Our kids are going to eat us out of house and home… Now that Joe and I are married, we have four kids under the same roof a lot of the time. I used to go to Costco once a month, but now we are finding that we reach a “dire need” status within a week of the last trip. We easily go through three half-gallons of milk and two loaves of bread in a week. Lately we have noticed when it comes time to make lunches in the morning that the snack food is depleting fast.
Last week I came home from work and started getting dinner ready. When I went to throw something in the kitchen trashcan, I was AMAZED at how many snack wrappers were in there – chips, fruit roll ups, Oreos, Babybel Cheese, a box of chocolate milk. Basically everything I send to lunch with the kids was in the waste basket and my son had not even been home from school for two hours.
As I was sitting there in awe over how much he had eaten that afternoon, it hit me…. My son has at least two boys who walk home with him every afternoon. They hang out for a little while and shoot hoops or go fishing before their parents pick them up. No wonder I feel like we never have any food — I have three or more teenage boys at my house every day after a long day of school!
I sat my son down and told him that from now on the pre-packaged snacks were for lunchboxes only and that while I did not mind his friends coming over every day that I could not afford to feed them all. My son was NOT HAPPY.
The next afternoon I came home to find a mess on the sunporch – Doritos packages and blue Gatorades. I asked the sitter where the boys were and she told me they went fishing and added, “And Jed’s mom came to get him but then left without him for some reason. Weird.” Joe walked in at that moment and I glared at him, “Can you believe this??? I told him YESTERDAY that I do not want to feed all of his friends every day and look what I walk into????” All the while I was pointing at the junk food wrappers scattered on my sunporch.
Joe looked at me and said, “Baby, I don’t think we had any Doritos or blue Gatorades… they must have brought them from school.” I was so confused, so I called my son from the fishing pond and asked him to come home. When he walked in I said, “Look at this mess! And where did this food come from???”
My son said, “We called Jed’s mom and asked her to bring snacks over since you said we can’t eat our food anymore. So she brought us some snacks.” My mouth dropped open due to my immediate embarrassment and my unexpected pride at the boys’ initiative. He then hit me with, “I mean, what were we SUPPOSED to do mom???”
Joe and I laughed so hard thinking about what my friend Jamie must have thought when the boys called and said I would no longer feed them… I explained to my boy that I meant they could not eat the pre-packaged snack foods, but if they wanted to have Spagettios or Hot Pockets or Easy Mac, then that was fine. He seemed to feel much better about them being allowed to eat SOMETHING at least.
The thing is that we love being the home where all the kids want to be. At least when the kids are congregated at our house we know they are being supervised and we have more control over what they are doing. At this age, the boys especially can really get into trouble when left unattended, so I love that the boys all like to come over and go fishing at the neighbor’s pond or walk down to play basketball at the elementary school down the street. I love that our house is their home base.
I guess if I want to continue to be the home that the kids like to hang out in then I better start going to Costco more often to have better snack foods. I would hate to lose them over some Cheez-its (or lack thereof)………