Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids

Hunger Pains

There’s this phenomenon in our house called bonking (not to be confused with the act sometimes known as boinking). I think “bonk” is the official word used by athletes. Not sure about that, but anyway, I’ve been known to bonk. When I was pregnant, I couldn’t drive across town without bonking. My neighbor, a performance athlete, bonks nearly every day after her training, and her daughter bonks. It happens to those of us who forget to eat, who don’t really care about food. Hard to believe there are people who don’t care about food, but we’re out there.

Ty is the family bonker, typically around 4:00pm, usually when he’s arrived home from a friend’s house and hasn’t eaten for a while. Unless that friend’s parents understand Ty’s metabolism—and there are a few out there who do understand it well, bless them—they won’t know to offer food every 10 minutes or so. Because if Ty is busy, he’ll likely refuse food. And he won’t realize he’s hungry until after he’s bonked, no matter how many times we ask if he’s hungry, no matter how many times we insist he needs to eat. If he could exist on air to keep playing, he would.

Anyway, tonight I was actually cooking dinner at 4:45, a first-time ever occurrence in our house, because Ty had an indoor soccer practice at 6:00. But Ty took it into his head he did not want to eat tostadas, one of his all-time favorite meals. A sure sign he was bonking. He had had a pre-dinner snack of yogurt, tortilla chips, cheese, and an apple after coming home from a friend’s house, and then went right on into his bonk.

“What’s for dinner?” he wants to know.


“What!? I hate tostadas. What can I eat?”

“You can make a burrito with a flour tortilla.”

“What? I haattteee burritos.”

Uh huh.

The tears start. He trails me around the kitchen, sobbing. “You’re going to make me skip dinner. There isn’t anything I can eat, so you’re going to make me skip dinner.” Sob, sob, sob.

A memory of my sister as a five-year-old flashes before me. The morning she dissolved on the floor, claiming she wasn’t going to be able to go outside that day because all her socks had holes in them. (Because, it turned out, she’d cut out all the little side bumps at the seams and created holes in place of the bumps. In every single pair of socks.) 

Tonight it’s Ty, adamant that I’m forcing him to skip dinner. We chat a little about how much he hates tostadas, a realization that occurred, apparently, just this evening, and he wails and paces and begs for other dinner options while I go right on cooking the beans and rice and ground beef that I know he will ultimately eat. This goes on for probably half an hour, and his sobs grow drier and drier, complete with that scrunched up face look and the sob that comes out every 30 seconds or so that sounds faked because the kid can’t quite give it up but he also can’t quite remember what it is he’s crying about. Everyone in our house knows to ignore the situation and go on about their business.

At the table, Ty contentedly serves up the various options. “Glad to see you’re finding food you like, Ty,” says his dad.

Ty glances at him, his face a little blank. We don’t remind him of his earlier views on being forced to skip dinner.

He heads off to soccer with a full belly. 

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