Our boys are healthy eaters, in both senses of the phrase. Our two-year old has been raised on a well-rounded assortment of fresh foods. When he was first introduced to solids, his mother would put in unfathomable hours of puree sessions; concocting delicious, nutrition filled containers of mush that would be frozen for the week ahead. And he would eat them, a lot. His primary focus from about six to eighteen months was food consumption. He went through that phase where he had about five rolls on each arm and leg. But as he grew older and more mobile, he balanced out his healthy feedings with a healthier amount of active play time. He still to this day clears every plate of every meal, but there have been more and more instances of him skipping “snack” times, which was never his normal M.O. His baby brother appears to be following closely in his footsteps. So trust me, these boys are not starving.
Which has their mother and I even more baffled about our latest parenting conundrum. The case of the two-year old food-klepto.
Over the past two-weeks there have been a spike in food related thefts in the presence of our toddler. They’ve also become increasingly embarrassing for the parents of the hardened criminal. It all started a couple weeks back when a PB & J sandwich went missing from the dining room table of a beach house we rented as part of a family reunion for my wife’s extended family. Now, we were on vacation, and the amount and quality of our food consumption had deteriorated due to our circumstances. Snacks on the beach and ice creams were aplenty, and we chalked up his first offense to the fact that food was so readily available to him. Plus, it was in the presence of family. So we all got a good chuckle, and didn’t really think much of it.
However, later in the trip while attempting to
put on a circus act
Fast forward to this past Saturday. While leaving a strenuous workout at toddler tumbling time, the suspect had worked up such an appetite that he attempted to use deceit and disguise to burglarize yet another child’s snack. He falsely pretended to be interested in saying “hi” to a baby sitting in a stroller, munching on apple spears. As the victim outstretched his innocent little apple-filled hand in curiosity, the accused quickly leaned in and put said apple spear directly into his mouth. Luckily, I was able to intervene rapidly enough, that no apple or child’s hand was consumed in the incident. The mother of the baby gave a nervous, polite giggle, and we apologized and bolted for the door.
But it all came to a head last night, as the brazen criminal pulled off his greatest heist yet. Let’s set the scene. The crime was committed at Hannaford Supermarket and I’m fairly sure there is still crime scene tape set up surrounding check-out line six. As our family of four ventured out on our first grocery shopping
trip from hell experience, chaos ensued when it was time to pay. Innocently enough, blueberries began to somehow spew from the bottom of the cart as dad began to unload our groceries. Mom, with newborn strapped to her front, headed back to produce for a replacement. Madden (who was sitting down in a “car” cart) happened to be at ground level and realized he had the perfect opportunity to snatch something he never ever ever gets. One guard (mom) had left their post, and the other (dad) was distracted in attempting to get the rest of the groceries on the conveyor, while trying not to squish the countless blueberries at his feet.
Enter bagging clerk:
“Wow, he’s really digging into that…wrapper and all!” She says to me.
I am baffled as to what she is referring to, but I see her glancing in the direction of the getaway “car” cart. I step forward and glance down to get a better look and I about lose my mind.
There in the driver seat, is the same thief that had committed several larcenies over the course of two-weeks. He has a package of Rolo candies clenched in his fist, that he has somehow managed to mow through the tinfoil and consume about three of the candies. Mom was just returning with our new blueberries and we went into full police mode. I wrestled away the candies as mom provided backup. The junky went into a full chocolate withdrawal meltdown. All he had to say for himself is “I want my candy”. I’m sorry, did you say your candy? Not on your life. We paid for the groceries (including the half eaten package of Rolos), had the cashier throw away the damaged goods, and I threw the boy into custody over my shoulder and dragged him kicking and screaming out of Hannaford’s. We threw him into the back of the cruiser and headed for the station, flustered, embarrassed and contemplating what punishment would fit the crime.
Don’t worry, he will receive three healthy meals a day while incarcerated.