Snack Attack

“We are requesting parents provide snacks for their child(ren) as food allergies have made this a difficult issue for us at school.”

Benign, right? I understand. Between peanut allergies, gluten allergies, childhood diabetes and various aversions it is probably more frustration than any teacher needs to keep track of who can have what between math and gym.

The first day, while fixing breakfast and packing lunches, I packed Goldfish in three Tupperware containers. I know Goldfish are not particularly loaded with nutrients, but I also know the Blandings boys are not going to snack on carrot sticks and edemame. They would starve first. Nearly anything they would choose would be loaded with sugar. It’s a snack, for heaven’s sake. Goldfish would be fine.

“Mrs. Brown says I can’t have Goldfish for a snack.”

“What?” This is the middle boy. The impish one. The one who might be trying to get my goat.

“Mrs. Brown says I cannot have Goldfish for a snack.”

“Why not?”

“They are not healthy.”

I’m not exactly sure that this is Mrs. Brown’s call, but it is the first week of school and I am certainly not going to cause a dust-up over Goldfish.

“What about popcorn?”

“Um. I dunno. Yeah. I think popcorn would be fine.”

The next day, while fixing breakfast and packing lunches, I popped popcorn. I packaged up three snack serving in Tupperware containers. For about a week I heard nothing.

In the meantime the middle came home to say that Mrs. Brown had said the most hilarious thing at school. “She told us that if we didn’t put our stuff away and get in our seats she would cut our hands off with a spoon then throw them out the window.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yeah. It was funny.”

“Mom, she’s kidding,” added the oldest, “She’s not really going to cut their hands off with a spoon.” I was grateful for the clarification. Apparently Hans Christian Anderson and Lemony Snicket were in tune with their target audience.

Then, the next week, “Please provide a snack for your child that does not contain small pieces, like popcorn.” This from the youngest’s teachers.

“Do you think Mrs. White would be ok with Goldfish?”

“Sure.”

So then in the morning, while making the breakfast and packing the lunches I made popcorn, which I placed in Tupperware containers for the oldest two and packed Goldfish in Tupperware for the youngest. Then I waited. Nothing. No reprimand. We were good. Routine at last.

A couple of weeks later, “Mrs. Brown says I cannot bring my popcorn in Tupperware; it needs to be in a Ziploc bag.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know, she just said it needs to be in a Ziploc bag.”

“Are you having trouble getting the Tupperware open? Why would she care?”

“No,” indignant as only a child can be who has been accused of not being able to do something so remedial as open Tupperware, “I don’t know why she cares, but she does.”

So then in the morning, while making the breakfast and packing the lunches, I made popcorn for the oldest two, putting one in Tupperware and one in a large Ziploc bag and filled another Tupperware container with Goldfish. I was skeptical about the Ziploc bag. It seemed to me that popcorn in a Ziploc bag that has spent the better part of the day in a back pack would be confetti by snack time. But I was, frankly, weary of both thinking and talking about snacks.

Later that day as we are unpacking back packs, “Mrs. Brown says you need to send my popcorn in a smaller Ziploc bag.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Why do you keep saying that? No, I’m not kidding. Mrs. Brown says you need to send my popcorn in a smaller Ziploc bag.”

“Tell Mrs. Brown that if I get one more set of instructions regarding the snack that I am going to cut her hands off with a spoon and throw them out the window.”

“Really? I can say that?”

“No.”

That night I said to Mr. Blandings, “I can’t believe the amount of push back I’m getting on the flipping school snacks. I am getting more communication on snacks than I am on curriculum.” He was not interested in engaging on the subject.

The next morning, while fixing the breakfasts and packing the lunches, I made popcorn for the oldest two, packing one in Tupperware, one in a smaller Ziploc bag and putting some Goldfish into a Tupperware container. Thank heavens the middle school teachers have more on their minds, like managing raging hormones and ensuring all electronic devises remain stowed throughout journey, than the container of snacks or their contents.

When the boys piled in the car that afternoon I said, “How was school?” And the middle child said, “Good. But Mrs. Brown wants you to call her.” Every muscle in my body tensed. I could feel my blood pressure start to climb. This was beyond ridiculous. “Really, why?”

“She said you need to schedule your time for parent/teacher conferences since you missed curriculum night.”

Oh.

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42 thoughts on “Snack Attack

  1. I don't have kids but I know education administration but more to the point you've just given me a great deal of pleasure reading this post on a night I'm having difficulty sleeping and was feeling very grumpy. Thank you.

  2. That is hilarious. Do you have a v clever set of sons who are pulling your leg in a half ironic half mean way or do you have a school where as you say they are obsessing over the not very important things and not focussing on the important matters like education. And of course you feel like you must comply, as ridiculous as it is. I love lunchbox politics.

  3. My goodness. If that were me I'd go all out to send something different that was entirely inappropriate but could be vaguely construed as well-intentioned in every day. And perhaps a note that said that to our regret we couldn't afford Ziploc bags. Your patience is admirable.

  4. * Thanks for the most DELIGHTFUL A.M. CHUCKLES!!! ~ Such a F*U*N way to "wake up" with the first cuppa!!!

    Best,
    Linda in AZ *

  5. Mrs. B: I almost didn't enroll my daughter in a pre-school more than 20 years ago because the day we went for our visit that day's designated "snack mom" provided each child with a banana half decorated with yarn hair and candy corn eyes and mouths. Banana people! I ask you?

  6. Keeping the family/school calendar up-to-date is one of the greatest challenges I face on a daily basis. It seems every piece of paper that comes home in the backpack has something ELSE we're supposed to remember to do. Yikes!

  7. I have never commented on your blog before but love it! I thought this particular post VERY annoying and funny at the same time. I used to be a Kindergarten teacher and loved it before I started having kiddos.
    I am wondering if the 2 youngest boys teachers, esp Mrs. Brown, are nuts. I would NEVER do any of these things. I mean do they really have time to send notes home about snacks and packaging when they should be worried about reading, writing, math, and forming those precious one's minds?!?!?

    You must be a very patient person because I would have been sending some notes back and seeing if the other mom's were getting crazy notes like this.
    Unfortunately some teacher's are like this about everything, if they had been in my class, no such notes would have been sent home 🙂 I hope your battles are over!

  8. What a wonderful post! I always love to hear about the doings of the boys and Mr. B but especially when you do so with such style. It is a pleasure to read your blog.

  9. Too funny! Particularly because I woke up today wondering what the heck to pack for my kids lunches & snacks, with any hope that it all won't come home!

    Really though, what was the deal?! Crazy…

    Janell

  10. OYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!! It is hard to believe, but so true. Where one places his thoughts…….the contents and size of bag for snacks! As long as they don't contain sugar or extra chemical (artificial sugar, preservatives, etc.) WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? Good luck with that teacher…..

  11. It's a great school, which we completely adore. We'll see if we have reached snack nirvana. And, anon, banana people would have sent me for the door as well. I had a similar preschool experience when I showed up with my little darling's lunch, which had to be in a paper bag, and another mother was telling everyone how she and her son had gone on a walk to find feathers, which they glued onto the lunch sack to form the first letter of his name BEFORE SCHOOL.

  12. Here's my belief system – there are 24 hours in a day and if someone is gluing feathers onto a bag in the shape of a letter BEFORE school – something is not getting done – whatever it is – and the snack nazi has to let it go! Sometimes the school rules are a bit rigid aren't they? Try reminding the teacher that you use tupperware because you are trying to TEACH your children about saving the planet so you choose not to buy ziplocs! Good luck –

  13. Too much, I laughed all the way through. I wonder how much time is spent on the snack subject at school, as opposed to education? Probably even more than you are spending at home keeping compliant with the snack police!

  14. Is this what I have to look forward to one day!? Hilarious! I just finished a snack of my own… but now I'm craving popcorn! And I think I'll just eat it out of the bag.

  15. I am soooo glad my kids are almost grown!! of 4 sons the youngest is a jr in high school. when our third child arrived, I could have cared less about whether what they snacked on was nutricious: one would only eat peanut butter sandwiches, and another had deli turkey EVERY day! If I had been responsible for sending snacks, it would have been prepackaged gummy things. If I had been in your shoes I would have sent dill pickles in the ziploc bag!! I wonder what the teacher would have done then!! Next day===cauliflour. next…hmmm, that french cheese?

  16. This post is just a laugh riot! This should be in a TV sitcom. I'm long out of these adventures, but re-lived some of the astonishing things my kids went through as I read your "snack attack" posting.
    Send the teacher a box of Godiva, and thank God for your lovely sense of humor & brilliance. Marsha in Houston

  17. Our 5 boys with their somewhat 'idiosyncratic' eating habits went to school with packets of Cheetos, icky sticky jelly sandwiches on unhealthy white bread & not a piece of fruit between them! As a Mother working full-time ++, if the food police at their school had said one thing I would have totally spun out, held them hostage in the school canteen & demanded a ransom of a dozen Crispy Cremes & a six-pack of Cola. Your patience with this astounds me Patricia, I'm in awe of you my dear.
    Millie ^_^

  18. Holy cow. I sure hope that Mrs. Brown gets wind of your blog. She might have a "come to Jesus" moment if she reads what all her requests sound like to common parent folk.

    You had me in stitches relieving the morning rush hour.

    Marybeth from Dallas

  19. Oh, that is amusing. I thought this type of picayune stuff was only happening in "corporate America" these days!

  20. HA! Oh, Mrs. B. how you can diffuse my rages over the morning lunch and snack packing debacle. As one who loves to cook, it depresses me deeply to see what I am reduced to packing in their thermal lunch thingies.

    One word: Nutella. *shudder*

  21. This is simply the best…laughed all the way to the kitchen to find my kids lunchboxes filled pretty much the same as I send them out this morning….
    Carrot sticks, and bread with salami, apple and chocolate milk.
    Wish they would make 'em eat it too!!!

  22. I just found your blog through my neighbor's blog – IsabellaandMax. This is a hilarious post. It made my day! I get those kinds of messages as well and all I want to say is "If you're not providing lunch and snacks, then you don't have an opinion!"

  23. This is one of the funniest stories I've read! You are kind, gracious, and generous! I have 3 boys of my own who are now past that stage and my hat goes off to you and your sense of humor.

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