Parental flaws and how soon can we eat it?

After reading the column about “forgotten items,” my children threatened to write a few things about their mom.
One reminded me, “Hey, Mom, you forgot to write about the time you forgot the car.”
I hadn’t thought about that. I was to follow my husband as he drove an ailing car to the mechanic and we would both go to work from there.
We went out out our garage talking, slid into our seats and were a couple blocks from the mechanic’s before we realized that the ailing car was still at home.
We shook our heads in disbelief, laughed and went back for it. WE were both late to work, but give us some credit, we did remember before we drove into the repair shop.
I was also told that I “disappeared” to evening activities, leaving my helpless teenagers to fix their own meals of “unborn chickens” or leftovers.
That brought up the time my three high schoolers and their friend, tired of me asking, “What happened to the pizza? Who ate all the ice cream? How many hot dogs did you guys eat for lunch?”
Actually I knew. The food began disappearing when the oldest entered seventh grade. That’s the year the school allows students to go home for lunch. That year, I quit sending lunch money, went off to my college classes and figured he would find something to eat.
He did. The ice cream, prepared foods and sandwich material vanished.
In time, his brothers and friends joined him for lunch.
One friend, to save his lunch money for spending money, came every day. Occasionally, I was there as the four invaded, fixed lunch and ate, talking and joking loudly.
Usually I sat back and watched. But one day, I said something about the food supply disappearing. My sons decided to straighten out this issue once and for all.
While their friend sat the table silently laughing, m sons methodically drew a time chart on our blackboard.
“OK, Mom, now how long after you bring the ice cream home is it OK for us to start eating it?”
I thought about it. “Hmm, I guess a couple of days, but it should last at least a week.”
He drew a slash at the two-day space extending seven days beyond.
“What about frozen dinners and pizzas?”
“A couple weeks, I guess.”
“No I want to know, when can we being to eat them?”
“Ohh, let me think, in three or four days, I guess.”
“Fresh vegetables?” his brother asked, knowing that they always lasted.
“As soon as I bring them home.”
They wrote vegetables at the beginning of the time line and drew it to infinity.
As their friend quietly chuckled, they asked about and charted my expectations for food longevity once it came home. In 15 minutes the graphing was finished. We didn’t erase the chart for weeks. They ate as much as ever, except they now checked the chart first.
“Whoops, Mom just bought this pizza. Can’t eat it today.”
I would cringe, gulp and shrug, “It’s OK. You can eat it.”
They got me but good. I shut up about the absent food and began telling them which foods I had planned for something else.
OK, they had their say then and now, but next week, I choose the topics.