A beast in the bloodline

by | Nov 1, 2016 | Editorial

My 17-month-old granddaughter weighs only 17 pounds. She’s tiny, in the bottom percentile of both length and weight for her age, though healthy as can be. She’s a bundle of energy and gab on a level I can’t find anywhere else on this side of the family tree. But I’m thinking one genetic trait from her mom’s side is literally fueling her high-octane output — the kid is a bottomless pit.
I have never witnessed such a dainty creature consume such vast quantities of food, and I’m not prone to hyperbole. Any time the fridge is opened, oven door lowered, or microwave beeped she comes running. It’s uncanny.
She can match me bite for bite and spice for spice. So you think a heaping plate of jalapeño laden hot Mexican fare will put the brakes on her not-so-pint-sized appetite? Think again. She won’t even slow down for a sip of soothing water. And she’s not done until the plate is empty. Maybe not even then if she can find another plate and someone willing to share, which she always does. Who could resist those golden locks, heavenly blue eyes and near-mythical cuteness?
It reminds me —  minus the golden locks, heavenly blues and near mythical cuteness — of me before middle age anchored my metabolism. Do you remember those big honking margarine bowls from the 70s and 80s? Those were my cereal bowls, and it was always a double during Saturday cartoons. There was a time, that seems not long ago, when the triple meat Whatta-cheese, large fries, tank of Dr. Pepper and a couple of Snickers for dessert was known as Sunday lunch. Mom and Dad brought me the burger and fries after church let out when I was on the Sunday morning schedule at Atkins IGA. I wolfed it all down with legendary speed, often before Mom finished telling me about that Sunday morning’s service. And I weighed less than a buck forty nearly until high school graduation.
In the years since high school, there have been other noteworthy feats of ingestion. I recall inhaling entire large pizzas on a few occasions. And a visit to Taco Villa meant one and sometimes two meat and bean burritos with sour cream, four tacos, and a large chip and dip with about a gallon of hot sauce.
Those were the days.
Hypertension and just a bit of vanity have caged my beast. But I hear the growling, and I see it unleashed for the next generation in the appetite and iron stomach of our family’s latest little eating monster.

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