At 6:50 in the morning, he peered into his lunch bag and made a face.
“What’s the matter?” I asked. I had just finished making lunch for both he and his brother; sandwich, chips, cookies and a drink.
“This isn’t enough food,” he admonished me. “It will all be eaten before it’s actually lunchtime.”
“It’s what I always make you,” I said, feeling like I needed to defend myself. After all, it seemed like plenty of food to me.
“Mom, you’re not 16,” he said, as if I needed reminding. “We 16 year olds need more food than this. We’re hungry. We’re growing. We need to eat, constantly.”
On Saturday at 5 p.m., I returned home from the grocery store with $200 worth of groceries. Included in the assortment of edibles were things for school lunches, the week’s supply of meals, several gallons of milk, and even a smattering of fruits and vegetables, just to keep us honest. By Tuesday it was all gone.
All of it. I kid you not.
“How is it possible that we have gone through 2 gallons of milk in two days?” I ask rhetorically.
“I only had one glass,” my husband offers.
“I just had some with dinner,” confesses the oldest.
“Mom, you know I drink water,” youngest chimes in.
“Well I sure as heck didn’t drink two gallons of milk!” I pronounce looking squarely back at all three of them.
Keeping the refrigerator stocked is one of the challenges of raising teenagers. You know those commercials where the gal is reaching into the cold case to get a carton of orange juice? The cold case has an open back and she reaches straight out into an orchard where the farmer hands her a carton of fresh squeezed. Well, that’s the way my refrigerator works, only it works by the depletion method. I put things in and someone on the other side takes them out. One minute it’s full to the brim and I’m reshuffling the pickle jar and the coffee can just to squeeze one more thing in. The next thing I know, the darn thing is empty again, only no one seems to know where it all went.
Milk is the worst. Forget those ½ gallons, those are for wimps. I head straight for the big plastic jugs. I buy 2 gallons at a time and it’s still not enough. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning, pouring yourself a cup of coffee only to find that there is no milk in the fridge. We go through so much milk I am considering offering my children for those “Got Milk?” ads. They won’t even need the fake milk mustaches.
Maybe we should just get a cow.