Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lunch Lady Land

Today, I met Sweet Pea for lunch at her kindergarten cafeteria. While walking through the halls to the lunch room, familiar smells brought back memories of my own lunch room adventures. I remembered some of my favorite school lunches. Pizza, burger on a bun and triangle tater tots were some of my favorites. And of course you can't forget, Sloppy Joe, Sloppy, Sloppy Joe. I never did get a taste for the school's Spanish rice though. I checked the menu beforehand and found out that we were having toasted ham and cheese sandwiches. Score!
We have discovered that Sweet Pea has been struggling to finish her food during lunch time. This usually is no problem at home. She is advanced for her age at asking for seconds. At school though, she has trouble getting through 'firsts'. Lady Di has volunteered in the lunch room a couple times and has identified the problem. It seems, Sweet Pea likes to socialize at meal time. Lady Di witnessed SP talking to her 'girlfriends', her friends who are boys, teachers, lunch ladies and anyone within earshot. This left her plate full for the first 19 minutes of the 20 minute lunch period. When the lunchroom monitor walked by saying, "Finish up. Only one minute left.", Sweet Pea went into vacuum mode. With both hands grasping utensils, she started shovelling in food like a combine in a cornfield. But in a very ladylike way I'm sure.

Today, I got to enjoy SP's company with a few of her classmates firsthand. I got to the school early so I would be at the lunchroom when SP came with her class. For the best surprise effect, I hid around a corner and waited for her class to arrive. As her line passed me I didn't see Sweet Pea. I looked around the corner to see her crying. I rushed over to her and asked, "What happened?" I guess she had bumped heads with the boy in front on her. I wiped her tears and asked it I could have lunch with her. That made her feel better. So much for a big surprise.

She introduced me to her friends and we sat down to eat. Grilled ham and cheese, corn chips, an apple and carrots. As I ate, I could see why Sweet Pea had trouble finishing her food. I hardly said a word and I couldn't finish my plate either. And I can eat pretty fast when I want to. I should probably mention that the lunch ladies gave me two sandwiches. I was happy to see that SP ate about half of her food. I was also glad that she didn't spill on her clothes because it was picture day too.

I wasn't so careful. Sorry Lady Di.

Speaking of Lady Di, she came to visit us at lunch too. LD was volunteering for picture day, so she sat with us. At the end of lunch SP realized that she would not have enough time to finish eating unless she stuffed her cheeks like a squirrel's, so she asked Lady Di, "Can I have a baggie to take this home for later?"

I don't think this restaurant does that.

I did see an untouched Milky Way candy bar in one boy's lunch box, I wouldn't have minded trading for. Who sends a full sized candy bar in a kindergartner's lunch?

Overall, we had a nice lunch date. I got to meet some of SP's friends and she got to show off her Dad a little. One of her friends asked if I could be on his dodge ball team at recess.
"Sorry", I said, "Old football injury."


Darren said...

They should give Kindergarteners more than a one minute warning. I probably wouldn't finish either. I also would have traded for that candy.

By the way, I actually have that Adam Sandler CD.

SciFi Dad said...

"old football injury" - said like someone who is preparing excuses for Sunday's game ;)

But seriously, it sounds like a fun lunch. I look forward to my chance when my daughter is older.

The Father of Five said...

How does Number 1 Son do?

I ask because "2 of 5" (my Jonathan) also has the same problem. Talk, talk, talk, talk... Then he comes home hungry saying he did not have "time" to finish his lunch...

Funny how his friends have the time to finish theirs....

Upon further investigation, it is because "2 of 5" is talking so much, no one else can do anything except eat and listen!!!

DJ Kirkby said...

'shovelling in food like a combine in a cornfield. But in a very ladylike way I'm sure'. hahahahahahahah! Do you have any idea how MUCH it hurts to inhale hot tea while laughing hystericaly? We don't get invited to join our children for lunch over here...*sob* no faaairrr!

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.