If my sons aren't eating, they are growing (or making a mess, or being insanely loud). I can't keep up with two growing children. One month I need to take a loan out on food. The next month I need to take a loan out to clothe them.
It starts with the eating frenzy. This begins the second, and I mean the second, my 6-year-old son, Ethan, walks in to the house from school. He is starving. A bowl of cereal, Goldfish® crackers, or raisins won't stall his hunger. That's a "snack-a-tizer." It takes a buffet to fill him up until dinner. He can eat his dinner, second helpings and half of his younger brother Quinn's dinner.
I watched my brother eat like a refugee when he was a teenager. I'm thinking I might have to use the college fund for a short order cook and grocery bill. In the meantime, I'm glad my dad has a Costco card.
Quinn eats different than Ethan. He is a grazer. His attention span is way too short to focus on a meal. He is a whatever-fits-in-his-mouth-and-hand-at-the-time kind of kid. He does not sit still for a meal unless we are eating on the go and he's strapped to my favorite five-point harness car seat. When he finishes his snacks, and eats lunch and dinner, I know a toe is about to pop out of his shoe or something. Otherwise, Ethan is scrounging up his leftovers.
It is mind-blowing to watch the growth spurt process happen. The boys are so different and that is reflected in their eating and growing habits. For two weeks before Ethan's height change (usually a week after the feeding frenzy), he has a pudgy look. Not fat or heavy, just a swollen look. It could be all the cells dividing and gathering for the big stretch. It's easier for me to gauge when I need to shop.
Quinn's much leaner than Ethan. I think being a busy body keeps his metabolism high. I look at him one day and he is only three feet tall. The next day, he has sprouted three new inches. It's like watching Hostas come to life in the spring.
Having two kids of the same gender cuts down on having to buy new clothes every two weeks. When Ethan was young, I started buying his clothes in the next size up during off-season on clearance. The really good thing about that was he always had three times as many shirts as he needed and they stayed in excellent condition to be passed down to Quinn.
Quinn is the hand-me-down kid. He never gets anything shiny and new, poor baby. I frequently score the hand me downs of Ethan's friends, too. I'm saving a great deal of money not having to buy him clothes. I'm insanely grateful. I'm super-grateful especially since both boys are in their prime of a growth spurt.
Yesterday morning I heard these dreaded words come out of Ethan's mouth, "Mom, my toes hurt in these shoes." To make things worse, Quinn said the same thing today. On top of this newly developing shoe crisis, I have noticed their jeans getting shorter and shorter. The jeans are at that awkward length just prior to becoming flood pants.
We are at the brink of moving. I don't want to haul extra things to the house that I don't have to. I am skipping the "wardrobe rotations dress rehearsal" for Quinn this season. I went through and replaced everything whether it fit or not with the next size up.
The wardrobe rotation dress rehearsal is always drama filled. I pull out the pants and shirts and group them by brand to cut down trying on every item. Getting the boys to try on the clothes is like trying to herd cats, from what I can imagine. They run around half-dressed, jumping in the clothing piles and nearly cage fighting each other. By the end of the chaos, I don't have the energy or desire to pick up the mess. Would it be easier to donate the clothes to Goodwill and buy new?
The latest growth spurt likely means new teeth for Ethan and Quinn. I better added Tylenol for teething pain and a cash withdrawal for the Tooth Fairy.
In the meantime, is anyone having a shoe sale?