Before you get all upset, I don’t have any children. I have six of my own children: two girls, three boys and another girl. They are 34, 32, 29, 26, 24 and 14.
I will tell you up front, I love my children with all my heart. They are my reason for living.
They are also the source of the most exquisite joy and heart ache, pride and frustration, laughter and tears, and togetherness and loneliness.
You should also know a simple but important fact. Children can be fattening.
When I was young I had a 1940’s pinup figure and never weighed more than 136 lbs. I was very proud of how I looked and enjoyed being whistled at and ogled.
After enjoying smooth skin, a fabulous figure, and pert breasts for a good portion of my life pregnancy was a game changer. This is something that is a real image issue with many women.
I gained an average of 45 lbs. per pregnancy no matter how careful I was. I carried the baby completely out front. I still looked skinny and had a great figure as long as you looked at me from the back. But, as soon as I turned around people were scrambling for their eyeballs trying to get them off the floor.
I lost all the weight with my first five children. It took hard work and determination. Nursing and chasing my children around all day was also very helpful.
Then I had my sixth child. I still look pregnant and she is 14.
While people talk a lot about cravings when a woman is pregnant, they don’t often talk about the cravings that come after the child is born.
Mothers with young children often eat things to stay awake during the sleep deprivation of a child’s early years. While fresh fruits and veggies are great, we often crave carbs because our body uses them to provide fuel for immediate consumption.
These are prevalent in a house with children. We often have cookies, bread, pop tarts, chips, etc. around for children to snack on. Unfortunately, if you are tired enough, you won’t care and will eat the first thing that you can get your hands on.
Did you know that if you are tired enough a hockey puck looks just like an unwrapped Ding Dong?
This is often the alternative to eating our children. Though I have contemplated dipping my children in chocolate before eating them.
There are some days when our children just push us to our breaking point. As parents we can feel like failures because we have somehow raised wild, obnoxious children. On these days I often wondered why I wanted children in the first place.
I have even accused myself of having six episodes of temporary insanity, but then I realize that I’m crazy anyway, so it really doesn’t matter.
Chocolate helps me to calm down because it often stimulates the pleasure center of the brain. This is good because relaxed parents are less likely to eat their children.
These sweet little ankle biters are learning to share. One of the first things that they will share are their fingers and their food. Accept the offering.
Yes, it is often soggy and covered in drool, but it is important that you let them put their fingers and food in your mouth. If you are willing to accept their soggy cheerio they will be more willing to accept your clean crunchy carrot.
You may be thinking, “I can’t do that! It’s gross!” but remember that you did swap spit during the conception process. Besides, genetically, it is half your spit anyway.
We all lick our fingers when they have good things on them. Children are no different. Frosting, ice cream, chocolate, fried chicken, and messy hamburgers all taste good on our fingers.
We often share tastes with our children from our fingers. They will reciprocate.
Food is a requirement when talking to teenagers.
I have discovered a couple of very interesting things about teenagers:
- Their vocal chords are nocturnal, and they often don’t talk until you are ready to go to bed.
- They are more likely to talk with a late-night snack.
Eating together is a time-honored way of opening trade discussions. Businesses still observe this ritual today. You need to:
- Sit next to or across the table from your teen.
- Place the snack between you.
- Make the same hand to mouth movements as your teen.
- Keep your mouth full, your mind open and listen attentively.
This is an important ritual that, when observed, enhances parent teen relations and improves communication.
Children are Stressful
Having children can enhance our daily stress. Their need to push every boundary and rule can push us to the edge of cannibalism.
They always wait for us to be tired and stressed before engaging in these activities. Probably because that is when we are weakest and most likely to give in.
Children will often get on our very last nerve and then . . . . dance.
About the time we start wondering if they would taste good with BBQ sauce the child will run up, wrap their little arms around your neck and say those fatal words: I love you!
A great sigh escapes from deep within us as we gather the child into our arms.
They get to live another day.
This is what we can have when our children reach adulthood. I have 12 beautiful grandchildren. There are 3 boys and 9 girls.
My children have complained that their children’s grandmother is not the same person as their mother. Of course she isn’t.
Grandmas are nicer and more fun.