I remember the day it happened.
Our school district has an evil contrivance called “Winter Break”. Don’t confuse this with the break that happens in December, the one punctuated by good cheer and the type of good behavior that can only be brought about by the imminent threat of No Presents.
The “Winter Break” of which I speak happens in February, near Presidents’ Day. Around the time when you haven’t seen the sun for about three and a half months and would cheerfully set your winter coat on fire you’re so sick of it, were you not so entirely dependent upon it to keep from freezing to damn death.
Most years Winter Break is an entire week long, depending on hurricanes and teacher negotiations.
This is a vile break for several reasons, but the most important are these:
1) It’s smack dab in the middle of peak production season for new Broadway shows.
2) CC is always in production on one of said shows during this break and working double time.
3) I am not, and am therefore locked inside during the day with the kids.
Yes, “locked inside” because, remember:
4) It’s February in New Jersey.
The first year we had the kids, we were approximately 38 hours into Winter Break. I was five hours past sanity. But we had finally landed on an activity that made everyone happy: they made cookies while I unpacked CC’s family china and washed and dried it.
I looked at the clock and it was 2pm. We had all been so absorbed in our tasks that I had entirely forgotten to feed them lunch. There were still three boxes of china left to unpack, and all the counter space was taken up with it. I was holding in my hand a shallow bowl that had a weathered old note indicating the origin and the date “early 1710’s”.
Me: So, ah, you guys must be hungry, huh?
Me: Do you want me to make you some canned beef stew, or would you rather eat cookie dough for lunch?
So it began that I don’t feed my kids lunch when they’re home. Lunches to take to school are no problem–especially now that CC makes them pack their own lunches.
At first I continued offering no-brainer choices like the first one to get out of making lunch. Then I moved on to having to run an urgent errand at lunch time and leaving a responsible kid in charge of lunch. Eventually, I stopped even trying.
They don’t seem to be bothered by it.
We have enough things around that they can fix themselves, or graze upon, and every so often one of them will come to me and say, “I’m hungry!”… and if it’s one that I like that day, I’ll make them something.
Once I noticed the frozen yogurt containers that #2 and #3 were eating out of very near meal time. The ability to obtain junk food on a whim is, I believe, the most valued benefit of having both a drivers license and a job for a teenager.
Me: I take it you guys aren’t super hungry right now?
#2, smiling sheepishly: Not really.
#2: Because you weren’t going to cook for us anyway, were you?
Oh wait, that was true. And it happened today. At dinner time. Nevermind, that story has nothing to do with this blog post.
What’s the lamest thing you’ve ever made for lunch?