Ethan started kindergarten a few weeks ago. One of the things that he is really excited about is bringing snack and lunch to school. Now because he is such a picky eater, days leading to the first school day, we’d started to go through cookbooks together to make sure the food that I would pack was something that he would eat. We agreed on some key points – no tomatoes; lots of cheese, but not cheddar cheese; no sour fruits, meaning plums would have to be ripe enough.
First day he came home with his panini UNTOUCHED! I asked him what happened.
He answered, “Because I didn’t like it.”
“But I made it the way you like it.”
“But I didn’t like it.”
Second day, he only took a bite of his mini frittatas because he didn’t like it not warm. Third day, he returned with a full box of chicken and mango salad, because mango tasted gross when it mixed with the chicken!
I couldn’t sleep well the night before his first school day, because I knew this would happen. All night long I just wanted to get up and walk outside in the backyard and yell OH MY GOD I DIDN’T THINK I’D EVER LOSE TEN FREAKING YEARS OF MY LIFE TO HOW MANY FREAKING BITES OF THIS FREAKING PASTA DOES MY SON HAVE TO FREAKING EAT. And here it comes again.
I stopped trying to figure him out. So next day I just packed some meatballs and gravy that we had left the night before. And is it how it works? Because I opened his backpack after school that day planning to pour everything I’d packed into the trash, I found an empty lunch box. A.FREAKING.EMPTY.LUNCH.BOX. All six meatballs were gone. One…two…three…four…five…six. Yes. SIX MEATBALLS! He ate six meatballs for lunch. I started to catch my breath over the lunch box when he came over, and asked “Are you okay, mommy?” Because I looked like I was seconds away from falling over dead.
That was yesterday. My birthday. I treated it as my birthday present from my son.
Today he will probably return home with his lunch uneaten again. And that totally makes sense. Sometimes when I tell people about his horrible diet they assume that all we do is to feed him junk, but I only wish we had it so easy. Ethan is so picky that he doesn’t even like chocolate cake. Or ketchup. If given a choice between a potato chip or starving to death, well, if it’s not the right kind of potato chip, and if it’s not sitting exactly where it should be on his plate? Then we might as well pour him a tall glass of embalming fluid. Over ice.