Back in college, my friends and I would hang out in the student union and eat lunch. If someone had French fries they would soon be communal French fries. However, one friend, in particular, hated sharing his fries. To prevent others from taking them, he would spit on them. Needless to say it worked (and he was dateless in college). Though it’s a classless move, I wish I had thought of doing that. I’m not a big fan of sharing food, either, as my son can attest.
“Dad, can I have some?
“Just a bite?”
He reached for my plate of macaroni.
“Don’t even think about it. That’s why lions eat their young,” I snarled.
“Because they eat their macaroni?”
Maybe I‘m exaggerating and did share some macaroni with my son, however, my dinner plate is not what they crave. For some reason, they gravitate to my wife’s meal every time.
“Mom, what are you eating?” my son asks.
“The same thing you’re eating. Why does everyone have to eat my food? Eat your Father’s food!”
However, it’s too late for that. Realizing my kids’ penchant for eating my wife’s dinner, I’m already done and washing my dishes.
Despite my wife’s loud protests, the kids forge ahead and continue to eat her food as well as their own food. After polishing off my wife’s dinner plate, they head to Grandma’s and eat a full meal, further agitating my wife.
My mother-in-law then calls my wife to say, “You don’t feed your kids?” which now has her at her boiling point.
How do you answer that? No, we don’t feed our kids. It’s part of our master plan—that also includes coffee and cigarettes—to stunt their growth.
In reality, not only do we feed our kids three square meals a day but we also seemingly provide them snacks around the clock. Every time my wife or I sit down to relax, they’re hungry and we’re back in the kitchen readying a snack. Waffles, pancakes, cookies, bananas, cereal, chips, candy, a lemon, a sugar packet—you name it, they’ll eat it.
Despite all their snacks, there’s always room for ice cream in their bottomless pits. But not just any ice cream, ice cream from the ice cream man.
I have no problem with the ice cream man per se, except that he’s everywhere. In fact, a few weeks ago, we took the kids to Toys R Us and there were THREE ice cream trucks in the parking lot. Admittedly, it’s a shrewd business move. But as we had already bought ice cream twice that day for the kids, I wanted to wing an over-priced cup of ice cream at each ice cream man’s head.
I managed to dodge the ice cream trucks, but at that 9:30 that night, the ice cream man’s music blared through our block. The kids, who were half asleep, were now miraculously wide awake. And five minutes later, not surprisingly, I was buying ice cream for my wife and the kids.
Despite the fact that I waited on line behind some guy who purchased ice cream for a family that seemed to number 50, no one even offered me a taste. I didn’t want a cone or a cup, but a taste would have been nice. However, that ice cream was like gold to the kids. If it had fallen on the floor, been sneezed on and stepped on, they still would have eaten it. So I wasn’t surprised at my son’s reaction when I asked him for a lick of his ice cream cone.
“Can I have some?
“Just a lick, c’mon.”
“No.” He ran away.
Like Father, like son.
Copyright © 2009, Brad Manzo