Not long ago, I had one of those sudden realization moments about the nieces. They were staying the night with us, and I was making dinner for the four of us. Without giving it much thought, I cooked enough for two normal portions plus about one more portion to be divided between the girls. You probably know what a kid's plate looks like. That night it was maybe half a cup of tofu, half a potato, and a little hill of peas. Often, the dinners of little kids end up looking like something from nouvelle cuisine because they just have such tiny stomachs. I was used to this.
After just a few minutes of eating, I began to realize my mistake. Food was disappearing at a much faster rate than I'd expected. Before M and I had taken our first few bites, Elder Niece was already chasing the last few peas around her plate. Younger Niece began eyeing my potatoes with a dangerous gleam in her eye. I got myself back in the kitchen as quickly as possible for fear that they might eat M in my absence. Lucky I'd cooked extras for the next day's lunches! Seconds were devoured at much the same speed as the first round.
It seems that the nieces have reached a new stage in their lives where the "hollow leg" effect begins to take over. Never again will I make the mistake of serving them tiny children's portions of anything. You'd think Elder Niece being taller than her grandmother would have tipped me off to these changes, but sometimes I have trouble accepting how fast these things happen. Weren't they sweet little babies about five minutes ago?