Yesterday I decided to let my daughter buy her first school “hot” lunch. It is cold here and I figure after coming in from recess that she would want something nice and warm to eat. Well… it looks like I will just have to provide a way for that to happen for her. On the menu, at school, was pizza (cheese or pepperoni), green beans, carrots and pears. All things she has eaten in some form before. Well… when I went to pick her up, she says “Mommy, I’m hungry.” Now – this is pretty normal for her but I did not think it would be the first thing she tells me. So I get this sinking feeling in my gut and decide to ask her about how her first lunch buying experience went. She says she did not eat anything. My first thought ” WTH?!?!?” They have helpers in the lunch room, so surely they would not have a child sitting there without any food. She tells me that she got in the line, gave them her name and got her lunch ticket. As she got to the guy with the pizza, he told her to go to the healthy food line. She says she does not know what food she got which meant to me… it was something she did not want to eat. Then she says that she did not have pizza. I ask “why not.” If pizza was on the menu, what is going here. So, we get to the car to leave after this conversation and I tell me husband to go ahead and strap her in and I will be back.
This just does not sit right with me. All kinds of obscenities popping in my head but I do not want to be (too) upset, so I patiently wait to talk to her teacher. My daughter’s teacher is probably the only person I really trust at the school to be honest with me. We talk and basically, the kids have to let the guy at the counter know what they want for lunch. She said what I was thinking before I could. My child is very soft-spoken with adults she is not familiar with and more than likely, the guy did not hear her. But THEN… it makes me pose questions… shouldn’t he have taken the time to see if she wanted pizza? Asked her to speak up? The lunch menu stipulated that it was a peanut/tree nut free lunch day, so what is the problem? She is in kindergarten. I just do not understand. My husband was mad that the lunch was paid for and she did not get what she wanted. Talking about he wants his money back. I don’t know if I feel like that but I really do wish that if you decide to work with children that you have some sort of patience.
The whole situation just is not sitting right with me and I think that’s why it’s on my mind at 5 in the morning. The only thing I keep thinking about is what my child must have felt like when this happened. She was her normal happy self when we picked her up, so it’s not like it ruined her day. She has gone longer than a few hours with not eating. She had eaten all her breakfast this morning and they have a morning snack in her class. But still… that does not make the uneasy feeling go away. Another side of it is that it is hard to tell what happened from her perspective. I know how my child is. She will keep things from me so that I will not know she is having a good time. The first few weeks of school she told me she had no friends and no one talked to her. Then at open house, several kids ran up to her with hugs, smiles and wanting to share secrets. The girl had played me…lol! I am sure though that if she says she was hungry, then she really was because she is not a big eater. She will nibble most of time and that’s enough for her. Most of the time she does not eat the lunch I send and some days she eats it all. Either way, I am going to chalk this one up as a lesson learned this time and keep sending her with her own lunch.
NOT ACCEPTABLE! Yes I’m yelling! I’ve worked in education all my life and especially with the little ones, people in the serving line need to be educated in talking to the children. We want the children to say please and thank you don’t we? Well then they deserve the same respect. So sorry she had to go through that. Xoxo
Thanks Anna…that really means a lot coming from you. I was hoping it would have been a good experience for her because she has been having a great school year so far.
I am so mad on behalf of your daughter. She is in KINDERGARTEN for pete’s sake. This was her FIRST TIME ordering lunch. Shame on the lunch man for rushing through the process and not taking care of the babies. And yes, they are BABIES!! I taught kindergarten. We had a year where the kids had a full day with lunch in the cafeteria. As a teacher, we needed to give up some of our lunch time to stay with our class and make sure everyone was settled. Did everyone get their food? Did it make its way to the table without getting dropped? Tupperware opened? Juice boxes and milk cartons okay? All those things. By the end of the year (and not by Thanksgiving Break) I was able to leave when I saw the more responsible parent volunteers taking care of business. Until then, I was keeping my class feeling safe and comfortable. I’m so sorry that your daughter had to feel that way and I hate that hopeless feeling we, as moms, feel when are kids aren’t treated fairly when we aren’t around.
BTW, the lunch program, IMO, owes your daughter a lunch.