I am the middle child in a family of seven children. I have really fond memories of my childhood and really loved growing up in a big family. But it had its downside too.
Food, for instance. We never had name brand products to eat. Mom was very good at budgeting which meant that we had the cheapest brand of everything. We rarely had sweets for snacks; we just had fillers, whatever mom thought would fill up our hollow legs. And we never had sweet cereal.
At the dinner table we were all very territorial about our plates. If you looked away for one second you risked that the sibling next to you would help themselves to your apportioned mound of steaming mashed potatoes and gravy. When something special was being passed around (green or black olives for example) there was always a limit as to how many/much we could take.
I absolutely love olives. I remember trying to sneak more than my share of olives. Green olives were easy but black olives posed more of a challenge. We always had the pitted kind and I learned to hide the pits underneath the edge of my plate and would always make sure to clear it myself on those days and sneak the olive pits up off the table at the same time.
O.K., so I lied. One time mom did buy sweet cereal. She bought a box of Captain Crunch (it must have been a really good sale). We were told we could not have it for a snack that night but that we had to wait until the morning, and then we could each have one bowl.
What is the definition of a bowl? My brother, who is one year older than me to the day, got up at 6:00 a.m., doled out 6 scanty bowls for his siblings, and proceeded to pour the rest of the box of cereal into a mixing bowl and chowed it right down. Oh my gosh, when we found out what he had done, the rest of us were furious. But he claimed innocence "all I had was one bowl!"