Monday, November 10, 2014

Eating Lunch With My Daughter

"Today was library day and I got a chapter book. I'm already on chapter 8," Natalie's friend told me proudly.

I looked at Natalie, who was weirdly sticking a piece of lettuce from her sandwich against her nose. "What book did you get, sweetie?" I asked.

"A picture book about cats! I like the orange ones because they're like OUR cat," Natalie answered, nibbling on the lettuce that refused to stay on her nose.

I sighed inwardly. I wished Natalie would read chapter books. But she's...she's...what in the world was she doing with the mayonnaise on her sandwich?

"Natalie, it's not nail polish, let's stop," I suggested.

I was having lunch with Natalie. And Natalie always has to include her friends too. I was busy learning about the second grade gossip: apparently someone had burped that morning.

"Mommy," Natalie said, digging through her Subway bag. I brought her a Kid's Meal. "Mommy, you forgot my apples. Why did you get me this cookie?"

Oops. When the Subway worker asked what side I wanted, I said a cookie, because I love cookies, and I assume the people that came from my body love them too. But I always forget Natalie isn't a fan of cookies. She loves apples. Sometimes I worry she's going to turn into a giant apple.

"I'm sorry. But I got you a sugar cookie. It's delicious." With my own meal, I picked the two cookies as my side. Gingerbread and chocolate chip. I had already polished off the gingerbread. I sort of had to. Natalie's friend kept staring at me as if she was hoping that I'd offer her a bite. But no way, she's not mine, I don't have to share.

Natalie held her cookie between two fingers as if it were beneath her. "I don't want this."

Her two friends practically fell out of their chairs.

"I'll take it!" they said in unison.

"The thing we should do," Natalie said diplomatically. "Is play a game. Close your eyes."

I was amazed her friends listened. At that age I'd have been like, "I'm not closing my eyes. I don't want your old cookie anyway."

Natalie broke pieces of her cookies and set them carefully in front of her friends.

"Open," Natalie said with a smile, and her friends did, whooping as they found their treats.

"Aren't you going to have any cookie?" I asked Natalie, because there was only a little left, and I had paid to feed my child, not others.

Natalie shook her head. "Close your eyes," Natalie said again, and she rewarded her friends with the rest of the cookie.

Okay. Fine.

As we ate, a lunch monitor said as she paced the rows of tables, "You're not filling my bucket."

"What bucket?" I asked. "I don't see a bucket."

"Oh, it's not a REAL bucket," Natalie's friend said matter-of-factly. "But if you bully someone, you make the bucket tip over. If you're nice, you fill it."

"What it it overfills?"

Natalie's friends blinked at me.

"A bucket?" I muttered to myself. "God, I'm old. We didn't deal with buckets when I was in school. It was like, 'hush your damn mouths' or, 'thanks for listening' when I was in school."

Eating with my daughter is always fun. I know there might come a time when she asks me not to show my face at school. But for now? Now she wants me to be with her, so I try to show up once every month.

Next time, I'll bring her apples.


  1. I had Subway for lunch today too :) and there's no apple as side, only cookies double :)

  2. Kids are so precious! I really love the look of your blog, your header image, etc! Awesome!

  3. I love the way Natalie shared the cookie with her friends - cute!!
    You're right - that day will come when she won't let you come to the school for lunch. Today is Jordan's birthday and I offered to come for lunch - that didn't go over well!!! Of course, he is 16 and in high school so I guess it would be awkward!!!

  4. Funny, last Saturday I told Frank I'm actually craving some Subway and he had this look on his face that basically said: "Of all the things, you crave Subway?!" Can't help it, I actually have cravings with this pregnancy!

  5. I haven't had lunch with Frances yet this year. It's mainly because she's in middle school and I'm afraid to go there. She tells me that other parents have come in to eat with their kids, so I know it would be OK if I did. Still nervous about it, though.

  6. Good of her to share with her friends! Eating lunch with kids is so much fun!-Ashley

  7. It's great that you join her for lunch, and also that she likes to share with her friends. (Oh, and that she likes apples!)

  8. There is no way I would share my cookie, no way! It was really sweet of her to share her cookie with her friends. I really want subway now, I've not had subway for ages.

  9. Awesome that she loves apples over cookies and she shared with her friends!

  10. So sweet! I remember my husband going to have lunch with my stepdaughter when she was in elementary school. I went with him a couple of times. It was very enlightening to sit there at those little tables and chairs! Once she got to middle school, lunch visits were completely prohibited, so enjoy every minute!

  11. This is fantastic. It's wonderful that you do that with her.

  12. I love that she shared her cookie with friends.

    I want to eat lunch with my daughter so badly. Not only that, I want to BUY school lunch. And eat it. Just for memory's sake.

    Am I weird?

  13. They let you into the school to have lunch with your daughter? That's super cool!!

  14. I can't get enough of Natalie stories. I used to love going to school and having lunch with my boys. Do you think it would be weird in College :)?

  15. White chocolate macadamia nut cookies are far better than a red delicious.

  16. Haha, the filling the bucket story! Eating lunch at school is an adventure!

  17. Glad she makes good health choices for food. How funny that the gossip is about who burped in class.

  18. Are you sure she's yours? Preferring an apple over a cookie?!?!

  19. No buckets at my school either. We had a giant stop sign that went to yellow if you were getting to loud and red if you were loud. If that happened someone would yell at us to stop yelling....yeah that was effective.

  20. I am a cookie addict..learning to like apples. :(

  21. Whoa...she prefers apples over cookies? Wait. She DOESN'T LIKE COOKIES? Well, wow. lucky day for her friends! You're sweet the way you have lunch with her. I like that a lot

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