Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Look up the word "mooch" in the dictionary, and you may very well come to Aleita's picture. She has become our resident begger, in particular when food is involved. It is no secret that Aleita loves to eat. As soon as we are finished with breakfast, she asks what is for lunch. Likewise, it is not uncommon that when we are halfway through lunch, she wants to know what is for dinner. It is not unusual to hear cheers of excitation come from her when she finds out that one of her favorites is on the menu for the upcoming feed. Announce that we are having pizza or "basagna" or chilli for supper, and she will happily dance around the house all afternoon, making up songs about that particular food. (Yes, I know...it doesn't take much, right?)

But in addition to loving her favorite foods, Aleita has also discovered that whatever is on your plate perhaps tastes better than what she herself just consumed. Take for example, breakfast. She usually gets some choice of what she has, within reason (she knows better than to ask for, say, pancakes, on a weekday morning.) Ordinarily, she will eat a bowl of oatmeal or cereal, or perhaps an English muffin with jelly. No matter what she has just eaten though, it never stops her from coming around to my side of the table when she is finished and asking for a bite of whatever I am eating. Sometimes it is the very same thing that she herself just ate. Sometimes it is a different type of cereal - - no matter. She will beg, whine and cajole until she is either given a bite, or sent to the other room so that she doesn't stand there and stare at you as you finish your meal.

That glass of water that you're drinking? She wasn't thirsty until she saw you with one. Now she would like a drink of yours, please and thank you. Ask her mid-afternoon if she would like some carrots or an apple and the answer is usually "no thank you." However, walk into the room while you are eating the aforementioned food and she immediately has to have some as well.

The same holds true in restaurants. Soup or salad come with your meal? Guess who is going to ask you for a bite? You got mashed potatoes while she chose the fries? Hers are good, but she wants to try a bite of yours just to make sure she isn't missing anything. She of course, likes the burger she is eating, but she needs to know how the chicken pot pie you are eating tastes as well. Again...and again...and again.

I know that we are to blame for allowing it to be so. We have surpassed so many other common mistakes that often drag parents down, like allowing your kid to sleep in bed with you or serving them hot dogs or chicken nuggets for every meal because they refuse to eat anything else; I guess we were due.

So a word of warning - - if you join us for dinner, guard your plate. There is a little four year old lurking close by, just waiting to move in on your plate. Beware the mooch.


papadale said...

It's amazing how much of an appetite Lil' Gracie has, and Oh, the variety!!I'd bet Auntie J is green with envy when comparing her with the Trumster. Just curious, did Aleita ever eat avocados when she was a baby? hummm...

Karen R said...

/same kid

Becky said...

good to know that I don't have the only mooch in the area...