Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eating Lunch with First Graders


Around February, Hazel decided school was too long and didn't want to go.  Every morning Jed and I would go through the same routine, and just as we were tip-toeing out the door, fingers crossed that all was well, Hazel would burst into tears about how looooooooooong school was and how, even though she liked school, it was just so looooooooong! We'd spend the next 30 minutes (sometimes outside her classroom door) trying to convince her to go.  I made a deal with Hazel that I would meet her for lunch one day a week so she had something to look forward to. I've had a surprisingly fun time.  Hazel hardly gives me the time of day.  Okay, she does smile and she sometimes holds my hand.  She just shows excitement a  little differently than some of the other girls who jump on me and beg me to sit by them (I'm pretty much super popular).

In my time lunching, I've seen a lot of gross looking school lunch--which more than half of the kids get-- and watched a lot of food trades.  One day, a trio of girls were raising their hands for all the things they liked (ice cream, pink, cats) and not raising their hands on things they didn't like.  When the voting moved onto other girls in the class, I put a stop to the game (you're welcome).  

I now know that Oliver is the Peanut Butter master, but he doesn't like it on a sandwich--just in a Tupperware to dip things in.  Gavin's mom packs pepperoni for him since he won't eat any other protein, Bronx always has an enviable lunch, Margaret always wants to share treats, the trio tries to steal things from the boys' lunches and everyone is always begging Tai to trade with them.  Oh, and if you forget a drink, you can raise your hand and Mrs. Pratt will get you a free milk.  

Hazel and I sit quietly until I interrupt the silence and ask a few questions and tell her she looks pretty.  She'll nod thanks, answer my questions and work on finishing most (but not all) of her lunch.  She saves the rest for after school.  I walk her to her class to grab her jacket and put her lunch box away and turn her back to her friends. And as grateful as I am for those friends, I think I'll always hate leaving her.  As I watch her walk down the hall until I can't see her anymore,  I agree wholeheartedly: school is way too long.  

13 comments:

Carin said...

Jane, you're such a fantastic mom! Hazel is a lucky girl to have parents so devoted to understanding who she is and how she thrives. Thank you for helping me know her better.

Kim said...

What a sweet post. I agree, school/work days are way tooooo long. Can you come and have lunch with me tomorrow to make my day a little brighter and quicker? Don't make me beg.

megan said...

What a fun idea! Jayne you are such a great mom. I'd never have thought of that solution. So glad you did. School is almost out.

P.S. I'm curious what they are doing in the picture, too.

Anita Cramer Wells said...

great plan, jayne! did you do much of that in your teacher days too?
i sometimes go eat when my kids are the servers/lunch workers (those jobs rotate starting in 4th grade at our school) but my own kids don't really want to sit with me either. i don't think my parents ever did that...

Bridget said...

this is reallllllly sweet.

and does pepperoni qualify as a protein??? really?? that's what we're coming to?

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

What a lucky girl. I need to go to lunch with my kids sometime.

And that poll on your sidebar is horrifying!!

St. Julien's said...

Great solution Jane. I hope I can think of such great ideas. Hazel is going to remember those lunch days forever. I liked this post its very sweet. And I agree school is way too long, I never got used to it and I don't think I will ever want to go back(unless I am just visiting for lunch).

St. Julien's said...

oh and the poll on your blog my vote is NEITHER--is that an option?:)

lady lee said...

so cute.

Lori said...

I love this post! I am right there with ya. I just went today to eat lunch with Matthew, when I walked into his class he had this look on his face when he saw me that was like "Hallelujah she's taking me home early!" Sweet Kids. Lets homeschool! ;)

Anonymous said...

What a sweet post and picture of darling Hazel Jayne. She is such a doll. Is she wearing the cute apron Megan Spence made for her?? I love Hazey. I wish I could freeze her at this age forever!
Love, Grandma Lisa

Teachinfourth said...

When I eat lunch with my class it's pretty much the same thing - there is a trove of them who want to sit next to me and it is pretty fun.

You described a 5th grade table remarkably well...

sanjeet said...

What a sweet post.
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