First grade is tough- little ones need to adjust to the long day of sitting still and listening, not wandering about doing exactly what they want, when they want to do it.
C started 1st grade on Tuesday and his mood has been deteriorating all week. This is very hard for me, the Mom, to watch the little fella stress out about going to school the next day, crying himself to sleep. Trying to get to the bottom of the problem and find out what exactly was making him so sad, I quizzed him on the possible problems- the kids, curriculum, teacher, having to sit still so long, shiny happy faces, too hot or too cold, lunchtime, recess…
Roughly all of it, was his reply, but then he shared that lunch makes his tummy hurt, before and after he’s actually eaten. Recess- not much better either, he imparted.
At this point his 10 year old sister M, who had been listening to the who conversation chimed in, “Eating lunch in the school cafeteria is freaky- those kids are crazy.” She paused, perhaps for emphasis, and then continued to add details after reading the skeptical look on all our faces- the crowd was growing, Q (14 yr. old) had now joined the conversation.
“No really Mom,” M pleaded and then began to demonstrate, “the kids get their corn dogs, peel off the corn coating and then wiggle the cornless dog around on the stick.” She made a dorky face as she illustrated the event and those involved, “all the boys laugh- they think it’s SO funny!”
Then Q chimed in, “It’s true! I’ve see it, you should see them squeeze the grease out of the grilled cheese sandwiches!” another demonstation followed.
I begin to get the picture, it comes back into focus- all my days spent in school cafeterias when I was a kid. Oh dear, I recall the madness. The noise, sights and smells- hundreds of kids, lots of food, spotty supervision.
Who doesn’t remember scavenged containers filled with ketchup, mustard, juice, milk and grilled cheese sandwich grease… hurriedly mixed together with corn dog sticks then passed around on a dare, potato chip bags exploding all around you, naked hot dogs on sticks-
My tummy is started to hurt too.