Family · Life · Parenting


Some of you are going to think less of me after you read this. I don’t care. It’s time we talked about this.

I don’t like sharing my food with my kids.

They’re sneaky, and they learn it early. They sidle up under your arm at two years old with those enormous dark liquid eyes just as you are about to eat the last bite of the warm brownie that has three different kinds of chocolate chips still all melty on the top, and they blink at you and say, “Mama? Treat?”

No. You are adorable, but you do not get the last bite of brownie.

No, you may not have the sliver of pecan pie that I have been hoarding for three days because I really, really wanted a treat when I got home from work late on Thursday.

No, you may not have my carefully portioned next-day’s lunch as your bedtime snack that will be abandoned after three bites because it’s leftovers, yuck.

No, you may not have one of the peanut butter eggs from the supposed-to-be-secret drawer that I ration out to myself once a week. What about “I am still hiding Easter chocolate in my dresser in September” indicates to you that it might be up for grabs?

No, you may not have the macarons that my friend sent to me from six hundred miles away in care of another friend who ensured that these fragile confections made of unicorn farts and fairy dreams arrived unbroken. You think that Fla-Vor-Ice freezies are the pinnacle of dessert creation. I will not defile a French macaron by placing it in your grubby little paws. NO.

Paul has no problem with this behavior. He could be 90% of the way into the last piece of red velvet cake, his favorite thing that I make, and the kids could walk up and ask for it and he would hand over the last bite in exchange for a kiss. He doesn’t even care.

I remember seeing a mug somewhere shortly after Levi arrived in our home. It said, “Once you’re a mother, it’s never really YOUR muffin again.”

That’s not even funny. NO.

Listen, I am not depriving my children of food. They are both well into the healthy part of the curve on that chart thingie they show you in the pediatrician’s office. Our house is full of food. Sometimes I think about people who don’t have enough food and I am embarrassed by my overstuffed pantry. They have vegetables, they have grains, they have meat, they have fruit. If Paul and I fight about food, it is about the amount of ice cream available to them at his hands. These are not children in need of sustenance. Or sugar.

So, no, I don’t feel bad about smacking their hands away from my food. Someone tried guilt once. “Mama,” he said, with such a solemn innocent face, and a dark, cynical little heart beating in his chest, “you won’t share food with me?”

Child, if I didn’t share all of the food with you, you would in fact have zero food. I love you beyond all reason. I have given up sleep and disposable income and sanity for you.

Now go find your own muffin.

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