Friday, February 28, 2014

Lunch Notes, The Clark Years

I've posted about lunch notes before … how I was really good about sending them with Dora every day in K/1, kind of lost steam a bit with Theo … then took a break for a few years until Clark started Kindergarten. Even last year, notes were sporadic. But this year has brought a need for routine, and lunch notes are a part of that. Last year, Clark was petrified of buying anything in the lunch line, so I used to send a bottle of water every day (taking up valuable real estate in the lunch box!) This year, we worked on encouraging him to buy milk with lunch. The routine took some work … I met him in the cafeteria every day for a few weeks until he was confident enough to do it on his own. I don't know why the habit caused so much stress for both Clark and myself. I happened to catch the therapist outside the lunch room one day and was expressing my … embarrassment? frustration? anxiety? … that we had to go through this every day, to which she replied,

"You're giving your child what he needs. What's wrong with that?"

That has become my mantra over the last few months, dealing with Clark and his quirks. Whenever I get flustered and think, "How come (this kid) can do (that), but it's so hard for my kid?" I think of her words.

Anyhow … back on topic. Once he finally got the hang of buying milk on his own, lunch notes started out as a daily reminder, and turned into something he really looked forward to every day. If I happened to forget, I would see the Charlie Brown walk heading towards me at pick-up time. I've started snapping a picture of morning lunch notes as a little archive of this year in first grade.

By the way … not only does Clark now buy milk every day (and chocolate on Friday!) he will actually buy his lunch once a month! One small step for most kids, one giant leap for Clark.

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