comments coming! Boys that are 2 and 3–yikes! That’s mighty close together! How’s that working for you?

  7. I am so glad I was directed to your blog! Being a mom of 4 boys (11, 6, 4 and 11 weeks) I can totally relate to the things you say!!! I used to think that I was either a terrible mom or I had incredibly naughty boys. Your blogs make me laugh…and that is a good thing when you have boys! If your not laughing, your crying. So nice to know my boys are…well…boys. 🙂

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