Parenting secrets no one tells you

Your kids will eat all YOUR food and leave none for you.Nobody told me the children would eat all my food. I was under the impression that my offspring would eat all THE food, and that I’d have to buy more food to make up for it, eventually. You know, teenagers, and their legendary appetites. That’s not what happens. They will eat all of YOUR food. Whatever your favorite food is, that’s what they want.

If you’re on a special diet or you bought only enough of whatever nobody in the house but you would eat last week for YOU, that is what they will eat. All of it. How are small children not mentioned in the lists of famous plagues? Famine, disease, locusts, KIDS. They ferret out your hiding places like bloodhounds. (Yes, the same kids who “can’t find” their shoes when they are standing right in front of them “looking” for them.)

But they don’t eat all THE food. No. Anything you bought that you can’t stand- and purchased ONLY because they loved it last time? You’ll have that forever. If you don’t buy it, you’ll be subjected to perpetual queries about when you’ll be buying it again.

That “kids don’t eat vegetables” thing? It isn’t true if you’re on a diet and eating a salad and you ordered them a pizza. They will pick off everything but the lettuce while you make a quick run to the bathroom. So choose: pee alone and eat romaine lettuce with house dressing, or take the little food pirates with you, and have delicious apple, cheese shreds, fresh peas, and roasted corn on your dinner salad.

WARNING: This is not reflexive. You cannot eat THEIR food. Don’t you dare touch anything on their plate, even if they got up to play 20 minutes ago, swore they were done, and asked to be excused. NOPE. Once you’ve swallowed it, they will magically appear to ask How You Could Do Such A Thing.

You know what else? Whatever they refuse to touch and leave for you will Not Help Your Weight Goals. If you are supposed to gain, they’ll leave you with only low calorie foods you can barely live on. If you need to lose, only the highest fat, most addictive, hard to put down delectable items will be on hand when they are done. If you’re allergic to strawberry yogurt, they will turn up their noses like it was Arsenic Flavor. There will be 12 yogurts in the fridge and NONE YOU CAN HAVE. Ask me how I know.

This rule- which I like to think of as the “Mommy gets her share only when we are locked in our rooms and that’s why there are so many after bedtime store runs,” applies to your other favorite products, too. Have a set of colored pencils set aside just for your scrapbooking? No, you don’t. A pair of scissors of your very own that aren’t lost/covered in Elmer’s Glue? Nope. One very special plant you’ve grown from seed in a tiny corner of the yard that’s protected from dump trucks and little kid feet? Just wipe it from your mind like it never happened.

There’s only one thing left. Please. Please please please tell me- How can I get them to do all the chores and leave none for me?

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