Thursday 16 October 2014

The Day I Lost It

He's been on school dinners since he started school a few weeks ago. They're free now for everyone (for younger age groups) and thanks to school food standards, the quality is really good. At football on Friday I even sat next to Aaron's "dinner lady" as her son also attends football practice. I have been VERY satisfied with school dinners on all counts. My favourite conversation on the way home, is hearing him delight in telling me what he ate that day. My purse has also been happy with the fact that I am not filling my fridge with scotch eggs, babybels etc...

Then last night he remembers that we bought a "Planes" lunch bag in the Summer (the only reason we bought it was for #CapriSunSchool). He asked for the bag before bed last night and even insisted on having toast with chocolate spread out of it (the lunch box we bought to go inside it) as a supper.

So I let him and thought that was the end of it. BUT, I should have realised there was more passion behind this desire, as he insisted on bringing the lunch bag to bed (I am sure he did this in case it would go missing over night and to be fair it may well have done).

This morning, he remembered it JUST as we were going out the door. I gave him all the many reasons he wasn't going to have packed lunch and headed for the shed to get the bikes out. Normally he'd get out his while I get out mine, but he just stood there going on and on about it. At this point we were ten minutes early, so I tried rationalising with him, tried silently ignoring him. Tried all of the techniques that normally work.

By this time it was time to leave or we'd be LATE. I wish I could put LATE in font size 3,000 as I don't like to be late!!!!

He wasn't backing down, and by this point was being so loud about it, I was worried the neighbours would get upset, so I backed down, went inside to make sandwiches, but first shouted "get inside" at the top of my voice. OH THE IRONY given that what made me give in, was my worry over him, and the noise, and the neighbours.

While making the sandwiches I was shaking as I was so cross. Cross that this could become a daily thing, cross that he wouldn't back down and listen to me, cross that packed lunches would add to our food bill, cross that he was making the decisions, cross that all of this was making us late, cross that I LOVE him having school dinners, and this might all end, with no choice of mine involved.

It got worse not better....

Packed lunch made (with what I had in the fridge, which was luckily, enough, to rustle something not completely embarrassing), we then went outside but he refused to get on his bike. When he saw how cross that made me, he started walking to school. I called him back and he wouldn't listen, so I had to wheel the bikes towards him. It is nearly impossible to wheel two bikes along, and it was bin day so I was having to negotiate wheelie bins AND recycling. I finally caught up with him at the end of the road, ONLY because he is too sensible to cross the road by himself.

He then insisted on balancing the lunch bag on the handlebars and began to ride like that. Luckily as an experienced cyclist he managed it, and we rode the 8 minutes to school in complete silence.

Oh, actually, that's not strictly true. There was one brief conversation. He said "if you don't want me to have packed lunch why did you buy me a lunch bag?". Yep, my articulate boy used those exact words. I said "because it was work". Now he KNOWS about toys being delivered and he knows they are "work" so my quick witted boy said right back "but when we get a "delivery" (our code word for blogging review items)  I play with them right?" - he wanted me to say "yes" so that I would be implying that he is therefore allowed to "play" with his lunch bag. Well to be fair I DID. The first 2 weeks of school, when they were still on half days (which did not include lunch) I let him have sandwiches out of it every day in front of the TV... since starting school, on full days, he'd forgotten about it. The problem is, every day the teacher asks them during registration, "school dinners or packed lunch". They are allowed to decide each and every day. I would prefer if you opted in or out once a week, month or term, but no! They are allowed to decide every day. So he hears that every day, and finally he's decided "I'll have some of that".

No matter what reason I gave him this morning, why I did not want him to have packed lunch, he would not back down, and I gave him MANY reasons.

This morning I became a fish wife shouty Mum and I thought it would take HOURS for me to calm down. Luckily I spoke to a Mum outside school, and just that little chat, got the tears right out of my eyes, and saw my hands immediately stop from trembling.

Oh I have missed a bit.... so all of this drama... (1) the negotiating during the 10 minutes early that we had (when I was getting the bikes out) (2) us both shouting and me then making sandwiches and (3) his starting the journey on foot, all led to us being FIFTEEN MINUTES late for school. My anger and embarrassment compounded ten fold when I arrived at school because firstly, for the first time ever, Reception was joining ASSEMBLY and they were under time pressure to finish registration so us arriving at 9 instead of 08:45 was not ideal. I then had to FIND where the lunch box/bag goes and had to change his shoes as he cannot cycle in school shoes. As I was leaving, I heard them say "it's school photo day" and that was THE icing on the cake. I always do his hair beautifully and today, the drama meant I had not....

Anyway, back to the school mum talking to me outside school. She shared this with me, and it's actually really really helpful:
The post is part of an online book tour (for YELL LESS LOVE MORE), and I think I may actually buy the book. I haven't used my Kindle in over a year, and will have to "find" my charger etc... as it is cheaper on there. But that's my plan.

What are your trigger moments?


  1. I have an idea for you. Why can't he have a packed lunch from his bag at the weekends? or perhaps one night a week he could have sandwiches for tea from his bag? this way he uses it, but when you want him to? oh, and don't sweat it, we ALL have had days like that!!

  2. Oh dear....I think we all have mornings like that. The other morning with us it was how my girl wanted to wear a furry gilet type jacket thing.....I stood my ground and she ended up in tears and I was so close to them too...Hugs to you xxx

  3. Oh love! It's funny how something as small as a lunch box can cause world war three. Mine is the same, though luckily we have to give two weeks notice to change over and normally my daughter forgets to ever asking about packed lunch by the end of the first week so I've been lucky enough to escape your predicament.
    I think you were probably right to back down rather than have a full scale melt down before school. We all have to pick our battles wisely. I think if it won't injure them or encourage bad manners/habits, sometimes it's healthier (for our sanity!) if we let it slide and jot it up for a later date!

  4. what a nightmare!! Poor you. Children do pick their moments don't they? I try my hardest not to shout but it doesn't alwats work. Rosie loves it when I whisper I think my sister has that book. Good luck x


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