By now, you all know that the Pattersons eat as if people are trying to take their food away from them. This is not only because their parents only pay lip service to good manners when they eat and would probably mock their children as being all hoity-toity when they want to eat like human beings instead of barnyard animals. It seems to me that they actually are starving by the time the rigidly-set meal time rolls around. This is because the mothers in the Patterverse seem to not have gotten it through their thick skulls that children simply cannot wait hours on end without eating something; despite Mother's need to run things on a time-table, their children's growing bodies need food when they need it, not when it's convenient for their parents. This is why they act all offended when someone gives a kid something to tide him or her over; it's also why Elly dumps Mike's Halloween candy; they want their children to eat at a set time no matter what the cost. The end result is a famished child stuffing his or her face while Mommie is all gobsmacked.