I am destined to never eat a full meal myself as long as I live, or as long as the kids are around.
You see every time I have something in front of me ready to scarf, I have two children that want some of it. One is able to tell me in her own words her food request while the other just grunts loudly to make his intentions known.
I've become quite adept at snapping off two pieces of whatever food I'm eating - one for the 4-year-old and one smaller piece for the 1-year-old.
Our 4-year-old is always wondering what's next for her to eat - and trying to figure out the easiest way for her to get through her meal and still get dessert as a reward. The following is the most common phrase heard at the dinner table, spoken by the little girl.
"Do I have to drink most or all of my milk to get dessert?"
She also has keen ears if she hears the crackle of an opening of a yogurt bar in another room, and then I know I have to save her some.
As I've wrote in the past, she continues to know the exact supply we have of cookies and sweets in the house and their exact location.
The youngest - who just turned over his local Baby New Year crown to the 2013 baby - is not quite as picky and unfortunately throws anything in his mouth. That's why my vacuuming has to be a little more thorough around the house as anything is fair game to go down the hatch.
He is on high alert whenever there is someone in the kitchen. Even if we fill a glass full of water he is sneaking a peek to make sure there is any food being consumed with it - since he feels he has dibs on everything.
It's also hard to tell when he's little tummy is full, because if it were up to him he would eat for 24 straight hours.
With all these pint-sized hawks looking for food, you would think I'm a good cook, but I assure you that's not the case.
I can only imagine their appetites growing as their stomachs grow in capacity in the coming years. I may just waste away to nothing as there won't be any food left for me - especially if I keep giving it away.
I suppose I could just say "no" to their requests for my food, but sometimes it's just easier to give in.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org