Snack Attack

"We are requesting parents provide snacks for their child(ren) as food allergies have made this a difficult issue for us at school."

Benign, right? I understand. Between peanut allergies, gluten allergies, childhood diabetes and various aversions it is probably more frustration than any teacher needs to keep track of who can have what between math and gym.

The first day, while fixing breakfast and packing lunches, I packed Goldfish in three Tupperware containers. I know Goldfish are not particularly loaded with nutrients, but I also know the Blandings boys are not going to snack on carrot sticks and edemame. They would starve first. Nearly anything they would choose would be loaded with sugar. It's a snack, for heaven's sake. Goldfish would be fine.

"Mrs. Brown says I can't have Goldfish for a snack."

"What?" This is the middle boy. The impish one. The one who might be trying to get my goat.

"Mrs. Brown says I cannot have Goldfish for a snack."

"Why not?"

"They are not healthy."

I'm not exactly sure that this is Mrs. Brown's call, but it is the first week of school and I am certainly not going to cause a dust-up over Goldfish.

"What about popcorn?"

"Um. I dunno. Yeah. I think popcorn would be fine."

The next day, while fixing breakfast and packing lunches, I popped popcorn. I packaged up three snack serving in Tupperware containers. For about a week I heard nothing.

In the meantime the middle came home to say that Mrs. Brown had said the most hilarious thing at school. "She told us that if we didn't put our stuff away and get in our seats she would cut our hands off with a spoon then throw them out the window."

"Excuse me?"

"Yeah. It was funny."

"Mom, she's kidding," added the oldest, "She's not really going to cut their hands off with a spoon." I was grateful for the clarification. Apparently Hans Christian Anderson and Lemony Snicket were in tune with their target audience.

Then, the next week, "Please provide a snack for your child that does not contain small pieces, like popcorn." This from the youngest's teachers.

"Do you think Mrs. White would be ok with Goldfish?"


So then in the morning, while making the breakfast and packing the lunches I made popcorn, which I placed in Tupperware containers for the oldest two and packed Goldfish in Tupperware for the youngest. Then I waited. Nothing. No reprimand. We were good. Routine at last.

A couple of weeks later, "Mrs. Brown says I cannot bring my popcorn in Tupperware; it needs to be in a Ziploc bag."

"You're kidding."



"I don't know, she just said it needs to be in a Ziploc bag."

"Are you having trouble getting the Tupperware open? Why would she care?"

"No," indignant as only a child can be who has been accused of not being able to do something so remedial as open Tupperware, "I don't know why she cares, but she does."

So then in the morning, while making the breakfast and packing the lunches, I made popcorn for the oldest two, putting one in Tupperware and one in a large Ziploc bag and filled another Tupperware container with Goldfish. I was skeptical about the Ziploc bag. It seemed to me that popcorn in a Ziploc bag that has spent the better part of the day in a back pack would be confetti by snack time. But I was, frankly, weary of both thinking and talking about snacks.

Later that day as we are unpacking back packs, "Mrs. Brown says you need to send my popcorn in a smaller Ziploc bag."

"You're kidding."

"Why do you keep saying that? No, I'm not kidding. Mrs. Brown says you need to send my popcorn in a smaller Ziploc bag."

"Tell Mrs. Brown that if I get one more set of instructions regarding the snack that I am going to cut her hands off with a spoon and throw them out the window."

"Really? I can say that?"


That night I said to Mr. Blandings, "I can't believe the amount of push back I'm getting on the flipping school snacks. I am getting more communication on snacks than I am on curriculum." He was not interested in engaging on the subject.

The next morning, while fixing the breakfasts and packing the lunches, I made popcorn for the oldest two, packing one in Tupperware, one in a smaller Ziploc bag and putting some Goldfish into a Tupperware container. Thank heavens the middle school teachers have more on their minds, like managing raging hormones and ensuring all electronic devises remain stowed throughout journey, than the container of snacks or their contents.

When the boys piled in the car that afternoon I said, "How was school?" And the middle child said, "Good. But Mrs. Brown wants you to call her." Every muscle in my body tensed. I could feel my blood pressure start to climb. This was beyond ridiculous. "Really, why?"

"She said you need to schedule your time for parent/teacher conferences since you missed curriculum night."