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.