Our family is reading aloud the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and are enjoying the third installment, Farmer Boy. Of course, Almanzo is a typical boy ruled by his stomach and much of the first part of the book describes his daydreams about food and then the copious amount he actually consumes. However, his enormous appetite is no match for my second-born’s when he is having a growth spurt. Suddenly a seven-taco dinner (plus sides) simply isn’t enough to satiate my own growing boy. The warning sign to stock the fridge is that he talks about food 90 percent of the time, instead of the usual 70 percent. A typical day before a growth spurt begins goes something like this:
(hungry bear…yes, bear…licking syrup off his plate while clearing his breakfast dishes)
Mom, I’m hungry….what’s for LUNCH?!
Two hours later:
(hungry bear) Mom, I need a snack!
(me) What would you like?
(hungry bear) Chinese food!
(me) It’s 10:00 in the morning. How about a granola bar?
And after supper:
Mom, can I have dessert? I was thinking General Tso’s Chicken!
It isn’t surprising this boy is five feet tall and 100 pounds. It is also not a shock this boy with an appetite larger than Almanzo Wilder’s has outpaced Dad at every age for height and weight. What is surprising is that he is only nine years old and super-cuddly. In a few years I expect my son will bang his head on doorways and still want to sit in my lap. He loves to bound across the playground at school and into my arms for a hug and it’s gotten to the point I have to brace myself for the impact. I feel guilty…but if I fall and break a hip I won’t be able to cook up the piles of pasta and fish sticks (I know, yuck, right?) that keep him fed between meals. Keeping his energy consumption at pace with his amazing ability to grow is practically two full time jobs, his and mine. For example, here is what (I know) he ate and drank the other day:
~a doughnut, three thick slices of French Toast and his brother’s bacon strips
~Eight pieces of sushi
~a pint of mixed berries
~an entire bottle of Gatorade
~several handfuls of yogurt raisins
~an entire package of teriyaki beef jerky
~a whole bag of lentil-potato swirls
~a half gallon of one percent milk
~a huge amount of popcorn
~”three” candy pumpkins (I say “three” because that’s what he was given but my husband found the empty bag on the kitchen counter.)
And after all that, he wanted to know if he could have a submarine sandwich.