The L.P. Lunch Program
July 23, 2013 § Leave a comment
We arrived home from a morning of swimming lessons and after hanging up the towels and bathing suits to dry, I prepare a snack for the kids and put the kettle on for a cup of tea for myself. While I’m waiting for the kettle, I unload the dishwasher, wash up the dishes that don’t go in the dishwasher, wipe down all the counters and table, wipe my toddlers bum, and refill the honey container so I will have some for my tea. By the time I get back to my steeping tea, it has gone cold, and my ten year old says to me “Mom, what’s for lunch?” I begin to lose my cool, about to unleash the martyr speech about doing everything for everyone else and I can’t even get a warm cup of tea!, when I am suddenly reminded of the L.P Lunch Program.
A few months ago, while enjoying dinner out with some of my favourite gals, we were commenting on the differences between kids in school and kids home for the summer, and I groaned about having to prepare snacks and lunches several times a day. I asked the group what they prepare for lunch for their kids, hoping to get some ideas beyond grilled cheese, chicken nuggets and Kraft Dinner. One of the Supermoms at the table (we’ll call her L.P.) looked at me, shrugged her shoulders, and said, “I don’t”. Not seeing how it was possible for this mom of four to respond this way, I pulled up my chair and asked for her to share her secret.
She explained that she puts all the things she wants her kids to eat, down in the reachable positions, and the things she doesn’t want them to eat, up high where they need your help to get at them. This includes cupboards and refrigerator shelves. The kids help themselves and she doesn’t have to drop what she’s doing every time the kids get hungry. “And I’ll bet she gets her tea hot, too” I thought to myself.
So back to my cold tea and the kids wanting lunch. I take a deep breath, exhale, and explain that they no longer get to ask me what is for lunch. I explain, very calmly, that if they would like to suggest a lunch idea to me, that is encouraged, or better yet, if they would like to prepare something for themselves, they are permitted, just as long as whatever mess is made in creating their lunch, is also looked after by them.
Much to my surprise their eyes got real big, they looked at each other, and cheered! They darted off in all different directions like a firework exploding, running for their favourite thing to eat. The eldest made Kraft Dinner for the younger two, and my eight year old heated up leftovers.
“Well look at that”, I said, placing my tea in the microwave to re-heat. I grabbed a pen and jotted down on my to do list – re-arrange the food for the L.P Lunch Program.