If You Give a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy a Cookie

This afternoon I was sitting with my daughter as we tried to cram for the library's summer reading program enjoy some literary stimulation. I was reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie for the 3,722,185th time in my life, when the 13-year-old wandered in to ask me for something listen and reminisce about his sweet preschool years.

We finished reading and closed the book. My son asked if I could fix him something to eat. Of course he did, because it had been a shocking TWELVE minutes since lunch, and how could an adolescent boy possibly be expected to survive that long without food?

As I asked him what was wrong with his own two legs got up to graciously fix him something, I was inspired by the circumstances to flex my own literary muscle. Hence, this (with a sincere hat tip and apology to this).

If You Give a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy a Cookie

If you give a thirteen-year-old boy a cookie,
he's probably going to ask for some soda.

But as you are a mom who is feeling the pressure to make Positive Nutritional Choices,
you will urge him to drink milk instead.

He will shrug, and you will pour a giant glass of milk–whole milk–
and you will reflect that if you drank that much whole milk you would have hips
as wide as Tennessee.

He will finish the milk and and wipe his mouth with his shirt,
and you will not complain, because this is better than the milk moustache he normally wears.

He will set down the cup and ask if you've seen his cell phone,
and you will tell him you turned it off, because
why-oh-why must he and his friends text each other Chuck Norris jokes all day?

He will shrug, and then he will think of Chuck Norris,
and this will remind him of the movies, which will remind him of popcorn,
and he'll ask if you can fix him some.

And you say sure, because you're thinking that popcorn is a much cheaper snack
than the bacon he normally asks for.

He will jerk his head around because he somehow heard you think the word "bacon",
and you will tell him "no, you're having popcorn, remember?"

He will take the popcorn to the living room, and you will remind him
there is no longer any eating allowed in the living room
because you stayed up late picking brownie crumbs out of the carpet
after the last youth group party at your house.

And his eyes will shine and he will say, "Brownie?" and you will say, "NO."

So he will eat his popcorn instead (in the kitchen, like a good boy).
And all the salt will make him crave another glass of (whole) milk. 

But he's polished off the third gallon of (whole) milk this week,
and he must therefore hike all the way out to the garage to the nasty old back-up fridge. 

As he walks out to the garage, you will notice that you can see the bones in his hips,
and you will sadly remember that your pants get tight if you even think about cheesecake,
and you will know that good metabolism is wasted on those young enough to think that Big Macs are gourmet.

He will return from the garage with the milk, but with all that physical exertion,
chances are he's going to want a cookie and a brownie and some bacon to go with it.

(P.S. — I just read this post to my son, and he laughed out loud. Then he said he was hungry. Then he said I should tell you that Chuck Norris once round-house kicked a salesman. Over the phone.)

51 thoughts on “If You Give a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy a Cookie

  1. maren says:

    Love it! I just did a version of this for a post this week on my blog, too! Mine was “If you give a child a cell phone…” Yours is much funnier, though! Fun reading! Thanks! maren

  2. AprilMay says:

    This is sooo hilarious! I have two of those boys. You forgot to mention him asking you when you are going to go to the store because it’s been a whole day since you last went.

  3. mamacitamb@gmail.com says:

    Amazing!!!! This is awesome!! I am going to be in SO MUCH TROUBLE when my boys are all teens! (I have 3) I am going to share this post with a few friends, love it! 🙂

  4. Pokeyann says:

    So what you’re telling me is that it really IS going to get worse?! I have four toddlers, which means in a few short years I will have four teens, sigh. Guess I better figure out how to milk a cow, butcher a pig and raise my own chickens?! The two four year olds can already eat their own weight in food. Don’t you love when a complete stranger overshares in the comments? Really funny post, very much enjoy all your posts! Thanks for brightening my day!

  5. Deanna says:

    Ha! ha! Ha! I have a 13 year old boy and I can relate to this SOOOO much! I am going to have to let my readers know about this brilliant version.

  6. Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience says:

    I. am. laughing.
    Out loud — at 11 pm!
    Ah yes — you do it every time and oh, so well, Miz Shannon…
    Thank you for coming here and working your craft — you make the world a better place, my friend!
    (I’ve got 4 boys I am reading this to tomorrow 🙂
    All’s grace,

  7. Jane Anne says:

    This seems brilliant to me. It’s also foreshadowing of my life to come. I have a 2 year old daughter, and 3 boys aged 5, 6 (but almost 7), and 9. The boys already often eat more than I do and my oldest has zero body fat. No lie, this morning, he accidentally put on his 5 year old brother’s clothes and it didn’t phase him until I pointed out he had the wrong clothes on. He looked a bit silly but the shorts and t-shirt weren’t all that uncomfortable. I have no idea where he puts his food and he is always hungry. He also loves bacon.

  8. Kimberly says:

    At the moment my boys subsist on air, with a stray cheerio or two in the mix. My husband assures me that they will soon eat us out of the house. FUNNY stuff, woman! And, incidentally, the “food” link didn’t work, and I tried to find that post in your archives and couldn’t. Phooey.

  9. Adventures In Babywearing says:

    How I can relate even right down to the back up garage fridge!!
    (also i’m impressed/jealous your kids can go a whole 12 minutes between meals- all mine do is eat! And of course they’re also the skinniest kids on the block.)

  10. CousinJ says:

    I love it:). You’ll have to tell him to get his arsenal of Chuck Norris jokes ready for Eric at Thanksgiving. He LOVES them:).

  11. Beckie says:

    My 15yo son wants you to know that Chuck Norris was the first person to send a roundhouse kick via e-mail. Just in case you have never heard that one before. You’re welcome.
    P.S. I loved the poem. And you’re right. Good metabolism is wasted on those darn boys. It should be earned by those of us who grew those boys in our bellies and then made sure they entered this world. All 9lb 11ozs of them. But I’m not jealous…well maybe a little.

  12. Linda C says:

    Ha! As I finished reading this, I heard our 22 yr.old son open and eventually close the fridge- he has 4 older brothers-all married:) The great thing now is he cooks, too! In fact, he prepared dinner the other night for us– living in a college apartment teaches wonderful things- and we are loving having him live at home this summer!!:) His 19 yr old sister is here too:)
    I still have a hard time not cooking for an army…you can imagine.
    When they were all home those years, we bought milk 4 gallons at a time every few days. Got used to the looks from the cashiers- and questions–“are you having a party”? or “sleepover”? Nope, just breakfast.:)
    I so enjoyed your post! These are precious years- hold them tight– they go too fast.
    And now we have precious grands! It’s wonderful!:)
    Keep smiling! It really does help.:)
    Linda C

  13. McKt says:

    Hilarious. My grocery budget runs screaming at the thought of my 4, 3 and 1 year old boys becoming teenagers. I already feel like all I do is feed them. Glad you know that you can laugh through the mortgage sized grocery bill each month.

  14. Christine says:

    LOLOL … you are TOO funny! This is just priceless … it’s funny cause it’s true 😉
    OH and P.S. the Chuck Norris jokes are AWESOME! You should end each post with one 😉

  15. Susan says:

    Love it! My oldest will be 13 next month – the amount of food he eats is unreal. My boys will love the Chuck Norris joke. 🙂

  16. Pam says:

    Great post!!! Thanks for sharing! It’s always a blessing to hear stories from a mother with boys. Oh, how I can relate!

  17. KatieK says:

    I’ve already shared this one with multiple people – perfect! My 11-year-old can’t seem to stop telling Chuck Norris jokes, so I’m quite familiar with the stories about round house kicks….

  18. Cindy says:

    Thank you for sharing that poem, I too have an eater at my house, I told my girls your son’s joke and they laughed! Thank you for posting!

  19. Shell says:

    How about giving a thirteen year old boy an organic oatmeal cookie and juice flavored water, instead of all that casein loaded milk that causes cancer. There are many sources of calcium, besides milk.

  20. Beckie says:

    I’m so sorry for this but….there is no conclusive evidence that the casein in milk causes cancer. It will cause you to have an allergic reaction IF you are allergic to casein. Mostly milk is still a really good and healthy choice for growing children. And yes, other foods are also equally as good as milk for supplying calcium. So let those boys drink up. Juice flavored water will not help fill them up the way milk will. I know, I’ve tried it. I have 2 walking stomaches with hollow leg syndrome!

  21. Laura@HeavenlyHomemakers says:

    LOVE it. Your boney thirteen year old boy sounds like my boney thirteen year old boy. My cousin assured me that if he keeps eating the way he’s eating, one day very soon he will wake up with “man legs”. This apparently means that they will turn to muscle and grow hair.
    I’m trying to decide how I feel about that. 🙂

  22. JeneeLyn says:

    My husband does not appreciate the humor I find in blogs like yours and Pioneer Woman’s, but he will appreciate the Chuck Norris jokes!

  23. Audra Rundle says:

    I love your creative take on a classic children’s book! I did a write up on a children’s book, “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” for Little One Books, and it follows the same format. It’s one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” formats 🙂 Your version is just as funny as the book – and even more so to all those mom’s out there with teenage boys. Kudos! – Audra, http://www.littleonebooks.com

  24. Molly B. says:

    Oh, you make me laugh! And, since I have an almost-13 son and we were told yesterday that we’d be adding major orthodontic work on top of our grocery bills, I needed it!
    And, my sons will also love the Chuck Norris joke!

  25. Penny says:

    I used the same book to describe a day in my life last week. You can tell we are Moms that have read that book too many times!! 🙂
    Everything just goes through my mind to the tune of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” 😀

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