Recently my son started preschool. He’s 3 1/2 and was insistent that he wanted to go, so he goes 3 days a week for 2 1/2 hours to a preschool at the local Methodist Church. We’re not Methodists, but they have a nice program and since the public school essentially only has a preschool program for special needs kids, we didn’t have much of a choice.
When he first started they had a little parent teacher conference just to meet us and go over some of the ways they operate. During this time they “conned” me into signing up to bring a snack on a future day (today) and restricted it to being a “healthy” snack. They also asked me to “help” on that day too if possible for the day in the classroom.
Let me kind of interrupt my story here to mention that I thought sending him to preschool meant I’d have an extra 2 1/2 hours three days a week, NOT that I’d have to do all this other stuff. This is more work than when he’s at home! Permission slips for this and that, money for this and that, book club payments, snacks, helping out….ugh!
Anyhow, the snack thing I figured I could handle fairly ok, but the helping thing is just not me. I don’t like kids. Well, in general I don’t. Sitting in a room full of a bunch of them is less appealing to me than a visit to the dentist. I don’t have the patience for kids plus I hate being sticky….and kids are sticky….all of them.
So last night I had to make a trip to the grocery store to buy the snack I volunteered (got conned into) to bring. No, I didn’t plan ahead…. My son wanted to go with me to pick out the snack and on the way to the grocery store kept mumbling something about “Cheetos and milk.” “Not the hot Cheetos, but the cheese ones.” “And milk.” “Not FF milk” (skim..the label says FF for fat free) but “D milk”. He repeated this the whole way there.
In theory, I liked his plan….cheap and easy. In reality, although I’m certainly not the type to vie for mother of the year, I didn’t want to have a reputation for feeding other people’s kids junk food. I talked Jake into getting cheese and crackers after having a ten minute internal dialog with myself regarding the actual healthy status of Ritz crackers. As we were getting the cheese, Jake insisted on getting pepperoni as well. Another internal dialog ensued, but I then realized that I could blame the kid if pepperoni was not considered a healthy snack.
I began gathering all the fixins’ and adding up the cost in my head (yes, I’m cheap….my elderly neighbor says I’m a bohemian…) when I spotted pure gold; a pre-packaged Hormel snack platter with crackers, cheese and yes, pepperoni all wrapped into one. No cutting, no re-packaging, no nothing on my part except for the $6.95 it cost to buy. Half the price of buying everything separately. I then talked Jake out of the milk (7 individual milk cartons would have been well over $10) and talked him into Juicy Juicy. Sure the Capri-Sun was $1 cheaper, but I figured if I screwed up with the Pepperoni, I at least knew the 100% juice would win me some points.
I actually fretted about the pepperoni all night, woke up once at 2am freaked out that I completely screwed up and bought the opposite of a healthy snack, and then in the morning forced Jake to present the snack to the teacher. I then apologized but said that I wasn’t up for staying to help (really, the 40lb baby in my belly speaks for itself) and left before they could get a good look at the snacks.
When I picked Jake up I pressed him for info about the snacks and if the kids all ate it and he pretty much said “yes, cheese and crackers and pepperoni” and then changed the subject so I assume it went fine. I didn’t get any dirty looks from the teachers either so I guess I’m in the clear. At least until October when it’s my turn to bring another snack.