Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How To Tell When Your Child Is Hungry

It seems that children get hungry more frequently than adults do.  Understandable, given that they are little and actually have metabolisms that work...and an above average mom probably is psychic and can tell when the little ones want a snack.  

But I'm an Only Average Mom.

My snack-sensing superpower seems to have been lost in the mail, so I rely on my kids to tell me when they want something.  

My 8 year old is hungry when she rifles through the cupboards and fridge, and makes herself a sandwich.  Works for me.

My 19 month old is hungry when she goes to the kitchen gate and says."cookie".  Also works for me.  She is also hungry when she pretends to eat pictures of cookies in her board books...nice tactic, baby girl, and also effective.

The "sneak attack" hungry is a little harder to recognize.  Sometimes I also want a snack, and tend to gravitate towards pretzels, or popcorn.  Once I re-emerge from the kitchen, I am suddenly attacked by what seems like 1000 little hands, grabbing at my snack, until I look woefully into my now empty bowl, and return to the kitchen, in shame. 

I suck because I didn't know my kids were apparently famished, a half hour after their last meal.

"Lazy hungry" is the one that drives me crazy.  Well, ok, crazier than I already am.  Lazy hungry is when they sit on the couch, or even lay on the floor, and whine, "I'm hungry".  This is more so the case with my 8 year old than with the baby.  When you ask the one who is Lazy hungry what they want, the answer is, unanimously, "I don't care".  My snarky size tends to sneak out at this, and reply, "If you don't care, than I guess you aren't hungry."  8 year old either agrees with me, and I tell her to pick something out of the snack cupboard, or disagrees with me, and I tell her to go find something to do, or play wii with me, or dolls with me and her sister.

Then it dawns on me.  "Hungry" is occasionally code for "I'm bored".  Perhaps feeding my kids attention instead of pretzels or peanut butter sandwiches is what they really need.

Until my amazing hunger-sensing superpowers kick in, I will have to wade through the waters of uncertainty, with the help of my little loves.  

But then again, I AM an Only Average Mom.  

And I wouldn't want it any other way.


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