Saturday, September 17, 2011

Four Little Lunches all in a Row

Most mornings, I get up early and make 4 different lunches for my family. I pretend that it’s a beat-down. I act like I am put-out by having to do it every day. Which is really just silly.

The truth is, I kinda like making their lunches. I’m not the Suzy-Homemaker kind of mom. I don’t have fresh-baked cookies or freshly-scrubbed bathrooms waiting for them when they get home from school and work. And I don’t think I have ever worn an apron.

But, there is one thing I can do that speaks love to them in the same way. I can make sure their lunches are individualized and not just mass-produced. I’m always in a rush in the morning—no matter how early I get up-- so I’ve thought about making them the night before. I don’t like a hard sandwich and don’t want my family to have to eat one either, so I make ‘em fresh in the morning. And each bag is packed with different items.

Bethca can’t guess which lunchbox is whose—I’ll give you a hint—Brian’s is NOT the hot pink leopard print.

Caroline gets a peanut butter or bologna sandwich (with the crusts cut off)—I switch off which kind each day. She would love white bread, but is stuck with the wheat that I buy. She always gets Cheetos or Fritos, string cheese and either fruit or a Little Debbie snack. She LOVES it when I write a note on her napkin and she never gets tired of lemonade Capri-Suns.

Hope gets a peanut butter sandwich (also with the crusts cut off). I’m not sure why neither of my girls like jelly, but they only want peanut butter (and not to much—they don’t like Brian making their sandwiches because he puts a lot of peanut butter on them). Hope isn’t nearly as picky with what kind of chips so she gets Cool Ranch, Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos or Sun chips—whatever I come up with first (since she’s the only one in the house who likes Cool Ranch, I usually give her those first). I always pack fruit, string cheese, a granola bar and sometimes a snack cake. No Capri-Sun for her—she prefers a bottle of water.

Brian is easy—except that he gets icepacks in his lunch to keep his sandwich cold. I just load up some bread with a lot of sandwich meat, throw in a bag of chips (which doesn’t always get eaten), toss in a banana and some baby oranges and he’s good. Once in a while, I’ll put in some trail mix or peanut butter crackers. The biggest challenge with him is making sure he doesn’t forget it on the kitchen countertop.

I always get the hodge-podge. If there are leftovers from dinner (which means that I actually cooked the night before), I take those or I’ll make a sandwich. I always throw in some snacks to replenish the ones in my desk that the girls devour every time they come into my office.

Maybe one of these days, I’ll tell them how much I love to do this for them—especially since the girls are getting older and like to do things themselves. I look at it as my way of serving them—guess I shouldn’t let them continue to believe it’s a hardship on me.

Then again, a mom’s gotta have a few secrets.

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