You started kindergarten a few weeks ago. One of the things that you are really excited about is bringing snack and lunch to school. Now because you are such a notoriously picky eater, days leading to the first school day, we’d started to go through cookbooks together to make sure the food that I would pack was something that you would eat. We agreed on some key points – no tomatoes; lots of cheese, but not cheddar cheese; no sour fruits, meaning plums would have to be ripe enough.
First day you came home with your panini UNTOUCHED! I asked you what happened.
You answered, “Because I didn’t like it.”
“But I made it the way you like it.”
“But I didn’t like it.”
Second day, you only took a bite of your mini frittatas because you didn’t like it not warm. Third day, you returned with a full box of chicken and mango salad, because mango tasted gross when it mixed with the chicken!
I couldn’t sleep well the night before your first school day, because I knew this would happen. All night long I just wanted to get up and walk outside in the backyard and yell OH MY GOD I DIDN’T THINK I’D EVER LOSE TEN FREAKING YEARS OF MY LIFE TO HOW MANY FREAKING BITES OF THIS FREAKING PASTA DOES MY SON HAVE TO FREAKING EAT. And here it comes again.
I stopped trying to figure you out. So next day I just packed some meatballs and gravy that we had left the night before. And is it how it works? Because I opened your backpack after school that day planning to pour everything I’d packed into the trash, I found an empty lunch box. A.FREAKING.EMPTY.LUNCH.BOX. All six meatballs were gone. One…two…three…four…five…six. Yes. SIX MEATBALLS! You ate six meatballs for lunch. I started to catch my breath over the lunch box when you came over, and asked “Are you okay, mommy?” Because I looked like I was seconds away from falling over dead.
That was yesterday. My birthday. I treated it as my birthday present from you.
Today you will probably return home with your lunch uneaten again. And that totally makes sense. Sometimes when I tell people about your horrible diet they assume that all we do is to feed you junk, but I only wish we had it so easy. You are so picky that you don’t even like chocolate cake. Or ketchup. If given a choice between a potato chip or starving to death, well, if it’s not the right kind of potato chip, and if it’s not sitting exactly where it should be on your plate? Then we might as well pour you a tall glass of embalming fluid. Over ice.