After roughly five years of this lunch packing/blogging thing, I’ve finally accepted something.
I have accepted that my son — and I’m willing to bet your kid(s), too — will not exert his brain much at lunch.
My vision of his lunch experience goes something like this:
Parker sits down for lunch amidst a gaggle of boys. Never girls. They’re still icky.
Parker babbles for who knows how long.
Parker opens his lunch box and starts taking things out.
Anything that Parker cannot identify within the first nanosecond of seeing it is immediately returned to the lunch box.
Parker babbles some more.
Parker eats only the foods that do not require him to use his brain to identify, figure out, sort out or in any way think about.
Lunch is finished.
All of this is to explain why I have started issuing warnings and alerts as I pack his lunch each day.
Today is a fine example. Leftover steak with sour cream. Easily one of Parker’s favorite combinations.
But because of the renovation, I have limited lunch packing gear at my disposal. So the sour cream could not have its own container. Which means that by the time my incredibly rough and careless child gets to lunch, the steak and sour cream will have been flung about repeatedly.
Which means the steak and sour cream will be an unidentifiable blop by the time he opens the container.
No less delicious, mind you. But it will suffer from questionable visual appeal.
Now, you or I would take a moment to look at it and sort out what it is. We might even think to ourselves, “Gosh, I made a mess of my steak and sour cream. Perhaps tomorrow I shouldn’t launch my lunch box into the air. Repeatedly.”
And then we’d eat it anyway.
My boy? Very likely not.
So today, I had this conversation.
“So Parker. This is steak. This is sour cream. By the time you have finished abusing your lunch box for several hours and actually try to eat this, it will look like a messy blop. But it will still be steak and sour cream. OK?”
See? I’ve now alleviated any need for thought.