My kids ask for—nay, demand—snacks at all hours of the day and night. Constantly. They haven’t latched onto the idea that breakfast is served in the morning, but they are totally down with the fact that snacks can be given at any time in a 24-hour period. Here are just 10 (believe me, there could be more) moments in a day when my kids ask for snacks:
6 A.M. ‘Mom, can I get up and have a snack?’
For the love, child, your eyes literally just opened and you’re asking for food already? I guess I can’t blame them; that’s how I am with coffee.
8 A.M. ‘Mom, I got dressed! Can I have a snack now?’
I’m not sure when or if I taught my children this bizarre reward system, but any time they accomplish a task, regardless how menial, they feel they deserve a treat. It’s like Pavlov had second-graders. Ring a bell; get a snack.
10 A.M. ‘Mom, I’m all buckled! Can I have a snack please?’
My kids have learned that I always have emergency snacks in my bag whenever we leave the house because you just never know if we’re going to wind up stranded somewhere, and no one wants to be around hungry children.
11:30 A.M. ‘It’s the snack store!’
To my kids, the grocery store is like an all-you-can-eat buffet. So much food! So many choices! So many bags to throw into the cart and boxes to open! If I decline their request for a snack, they tend to help themselves anyway when my back is turned. I look away for one second to grab an eggplant, and when I come back, their faces are covered in chocolate. They’re like Houdini before Houdini had fully developed motor skills.
1 P.M. ‘Mom, this is boring! I need a snack!’
Waiting is the worst. It could be at the bank, the library, even a red light for crying out loud. To a young mind, stillness equals time for cheese and crackers.
4:40 P.M. ‘Is it dinnertime yet?’
My darlings walk in the door from school and immediately ask to be fed. Of course, I need to tide them over with a snack or risk trying to prepare dinner with a 7-year-old clinging to my leg.
6:45 P.M. ‘Mommy? I’m still hungry. Can I have a snack?’
Like clockwork, 10 minutes after I’ve cleared the table and cleaned the dishes, a sticky hand will grab my shirt and a voice that could make angels cry will put forth a request for a snack. On the off chance that they are actually going through a growth spurt, I usually give in with something like a Mini Babybel® cheese that I can feel good about.
8 P.M. ‘I need a snack before bed!’
It took me longer than I care to admit to catch on to the fact that if it was past 7:30 p.m. and my 6-year-old said she was hungry, it actually meant she was tired and trying to put off the whole sleeping thing for as long as possible. Now it’s just another cue for both of us that sweet, sweet slumber is coming soon.
2 A.M. ‘Mom, I can’t sleep. Can I have a snack?’
I’d like to say with confidence that I’ve never given in to this particular request, but it’s 2 in the morning, and who the heck knows. I’m a mom of two energetic kids, and I am tired. To my knowledge, I have not allowed them to eat in the middle of the night. Yet.
2:05 A.M. ‘But I really can’t sleep without something to eat!’
Now I’m wide awake, so I’ll sit down and join them in a snack at this point.
Some days they ask more often, some days less, but the fact remains that right up there with “playground” and “playdate,” “snack” is one of their favorite words.
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