I love packing my children’s lunches. I take my time and put lots of love in preparing a sandwich. Lunches include a snack, such as the ever-popular fruit gushers and maybe even a pickle or two. Finally, I add a juice box and a letter from Mommy and send my kids on their way.
Recently I thought all was well and my kids were happy with their lunches. Until, the one day my son came home screaming. “My lunch bag and my book bag smells like pickles, don’t ever pack me a lunch again!” I assured him that I would Lysol both of the bags and he would no longer smell the pickles. The pickle-packing incident caused me many headaches.
Shortly after the incident, my son decided he never wanted me to pack him a lunch again. This was not okay with me because, I only allow my children to eat in the cafeteria twice a week (because of the sodium packed foods). The morning temper tantrums grew unbearable.
“I don’t want a sandwich, I hate your sandwiches and my lunch bag still smells like pickles.”
Once again, I reached for the Lysol to spray out the inside and assured him there was no dill smell lurking anywhere. By the time they left for school, I looked like a train wreck dangling over a cliff and I felt like it to. Tantrums play a toll on a mother. The son who once ate every morsel of food I packed was now leaving everything untouched until, we discovered his love of blueberry muffins.
One morning, while packing lunches I had an idea, instead of packing a sandwich that he would not eat, I would pack him one of the mammoth muffins instead. I asked him what he thought of having a muffin for lunch and was pleasantly surprised when he answered, “Yes, I would love that for my lunch.”
Yay, I was back in business, packing a lunch my son enjoyed. There would be no more pickle-smell discussions, no more wasted food and no more temper tantrums before school. I skipped through the day, ran some errands and came home to discover a missed call from my children’s school. I quickly called back, hoping nothing serious happened while I was out.
The secretary answered the phone and said slowly “Your son…” My heart was in my throat, I anticipated bad news.
“Yes,” I replied trying to hurry her along.
“He was packed a muffin for lunch.” I waited for more, but there was nothing.
“Yes, that’s correct, as well as a few other things,” I answered.
“We just wanted to make sure that was all he was getting for lunch.” My nervousness turned into annoyance. “Yes, that was plenty,” I assured.
We hung up the phone and I began to stew. How dare they question what I gave my son to eat, especially on the day I finally got him to eat something. I called back the school and informed them I was offended by the initial phone call and would like to know why I was being questioned. The secretary advised she would relay my message to the teacher who was questioning my choice.
Soon after, a phone call came and it was the teacher assuring me that she just wanted to make sure the muffin was his lunch and not a snack. She proceeded to ask why I did not just allow him to eat a hot dog in the cafeteria because certainly all kids love hot dogs. What happened the next day? My son refused to eat a packed lunch. He threw a temper tantrum and begged to eat the school lunch. So much for my great idea, if the teacher only knew.

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