Thursday, April 7, 2011

Five Hungry Little Caterpillars

Since having five kids is an anomaly these days and having identical triplets is literally a long shot, I am the recipient of a lot of unsolicited questioning and commentary.  From “How do you do it?” to “You must be EXHAUSTED!” and even “How DID you DO it?!”, I’ve heard it all.  An increasingly common remark is “You just wait; they are going to eat you out of house and home!” 

I just assumed this comment referred to when our "Cubs" will be teenagers; in addition to worrying about five kids learning to drive, rebelling against me and applying to college, I now have to worry about simply keeping enough food in the house!  Here’s the deal though – it turns out that the food issue has arrived early.  With a trio of two year olds, a feisty four year old and super-charged six year old, I can’t keep groceries (or diapers, for that matter!) in the house despite my weekly deliveries from Stop & Shop and Fresh Direct which are supplemented with monthly hauls from Costco and Trader Joe’s.  Every now and then, there’s a 48 hour window where I feel fairly smug and think I’ve adequately stocked the shelves.  The basement fridge will be full of milk, the cabinets brimming over with cereal, pasta and snacks and the fruit bowls full of fresh bounty.  Then, like some sort of fairy tale twist, BLINK! It’s all gone.

It struck me recently that dinner time (or breakfast or lunch!) in the Lyons Den closely resembles the story of a family favorite, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Here’s a recap of dinner one night this week…


 I came home from work (not quite by the light of the moon)  to find not one, but five very hungry little Lyons Cubs waiting to be fed.  Since Des was working late, I opted for a quick kid-friendly meal. 

  • I served up THREE boxes of Mac n’ Cheese and ONE big bunch of broccoli, but they were still hungry…
  • So I gave them each a large glass of milk and ONE empty half gallon later, they were still hungry…
  • So I cut up, not one, not two, but THREE apples.  And they were still hungry…
  • So I peeled TWO oranges… and they were STILL hungry!
  • So I cut up FOUR kiwis… and they were still hungry!
In an effort to preserve what little food was left in the house, I drew the line and ended dinner before they ate their way through one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake and so on.  Even so, much like the very hungry caterpillar in the story, one of my little Cubs was up at 4AM with a tummy ache.  And much like that famously hungry caterpillar, my little Cubs are no longer well, “little”.  They are bigger by the day and there’s an excellent chance that the princess among them fully expects to wake up one day to discover that she is a beautiful butterfly... as she well may be.


As for me, well, I’m considering buying stock in my favorite grocery stores, planting a vegetable garden, an apple orchard and possibly buying a cow – how else can I ensure that we’ll be able to feed these kids when they hit the double digits?!  Any ideas, let me know.  I’m all ears.  And, very accustomed to random remarks, suggestions and advice… at least this time, it is solicited!

1 comment:

Jenny Phresh said...

Funny! We have only three boys, yet I worry about the same thing. I live in terror that they will eat us into extreme poverty, and we will need not one but three fridges--scattered throughout the house for easy access. (Marla sent me to your blog, BTW. I am a local as well!)