The Smell of Despair

You can tell it’s getting around to the end of the school year when the kids’ packed lunches start to smell of despair. At the beginning of the year I’m all cheerful about chopping fruit into fun shapes, and putting together creative sandwiches, and baking unique (and allergy safe!) treats.

But after months of the same food leaving in the morning, then coming back home again, and then me eating all of it, I start to wonder why I bother. I remember when the Captain was in JK and I was on the school council, and he never ate any part of his snack, and the Council president remarked that her grade-three boys were always starving and begging for her to pack more food for them, and I thought, “Oh, someday!”

And I’m still waiting.

I can’t even complain too much, because both Sir Monkeypants and I were legendary lunch-non-eaters in our day. I came home for lunch until grade 5, but in grade 6 I had to start taking my lunch. I’m sure for the next four years at least, a fruit or vegetable never crossed my lips, and since my lunch was all packed in disposable stuff – fold-top sandwich bags and brown paper lunch bags – I was able to easily hide the evidence in the school’s garbage bins. I’m sure the amount of celery sticks and carefully pre-peeled oranges I threw away could have solved the world’s hunger problem. Basically, I’d drink the drink, eat the cookies, perhaps take a few bites of sandwich if I was really starving, and that was it.

And now, payback, as I’m sure my mother laughs at me with a happy sense of justice. Since I use flip-top plastic boxes for the kids lunches, it all comes back to me, and I get to see their own drink-and-cookies-only lunches in full technicolor. By June I’m ready to give up, and usually throw in a Kool Aid Jammer, some chips, a fruit roll up, a granola bar for the “healthy” part, and call it done.

Summer really can’t get here fast enough.

6 thoughts on “The Smell of Despair

  1. Ben gave up on sandwiches but tolerates crackers (high protein Kashi crackers) and cut up farmer’s sausage, and fruit salad (albeit the home made type which often is just cut up apple with some lime juice). Frankly, the end of the school year cannot come soon enough for me, so we can all SKIP lunch and just snack on whatever. *sigh*

  2. Zhu

    I pack Mark’s lunch because we are typically out around noon and it’s harder than it seems, even for a 19-month-old toddler who isn’t too picky. I usually go with peanut butter sandwich on rye bread, a pouch of pureed fruit, half a banana and some “tantrum stop” misc. junk such as a few shrimp crackers or a small piece of cookie. Some days, he wolf down the entire thing, some days it ends up thrown away (on purpose or not). It’s a bit frustrating when he wastes food but there isn’t much I can do.

  3. smothermother

    not only lunch, i am getting the same way with homework. we haven’t touched the books in his reading bag in at least a few weeks. and never get to his library book. and i just sign his agenda the nights he has baseball.

  4. lucy

    I am lucky to have a kid who is every lunch-packing parent’s dream come true. He loves eating his packed lunch and eats almost everything most days, except for sometimes an apple or pear that he ends up eating as soon as he gets home and unpacks his lunch bag. (But maybe I shouldn’t have said this? Maybe I’ve jinxed myself and now he will stop eating his lunches…) In fact, I have the opposite “problem”. Since he likes eating good food and I know he will eat most of it, I feel obligated to pack him a good lunch, even now at the end of the term when lunch-packing fatigue has totally set in. I don’t cut fruits and veggies into fun shapes etc, but I do spend quite a bit of time chopping stuff. When I’m too tired to do the prep the previous night (like last night) , we end up being late in the morning. It’s hard to bug him to get ready faster while I’m also slicing carrots and cucumbers and making breakfast as well. This morning we were late going to PD Day camp because of that! But from what the rest of you are saying I know I shouldn’t complain, I should just keep my fingers crossed that he continues like this! 🙂

  5. Greg

    My damn kid won’t put anything down the gullet unless it starts with “french” and ends in “fries”.

Comments are closed.