We should have known we were in trouble when…

            When he was somewhere around 24 hours old, Benjamin got mad at me for the very first time.  He would see my bare nipple, latch on with a ferocity that was clearly a harbinger of Hoover moments to come, nurse for a few minutes, and then start screaming at me.  Here he was, working his little tail feathers off, and all he was getting was a trickle of colostrum.  He wanted milk, dammit, and he was pissed.

            When he was one week old, I put Benjamin on the floor for some tummy time.  Benjamin did not like tummy time.  He did not like the floor being so inconveniently close to his face.  He pushed the floor away as hard as he could.   He rolled onto his back.  Ahhh.  Much better.

            When he was four months old, we started him on solids.  (Yes, I know your pediatrician told you not to start solids till your child was six months old, but mine told me that the American Academy of Pediatrics said 4-6 months, and both our boys started waking up in the night hungry again at 4 months.  So shut up.)  While the solid foods had helped Zachary resume sleeping through the night at four months, they did little to help his brother, who kept waking up hungry.  We went to the health visitor, which is NHS’s substitute for a pediatrician doing developmental checkups.  “Try protein,” she said.  So, at five months old, we found that the only thing that got the child through the night was pureed chicken.  He started eating it every night, and we all were happy again.

            He did not get teeth until eleven months old.  That, however, did not stop him from consuming broccoli, cheese, and beef.

            When he was just over a year old, he began moving heavy skillets around the house.  A few months later, we would catch him wheeling out our suitcases from the closets.  His older brother sometimes couldn’t manage the heavy objects, but Benjamin was only too happy to help.

            When he was eighteen months old, I watched my toddler veraciously consume chicken tikka masala.  And it started to dawn on me: this kid would eat anything.  I was raising a pterodactyl. 

            At two years old, “want try that” is one of his favorite phrases.  While his brother turns up his nose at all unfamiliar foods, Benjamin sees someone eating something and instantly assumes we are holding out the goods on him.  If someone else is eating it, it must be good.

            To be sure, he has some peculiarities.  He once ate the carrots on his plate before the pizza.  His preferred breakfast is a large plate of my homemade macaroni and cheese.  Often, he likes to have the first of his morning snacks right after breakfast.  And he has been known to start throwing things in a restaurant with slow service, sobbing “My hungry!”

            But all that food is going somewhere, because he is built like an ox.  We have sometimes considered putting him to work rearranging the furniture, but we’re concerned he may try to eat it.

            But I am afraid.  I am very afraid, and not only because yesterday he headbutted me twice, leaving me with a fat lip and a very sore nose.  I am afraid because, someday, he will be a teenager.

34 responses to “We should have known we were in trouble when…

  1. Wow…my son eats a lot, and pretty much everything, but he isn’t thinking about moving (or eating) furniture yet. 🙂 He’s only 14 months old, though, so that time may come…

  2. As I’ve noticed before, Benjamin is like my Bear – he’ll eat anything! Bear loves food too. And he’s built like a fireplug and very strong! Bear is not quite 20 months, and he says “more more” and does the little hand motion — he’s a bottomless pit.

  3. buckle up, honey. buckle up.

  4. You should start saving now because it sounds like he might eat through your wallet as well.

  5. Yup, this is what they mean by hit the floor running I think.
    Best wishes

  6. The picture I have in my head of your kid right now is priceless! (Also, the idea of a kid who will eat anything and everything is inconceiveable. How did you manage that?)

    P.S. Don’t worry about those teenage years yet… you’ve got a little while… and you can always make sure your carrying around some protein for him! 😉

  7. This doesn’t really relate, but I wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your new picture. My mom has several very similar ones of me when I was small with all sorts of food all over my face.

  8. I have a brother like that. A 6’4″, 200lbs brute of an ice hockey playing brother. he could finish off a large pizza on his own at twelve years old.

  9. Your food bill is going to be astronomical when he is a teenager! Wonder if with taste buds like that he’ll be a chef?

  10. Oh, I hear you…we have to start planning now for the ability to feed them as teenagers!!!

  11. Your Benjamin is my Alexander. Which is interesting because your Zach is my Ben. Man, that was CONFUSING.

  12. Raising a pterodactyl! *snort*

    Yes, someday he will be a teenager, and maybe a little bit of a bull in a china cabinet, but with such great parents, he’ll be a lovable bull. 🙂

    Incidently, my 2 1/2 year old daughter eats waffles, scrambled eggs, and yogurt for breakfast most mornings. Upon getting down from the table, she immediately asks for her first snack, followed by her second, then “Yunch”, then a post nap snack, a pre dinner snack, dinner, and a bedtime snack, just to get her through. The amusing thing is that she is so teeny weeny. Just 21 lbs. I have no idea where all that food is going.

  13. Ooooh, chef school. That’s a fabulous idea…then HE can feed YOU!

  14. Same, same here. And now my “ox,” is overpowering my picky eater. . . .

  15. Oh…I hear that. I have one of those too. In fact, I was also headbutted twice yesterday, leaving me with a fat lip…

  16. theo is two and also says “my hungry. my hungry.”

  17. We started solid at 3 1/2 months because otherwise I was going to have to make two bottles per feeding, and that was just ridiculous.

    Mine won’t eat pizza. And he wouldn’t eat spaghetti until yesterday, when Brian put cheese on top and called it mac and cheese. Asher took the bait. He also won’t eat stir fry. That’s it. That’s the entire list of everything he has ever tried that he won’t eat.

    Blueberries and watermelon I have to hide until the end of the meal, or he’ll never eat anything else. He thinks fruit is dessert (not that he’ll turn down real dessert, either). He just loves food.

    What a blessing.

  18. Yep. You’ll be spending a lot of time at the supermarket. Trust me. I’ve been there.

  19. The headbutting, ouch. I’ve had a couple of fat lips in my time.

    The eating…I have one picky eater and another who will eat anything. The fates decided they’d let me keep my sanity, by giving me one good eater.

    Does throwing things in a restaurant get you better service, because I might try that.

  20. My Male Child was a devoted and happy eater but not at really enormous scales. Until the teenage hit. Yup, all the cliches, all the stories are quite true. And there is not one atom of fat on his frame unless it’s under his fingernails. Boy is one scrawny chicken!

    He was, however, quite pterodactyl-like when I think about it…

  21. my brother was a total pussy cat to my mom when he was a teenager

  22. oxoxjmariexoxo

    My son is a picky eater, so we let ours move the furniture;) It’s one of his favorite past times and he’s only two years old. He was so jealous when we moved back into our house and he didn’t get to move anything. So jealous that once we had our furniture arranged, he decided to fix that on my bathroom break. Good post!:)

  23. bustersdaughter

    Wow there’s something extra special about this one even if it might be he’s a protein eating machine.

  24. You are hilarious!!

  25. Well, from the mom of a 15 year old, 6″2″ and still growing, football playing teenager with a ferocious appetite, to use your words: “Be afraid, be very afraid….”

  26. Holy crap. I COULD NOT be more jealous. I posted once about my family dinners…they are torture. Nary a protein will pass my childrens’ lips. Not pureed, nuggeted, fried to an inch of its life. Indian food? I can’t even get them to eat at California Pizza Kitchen because their pizza sauce “doesn’t taste right.”

  27. I believe he will be a gentle giant.

  28. And they say you should begin saving for their college when they are babies! No one tells you to save for the large food bills you will have when they are teenagers. Just wait until his friends are over. I kept an extra fridge in the garage all through my son’s teen years. It was always stocked with “munchy” things for the six teenage male monsters that frequented our house. Ah… the good times.

  29. headbutting? is that a statement or what?

  30. It’s funny how I wish my kid would eat more, and forget that other people may wish their children were a bit more selective.

    P is the same age as Benjamin and only 23lbs, yet she has given me enough bruises and knocks to last quite awhile. Still, fearing the teenager thing too!

  31. I thought this was hilarious! Yes, I’ve been reading a book on teenagers and it suggests that you build up all the ‘awe’ you can with your child when they are small, because once they hit teenage years you’ll need it. My son (much more in Zachary’s line) is now a wiry strong 13 and much my equal in a battle. But I figure Benjamin will become a gentle giant – the big ones are so often tender because they don’t need to feel vulnerable.

  32. Pingback: What in the world will I do with the three hours? « Wheels on the bus

  33. LOL, I know this is late (how did I miss this post?), but when my sister was six we stayed overnight at my grandparents’ house. My mom warned my “Memo” that Jenna ate a LOT.

    The first morning went like this:

    “What do you want for breakfast, sweetie-girl?”
    “Eggs and toast!”

    Memo fixed Jen an egg and 2 pieces of toast.

    Jenna finished them in about 3 minutes.

    “More, please!”
    “Well, ok – you’re HUNGRY this morning, aren’t you?”

    Jenna nodded vigorously.

    Jenna finished her second egg and fourth piece of toast.

    “More, please!”

    My grandma was FLOORED.

    By the time Jen was done, she’d polished off a dozen eggs and an entire loaf of bread. Memo was muttering about having to go to the grocery store on a Saturday morning, and I (having seen my sister pack it away on numerous occasions) was snickering under my breath.

    She ate another loaf of bread (topped with lunch meat and mayo) at lunch.

    Oh, and to this DAY she eats the same way and wears nothing larger than a size 8.

    She’s 5’8″.

    (Did I mention that I hate her? J/K. I think. LOL)