Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Home Lunches

Just before the end of the last school year, we discovered that our elementary school kids didn't really like the school lunches they had been purchasing everyday.  They were mostly just eating the sides and throwing away the rest.  (great...

For the remaining few weeks of school, we decided to switch exclusively to home lunches.  The kids selected the sandwich/fruit/chip combination of their dreams, and I went to Kroger to restock the pantry and to make my grocery budget accommodate one more meal during the day.  It was a huge success.

In August of this year, we added "new lunch bags" to our vast list of school supplies.  Each of the kids picked a new, fun lunch bag so they would be excited about eating lunch everyday.  And I went back to the old lunch menu from the end of last year because if they loved it in May, they should love it in August, right?  Apparently sometime over the summer, Mack decided that turkey and cheese sandwiches weren't really working for him anymore.  Again, this was information that took awhile to uncover.  Why don't they just speak up when they're not  happy?  After a few unsatisfying lunch experiences and several weeks of begging, Mack went back to school lunches.  I added enough money to his lunch account to last for at least 2 weeks and sent him happily off to school.  

One week later, I got a reminder notification email from the school saying that Mack's account was almost out of money.  (???)  How was that possible when I had put more than enough money in there to last for at least two weeks?  Through the beauty of the school's internet lunch account system, I was able to get onto Mack's itemized report and find that he was purchasing not just one, but TWO lunches everyday.  I wondered if maybe there was some computer error or if he was donating lunch to a needy friend.  But that afternoon, he and I had a talk and he confirmed that he was actually eating two lunches a day!  We talked about budgets and food and portions, and I told him that he was only allowed to eat ONE lunch a day.  I packed bigger snacks and sometimes even packed two.  But a few days later, after I had once again replenished his account, I got another reminder notice from the school.  (Ugh...)  Mack and I talked again, and finally decided that the best thing to do was to go back to home lunches.  He thought it would be "too tempting" for him to see all those options and not go through the lunch line more than once.  So we were back to turkey and cheese sandwiches...

This morning, when I woke up, I found this on the counter...

Apparently he had gotten up in the middle of the night to write it.  Typically I'm not a fan of the kids placing orders for their lunches, but in this case, it was a simple request, so I did it.  This afternoon, Mack came home from school, hugged and kissed me, and said,

"Mommy!  That was the BEST lunch EVER!  Can I have peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day for the whole rest of the year???" 

Who knew it would be so easy to make an 8 year old happy?  All this time, I was just making things too complicated. (That happens every now and then in my life.)

Last night, before bed, he said,
" you need a new note every day, or can I just keep putting this one on the counter in the morning?" 

I assured him that I would probably be able to remember peanut butter and honey even without the note, but that I would keep the note anyway.  

Oh how I love that kid!


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