My dad always used to keep a 2 litre bottle of Pepsi in a bottom cupboard in the kitchen; it was often next to his pint of rum. We were always told not to drink this pop under any circumstance, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a bit stingy - he could have at least offered to share his rum. Mom pretty much let us have whatever we wanted yet Dad wouldn’t ever let us touch that Pepsi. If any of us five kids had drank tea, it might have been another issue if we’d emptied mom’s teabag canister. Yet if there was no milk for her tea, Mom would often just nip to the shop to buy another carton. I think it would be a safe bet to say she’d probably just do the same with her tea.
However a fact came to light as I grew older, (especially when I inherited boy-children), was that Dad had a reason to keep that bottle for himself. Children, teenagers especially, have a way of making drinks/food disappear faster than you can say ‘Who drank my diet coke?’
Andy and I often buy Alex a stash of his own pop, squash and more recently his own carton(s) of orange juice. If we don’t do this, he will drain every carton/bottle of liquid within the house and leave us with nothing aside from water. He learned the hard way to stay out of my diet coke. If he asks I often don’t have a problem with sharing, but sneaking the odd 2-3 tins just won’t sit well with me, especially when I’m trying to cut down and make a case last two weeks. Especially when he was bought his own; it’s not my fault he can’t control himself and has to drink every can and eat every biscuit until its all gone; The boy would never have survived in my childhood home where my parents only did a grocery shop every two weeks.
On the weekend I cooked up a big batch of lemon chicken. There was plenty left over to give Alex something to snack on later that evening when he finally returned home, and the rest I put in a container for Monday’s lunch with a salad. Silly me, I forgot to put a big label on it, or better yet just tell the boy that I was saving that chicken for my lunch, a lunch that I was really looking forward to. Yesterday when I got home from the gym and saw the empty container in the sink, I really shouldn’t have been surprised; and I wasn’t, to an extent. I just calmly explained to myself that I should know better by now and let it go (I have come a long way in recent months let me tell you). To add insult to injury, when I later pointed out that he had eaten my pack up, Alex said with a grin "If its any consolation, it was quite tasty'. Perhaps its my own fault for being such a queen in the kitchen. At least we were both smiling.
My sister found it hard to share a bedroom with me growing up as she didn’t really have a space that was all her own (none of us save my brother did). I’m sorry, but siblings are nothing compared to teenage refuge bins. If ours isn’t eating our ‘snacks’, he’s using our shower, and even worse – my towel. Even though he gets his own ‘treats’, has his own shower, and there is a closet full of fresh towels in the closet next to his room. Sorry, teenage children trump siblings for sucking the personal enjoyment out of certain aspects of life. Yet my sister is probably smiling as she reads this, thinking payback is a bitch. And it is… it is.
Let’s just say our Little Dustbin is lucky I love him and that I don’t have a problem repeating myself – many times; And over time I’ve gotten used to hiding my stash. Having four siblings teaches one to share, but at the same time, it also gives you an education on how to ensure some things remain your own.