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Hunger Pangs and Snack Monsters

Be still my singing heart.

Middle child, ‘AKA the fridge magnet’ has come to pay homage to the refrigerator. He belongs to a secret society. A global, ritualistic cult of small boys that must, on an hourly basis, between sunrise and sunset, make pilgrimage to stand before the cold metal box. I am convinced he has a snack browsing quota to fulfill. This would explain why the fridge light goes on and off, more than a driving instructors indicators.

My son has nailed fridge worship. Whilst he meditates on the contents on the shelves, he sways. It is important whilst swaying to also swing the doors back and forth. Once the doors have built up enough momentum, we enter phase two, ‘droning.’ Droning is crucial to getting a good snack result. It is best achieved by feigning loss of control of the neck muscles. This results in the classic rag doll neck so the head flops from side to side.

Drone Issues

Droning needs the right pitch and tone to convey both the irritation of the ‘droner’, and the suggestion the child is in imminent danger of dropping down dead of malnutrition. As first responder to your child’s droning, do not say, “you just ate…blah..blah.. (insert mealtime).” or “you are about to eat…blah.blah(insert mealtime.) This will activate the emergency eye rolling mechanism, which impairs the hearing system.

What not to do

Do not insert any witty repartee like, “how about I whip you up some smoked salmon, eggs Benedict,and a caper reduction” or “how about I feed you the freshly harvested tears of a middle-aged woman in existential crisis.” Any attempts at sarcasm may produce, prolonged sighing resulting in excessive air loss and potential collapsed lung.

Open for droning 24/7.

Have a fruit

Standard responses in this situation: “Have a piece of fruit, make a sandwich, eat that, (insert leftover)” has a 50/50 chance of success in resetting child hunger levels. If it fails, your small boy may emit the warning siren, “iiiiimsooooohuuuungryiiiiimstaaaaarviiing” NB: (Droners don’t breathe between words, as this suggests they have breaths to spare, resulting in food being delayed further.)

Remain Calm

When the emergency alarm sounds “theresneveranyfoodinthewhooooolehouse”do not panic. Please understand that whichever response you give from this point on will be ignored. The child has now reached the state of ‘fridgphoria.’ The small boy will not hear anything you say, nor will they see ANY potentially nutritious edible items of food in the fridge. They are suffering from the first stages of ‘fridge blindness’. This is a serious condition. The contents of your refrigerator are now INVISIBLE. They cannot be seen because they are obscured through the hazy film of belief that you are a crap parent. Try it for yourself. After each plaintive door opening episode, rearrange items, placing new nutritious foods on the shelves.You will notice, zip zero recognition.

No child, I am not a food vending machine.

Eat my dust

I am not a rank amateur, I have a particular set of skills, honed through not one, but three ‘fridge droners’. I am not submitting to your demands to chain nibble Cheezels, until your teeth turn orange. I refuse to let you skull back kiddie yoghurts like tequila slammers. This is not because I am just mean, (well maybe) but more that you are basically craving air. The pursuit of that processed, flavoured puffed air, will not satisfy your insatiable food lust for more than ten minutes. Then, you will be back..on fridgewatch…again. I will get,not one ounce of fecking peace.

The Art of the snack

No more. You will be nourished into submission. I am feeding you new snacks. ‘SLOW SNACKS’. I think it may catch on. A perfect combination of nutrition and nurture. What could produce more mindfulness than picking your way through a pomegranate with a pin. Hell yes. Let them eat oranges! Oranges, not mandarins with their ‘easy peel’ dimply, limp skins and their happy face stickers, all cuddled together in a net bag. No. We will distribute Oranges. There will be hard nosed little Naval bastards who will rip the cuticles off anyone brave enough to jab a fingernail into them. Popcorn you pop yourself, in a pan bigger than Texas and nuts you need a hammer to open. Next time you are trying to guilt me over the range of fruit available in the fridge, or sneering over those less than perfect 25% off organic pears. I will silently hand you that entire pineapple….and a butter knife.

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3 thoughts on “Hunger Pangs and Snack Monsters

  1. As a recovering middle child who used to be a member of the fridge worship cult, I appreciate the efforts you’ve made to expose this insidious and mentally crippling ‘religion’. I’m still recovering from those days of standing slack jawed in front of the captivating selection of invisible refrigerated foodstuffs. I can still hear the echoes of parents’ exasperated requests to close that door, or at least plan ahead before opening and blankly staring at the contents of the fridge. I’m fighting the urge to do it right now, even as I see my own children standing mesmerised in front of the backlit jars and ‘tovers as the cool air cascades onto the kitchen floor. One day at a time.

    1. I appreciate your bravery in sharing your childhood experiences, on what must be a very difficult subject. One day at a time is the only way to go. I know many tortured souls who still find themselves standing bewildered in front of the refrigerator, during ad breaks, not knowing quite how they got there. Tragic.

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