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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Riddle me this, Batman

Help me out with this one, internets. My kids both have wicked anxiety over food spoilage. Not normal anxiety, more like "am I gonna die if I eat this" anxiety. But not over moldy food from the fridge (come on, you have science experiements at the back of your fridge, too), all food. Like, the Girl will take out a box of cereal opened two days before and ask in a paranoid voice, "Is this still good?" It's cereal, for God's sake! Ditto with cheese. Every piece of cheese needs the big question "When did you buy this and is it still good?" OK, cheese does get moldy, but not in the amount of time we usually keep it. This drives me nuts. Literally anything that is opened is fair game for the paranoia. Anything. They both check expiration dates obsessively. They do not believe in shelf dates. If the date is passed, it's BAD.

Now, if you think I'm making a mountain of a molehill, they do this with cookies, candy, chips, and any other junk food they can get their sticky hands on. Who checks the expiration date on a candy bar? Only nutcases and my kids. I swear I am not like this. Nobody I know is like this. Why are my kids like this and how do I make them stop. It drives me nuts. The Girl even questions gum. And ice cream. Ice cream that doesn't last 2 days in our house. Is it bad. NO, it's GONE.
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27 Comments:

Blogger rashbre said...

I find the light mould on some items is a reasonable clue that they may be past their eat-by date.

Here via Michele's!

rashbre

28/1/06 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie Davies said...

Here from Michele's tonight! Well, I have no idea why your kids would be doing it...my son is 8 years old and would eat things off the floor if I would let him lol

I myself am terribly paranoid about food expirations, just as bad or as worse as your kids. But that is because of the way I was raised - Grandma would literally just scrape the mold off the top of a can of salsa and serve it to us anyhow :( So now as an adult, I'm obsessed with it (and have a stomach made of metal to boot!). But I can't imagine what would cause that behaviour in children??

28/1/06 7:51 PM  
Blogger kontan said...

i admit...everytime the sitter is here i remind her to be careful of the leftovers. you just never know. not too obsessive about dates...just on the stuff i know will make us REALLY sick, like eggs. although, i hear mayo is a serious culprit. how many frequently check the date on mayo?

28/1/06 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Last Girl On Earth said...

I just spent last half hour going through my father's fridge. Your kids would have had a field day over here! Michele sent me, but realized that I really need to blogroll you because it seems like I already know you from Michele. I need to visit on the weekdays, too!

28/1/06 11:35 PM  
Blogger Shane said...

my problem is more like "You're not gonna eat that are you?"

~michele sent me

28/1/06 11:45 PM  
Blogger YellowRose said...

Shoot my kids will eat anything that doesn't have fuzzy stuff on it! JK Honestly, my son can't tell when milk is spoiled by the smell....I'm like if it smells gross don't drink it! He's 20 by the way! lol

Here via Michele's!

28/1/06 11:50 PM  
Blogger Marcia said...

I took a bunch of celery out of the fridge today, and it looked like it needed some viagra... I'm now worried about it. The best thing was my husband still said he'd eat it. But I threw it away anyway.

28/1/06 11:54 PM  
Blogger Lynda said...

Greetings via Michele! Your kids do sound a bit unusual, but maybe it's a good thing - if you're trying to cut down on the consumption of junk food, tell them the expiration date was up 2 days ago!

29/1/06 12:07 AM  
Blogger bschneider5 said...

I don't know. Neither does Michele.

29/1/06 12:26 AM  
Blogger jac said...

LOL your post was really hilarious. Your kids are a bit unusual, but then again, aren't they all??? I keep thinking about the cheese.......I wonder what they'd do if they found out how cheese is actually made?

29/1/06 2:26 AM  
Blogger jac said...

oh... also, you visited my site (thank you ! ) and asked if i really think i'm a jinx? yes i always have. bad, weird, strange things always happen to me. i really do not think that it is a self fulfilling prophecy at all. i'm just a jinx. *shrug*

29/1/06 2:28 AM  
Blogger nita said...

hahaha. those kids are snarky geniuses! tell them this true story: i was helping a pal move. we pulled out a corner cabinet and a box of entemanns (sp?) cookies had fallen behind. more than 2 years ago. they.looked.perfect.

i make my own cookies now...

29/1/06 2:26 PM  
Blogger WendyWings said...

Your kids are the opposite of mine , I think they would eat anything as long as it wasn't covered in mould or moving.
Michele sent me tonight.

29/1/06 5:56 PM  
Blogger Prego said...

If you've ever tried to drink the milk out of a carton only to have a solid chunk of yogurt(?) hit your lips instead, you pretty much check whatever you can.

Nice insight! I remember once my brother's ex girlfriend and her roommate were perplexed by a mysterious leak from their refrigerator and asked my brother to investigate. He pulled out a non-descript item-

Girl: What is it?
My Brother: Do you want to know what it is or what it was?


It was a gooey mass that was likely once a head of lettuce.

Here via michele today.

p

29/1/06 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Nikki-ann said...

Here from Michele's.

I must admit I obsessively check dates on things too, but that comes from having sunk my teeth into something out of date... wasn't a pleseant experience!

29/1/06 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Nikki-ann said...

P.S. - Here from Michele's and definitely a nutcase! :D

29/1/06 6:01 PM  
Blogger WendyWings said...

Ok Margalit I edited my last post JUST for you, and even put your blog link in LOL

29/1/06 6:20 PM  
Blogger aka_monty said...

I'm afraid I can't help you with this one, as I will not eat lunchmeat that has been open more than one day.

*shudder*

And I sniff ketchup before I use it when I'm at a restaurant.
And I throw away milk a good 3 days before the SELL BY date.

Yes, I'm a little nuts too.

Here from Michele (today!)

29/1/06 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Zee said...

I obsessively smell stuff like half & half and sour cream and the like. Particularly if it's been sitting in the fridge at work. But everything? No idea what might be causing that? OCD maybe?

Btw, jsut noticed you are in Boston - just moved back to Oregon from there and I'm finding I really miss it, especially my daily. Dunkin' Donuts fix!

Here via Michele today!

29/1/06 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Wow that's pretty darn funny.

Here from Michele's today - I've never been to your site through the comment game! I like your blog title, and your profile. I'll be back!

29/1/06 6:54 PM  
Blogger The Mistress of the Dark said...

Lordy, I thought my nephews were bad with stuff like this.

Here via Michele's

29/1/06 7:05 PM  
Blogger zach said...

hmmm weird. I dont have kids. My family is the opposite way though. We really do have to look at food and smell it, milk has been known to stay in our fridge for a year. All my friends were scarred to eat out of our "old" refirdgerator.

Make you rkids watch the Discovery Channels Donnner party special. that'll reall ymake them weird.

29/1/06 7:06 PM  
Blogger L said...

My brother has been that way since he was very young. Anything that is a "leftover" is met with a wrinkled nose and a skeptical peek inside the tupperware before being passed aside for the brand new box of cereal or freshly made sandwich.

I was never like that until I got very severe food poisoning in August. It really had nothing to do with any leftovers I ate but the association of spoiled leftovers and stomach sickness is enough to keep me away from food that has been in the fridge for more than a few days. EH...


So, your kids are not weird about food. They are just.. particular ;)

30/1/06 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

That is so weird that kids would even know to be paranoid. I never did. My husband is rather paranoid with dates and I get so irked with him when he throws out bananas I've been saving for banana bread.

When we visited my grandma we cleared out her cupboards and found spices and other things that had expired in the 80s. This was last year. It was scary.

And who the heck is Michelle?

30/1/06 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Chloe F. said...

Sounds like a touch of OCD. If it's a problem (and it sounds as if it might be one of those things that could push a parent right over the edge) you might want to mention it to their counselors. with really bright kids like The Girl and The Boy cognitive therapy can work wonders in getting over issues like that.

30/1/06 6:19 PM  
Blogger Lisabell said...

I am just like aka_monty above -- I too won't touch lunchmeat after it's been opened about a day. I don't eat any type of leftover, even pizza, except maybe, MAYBE, the day after I've ordered it.

I am like this because we were fed old food (mold scraped off) as a kid and many times I poured chunky milk. And was taught from age 4 that if "a can was puffy", to "just throw it away." Because this actually happened in my mom's pantry.

I feel ill now.

3/2/06 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be so quick to label it OCD, Chloe. If worries regarding the expiration dates are overtaking the children's thoughts or they have to check in a way that limits thier daily functioning, then it could be a serious obsession (thoughts) or compulsion (actions). And it would have to be more than one obsession or compulsion to be OCD. OCD is a disorder that leaves one open to developing new obsessions and compulsions all the time. There is no "touch of OCD." A stand-alone obsession or compulsion is just that, no matter how serious or benign.

Whether this is an anxiety, an obsession, a compulsion, or simply something about which the children are highly particular, unless this is getting in the way of their daily functioning, there are probably more important issues than this for therapy to address. The behavior may be annoying to Margalit, but there is no reason, Chloe, to automatically pathologize the behavior.

8/2/06 2:32 AM  

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