Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Lunch Lady vs. Superdaddy

Here at our little pajama-wearing homeschool, I am the lunch lady, and my family is all the poorer for it. I have never been a lunch person... lunch was always more of a throw-away meal, a time to toss together the fastest prepared foods together hastily and scarf them down before moving on to the next to-do. Ryan, on the other hand, loves cooking, no matter the time of day or occasion, so lunch for him is just another opportunity to show off his culinary skills and make something "fah-boooo-lous". When I'm in charge, then, the kids have to suffer thru meals such as hunks of cheese, plain bread, a cut up apple, and some pepper slices... sounds like something they served up at the Oliver Twist orphanage, right?

Please Lunchlady, may I have some more?

But when Daddy is home, well it's baked apple slices with cheese melted on top, brie topped crackers, and chicken tenders with a homemade honey mustard dipping sauce. For our children, this results in a titanic battle between "Superdaddy" versus "Lunchlady."

Me: What kind of cold cereal do you prefer?

Him: I'll save you! Here, have some Baked Alaska!

When I cook, it's all, "oh, ok, I guess I can eat peanut butter and jelly with a banana again." But when he cooks, I swear there's a hallelujah chorus sounding somewhere in the background after he hands the food over to the little ones. Everyone rejoices, except Lunchlady, who sounds off thusly:
First, I fume... "This is going to make a huge mess and we have so much more to do. The kids have about 3 minutes before they need a nap, and you're making a 40 minute meal...and I'm gonna be stuck wiping up the trail of muck you leave behind you while you're happily blasting away people and things on your Wii.... Huff huff huffity huff."
Then, I relish..." mmmmmmm tasty vittles! This is amazing! Can I have seconds?"
Then I fume again... "Crap! Do you see this place? It looks like my pantry exploded, and I'm pretty sure I'll never get the stovetop cleaned from all the baked on yuck and blah blah blahbitty blah... "
Meanwhile the kids are all, "Daddy this is great! How come you never make stuff like this Mommy?" And so Ryan triumphs on his weekend cooking days at winning the children's love and affection once more.
But I get even.
On the weeknights, I make his lunch. Poor Superdaddy usually gets whatever is left over for dinner, and if there's not enough, I supplement with whatever happens to be leftover in the fridge from other meals. One time I remember we came up a bit short after dinner, but I forgot to supplement his meal, so he got a teensy chicken breast with about 3 tablespoons of lima beans, and nothing else. And I forgot to salt or pepper anything. Let me say I could totally make due with that by grabbing a handful of whatever was floating around the office kitchen drawers (usually saltine packets and jelly containers are enough to satisfy) but the culinary Wonderboy was somewhat less satisfied. He called me and said, "Hey hunny, I think you should know, we had a food fight in the lunch area and it was a total slaughter. All I could do was throw my three lima beans and run for it. Can you please pack a little more next time?" Ok, hint well taken. The Lunch Lady needs to work a little harder for her hard workin man. But if you show me up on the weekends again, I'm giving you saltines and jelly packets, and you can just suck it up and take it like a man ;)


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