The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Has rapidly risen to the top of the “Books that improve my quality of life” list.

Recently, Gavin read the Eric Carle classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, at school. Upon finishing it, his 3-year old brain made the causal connection between eating lots of food and turning into, as he so eloquently puts it, “a big, fat caterpillar.” Since then, he has morphed into something resembling the Weight Watchers police… for his father.

I think the problem actually stems from Gavin and my Ex having similar food preferences. Fruit snacks, waffles, and string cheese have become major sources of contention in our home. (If you really want to see a preschooler get mad, watch him wake up to discover his father has eaten all the Scooby Doo fruit snacks the night before. It isn’t pretty.)

Now, Gavin monitors his father’s food consumption like a 3-foot tall hawk. Whenever he thinks his father is eating too much of a single item (thus increasing said item’s chances of not being available when Gavin wants it), he informs him, “Daddy, you shouldn’t eat so much food, or else you will turn into a big, fat caterpillar.” My Ex doesn’t find it very funny. I, on the other hand, am still giggling about it as I write this post.

Admittedly, I don’t help the situation. I egg Gavin on and ensure this saying sticks, often prompting him with, “Hey, what happens if Daddy eats a lot?” to which Gavin, practically on autopilot says matter-of-factly, “Big, fat caterpillar.”

Thank you, Eric Carle.

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