I confess myself staggered. Aghast, even. At what? At the vast quantities of daily food that one nearly-13-year old can consume, that's what.
When the lunchtime is done (an event occurring almost minutes after breakfast) and the daily bread is nothing more than a pile of crumbs on the table, I notice how the ravenous nearly-13-year old embarks on the fruit.
When the fruit is a heap of peel and dribble, the nearly-13-year old embarks on scouring out all cupboards for biscuits, crackers, nuts and savouries.
Then the nearly-13-year old gets serious about nutrition and goes on a hunt for the hiding place that contains mother's secret pack of digestive biscuits (the ones she has seen me take to my bed alongside a bottle of whiskey and the ipad).
After the digestives are nothing but a tangled wrapper by the wardrobe door begins the lament, When's food? When's food? When's food? That lacrymose plea doesn't stop until, um, the eight minutes it takes to consume food.
If that were it!
The nearly-13-year old then begins the scavenge afresh, casting about for nourishment and bodily sustenance. Obviously it has not been provided by breakfast (two toasted muffins and hot chocolate) followed by six bread rolls, three apples, four bananas, two oranges, one half-pack of oat biscuits, a soft ginger nut found behind the flour tin, a muesli bar with a sell-by date of August lodged in the picnic drawer, two handfuls of peanuts, my digestives, lunch (pizza, thanks to someone eating all the bread) plus all the left-over ingredients on the steady march to dinner. (Cheese, onion and potato pie with fried tomatoes and green pepper side dish.) Ten minutes after that the day's feasting is surely - hopefully - done!
But the nearly-13-year old can manage the grapes I have hidden for the famine in the morning, an old fruit scone, my stash of cooking breadcrumbs, the rest of the sultanas, and Squirrel's secret sticky hoard of lemon bonbons.
This would all be fine! If it was only one nearly-13-year old, sweeping through the house devouring everything in its path.
But I have two more nearly-13-year olds, all simultaneously sweeping the entire property for anything edible or, in an emergency, anything at all that can fit between their gnashers.
I am consoling myself, as is my daily wont. I consider how I am so very grateful I am not (yet) nurturing a basket of nervous anorexics suffering palpitations at the sight of a soggy sponge finger.
I am, really, truly, grateful for that, and it is one big reason why I don't padlock the fruit scone to the cake stand and secure the bread bin lid with explosives.
But I do feel some balanced restraint is now in order. We want neither famine nor feast, at least not on an hourly, daily basis.
In my hurried and covert talks with other size-10 mamas who watch in horror while the dd chews through the entire contents of the refrigerator/freezer/cupboard/dishwasher (because that is where mama now hides the cheese and chutney), I have come to the conclusion that my anxieties about the unattractiveness of my fattypuffs and lardyarses are partly my own contrivance, partly the doings of the oh-so-helpful cultural influences of OK! Hello! Chat! Chit! Crap! and partly the national obsession with the thighs and bellies of people I have never heard of rolling down the columns of Femail.
So, although I am sure to disappoint the Mother's Weeklies of England who spend their days happily patronising each other with helpful tips for reducing fat and turning kids on to healthy eating! I think I have the answer in my own hands. Skimmed milk, more talk, porridge for breakfast, honey in place of sugar and better hiding places for my digestives.