Today’s guest post comes from the hilarious Stacey Gustafson from Are You Kidding Me? She is a humorist and author of the new book Are You Kidding Me? My Life With An Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, which is based on the ups, downs, and in-betweens of the everyday suburban family. You won’t want to miss this book, so stock up on the Twizzlers and Milk Duds, hoard them from your children, and enjoy the heck out of this great post. Then check out her book on Amazon.
Why Not Sharing Makes Me a Better Mom and Other Lies I Tell Myself
No kidding, the food situation around our place had gotten so bad that I started hiding Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies inside a box of Tampons. I bet you’re wondering how this got so out of hand. Like most problems, it started as slowly as molasses dripping down a pancake.
Yup, I’m a food hoarder. I developed this sneaky little habit around the time my first child transitioned from baby food in jars to solids on plates. By the time she turned two years old, I realized I was the last guy to get a fair share of the food. I was destined to get the last bite of cake, the last sip of diet Coke, the last cookie crumble. I had to do something fast to get ahead of the curve before I resorted to begging at subway stations or digging in trash cans.
Once my daughter distinguished the difference between broccoli and cookies, I started hoarding snacks so I could eat one later. And so it began. When she was just a tot, it was pretty easy to tuck away the goodies on a shelf higher than her chubby little arms could reach. Years passed quickly and I moved my stash higher and further to the back of the shelf. Then I was exposed.
“Mommy, look what I found,” my daughter said with a huge grin on her face. “Oreo cookies. Stuffed in the very back of the pantry.”
Fifteen years later, my teenage kids were surpassing me in weight and stature. I fell even lower on the food chain and squirrelled away food out of self-preservation. If I didn’t set a little aside for me to eat after putting food on the table, setting out the utensils, bringing out all the condiments, pouring drinks and running back for seconds, I would starve.
I discovered one way to save treats for myself — eat the foodstuff everyone else hates. Twizlers red licorice was a favorite treat at our place and my kids gobbled down it down the moment the yummy bag hit the counter.
To get even, I developed a taste for black licorice. This I could leave out in the open. No one would touch it.
“Gross, why did you buy black licorice,” my daughter said, eyes all scrunched up. “We hate it.”
My plan was progressing nicely.
As time passed, I grew to “love” Breyers coconut ice cream, Vienna fingers, brown sugar oatmeal, hummus, green peppers, and pomegranates. All mine.
But the sweet stuff, like Oreo cookies and M&Ms, I camouflaged in the pantry, stuffed deep into decoy cereal boxes, like Grape Nuts. No one would look there.
As far as drinks go, don’t judge me because I love Diet Coke. Hiding refrigerated items were a little dicey but I stashed cans of the cola in the vegetable bin, deftly tucked beneath a head of lettuce and a bundle of carrots.
Ha, catch me if you can, sucker!
Around this time, I decided to share my dirty little secret to my husband. After dinner, I whispered, “If you promise not to say anything, I’ll show you where I hide my stash of goodies.” His eyes widened and he took a step back.
Settle down, mister. We’re talking about food here.
To get the kids attention, I put my arm around my husband’s waist and announced in a loud, dramatic voice, “Honey, meet me in the bedroom in five minutes, I’ve got something to show you,” and sealed it with a big smooch on the lips.
“Oh, gross,” my kids said in unison. “Get a room!”
My husband chased me up the stairs. “Hurry up. Lock the door,” I said. I dove under the bed and pulled out my treasure-trove, a pan of rich, dark chocolate chip brownies and a 2-litter bottle of diet Coke.
Now that’s what I’m talking about!