If I were a better mother (where’s that button, Jenny??), when my children arrived home after school, I would immediately go through their backpacks and lunchbags and deal with the contents therein. The lunchbags would be emptied and the ice packs set back into the freezer, the various art projects admired, the pine needles and acorns surreptitiously disposed of, permission slips signed, the next day’s items packed, etc.
And I fully intend to do this, every day, but I always end up sidetracked by other more important matters. Such as hollering, “Excuse me, were you raised in a barn? Close that door!” or commenting loudly to no one in particular that I’m sure whomever left this coat in a heap on the floor meant to hang it up, or suggesting that urinating is, in fact, a solo activity in need of neither an audience nor serenading.
Prioritizing can be a mother’s biggest challenge, as we all know.
Due to this lack of June Cleaver-ish handling of my children’s school belongings, the morning usually finds me empting out backpacks and doing my tried-and-true stint as a nagging, broken record.
“Monkey! Everything is still in here that I packed for you yesterday! What did you eat for lunch?”
“Nothing. I didn’t have time.”
“You didn’t have time? Was there an emergency storytime to attend? Schedule conflicts necessitating the cutting of the lunch period to make more time for dumping sand on your head? What??”
“I don’t know, Mama. I just never have enough time.”
Then my face turns purple and my head rotates a full 360 while I throw away unopened yogurts, untouched sandwiches, battered pears and apples, and other perfectly delicious and serviceable food.
Chickadee usually eats her lunch. But every now and then she, too, comes home with a meal untouched.
“Chickadee! Why didn’t you eat your lunch??”
“I didn’t have time.”
“I had to poop.”
“Thanks for sharing. That took the entire lunch period? Did you have the Wall Street Journal in there with you?”
“Nevermind. Do not spend all of lunch in the bathroom!”
And then I scrape out her lunch items while marvelling to myself that yet again I’ve discovered another rule I just never thought I’d have to make. Don’t hit, don’t bite, say please and thank you. These are things I was prepared to lay down as the law, as a parent. Don’t spend your entire lunch in the bathroom? Do all parents have to make that an actual rule or am I just lucky?
I’m thinking of writing a whole new type of nutrition manual. First we had the four food groups. Then came the food pyramid. Of course you’ve got your various information on vitamins and minerals and all of that. But I have stumbled upon critical information that I think most parents would pay to be privy to.
My theory–known henceforth as Yesterday’s Unconsumed Calories Catalog, or YUCC–will help parents everywhere make informed decisions about what food items to pack for their kids. By balancing YUCC against the food pyramid, informed decisions about nutrition vs. time can be made more easily than ever before.
To whit: The food pyramid suggests that raw green beans and baby carrots are an excellent source of vitamins and fiber, as well as counting towards the recommended “5 a Day” for fruits and vegetables. But a quick cross-check against YUCC shows us that such offerings take approximately five hours to consume. Does your child have five hours for lunch? If the answer is no, then a veggie selection is not a good choice. YUCC reveals that it will come home again in the lunchbag, because your child can’t possibly have enough time to eat it.
Conversely: Although the food pyramid puts chocolate teddy grahams right up at the top pointy part along with other items that should be doled out sparingly, YUCC reveals them to be one of the most time-efficient food choices around. According to YUCC, chocolate teddy grahams take just 3 seconds to inhale. Perfect for that child on the go.
Being the caring, loving mother that I am–and also hoping that my children’s teachers will witness the vast variety of nutritious foods I offer their ungrateful snotty selves and therefore not call Social Services on me even though my children never actually eat–I have been able to catalog a plethora of foods for consumption times within the YUCC model.
For the low, low price of just $29.95, this knowledge can be yours. Because I am all about sharing the love. Order now!