Should Mama Feed J’s Tapeworm?

Mama usually gives great advice.  But I think mama could use some advice about now.  Dear sweet middle son J is home for 4 days, soon to be home for the summer after 2 finals next week.  And already I’m tearing my hair out.

He came grocery shopping with me today.  It was great being with him, and he helped me take things out of the cart, and unload the bags, and all the things he did even when he was little.  He’s such a gentleman.  But his main purpose for coming was to make sure I loaded up on carbs and protein, and just like when he was little, he made me spend about 3 times what I would normally spend on my own.  He picks up some expensive steaks and overpriced chicken fillets and puts them in the cart.  These were just for him.   Now bear in mind that I cook big meals, especially when the boys are home.  These were to be his own personal stash of between-meal tidbits.

The groceries were barely unpacked, the kitchen was just cleaned.  He starts cooking noodles.  There’s plenty of leftovers in the fridge.  “Noodles are better carbs for lifting.”  Great.  Mess my kitchen up.

We had a big dinner of baked chicken and black beans and rice.  It was filling and I put some leftovers away.  We should have all been stuffed.  I watched a show, then started doing the dishes.  It was two hours after we had eaten.  J is ready to go out with friends but before he leaves, he wants to get out my George Foreman grill to cook himself a damn steak.  Two hours after we just ate dinner!  And I’m not even done doing the freaking dishes.  He leaves the house a little miffed because I said “No way.  I’m still doing the dinner dishes.”  It’s not like he was going to starve or anything.

My dilemma is this.  We always provided our boys with all the essentials (and more).  But we expected them to pay for things they wanted (like candy and other things they didn’t really need) out of their allowances and/or work money.  As a parent, I feel it’s my job to provide necessities to our dependents–but is 6 meals a day a necessity?  He offered to pay for his steaks and other goodies, but I feel weird taking his money when it’s actually food (rather than junk) that he’s buying.  On the other hand, if all the kids insist on having their own private stash of steaks in addition to the piles of food I already buy, Big Daddy and Mama may be starving themselves in their old age.  So what’s a Mama to do?

PS–J wants to make it clear that he does NOT have an actual tapeworm–that was just my figure of speech.

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