Just now, Munchkin woke up early (waaaaaay too early) after her nap, opened her bedroom door, saw that I was eating yogurt and pointed to it, asking for a bite. She ramps up from sleeping to eating in less than two seconds and this is how she is every day. She always wants to eat--it doesn't matter if it's her food, her brother's food or my food, but she wants it. She could have just eaten a five-course-meal, but if she spots a goldfish cracker from across the playground, she wants it. She'll ask kids for their food, moms for their snacks and complete strangers for a bite, even if she doesn't know what they're eating.
Yes, I'm psyched that Munchkin likes to eat and that she has a healthy appetite, but keeping her hands out of other people's food is somewhat exhausting. Well-meaning parents always offer her a snack when she toddles up to them, but they don't realize that lunch is in 30 minutes and if she chows down on the latest "healthy" imitation cheese puff, she's not going to eat her lunch. Those same parents also don't realize that if they offer Munchkin a snack cup of grapes, she is going to eat all of them and their child won't get any unless I distract her. As I drag a wailing Munchkin away from another parent and their snacks, I sometimes want to yell, "I feed her! I really do!"
Even at home, Munchkin will raid the fridge and climb up to the counter to find a snack. Every time she runs into the kitchen while I'm prepping food, I rue the day we got rid of our kitchen gate. Of course I'm worried she's going to hurt herself--she fears nothing, after all--but I also fear her grabbing the eggs from the fridge or the juice from the shelf.
Part of my annoyance also boils down to the fact that she and I are together all day, every day of the week. I don't mind that she eats a variety of foods, I mind that she eats my food. I sometimes just want to sit down next to her at lunch and eat my food peacefully without it being hijacked by Ms.Cookie Monster. Even my salads aren't safe from her hands anymore. I admit that I sometimes tell her the food is too spicy for her or that my smoothie is coffee, just so she'll leave my food alone. I can't do that every day or at every meal, so most days she chows down and, like Cookie Monster, says, "nam, nam, nam, nam."