Nicholas’ school has a hot lunch program and a month in advance, we sit down together and circle the days that have the food that he likes and sign up. Interestingly enough, every month, more and more days get circled.
On the days that we don’t sign up for their hot lunch, The Husband packs Nicholas’ lunch the night before, but on the days when he HAS the hot lunch, The Husband still packs the lunchbox, but fills it with more snacks (for example, yogurt, carrot sticks, applesauce, cheese and crackers and the like) in case a) the hot lunch didn’t fill him up enough or b) he changed his mind when it came time to eat it. You know how fickle kids can be with their appetite, especially when we’re deciding it a month ahead of time!
For the past nearly four months now, more often than not, the lunchbox comes back completely untouched and he usually munches on the stuff in the car on the way home. (And a side note, after vacuuming up weeks-old chicken nuggets and Chex Mix from the floor of my car today, I threatened a no-food-in-the-car rule). I always ask him why he doesn’t eat the stuff at lunchtime and usually get the typical non-answer … until the other day.
“Mom, it’s just not cool to walk into the lunchroom carrying a lunchbox. Me, Nathan, Jack – nobody carries a lunchbox in. I leave it in the classroom.”
Of course now it all makes sense, but it took him nearly four months to tell me?! As soon as he said, “it’s just not cool to walk into the lunchroom carrying a lunchbox,” I instantly got a vision of pint-sized tough guys a la The Outsiders, with full-on swagger, hands deeply thrust in their pockets, sneering at the losers who brought in their lunchboxes.
So needless to say, no more packed lunchboxes on hot lunch days. Got it. Another lesson in how to be a cool kid … I figure we’re all better for it….
P.S. You want to instantly feel old? For those that remember The Outsiders, can you believe it is from 1983?! I know … I was shocked too.