Friday, April 29, 2011

Tiny and the Great Lunch Debate

This morning at my son’s school, the cafeteria ladies asked me if I had been packing my child’s lunch. I told them that I have been, but Tiny has learned how to work the system. This week, Tiny racked up a five dollar debt with the cafeteria. A couple of weeks prior, it was four dollars. Doesn’t sound like a lot, does it? But, each lunch is two dollars plus the value of one solid lie that he spins when he doesn’t want to eat my food. Dealing with the lie is frustrating enough. The wasting of food is a second problem. Worst of all, however, is trying to figure out what he will eat. He isn’t consistent.

Once when my husband unpacked a box of mandarin orange cups from the grocery, my son exclaimed his love of “owanges”. He ate them a few times and then went on strike.

“I don’t wike dis.”

When we purchased a large box of granola bars, he ate one, decided he did not like them, and then two weeks later began to raid the box on his own. This week?

“I don’t wike dis.”

At school, he eats grapes. He will not eat grapes from home. At school, he will deny the very leftovers or sandwiches he will eat at home. I think my son just likes to walk through the cafeteria line and make choices. I think he just likes to make me crazy.

At home, life is simple and choices are limited: you can eat or starve. Take last night, for example. Tiny pushed his plate back and announced that he could not eat his dinner. I put the plate on the counter and told him there was an awful lot of untouched food, so therefore, should hunger return, I would reheat his plate.

Minutes later:

“I’m hungwy. I would wike a ganilla bar.”

“You cannot have a granola bar. If you are hungry, you can finish your burrito and rice from dinner.”

“I’m not hungwy,” he decided. Figuring two could play this game, he went on active hunger strike and later headed to bed having touched nary a grain of rice on his plate. I still cannot figure out how and when his love of granola bars returned. This morning, in hopes of packing a good lunch that would sustain the little fella’s tummy and please his palate, I asked him what kind of lunch he would like. He decided on a cheese sandwich and some fruit. Packing his lunch, I knew exactly what would happen: eventually he will return to me with a mashed up half-eaten cheese sandwich and make a certain comment about it: “I don’t wike dis.”

Wish me luck.

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