Monday, December 19, 2011

Bon Apetit

I can breathe. Both nostrils are clear though the sneezes are still around and the lung conjestion remains but I can inhale!

I've spend hours in the office this morning. I entered with one intent. I want to burn a few CD's and print some personalized labels for them.

How does all that stuff accumulate on that desk? I sorted through it and spent another bit of time shredding mail that was weeks old and spread on the desk. I really need to pay more attention to that office. I've lost all interest in it as the husband promises to make it a project and redo the whole thing.

That was yesterday..and today I was back again. My friend Pat wanted some pictures scanned and printed. That was my afternoon. My morning was spent at Carrie's school. Parents and grandparents volunteer to assist the teacher in the projects she has for the children and today they were making ornaments.

21 children at 5 big round tables that only rise about two feet from the floor gathered around to make an ornament assisted by a parent. As that ornament was finished, each table group  moved to the next table and the parent in residence would help them with the next ornament. Reindeer made from pizza slices with pretzels as horns and raisens for eyes, gingerbread men on brown cardboard and Christmas trees made from brownie cakes and decorated with M & M's, the children glued with Elmer's or cake icing and finished their projects an hour before lunch.

The daughter and I were going to spend lunch with Carrie so instead of driving home we went to a grocery store closeby and did some shopping. We insist Carrie eat a school lunch in the hopes that she will observe the other children eating vegetables and if nothing else, get hungry enough to eat them too. 

I can still remember the smells of home cooking drifting down the hallways and into our class rooms as noon hour approached. The aroma of the hot rolls baking, the baked steak and gravy, spaghetti, meat loaf and mashed potatoes and all the other wonderful meals prepared by those cooks was the best part of our day. I assumed this was how food was still being served at the schools.

Back to the school and in time to escort the class down the long hall to the dining room we paced quietly. "Hip and lip" the teacher chanted to remind the little ones to put one hand on their hip and one finger on their lip with the results of having both hands occupied and to themselves.

Pizza, grapes, corn niblet and salad filled the trays. We stood in line along with the little ones and found a table to sit together for lunch. I now know why Carrie begs to take her lunch. When did the schools quit cooking and start putting prepackaged "stuff" on those trays. I watched silently as most of the children drank their milk and carried their untouched trays to the window to be scraped into the trash. Not even the Pizza was consumed. What child doesn't like Pizza?

The cardboard-like crust was thick and dry. I thought for a moment it was wheat crust. It was frozen pizza that had been heated.  The grapes were tasty and so was the corn but few children were enticed to eat them. The salad was served without a dressing unless the child knew it was in little cups at the counter. Italian dressing was in those little cups.

I can't imagine how many little children really want to eat Italian dressing.

I'm so impressed about the standards that have been set for healthy meals at the schools said sarcastically. The snack machines and the soda machines have been removed to encourage the children to eat healthy. It isn't working. Now all the food served is being scraped from those plates and into the garbage.

I did notice that not one teacher picked up one of those trays. They packed their lunches and that's exactly what we will be doing for Carrie in the future.

I called the daughter and arranged to pick up Carrie. We drove to Walmart and purchased a  lunch box and a Thermos.

Carrie was so excited that we had finally agreed to let her pack her lunch. She covered my face with kisses and thanked me over and over as we drove to Walmart to purchase her lunch box.

The school year is now half over. Better late then never I suppose. Carrie will look forward to her lunch hour instead of dreading to go into the lunch room.

I did check with other parents and found they had tried the lunches early in the school year and  had been packing lunches all these months of school.

I'm so sorry Carrie. I promise to be more alert to your complaints in the future.

The evening was spent with Carrie rewrapping all the Christmas gifts. I went today and bought pretty bright glittery wrapping paper, bows and ribbons and made all the packages gorgeous. Note to self: give up on cheap wrapping paper. It's ugly. It tears easily. It looks gloomy and so UNholiday like.

I'm tired and I'm going to bed early. I have a lunch to pack tomorrow morning and I'm all done in.

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