It’s a sure sign you’re getting older when more and more parenting sentences start with “When I was your age…”. THIS is one of those stories and it started as they often do with the lunchtime battle. Will the kids buy lunch which they often hate or bring lunch which they often hate. I usually prefer the “they’ll eat when they’re hungry enough” approach. Today they couldn’t agree on a lunch to bring so we didn’t bring one to school. During the drop-off line where many important parenting conversations happen in the 45 seconds before the kids feverishly get out of the car I said “you know, if you don’t want to buy lunch and you don’t like the lunches you can take… let’s get some things from the grocery store you DO like”. And then it started.. snarky snarcasm
Actual excerpt from a conversation that really happened… really
Daughter: “Normal people don’t give their kids sandwiches for lunch… they give them hot containers… with dumplings and rice and delicious things like THAT”
Dad: “When I was your age I had sandwiches nearly every day in school… peanut butter sandwiches… nearly every day”
Daughter in tween angst voice: “When was that… like the 70’s or something??”
The kids got out of the car and went off on their day… as I pondered the things we can learn from this conversation:
#1 clearly the wife and I have spoiled the kids too much
#2 clearly their classmates are spoiled too
#3 clearly I should find one of the grossest, most disgusting brown bag lunch creations to try and exact my revenge on them… 70’s style… yeh the 70’s.
I thought back to my mom who used to make mock liver on occasion… no not chopped liver… mock liver… As if chopped liver wasn’t gross enough… This was a FAKE chopped liver which was cheaper and made from some unidentifiable brownish-grey ingredients. She’d make that sometimes which REALLY made me appreciate peanut butter. And not the peanut butter in the ads where mom swirled a heart in the peanut butter to tell me she loved me… it was just peanut butter and bread and we liked it. It was good.
So I put the request online for people to give me suggestions to make my daughter realize that there’s nothing wrong with a sandwich or even a peanut butter sandwich… it’s food. And people clearly love to plot revenge for other people’s children because they started responding fast and furious with fear factor food choices to make my kids realize it could really be much worse… much much worse. Here’s some of what we came up with:
smelly egg salad sandwich
salmon and sardines
cold meat loaf
picked pigs feet
liver and onions
Kellie suggested: “Peanut butter, mayo and bologna sandwich. With pickle spears and shoe string potatoes. Bruised banana for fruit. Bruised bananas need love too.” That they do Kellie.
Cynthia suggested: “Put cream cheese on celery and leave it for a few hours… The celery goes limp… Yum (Yuck)”
Jean said they should “get a thermos of plain oatmeal and note that read: “It’s hot. Don’t complain, be grateful someone cares, and that you have food.”
Oren then summed it up best: “Ha, time for her to start making her own lunches”
And then it clicked to me. Oren is right. The gal is in fourth grade. She’s gonna be driving in a few years and in college in a few years after that. She’s a future leader of America. She’s smart. She’s sassy. She’s beautiful inside and out as I always say. She’s so smart and so sassy and so beautiful inside and out that she can make her OWN damn lunch from now on. Boom. Done. Go make some quinoa with braised something or other and stuff it in the warm container. Revenge is a dish best served cold anyway. Put that in your brown bag kids. I’m out.
actual photo of something I won’t be making for my kids