Archive for October, 2012

What I learned in the Elementary Cafeteria

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Noah loves when I volunteer at his school. Until he’s embarrassed of me, I’m going to do whatever I can to make his day and make a difference. Today I volunteered in the cafeteria, something Noah has been asking for since kindergarten. I want to share with you all that I learned; I never imagined it would be so much!

  • Everyone has to pee, and almost everyone waits until lunchtime.
  • Some parents send complete junk, some send almost nothing at all, and some over achievers make complete gourmet spreads.
  • Some kids LOVE vegetables and some want nothing to do with them. Either way, if you’re buying your lunch from the school you have to choose at least one.
  • Wrappers from fruit rollups make awesome headbands (across the forehead, tied in the back), especially if you’re a boy.
  • Kids have no inside voice, not just mine.
  • A boy who wears a cap because his hair hasn’t come in after chemo stands out more to adults , kids don’t even notice.
  • By third grade you know the A word, the B word, the C word, the F word, and the N word. Yes, really.
  • Should you be unlucky enough to get a random and spontaneous bloody nose, the entire cafeteria thinks you’re dying and word spreads like wildfire!
  • Kids put condiments on the weirdest things.
  • Teachers of special needs kids are angels.
  • Lunch ladies who feed 300 kids in 3 hours need a raise, they are the most intense but expertly organized 3 hours I’ve ever seen!
  • Some kids have to eat lunch at 10am because it’s the only time that’s left. I hope they get an afternoon snack!
  • Bossing kids around as a grown up brings out your safety patrol training and gives you a power trip.
  • If you single a kid out, even if it’s because they are amazing, they get embarrassed and shut down.
  • You know which kids will fall into the stereotypical roles in high school even when they’re six (bully, most popular, cheerleader, ROTC, football star, homecoming queen, outcast, most sought after boy, etc).
  • You cannot sweep a brownie off linoleum after it’s been stepped on. It’s just impossible.
  • Kids will almost always eat what you send, or at least some of it. Only¬†one turned down their packed lunch because he didn’t like what was inside.
  • Wooden spoons for ice cream make awesome sling shots.
  • Cheese sticks are really hard to open, as are thermoses, and press to lock tupperware – especially when you are under the age of 8.
  • If you’re really good, the lunch lady will give you half of an ice pop.
  • Noah’s school sorts their trash and recycles. This came as a shock to me, I hope other schools do the same.
  • At least 5 girls will need to see the nurse for a bandaid to cover a scratch that almost doesn’t exist.
  • Kids who had a bad morning are still crying and sad at lunchtime. One little boy broke my heart.

I’m sure there is more but now I’m rambling. If you get a chance to volunteer in your kid’s school, you totally should. It helps you understand their day better and the boost you get from watching them brag to their friends that you’re there is the closest you’ll ever get to a “thank you”.