I live with an almost-teenager.

Since we mostly homeschool our brats, we enjoy most of our lunches together. This has usually worked well – people make themselves a sandwich, maybe put on a brief documentary to watch, the usual. As boy #1 has grown older, his appetite has grown bigger. He often asks to finish up last scraps on a serving plate – and occasionally on our plate. But what happened today went beyond that.

There I was, making a protein megablast sandwich (giant gobs of PB & J on a bun) on the counter. Or rather, I made two, for my breakfast was small and my belly blubber needed a boost. You should’ve seen it: a thin bun, about half an inch depth of toppings, hundreds and hundreds of calories and minutes of tasting delight. With anticipation I headed for the dining table, but … nature called. I left the food on the counter.

For thirty seven seconds.

When I returned, everything looked normal. Boy #1 was still facing away, watching the Beethoven video and munching down on something. The wife had a little wrinkle around her eye, but maybe that was just my imagination (for hers is eternal youth and stuff, darn Taiwanese genes).

Then I looked at the counter where I left my sandwiches. Plural. My sandwich was there. Singular. I emitted a Tim Taylor style “uuugghh??” noise, at which point the chuckles started. The boy stole one of my sandwiches, and was half done with it already. His female conspirator didn’t turn him in!

I thought of thanking them. After all, maybe my belly blubber may not need quite as big a boost. So I grabbed the plate with the surviving sandwich, and headed for the table to join them. As I was about to sit down, I heard … “don’t eat it yet!”

If you were to guess that it was someone’s concern for my well-being – that they saw a bug on it or something – that would be wrong.
If you were to guess that the boy was thinking about stealing my other sandwich, you would be right.
Which he did … twenty seconds later.

I’m eating in my office from now on. With the door locked. With a potty.