Stash — by Robin
I recently bought some dried flowers to put in a vase in our basement, and stumbled upon two empty plastic strawberry jello containers stuffed into the base of the vase. We had kept some Jell-o in our spare refrigerator downstairs, and clearly, Seth helped himself one day while playing down there.
We don’t fault him for indulging. He has a sweet tooth. And, they are low calorie (not that he has a weight issue….though I like to keep an eye on his sugar intake). But, we do take issue with him concealing the evidence and not admitting it when questioned. How long had it been there, I wondered?
After this discovery, we decided to sift through the couch in the living room. Seth has a history of hiding food and vitamins under the back cushions. We’ve known this, but thought that behavior was over. Apparently, it’s not.
My husband dug out rotting baby carrots, dried chicken shreds, melting chewable vitamin C pills, etc. It was a disgusting eyesore. We then moved the couch and dug around underneath it. We got out the Dust Buster and went to town sucking up the crumbs, etc.
When I shared this story with a mom friend of kids in their 20s, she smirked and said “control.” At his young age (7), Seth has none, and it’s his way of reaching out for what little he might be able to snag. I understood that, but it’s a gross habit. And, also, Seth isn’t telling the truth when we ask if he ate all his carrots? That bothers me the most. He knows that if he eats his veggies, he can get dessert. Is it too much to expect him to eat five raw, crunchy, juicy baby carrots (which he likes)?
To date, we’ve allowed him to have some meals in the living room if we’re not eating together as a family for
whatever reason. Therefore, we never watched him like a hawk to see what exactly he was eating of what was put on his plate.
“Have you thought about only permitting him to eat in the kitchen?” the mom said.
As obvious as that sounds, we had not required that. But, it makes sense.
We have put into place a policy that food is no longer to be consumed in the living room. A snack perhaps…but not a meal. At least until Seth earns back our trust, we told him.
It feels good to sit down with him in the kitchen and make conversation while he eats, even if I’m not.
I was amazed that we didn’t have bugs or a mouse problem, with all the leftovers that were unearthed.
Funny. Seth and I are similar….but just the opposite. When I was growing up, I’d sometimes have a hidden stash in my room (under my bed) of food (sweets) I’d want to eat. Chocolate covered jelly rings, tootsie rolls, etc. I guess that’s just as bad, in a different way.
I’ve since outgrown that habit…and I hope Seth will as well.