Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Still in Wonderland

My daughter's spring break was last week; mine is this week. The inconvenience of mismatched vacations forced me to skip a few days of school (darn it) so we could take our family trip, but having kids in school while I am not has created some rare opportunities. I will be teaching a poetry lesson in my daughter's class on Friday (yikes?!), and today I chaperoned the First Grade Field Trip to the Cinderella Ballet.

Seventy-five first graders watching a no-words, two-hour ballet! Turns out intermission was the most challenging act. But some smarty arranged for one adult per three munchkins, so we wrangled them back into their seats for the second half and waited for the clock to strike midnight.

The kids were awesome. Also super hungry by curtsy time.

We streamed out of the theatre en masse to a park and playground to eat and run around. A dad and I sat down at a table with six first-grade girls for lunch and the highlight of our day. The girls busted their lunch bags and boxes open and welcomed us briefly into their little world. The virtues of Doritos versus Cheetos were examined (But what if there were Cheetos in Doritos flavor? That would be So. Cool.). Juice boxes were compared (OMG! We all have Capri Suns!).

The girls took advantage of their adult audience to tease fellow first grader, B, who "never eats her healthy stuff first." B blushed, big time, and then rather kindly pointed out that her friends had no say in what she ate first, last, or middle.

This is B of lunchtime fame, the sweet, grinning, innocent-seeming first grader who introduced our daughter to the gateway drug of nutritionless food: Wonderbread.

In retrospect, I should have wondered why there hasn't been talk of that soft white confection in our home for a month or two. I thought the fascination had passed. I should have known better; I should have recognized the signs.

Halfway through lunch, I watched my daughter duck her head down and nibble something, almost under the table. At the same time, B declared herself done with her lunch. I smelled something fishy, and it wasn't a tuna sandwich.

"What are you eating?" I cocked my head at my daughter. Her head popped up, mid-chew. In her hand was a half-eaten little square of sandwich. I recognized plushy white bread, stained with peanut butter.

"Whose sandwich is that?" All eyes focused on B.

"B, did you give her your sandwich?" She nodded. "Aren't you hungry?"

"Nope!" she chirped.

My daughter spoke up defensively. "Mom, I try to give her my food, but she never wants any of it..."

" often do you eat B's sandwiches? Like...EVERY DAY?"

My daughter and B looked at each other.

Busted! My little addict has resorted to filching her friend's food for her fix. No wonder she has been bringing home soggy uneaten wheat bread PB&Js. Some poor unsuspecting mom is making my daughter lunch. B, offered oranges and apple slices in exchange for manna from heaven, is getting the raw end of the deal.

We're planning an intervention.

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