I don’t buy Dino Nuggets anymore.
The little trog who sat in the high seat in his Batman cape and pirate hook hand and ate them for lunch and dinner just graduated from elementary school. He ordered the chicken tenders — off the adult menu — for his graduation lunch.
He’s nearly as tall as I am. Which isn’t saying much as I’m only 5 feet 2, but he’s not even 11 yet. He already outweighs me. And he’s starting to smell like a guy.
He is always hungry. If he liked PB&J’s anymore at all, he would eat four of them in a sitting. This is the summer I’ll become a four-gallon-of-milk-a-week household. I can feel it. He’s about to reach for family heights and girth – the menfolk on my side look down on 6 feet — and when junior high starts in the fall, he’ll be looking down at me.
The Drama Teen will enter high school. She looks me in the eye, rolls hers, and gets the hummus and crackers out of the fridge and spirits them up to her room. I have a photo of her, aged two, with hummus, the same Trader Joe’s brand, smeared all over her face and shirt.
My plan to make her moderate on sweets has backfired. I always allowed them AFTER she ate her meal. They were never banned. I was not going to be one of those “no sugar” households that produce sugar-obsessed teens and young adults who hoard candy. But she’s obsessed anyway. She’ll find two or three dollars and run down to the store to bring back a giant box of Junior Mints or three boxes of red vines. Of course I’m horrified. But didn’t I do the same? Two dollars in my day bought four Archie comic books or two comics and four candy bars…I won’t even eat a candy bar now.
Maybe a chocolate croissant…OK probably half a chocolate croissant. (unless it’s freshly baked and then I’ll eat two).
So I think she’ll grow out of it. The Drama Teen is also always hungry. And so are all of her friends. I’m worried I’m not feeding them enough.
I used to worry they wouldn’t eat enough. I never engaged in subterfuge when it came to feeding them when they hit the peak of their toddler pickiness. My mom told me to just find two or three things they liked and feed them that and don’t worry, they won’t starve. They would eat carrots and edamame beans and corn on the cob. They’d always eat pasta and string cheese, scrambled eggs and any fruit put in front of them. Of course they wouldn’t eat a salad nicoise, but what self-respecting four-year-old would? Just give them the hard-boiled egg, sliced up in a little red dish, and another dish, blue, with olives, and let them have at it.
Of course I’d always use the favored cup. Little kids are like that. And the magic spoon. And the small plastic dishes with kitty cats or monsters on them.
The girl will ask for a salad now. With lettuce and everything. The boy can make his own scrambled eggs. He wants sea salt and sliced tomato on his bagel. Both can use chopsticks like Samurai.
I can take all those little plastic bowls and cups from Ikea out of my cupboards, I guess.
It’s a whole new parenting enchilada, this ‘tween/teen thing.