I’ve discovered that Younger Son has a superpower. What is it, you might ask? Can he leap tall buildings in a single bound? Does he have X-ray vision? Superhuman strength? Telepathy? Superhuman speed? No to all the above, although as a teenager, he does have a great aptitude for reality warping. But that’s not his superpower. Younger Son has the ability to make great quantities of food disappear in a nanosecond.

While I am still buttering my baked potato, Younger Son has cleaned his plate, which was piled with three times more food than my plate, and is ready for second helpings. I sometimes feel like the mother in The Christmas Story, who has never had a hot meal for herself because she’s always hopping up to get seconds for the rest of the family—or in this case, Younger Son. No wonder I’m so thin. I sometimes wonder if Younger Son stops to chew his food or just swallows everything whole in one large gulp. His stomach must be in shock at the sudden onslaught. Then again, maybe his stomach is so used to being bombarded with massive food overload that it has become desensitized to the abuse to which he subjects it. The minute I have the kitchen cleaned up from dinner, Younger Son is in the kitchen looking for a snack. His snacks go on until bedtime. At least, my bedtime, as I don’t know what all he eats during the night. It’s a good thing we don’t have horses. I would be afraid to test the saying, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse” with Younger Son.

With Younger Son in the house, our grocery bill runs double, or perhaps triple what Hubby and I would ordinarily spend on ourselves. Not only does Younger Son consume massive amounts of food, but his tastes often run toward the more expensive choices. He can’t just make himself a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. No, he has to fry up an entire pound of ground beef to make tacos. Of course he doesn’t bother with the lettuce, tomatoes, taco shells, or cheese. He just mixes taco seasoning into the ground beef and eats the whole thing. While I am heating up a cheap can of soup for lunch, he is outside grilling up three or four hamburger patties. Instead of eating Cheerios in the morning, like Hubby and I, he heats up three or four chicken biscuits. He can also put away an entire family-sized bag of chips or cookies in one sitting. But he leaves the empty bag with a few crumbs on the shelf to make it look like we still have chips and cookies. There is never a question of leftover pizza, even with the extra-large size designed for eight people. Hubby and I are lucky to get one piece before the rest is devoured.

When we go out to eat, he jokingly says he wants to order everything on the menu. I’m afraid he’s only partly joking. The only good thing about his superpower is that he can polish off whatever Hubby and I can’t finish, such as French fries, which aren’t all that great to take home and reheat for later. The bad thing is I have no yummy leftovers to take home, such as the half of a steak I can’t eat.

At the rate he’s going through food, I’m afraid Hubby and I are going to have to let him go, as we can’t afford to keep him. But at least I’m grateful he’s not twins. I only wish he had a different superpower, such as invisibility. That’s one I could live with.