Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Lunch Lady and the Lunch Loser

Every Wednesday Kate awakens with a bit of a spring in her step, a hitch in her giddy-up, a sparkle in her eye. Wednesdays are Kate's day to shine. Kate, this middle daughter of mine stands out from the pack on Wednesdays and for good reason…she's the provider of Thursday lunches for the six of us and she takes her job so seriously that she begins prep for her task first thing on Wednesday morning. With a spiral notepad in hand she bops from sibling to sibling and from parent to parent attempting to discern what we'd like in our Thursday lunches.

Her efforts are often met with one syllable grunts or even a vague brush-off and instructions to "ask me later." It is after all, way before coffee has been adequately consumed and it is also a smidgen early and therefore difficult to decide if mustard and mayo on your next day's lunch would be best, or if ham or turkey or both is preferable and should one go with cheese or without?

After being diverted to her math book and her grammar lessons and anything else we can aim her towards, Kate is no less determined to collect the data and get down to business. We have decreed that no Thursday lunch-making is permitted until after our post-church dinner on Wednesday evening.

However, all throughout Wednesday afternoon clues appear here and there about the house that Thursday lunch is weighing heavily on Kate's mind. A loaf of bread from the freezer magically appears on the countertop so that it can be thawed before it is called into action later in the day, and a laundry basket, filled with empty lunch bags, mysteriously makes it way to a forgotten corner of the dining room.

Finally, after we all roll in the door from church and eat and scatter toward homework and lesson plans and bed, Kate, with the kitchen all to herself, gets down to business. With her notepad beside her,  she fills the orders, adds some extras and a water bottle and a napkin, always a napkin, and somehow finds a way to place all six lunch bags in the fridge for the night.

When Thursday morning dawns, she eats breakfast and sets our lunches out on the counter for us to grab on our way out the door. It's a perfect system…unless, even after being reminded, you forget to grab your lunch…like I did this morning. I am the only one to have forgotten their lunch so far this year…I felt special.

I happily ate the spare sandwich Kate had packed for Cole and all was right in my world. I came home and my lunch bag was waiting for me exactly where Kate left it for me.

…which means that I'll be in good shape tomorrow when everyone else is looking for their lunch!

…unless, of course, Kate beats me to it.

All of this rushing out of bed and getting dressed as quickly as we can, throwing papers and books into our backpacks, inhaling breakfast and trying to remember to take our lunch and all four kids with us as we pile into the car makes me ask again, 

"How do regular, normal families do this day in and day out?" 

This, dear reader, is possibly the most compelling reason that we homeschool…ok, that and the thought of signing 3 dozen Valentine's Day cards times four every year.  

Deep and compelling, that's us!

Happy Weekend!!

For more adventures with Kate:
The Teacher and the Taught
In the Kitchen with Kate (and a recipe)
In Which Kate Learns About Botox
In Which I Almost Let Down UPS!
Kate the Great (and oldie)
Kate the Great (a title so nice I've used it at least twice!)

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