Feb 8, 2012

Making Lunches at Home: The Dark Side

DISCLOSURE: The child in these statements is a composite and the events here did not really take place all in the same week.

Let's be frank. This practice of making lunches has a rarely acknowledged dark side. Let me walk you through it.

Lunch is prepared by a devoted parent, late at night when said parent would rather be sleeping or making her way through Season 4 of Six Feet Under, or at 6:40 AM, when this parent would rather be mainlining coffee and reading the entertaining Republican primary results.

This lunch, packed carefully in reusable containers, is then trotted out either at 11:00 or 1:30 or some other odd assigned lunch period, where it may or may not be eaten. Here are the possibilites, and I'm just tellin' it like is, America.

1. The entire lunch is eaten. This is theoretically possible but . . . has this ever happened? Get back to me, readers.

2. The lunch is not eaten at all. This happens five percent of the time because "I thought I was buying" or "I couldn't find it" or "Jimmy had a birthday party and he brought doughnuts" (elementary school only).

3. Two bites or less are taken out of the sandwich (if it is a sandwich) because "It smells funny," "It's dry" or "I ran out of time." Occasionally in these circumstances, said child will eat more of the fruit or vegetables than usual. That's rare.

4. The sandwich is eaten and the fruit and veggies are untouched. Again, "I ran out of time." This is a valid point. It's true that they must do lunch and recess in a short time, and recess rocks. Whereas a stinky cafeteria full of yelling kids and grumpy "monitors" does not rock.

This neglect of lovingly prepared foods is then compounded by the following practices:

1. (I love numbered lists so much.) The child leaves the lunchbag and contents in the locker. Middle school introduces this whole new private, dark place where junk and valuables accumulate in a heap. It's like the unconconscious only it smells.

2. The previous problem causes a cascading set of issues. Now the parent must pack the next lunch in a CVS bag and GLAD containers.

3. Repeat #1, only with Target bag that's too big.

4. Repeat #1, only with newspaper bag with a hole in it.

5. Repeat #1, with Victoria's Secret bag.

6. The child brings home all the lunches at once on Friday because now there's room in the backpack for them, because the huge bursting binder is left in the locker because there's no homework. Are you following this?

5. Someone must then must dispose of the molding, decomposing food and wash the containers on a lovely Friday afternoon. Someone is crabby and repercussions make themselves known.

Makes you shiver, doesn't it?


liz said...

Now, this is why I send thermoses of things I know MM will definitely eat, like spaghetti, instead of sending sandwiches, which I know he won't.

Lilian said...

how can I prevent my kid from putting food in the locker when locker time comes? Sigh. Thanks for bringing it to my attention now & I'll have a couple of years to work to prevent it. ;)

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Crockhead said...

I love the line about the locker being "like the unconscious, only it smells." You should be a writer.

Smiling Singer said...

Did you find out whether any peers commented on the Victoria's Secret lunchbag? What a riot. Re the lunches all coming home at the end of the week to be sorted through and washed. Of all the things they teach at school, they really should have the kids do their own dishes, shouldn't they! (Same for husbands' lunches, too!)