This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Lunch Lady

Last week I promised Mi-Mi that I would meet her for lunch at her school. This week, as usual, was packed full of lunch time commitments that I chose to push my Monday run out for lunch with her (I am a martyr, yeah?).

I don't do 'this' kind of stuff: volunteer at the school, hang out with "room moms", etc. It's not my thing and I am not running for "look like I am mother of the year" awards. I'm not the best mom but I'm pretty darn good and I do it on my own terms, which makes me the pretty darn good mom that I am.

But I can't pretend to like to do things when I don't, and doing things at the school are one of those things. This is apparent when I came out to meet Mi-Mi's teacher for a parent-teacher conference last week: 1. I didn't know where the classroom was (I knew the vicinity) and B. I didn't recognize the teacher. I asked someone "I'm looking for Ms. O" and that someone replied "That's me."

*But* I *did* want to meet Mi-Mi for lunch. She had a great report from her teacher about how well she is doing at school - academically *and* behaviorally (really? I questioned the teacher). So I was happy for her and wanted to celebrate by meeting her at school for lunch.

So this took place yesterday. She wanted McDonald's (ugh) and was specific about Chicken McNuggets with *two& BBQ sauces. I had to send the Mickey D's lady back TWICE for two sauces...she came back with, my daughter is very specific...she wants TWO.

So I have a salad, hoping there isn't a bug in it (I found one in my salad from Lynnwood Grill last week...I ate about 99% of the salad before one of the last pieces had a ladybug appear (dead) before my eyes...BLECH!); she with her nuggets and BBQ sauces.

When I got there, I wasn't totally sure where to go. Ms. O said meet in the cafeteria but it's apparent there is assigned seating so I don't know where to sit. So I decide the best course of action was to get in line with Mi-Mi and her class. This is where I met "Taylor", a cute blonde-haired, blue-eyed little boy, who took one look at me and wrapped his arms around my legs and said "Hello Mi-Mi's mom!"


And Taylor would end up sitting across from me at our table, along with four others.

Lunch topics were interesting: I can count by 10s. Then the challenger says: I can count by 5s...and then the other kid says, I can count by 5s too! And this goes on for a good while. Wow. I can't believe this keeps them engaged for as long as it does.

I also get introduced to Taylor's lunch: I have two of everything: see? you wanna see what kind of sandwich I have? [takes sandwich out and takes it apart] Ah, I say. PB&J. Yeah! GRAPE JELLY!!


I kid of course. Taylor is a cute kid and we talk about a lot of stuff, like how many chicken nuggets a person could eat. 9,999 Taylor suggests as a viable option. He also shows me how he bobs for chips and proceeds to put his fingers in his ears, bobs his head down to pick up a pringle with his mouth. This CRACKED ME UP. OMG. That was the cutest thing.

And then the next cutest thing? Taylor saying something like "this is interesting" or maybe I made it up in my head but he showed me in his little cute hand, a small chicklet. It was his TOOTH!!! His tooth fell out!!! I thought it was one of my luckiest days to be there when someone would lose his tooth. I was excited for him.

He proceeded to show me how his finger fit in the gap where his tooth fell out. He even let me hold the napkin that he wrapped his tooth in, so he wouldn't accidentally mistake it for trash while he cleaned up his mess. I asked him how many teeth he had lost so far...TWO. AWWWWWW...I was here to see his second tooth come out...I felt pretty privileged.

I don't do much but sit and smile and talk with quiet Mi-Mi and Taylor. But two of the kids at the table tell Mi-Mi that her mom is sooooo nice, which makes Mi-Mi smile proudly, as if she's responsible for me being nice (she is :)). I also think: if only they knew...

But one kid, who I know enough to enjoy her company AWAY from my house, hands me an orange and says "can you peel this for me?" I think: Um, I didn't come here to do any kind of labor. Aren't there people around to do this kind of stuff? What if I wasn't here?? Who would do this? So I stopped ruminating about being given a task to peel an orange and just peeled it for her. I would then find that this little girl shares the same oddity with me, which is to peel all the little stringy white things off, so I was tasked to do that as well. But I only did half of the orange.

When it was time for our table to throw the trash, I encountered another little kid who wanted me to scoop his mac-n-cheese into the trash. What do I look like here? The lunch lady? I didn't say that out loud (I can restrain myself sometimes) but I did look at the kid like "who do you think I am? your mother?" It would've been great had he been looking at me instead of helpless for someone to help him with the mac-n-cheese.

It wasn't me. I walked away. I had already peeled an orange. I was done with my hard labor for other kids for the day.

Perhaps I won't make mom-of-the-year in the eyes of the masses, but I don't care about that. As long as Mi-Mi is happy (and she was, as she asked me to come back :)) and *I'm* happy, that's all that matters.

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