December 13, 2011

Defensive Food Storage and Ingestion - Or How I Live With the Bottomless Pit

On Twitter, I've been reading all of the posts from #youmightbeanautismparentif. Many of them describe the particular (and peculiar) eating habits of their children on the autism spectrum.

I read about how their child will only eat chicken nuggets and applesauce; others only like food of a particular color, or texture.

I want to trade their children with The Boy for just one day, and then we can discuss which problem is more aggravating.

Sure, he's picky about some stuff. The only vegetables he eats are peas. He abhors pasta of all shapes and sizes. Macaroni and cheese never crosses his lips.

Apples, cherries and grapes are the only fruit he'll eat.

Despite these limitations, The Boy is a bottomless pit. He eats cereal (sure, he's picky about what kind, and he never uses milk) - but he eats it out of a quart-sized bowl. And it's full. That's about six to eight servings of cereal for breakfast.

He often has a pre-breakfast meal. He'll get up at 4 or 5 AM and eat whatever tasty leftovers are in the fridge - or eat one third of a dessert I had prepared for a Christmas party. He helped make the dessert, and knew that it was for the party last Saturday (that he was also attending); that wasn't enough to stop him from digging in.

Last year, he ate three batches of Christmas cookies in two days - including cookies I had made for a cookie exchange.

If I don't monitor his school lunch preparation activities, he'll put half a pound of lunch meat on a single sandwich.

He has a lactose-intolerance issue, but that doesn't prevent him from taking his new favorite food - cheese - and melting a bowlful of shredded cheddar to eat. But don't ask him to eat a slice of cold cheese because it's gross.

He can eat a large pizza by himself in a single setting. If he uses utensils when he eats, sparks fly, because he eats almost at the speed of light. A dinner plate filled with food is downed in about fifteen seconds.

He doesn't really chew - he inhales and swallows loudly. 

You'd think he'd be full after these mega'd be wrong. He eats so fast that fifteen minutes after finishing dinner, he complains that he hasn't had dinner yet (but it often sounds like "Get in the kitchen, woman, and cook me something to eat").

If I go to the bathroom, I hear him running to find more to eat.

I've started eating dinner when I'm not hungry, just so there is some food for me to eat. I'll gorge on something I like because I'll never get more than what I sample in my initial attempt.

The Mister loves a food bargain, and often buys things in bulk. Many times, that bulk is now attached to The Boy's body. He has a muffin top, and the beginnings of a beer gut.

We hide food - and he finds it and gets rid of it for us.

In addition to food, he can drink a 2-liter bottle of soda in minutes. The last time I ventured into his bedroom (oh, what a scary place THAT is), I picked up TEN empty 2-liter soda bottles. Another favorite trash heap is the crevices of the sofa (great for candy wrappers), and under the sofa.

I assume his digestive system is made of some space-age material that can handle the large quantities of food and drink.

I shudder to think what a potential girlfriend will think of his atrocious eating habits (and hope that she doesn't leave the table for the bathroom and return to an empty plate).

He's about 5'11" and weighs over 200 pounds right now. If he's ever able to live on his own, there's no way his income would be able to pay for food and living expenses. Maybe then, he'll learn to cut back.

Or he'll come home to mom for a home-cooked meal - and slip me some Ex-Lax so I'll be forced to leave my post as kitchen guard.

Of course, by then, he'll probably weigh 400 pounds, so that should slow him down some.


  1. Hey, now wait a minute, I too have been known to down three dozen cookies over the course of my first holiday baking day.

    My brother, an adult who is undiagnosed but has oh so obvious issues, eats at the speed of lightning too and talks megphone loud.

    I know you are concerned for the boy, but I am concerned for you. Do you have a support system? You are his rock, even though you'd like to clobber him. Kim, know that you are awesome.

  2. considering the fact that I am craving homemade cookies right now, I can see his want of the cookies.

    Other than that. wow. just wow.


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