There are two other food allergy kids in the same Kindergarten class, a boy with a milk allergy and a girl with celiac disease. The Kid sits with them at a reserved section at the end of a table. The arrangement looks pretty good. There are kids walking by with trays full of scary school food, but at least my child isn't being isolated like the school originally proposed when they found out he had a peanut allergy.
I had completely forgotten the roar of the elementary school lunchroom. It was unbelievably loud. The lunch was also very fast paced. It hadn't occurred to me previously to go have lunch with him, but I'm really glad I did. Here's what I took away from it:
- The Kid eats somewhat slowly, so I need to focus on keeping his lunches simple and easy to eat, rather than succumbing to bento envy and getting carried away fancying them up.
- I also suspect he'd be happier eating something that looks more like everyone else's food, rather than something special, but unusual looking. If I hadn't known that the girl at his table had celiac disease, I never would have guessed that her sandwich was on gluten free bread or that there was anything different about her lunch. That might be the best way to go.
- Someone on staff remarked to me how much The Kid loves his grapes, and he did eat them first. Lately I've felt the need to mix things up a little bit, but I'll probably restrain myself, since they're healthy and in season.
- I tend to pack extra food, since I worry about The Kid getting hungry at school and being tempted to eat something unsafe. He does have an increase in his appetite during growth spurts, though, so I'm going to think carefully about the amount of food I'm packing for him.
- The number of plastic baggies and single serving containers being thrown out was simply astounding. I chose an easily opened, single plastic container to put in The Kid's dinosaur lunch bag because of his fine motor problems. I didn't want him to spend time struggling to get to his lunch out, rather than eating it. There wasn't an environmental element to the decision originally, but now I understand why there's so much concern about lunchroom waste.
I remember reading somewhere that stress isn't caused only by negative events in a person's life. Happy events are also supposed to be stressful. Lately my life has been a testament to that theory. The company I work for allowed me to transfer to a position closer to home, working exactly the hours I want, for which I am extremely grateful. However, I'm going through some new job stress. My mom, who is incredibly helpful in caring for my child and my home when she comes to visit, was here for over two weeks. I'm not sure if the stress is due to her coming, leaving, or both, but it's here! I have an overwhelming backlog of things to do around the house, my kitchen is about to be declared a disaster area, and the list of things I still need to bake is getting longer, rather than shorter. My blog has become a regular part of my life, but now I have about half a dozen posts ready to write, with the food already photographed, plus a visit to the Rainforest Cafe to describe, but no time to write them, or do the revamping of my sidebar that I've been planning for months.
So to all of you whose sites I haven't visited, or comments or emails I haven't responded to, I promise I'll catch up as soon as I can!