The Hunger Games

Cole had some issues with food when he and Sadie were newly living here. Unlike most six-year-olds I know, he had no problem eating his veggies and cleaning his plate – on the contrary. Cole would not stop eating until the food was Gone. He ate himself sick once or twice before we decided to no longer put the pans on the table, but to make sure everyone had enough on their plates and that was what they were going to get. I explained that what they had was enough and would easily keep them full until their next meal…

… Then the stealing began. Not to say that I view all food in this house as Mine and everyone who wants an apple needs to run it by me, but I had whole bushels of them disappearing from my kitchen. Then cartons of juice from the pantry. A whole pan of leftovers from the fridge. And I’d retrieve them from the strangest of places. The garage, behind the toilet, in his dresser… the list was endless.

I know where this behavior comes from, but explaining to him why this isn’t necessary anymore just resulted in him nodding but still hoarding food. Only now he would lie about it.

Finally, Sam and I googled the shit out of this behavior, decided we didn’t like the go-to method of putting locks on everything and improvised – coming up with the Food Safe.

Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a safe, Cole has the key, and he can keep some food in there. He’s the only one who can open it to take stuff out if he feels like he needs to. Once every week either me or Sam would go through it with him to make sure the food in there was still edible and not… well, Darwinism. Whatever he needed to throw out would be replaced. Controlled hoarding, if you will.

Yes, I realize this might sound insane, but knowing he had his own personal food stash  turned out to be a huge comfort to Cole. There was no more overeating, and no food stashed in random places. Up until today the Food Safe contained a few pieces of fruit, some granola bars, two bottles of water and a bottle of juice, a loaf of bread and some individually sized packs of butter and jam.

Until today, yes. Because Cole just walked up to me with all the stuff from his safe and said he didn’t need it anymore.

I’m so proud of him right now, I think I might burst.

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1 Comment

  1. Food hoarding is scary stuff, but the food safe was such a great idea! Hopefully, he won’t go back to it, but if so, you have a plan. This is a truly fantastic post.


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