Hot and Cold

Cameron did an amazing thing this morning.  He actually chose to have hot lunch at school.  I know that doesn’t seem like much, but I can count on one hand the number of times he’s ordered hot lunch this year and it’s usually been against his will.  So to have him choose willingly to eat hot lunch today was nothing short of a miracle.

My kids are all pretty picky eaters.  Now that Brendan has been in school for a few years I’m pretty good at predicting if he will order hot lunch (and I’ve gotten pretty good at which lunch he will pick too).  For him, if there is something on the lunch calendar he likes he will almost always get it.  Cameron is a different story.  It doesn’t matter if there’s something on the lunch calendar he likes or not, he prefers to take a cold lunch.

For the most part that’s not a problem.  I forced him to take hot lunch once during the first week of school because I knew that the teachers helped the kids learn how to go through the lunch line during that first week, and I wanted him to benefit from the help.  That way when he decided later on that he was ready to order hot lunch he would have been through the process at least once.

There’s been a couple of other times it’s been a problem, and both of those were days when pizza was on the menu.  Being picky eaters, my kids won’t eat sandwiches.  Crazy right?  Not one of them likes lunch meat.  And we’ve tried pretty much every lunch meat we can think of.  What they will eat is Lunchables.  I know what you’re thinking, aren’t those lunch meat too?  Yes, yes they are and those they’ll eat.  We’ve even tried making home made lunchables but they won’t eat the lunch meat.

They also like the Pizza Lunchables.  To me, the thought of eating cold bread, with marinara sauce and a little bit of cheese on it is just gross.  I like cold pizza on occasion, but at least its been cooked once.  These haven’t.  But for whatever reason my kids love them.  The problem came into play because Cameron was on a Pizza Lunchable kick for a while and took one to school pretty much every day.  I had no objection until they were serving pizza for hot lunch.  I put my foot down, if they were serving pizza for hot lunch I was not about to pack pizza for cold lunch.  Both boys were told that if pizza was on the menu they better plan on hot lunch or taking something other than a Pizza Lunchable.

For Brendan that wasn’t much of a hardship.  A) He likes hot lunch and B) he could still take either a regular Lunchable or even a PB & J (the only kind of sandwich he will actually eat.)  Cameron on the other hand threw an absolute fit about it.  He hates peanut butter so PB & J wasn’t an option, and he was going through an anti-regular Lunchable kick.  He didn’t want to order hot lunch and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him take the Pizza Lunchable.

We finally got through that issue, and now Cameron has done a 180.  In the last month or so he’s on an anti-Pizza Lunchable kick and takes a regular Lunchable to school every day.  So we’ve only had one other issue with hot vs cold lunch and that came about because I was supposed to go to the grocery store one day and ended up not being able to because Kaylee was sick.  Cameron wanted cold lunch the next morning and I didn’t have anything left to pack a lunch with.  Lucky for me there were chicken nuggets on the calendar that day so I knew both boys would have something to eat.

Now that we have Cameron’s lunch choices under control, our new issue is with the school.  Every once in a while Cameron will forget his backpack either at home or in the car.  In past years when Brendan forgot his bag I would just run it up to the school and they’d call him down to the office to pick it up.  No big deal.  But as one of the many security changes they’ve made this year they won’t call kids out of class unless absolutely necessary.  And evidently getting their back pack is not deemed necessary.

The first time I ran into this was about 2 months ago.  I took the bag up there and notified the office.  They said they would email his teacher and let her know.  I objected strenuously to this as there was a cold lunch in his bag, and what happened if she didn’t get the email until after lunch?  Someone from the office took pity on me and ran his bag to his classroom.

The second incident was just two weeks ago.  The same thing happened, except this time there was no one up there who took the bag to Cameron.  They emailed his teacher, and just as I had predicted she didn’t get the email until after lunch.  Which meant that Cameron didn’t have his cold lunch that day.  As it turned out he just ordered hot lunch and actually enjoyed what he ate.  And while I was glad that he didn’t just go hungry I was mad as a hornet that the school didn’t deliver his lunch to him.  I emailed the principal and let her know my opinion about the situation (along with about 4-5 other issues we’ve had with the school this year).

Yesterday Cameron forgot his bag again.  I’ve been trying to be diligent about making sure it at least makes it’s way to the car, and it had yesterday.  Once we get to school I try to make sure the kids have their bags when they get out of the car, but yesterday Brendan had his cello with him which he usually doesn’t on Monday’s, and he had his stand with him, so I was busy helping him organize all that he had to carry and I didn’t notice that Cameron had left his bag in the car.  To complicate matters, Kaylee is able to get herself out of the car these days so I didn’t even get into the backseat and see it when we got home.

I finally realized that he’d forgotten his bag when I loaded Kaylee into the car to go and pick them up.  At that point it was too late, and at least I was confident that Cameron knew what to do if he didn’t have his lunch.  He ordered himself a corn dog off the menu and again enjoyed it immensely.  Then today he turned around and asked for hot lunch when he heard that pancakes and sausage were on the menu.

Maybe it just took a while for him to realize that he liked hot lunch, maybe he was just uncomfortable going through the line, maybe he just liked to make mom work every morning, or had a thing for Lunchables.  Whatever the reason I sincerely hope Cameron eventually becomes as predictable as Brendan when it comes to hot and cold lunch.  With him I was always able to look ahead and buy the right number of Lunchables to have in the house during any given week.  Now I just buy a ton of them and hope that I have enough to get me through.


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