January 27, 2011

Sour Grapes Part II

When my kids got off the bus yesterday, they all had yellow sauce dripping from the sides of their mouths.

"What have you been eating?" I hissed.

As it turned out, my special lunches were not very well received by the cafeteria workers at my kids' elementary school.

Yesterday was an early dismissal day and school let out exactly one hour after lunchtime. Despite this short time frame, the cafeteria workers decided that my kids might starve to death or, worse, be forced to eat something that they don't like. Lest my children suffer the indignity of not getting their way, they gave each of my kids a "free" nutritious school lunch comprised of nachos, carrot sticks, two cookies and a container of chocolate milk.

I was on the phone with the cafeteria before we got back to the house. The man on the other end made things easy by telling me a story about his own daughter (who piled her sandwiches in her locker until rats got to them) and laughing hysterically when I told him about my foiled attempt to teach my kids a lesson. He also told me not to put two pounds of grapes in my son's lunch box ever again.

I thought we were good to go until this afternoon.

My daughter brought home a white envelope. Inside was a bill for three lunches.

81 comments

coffee addict said...

Dare I say...HOMESCHOOL! Then you can feed them whatever the heck you want! :)

Q said...

Oh that is just wrong. To undermine you, feed them something you haven't approved, AND bill you for it? grrrrrr

Natalie said...

Oh man, I thought you gave the school a picture of your daughter already that said not to give her school lunches. I guess it's time for an updated picture. (And a refusal to pay the bill since you have already told them once not to feed the bears.)

Anonymous said...

Jana homeschool?!!!
Now THAT would give you plenty of fodder for your blog!

Marydon said...

Assure yourself I would NOT pay that bill ... they are making decisions they have no right to do. Everyone is undermining parents choices/decisions.

I'd send the bill back with a note of 'deep appreciation' ...

Have a beautiful eve ~
TTFN ~
Marydon

GIVEAWAY ends Sunday

Rocket Ma'am said...

The bill was probably sent automatically, but I say you send it back unpaid with a letter threatening to sue because by feeding your children, they did not abide by the special diet you put them on. If every child decided they didn't want what was packaged for them (aka what their parents approve of them eating), the school would feed half the kids against parental wishes.
Sorry, but that just ticks me off.

Kaiti said...

Wow! I can't believe they would undermine you like that..If i were you I would NOT pay that bill. How rude of them.

Jennifer said...

I would be furious! Snarky or not, you didn't give them things to eat that were not healthy or edible! Who is the cafeteria to determine what they should eat?

myevil3yearold said...

I guess I am alone here but I kinda think it is funny. I would have probably called the school and ask them not to do it again. I also know of kids that purposely leave their lunches in their classroom claiming they "forgot them." I would be pissed if my kid didn't get served a lunch if he did truely forget his lunch.

Lisa said...

This upsets me. I have had the same thing happen to me before when Abby was in 3rd grade she forgot her lunch. I knew it and thought, "Her bad, she can eat when she gets home." It's not going to kill her to be hungry and learn a lesson. But no, the cafeteria gave her lunch and tried to make me pay. Not happening. Oh well...I don't think she has forgot her lunch since. She hates school lunches so maybe it was justifiable!

Jenny in NC said...

I read about an awesome school that tried to teach kids responsibility. If the kids forgot their lunch (for real or for pretend) the school would let them eat all the vegetables they wanted for free. Guess, what? Kids rarely forgot their lunches!

Stephanie said...

I always wonder how serious your posts are...I have to say ...if this happened to me I.would.be.pissed.

Nachos? Really?

Emily Heizer Photography said...

I wouldn't pay it. I would get really, REALLY pissed instead. I would tell them you are fruitatarians and you only believe in eating fruit, or you did that day, and the cafeteria workers violated your family's personal and religious beliefs by feeding them something othe than fruit. I would scream, cry and wave my arms.

Then I would pee on their desk.

that's what I would do.

I'll do it for you.

Tell me where you live and I"ll buy a plane ticket RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!

UNDERMINING PARENTAL AUTHORITY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!

Emily Heizer Photography said...

You know what really pisses me off? These people did not batt an eyelash the entire time your kids were apparently packing their lunches with JUST chips and cookies.

What do you think has better nutrional value? Fruit or chips?

WHAT THE FREAK? I am genuinely ticked!

Breezi@ Not Your Average Fairytale said...

ugggg. I would send THEM a bill for the cost of teaching your kids a lesson.
I donno.... what does a spa day for your sanity cost?
That's what I'd charge.

KJS said...

OHMYGOSH!!! I don't think so. It's like an auto body shop doing a few extras without your permission and then charging you for it. THey can't feed your kids without your permission.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't think ranting to the cafeteria staff is the solution. Instead I would ask them not to allow your kids to charge lunches and make your kids pay for the lunches because they shouldn't be rewarded for deliberately breaking the rules.

Hope said...

No way, Jose, would I pay that bill. I'd respond with a polite note that they were sent to school with lunches. If anyone would be paying for it, it would be my kids working off the money to pay for them.

I understand if the kids didn't have lunch at all with them, but this wasn't the case. And while I love nachos, they might as well have fed them McDonalds for the nutritional value in the crap they serve in cafeterias. Grrr.

Kara and Theo said...

I totally agree that you shouldn't have to pay that, you sent them with food, it's not your problem if they are fruit haters to. If not paying them doesn't sit too well with the school maybe you could work out a deal where the kids would have to work off the bill by having them work in the kitchen. I'm picturing kids in hairnets and plastic aprons. =)

Watashi no Uchi said...

They had no right! What if they had given your children something they were highly allergic to and that's why you packed their lunch?! You have the right as a parent to send whatever you feel is best for them to eat. He had no right to tell you what you can and can't send for lunch. Do not pay that bill, take it up with the principal. That would tick me off as a parent!

Aubrey said...

Yeah, I wouldn't pay either. And trying to tell you NOT to send grapes?...that nachos are a better alternative?...I think I would take it up with the school board because that's just messed up.
Especially after you already told them specifially not to give your kids charged lunches.

[ker-AND-uh] said...

I've been waiting for this post! WOWEE WOW WOW WOW! OMGAH. I agree with everyone else so far...DO.NOT.PAY.THAT.BILL! And make sure to write a nice letter to the principal, cafeteria staff, and superintendent of the district stating that you weren't starving your child and if they choose to not eat the lunch they were provided then TOUGH. And hell to the no, you're not paying the bill. And sit and spin bitches.lol

Anonymous said...

My youngest pulled that crap with me. I'd get up and make him a very nice lunch and he would then proceed to toss it into a neighbor's garbage can on the way to school. He did that his entire 4th grade year and I wound up with a bill for over $70 in 'charged' lunches. (turned out he was eating pizza every day from the cafeteria) I stormed down to the school and ranted at the principle....who handed me off to the head lunch lady who informed me that she felt 'bad' that he was 'starving' because I didn't pack him lunch. I let that woman have it. I was furious. Told her to NEVER give him a damn thing ever again...not even if he had cash without an express note from me giving permission (cuz he stole money as well). They might have thought I was a bitch but I don't give a rat's ass. I sure as hell didn't pay that bill. Told the school if they wanted something in return, they could make the kid work it off by cleaning trays after lunch. Which is what he ended up doing.

Sorry. That crap makes me livid.

_Cit_

Jessica said...

amazing that the schools seem to think they have the right to intervene. It took me several letters telling them they were welcome to give my kids lunch, but that I certainly wouldn't pay them back for it, for the school to get a grip and stop giving my kids food.

Anonymous said...

My jaw is on the floor. Nothing like getting undermined then billed for it. I can't believe it! PS you write so well!

Tami said...

Our school lets the kids have all the fruits/veggies they want if they forget their lunch, or don't have any money in their account-it's a great deterrent (and no one is charged for it!) Much better option in my opinion ;) So if they WANT 2 pounds of grapes for lunch, they could :D

Ruth Ann said...

My younger kids went to a very small elementary school. If a child forgot his lunch, the cafeteria ladies took down two slices of white bread, put peanut butter and jam on it, handed him a carton of milk, and that was his lunch. My kids weren't allergic to any of that, but they did hate peanut butter and jam sandwiches. So they remembered their lunches after that.
Both of them told me that they felt secure knowing they would be fed SOMETHING for lunch - and I wasn't charged for it.
Yep, it's time to march your kids to their piggy banks and have them pay for their cafeteria bill. Or work it off in the cafeteria.
I let my kids choose one day a month when they would eat cafeteria food. I sent the money for it in a labeled, sealed envelope. (I had to really scramble for the change sometimes.)

Just Plain Tired said...

Huh, kind of reinforces that "no free lunch" thing I've always heard about. (Can't believe they billed you though.)

vinobaby said...

Ha! Those evil cafeteria workers are out to foil Moms across the country...

This actually happened to me once last year. I had to pay online and the minimum payment was $25!

That extra $22.50 better still be sitting in his cyber account...

Good luck!

Jensamom23 said...

I am flabbergasted...well, actually not so much...parents don't seem to be terribly important in many schools these days. Grrr...

Polly Scott said...

Regarding Emily's suggestion to pee on a desk among other things. I have peed in public before a few times, and although I think it's a good idea - just from personal experience - it didn't really turn out like I thought it would. See post:

http://www.comingtogrips.net/2010/06/coming-to-grips-with-pee-part-ii.html

Christol said...

I loved that you did this, it is SO something I would do. But...this would tweak my last nerve and my response to it would be two-fold.

The school would hear it because it was not their place to give the kids a lunch when they had one, regardless if they deemed it "appropriate" and I wouldn't pay the bill.

My children, who clearly must have asked for said lunch or pointed out to someone that their lunch wasn't what they wanted, would earn what that lunch cost by doing some extra chores and donate it to charity OR I'd take their little butts down to the nearest soup kitchen to work for an afternoon.

Suzi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said...

How about you tell them it's none of their business what your kids get for lunch as long it's healthy and will fill them up until they get home. And... that it is well OUTSIDE their rights as a school to offer your children lunch when they already have lunch and then tell YOU not to pack them the healthy lunch you, as a parent, choose to pack. And.Then.Bill.You.
Come on, isn't this the First Lady's pet project? And didn't they just pass legislation about how schools can only have healthy foods?
*deep breath* Woosh, glad I got that out. :) I really want to hear what happens.

douberlyfamily said...

People. Come on. The cafeteria workers aren't out to undermine Jana's parental authority. Bottom line? Jana knew her kids didn't want to eat what she sent. The cafeteria workers want the kids to eat something. Kids choose nachos over fruit. Plan backfired. Kids won. It happens to parents all the time. When we send our kids to school, we turn over a lot of decision making to the people at the school for the time that our children are in their care. We trust them with our kids for 6 hours a day for goodness sake. I say, don't make the school's job harder and teach our own "lessons" at home.

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

Mmm. Nachos.

mama loquita said...

@douberlyfamily: and what lessons do they learn at school? You get YOUR way and mommy pays the bill? I.don't.think.so. If my child doesn't like what I pack for his lunch, tough luck. I know what he likes and what he should eat and so did Jana. Her kids like bananas and grapes, but they decided that they wanted junk instead. The schools have to provide a lunch to a kid that has no food but can't decide for the parents what kids should be eating, ESPECIALLY if it is fruit. Educators need to teach the tough lessons too, enough with this wishy-washy policy of everybody is a winner, don't express your point of view because it might offend others and patrol what the child eats because it might be too healthy!

happyfamily said...

Here are two crazy regulatory thing from our school. Kids are not allowed to bring chips or cookies in their lunch. Kids are also not allowed to run on the playground. Are you kidding me?

NanaGo said...

Loved the Blog and the Comments have me in stitches. I can't help but giggle as everyone that said they would get Pissed. . . . . .In England/Australia "Getting Pissed or I Got Pissed" means you get Drunk!
But seriously, I would take issue with that school as well. Go Get'em Mommy!

Jen said...

Yowsa! The comments today triggered my internet parental control and blocked the page! LOL. I guess you hit on a touchy subject.
I've given up the fight. Even with a peanut allergy, a restriction for main meals only and my going in to talk to the lunch folks, he still gets what he wants. I make sure he has a healthy breakfast and dinner, fruit and yogurt for snacks and I let him eat school lunch. I did pause in disgust the other day when he told me the main entree' was cheese sticks. Really??
You know what has happened though? He doesn't like it much anymore and has been asking me to fix his lunches. Huh. Too much of a "good" thing?
Great post!

Suzi said...

I scrapped my earlier comment b/c I didn't want to get into a debate on this blog. But I had to come back and read more... Totally agree with douberlyfamily. Suing the school? Peeing on desks? Come on. Yes, I know some of the comments are light-hearted, but schools take the blame for everything these days. To say that parents have no rights in schools these days? Really? I understand the frustration. There is frustration on both sides, believe me. Just sayin'. PS - I love your blog!

Kate said...

You mean you seriously did what you said yesterday? I've always read your words with a grain of salt, thinking, "Oh, how funny, it's a good thing she doesn't do these things in real life. Her children would be such poorly disciplined hellions!"

Unless this is more of the same, I'm going to have to assume you actually mean the words you write. In which case, serves you right.

douberlyfamily said...

@mom loquita: You missed my point. I come from a large family, have four children myself, have been a K-4 ESL teacher. I knew when I read the original post that the "lesson" wouldn't work. Sending children with a ton of food they dislike, and she said the child didn't like grapes, will not teach them to enjoy healthy foods or to appreciate their mother for packing them a healthy lunch. It might be "mean" but not effective, obviously. I am not a wishy washy mom. In fact, I am quite strict. I have high expectations. My children eat the food I prepare. I simply saw the lesson as flawed from the beginning. No, cafeteria workers should not provide every child who doesn't like their lunch something else to eat, but I think this situation was a little different from that. I am fairly certain Jana didn't think they were really going eat what she had packed. I suppose she thought they would just come home hungry and repentant. It didn't work. I am sure the worker who gave them the food was doing so in good faith, not malice.

Kelli said...

OMG!! I can't believe the school gave them a lunch when you had packed them a lunch!! That is totally undermining you!! I would be so angry!! I guess you will have to attempt again at teaching them a lesson!

xoxo
Kelli @ loveoursimplelife.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

This is my issue with school for the past 3 years. Now my 1st and k started "forgetting" their lunches in the classroom. I have written notes called etc. I still get those little notes to pay. If I wanted my kids to eat the school food I would send them in with money. If they forget the money on the counter. they eat when they get home. This drives me crazzzzzzzzy!!!! I am tempted to write a note that they are allergic to cafeteria food.

Tara said...

So strange how children's minds work... My best friend growing up used to get an apple packed in her lunch every day growing up. I would trade her dunkaroos and Fruit by the Foot for her apple - reading this, her mother probably saw me as the cafeteria lady...

mama loquita said...

@douberlyfamily: I don't think I missed your point, I guess I disagree with your point. The lesson would have worked had the cafeteria people not intervened in the situation. If Jana wanted her kids to come home hungry once because it would be their choice to not eat the food that their mother packed for them, it should have worked. In your post you say that the kids won and the parents lost and I disagree too. I think the kids took away the wrong message, learned the wrong lesson and also eat a terrible lunch, triple wammy. Jana has an opportunity to teach them that because of the choices they made they will have to pay for the consecuences somehow, thus "win" the argument in the end.
I am a teacher too (7-12) and I see a lot of this hand holding wishy-washy bussiness in school. The school should have stayed out of it, there was nothing wrong with their lunch. By the way, I pack a ham sandwich, two pieces of fruit and a bottle with water for my sons everyday. If my kids make their beds and put their pj's away everyday, I let them buy their lunch on Fridays...works like a charm.

Beth said...

I can't believe they did that!!!!!! WTH! Totally undermining a parent's authority and what if the child had an allergy to cheese or something?
Total CRAP! I would put the bill in the shredder....

Kristine said...

Count me in with those who would be giving them all a piece of my mind!! wooo-wee. The one day I forgot a lunch for my daughter I called and asked if I had to run money down - they just laughed. And yes, schools have somehow earned the importance of being vehicles to feed children. My community wouldn't go to a 4 day school week because children would starve on Fridays!!?!!

Free lunches are a hot spot with me. Especially the national summer free lunch program they do throughout the country in parks. There are already systems available to get people food who can't afford it. It's called Food Stamps or free lunches in school. If you qualify for help you get it. If you don't qualify for help, take care of yourself. Why are we handing out free food to EVERYONE 0-18 who shows up in thousands of cities across america every single day of the summer? All the daycares in my city show up and all of my friends go down there. I stay away out of principle. me and my principles.

Lori said...

I see alot of people arguing htis point. Bottom line is teh school should not have gotten involved. I brought my child McDonalds one day as a treat and she told me no she wanted the school lunch. That was fine with me because she chose the fruit cup and vegtables. The school saw me bring i nthe food, watched me offer it and then was astounded she didn't take it. They did not tell me that it was unhealthy or inappropriate in any way. So a bag of grapes- better than a hambugher or nachos- was not inapprpriate in any way. I knwo there would be a letter sent in with the bill saying my kids could work it off but as a parent having provided a healthy lunch I wasn't paying.

Renee said...

I think that the worst part is that schools have changed to a credit system for paying for lunches. It used to be if you forgot your lunch (intentional or not), you got a PB&J and a carton of milk, and it was only allowed to happen like 3 times. Now, they let your kids charge whatever they want, and if your child is in kindergarten and doesn't realize that this is not free food, then that is the parents problem. Seriously makes me mad at the school system today.

mamacarson said...

I think I know three children who are going to be paying for those school lunches... one way or another.

Renate Hunter said...

The kids need to pay one way or another but what's with the lunch program in that school. Have they heard that we need health food in school not what they served!!! At the hs I work at if the students have no money, they get no food. the head lunch lady has everything totally healthy and they serve fruit every day.....Florida get with the Michelle Obama plan.....

samantha said...

Kate said...

You mean you seriously did what you said yesterday? I've always read your words with a grain of salt, thinking, "Oh, how funny, it's a good thing she doesn't do these things in real life. Her children would be such poorly disciplined hellions!"

Unless this is more of the same, I'm going to have to assume you actually mean the words you write. In which case, serves you right.

-----------------------

Funny Kate, I was told last night that most of what Jana writes is "embellished", yet today there is Part Deux to this "embellished" saga. That lends itself to the question -

Is there any realism, truth or real worth to this blog at all, or are Jana's readers being strung along on a multitude of "embellishments", and for what purpose? Attention?

If they are all embellishments, why use ones own children as pawns each day? If they are truth, why use ones own children as pawns each day?

If there is any truth at all to Part Deux, it is likely that the school doesn't find it "humorous" for parents to use pure spite in sabotaging a child's lunch as a form of constructive punishment on little children.

I very much agree with your comment, "serves you right", except that once again, it will be the children who end up paying a dear price for this, too. How sad.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a little allowance money should do the trick to pay the bill. Who knows how the kids spun the fruit in their lunchbox to the cafeteria ladies. I get the principle of it all, but don't quite see the need to come unglued when the kids should have to pay up for this one! Bill paid for food rendered and kids still have a consequence for their choices.

Anonymous said...

samantha: Trying to start crap? Got brats of your own? No 'embellishment' needed. None whatsoever.WHO exactly told you she was "embellishing"? I frankly don't believe she is, being a parent myself, but as a writer and a blogger we have the right to EMBELLISH or exaggerate all we want. And really...we don't have to at all.

But it's all true. Read it with...as you say...a grain of salt...hope your kids, when you have them...eat your eyeballs out of your face.

I despise non parents giving parental advice..

I despise new parents with their heads up their bung giving advice to parents with older children even more. Your day is coming. Trust me.

_Cit_

Cindy said...

As for Kate and Samantha - I have 3 kids and take care of 2 disabled parents. Trust me, those of us who have a lot of people depending on us who ACTUALLY HAVE SENSES OF HUMOR do not have to embellish anything. And you would be surprised at how funny everyday, mundane events can be when there are so many people under one roof.

I fully believe Jana did this, and I am with most of the people who support her - she had an opportunity to teach her kids a lesson, and the school intervened, teaching her kids an entirely different lesson. If her kids were obviously mistreated or malnourished, then sure, the school would have been correct in giving the lunches. However, her kids are not mistreated and they certainly aren't malnourished, and they each had lunches, so the school was way out of line in giving them lunches. The idea of peeing on an administrator's desk is hilarious, but I think sending a politely worded note back to the school with the bill explaning why she won't be paying will suffice nicely. And if they insist on her paying the bill at the end of the year, then I'd make the kid's allowance money pay for them.

Good luck with the next lesson Jana!

http://mommyiscrunchy.blogspot.com

GG said...

I teach in a school where 100% of children are on free/reduced lunch. I have maybe one kid that brings a home lunch. So maybe you should all stop harping on the educators/cafeteria workers and start thinking that there are children in school that receive their only two meals of the day at school.
If we notice a child with a lunch of just a fruit or just a bag of grapes, we are OBLIGATED to provide them a FREE school lunch.
This is a funny little story, but stop blaming the school. There are a lot of innocent kids that have a lot more to deal with than having to eat fruit. They're lucky if they have food at home.

AlsoMean said...

Ah, too bad this lesson in natural consequences did not pan out! My mom would have done that to me, for sure.

And my 3rd grade son absolutely would have gone for a school lunch - and the PTA has a "forgotten lunch" fund that you have to reimburse.

samantha said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

..... as a writer and a blogger we have the right to EMBELLISH or exaggerate all we want.

======================
FYI, poster "Cathryn" on the original Sour Grapes thread said, "90% of her stories are embellished".

I never said she didn't have a right to embellish,- but I did question why any mother would want use her own children in such a hurtful way as to target them with such spite on a wide variety of subjects.

Although your post accused me of "having brats", and then by contrast, also accused me of not having children, suffice it to say that neither are true. The simple fact is that my husband and I do not employ disrespectful "spite" as a weapon against our children as it breeds nothing more than a return volley of spite and disrespect, - as is noted in most of the blog entries.

Constructive discipline most certainly can be accomplished without the constant build-up of anger, retaliation & resentment of ongoing childish games being played between child/parent which only begets more of the same.

I'm not sure why you have misconstrued a differing opinion as "starting crap", as there is no prerequisite of having to agree in the 'comment' section.

About Last Weekend said...

School lunches here in Oakland coagulate to a small baseball by the end of the day - regardless of what you get. Yes I get my kids to make lunches but to be honest I look away when my six year old starts packing his - which include blocks of ice...

Danielle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

Samantha - I like the cut of your jib. This is my last visit to this blog, but if you're on Twitter- look me up @katiedidwhat.

Danielle said...

Next time I don't like the consequence of one of my actions, I am headed straight to my kids' school cafeteria workers. Maybe they can bail me out.

I really like the way you parent. Your kids crack me up too - healthy, full of life, and self assured enough to try and buck the system once in a while.

Bossy said...

I must admit as I read this post and most of the comments I thought the sweetest revenge would've been link the principal's e-mail in this blog for the comment-ers to have at it. I think I must have an evil streak in me. :)

Anonymous said...

Um you did not send them to school without lunch, you did sent healthy food...so why did they feed them? AND why are you paying for something you didn't ask for? I would fight this one and repeat this lunch until they and the school "get" it.

Anonymous said...

Oh and to the ones who don't enjoy reading this blog...I do. If you don't enjoy it don't be foolish and waste your time on efforts you dislike. Go do something else...just like a kid whining about being bored when it would just be easier to go and play...No One is forcing you who don't like this to read the blog. If they forcing you, are you currently duct taped by your kids?

Ruth Ann said...

I'm going to comment again on this post because I can't help laughing at the idea of Jana "embellishing" her stories. No mom has to embellish, these things happen on their own.
AND!! Her children know what their mom is like! They knew there would be more fruit in their lunches when they complained about fruit in their lunches - such stuff had happened before, it's just natural family life.
Jana sent fruit in their lunches on an "Early Out Day", which meant that her kids would be home an hour or so after regular lunch and they could all eat "Good, Healthy Snacks" at home. She knew the kids probably wouldn't eat the fruit, but it wouldn't hurt them to be hungry a little while. That way the children could experience for themselves what disadvantaged children feel like when they don't get fed. And perhaps they would then appreciate all the effort Jana does go to every day to pack healthy school lunches.
This is real family life, not "malice and spite."

Sarah said...

me-thinks I would have my children pay the bill themselves. This would work, unless you have children who receive large allowances or don't work very hard for their money.

Anonymous said...

When my son was in first grade I got bills from the school all the time saying that my child borrowed money from the forgotten lunch fund and I owed them lunch money. I sent in a check for 4x the amount along with a note saying that I have sent in a lunch with my son every day, but this was my donation to the fund. It worked, and I never got another bill. Well, at the end of the year I discovered that my son had been "forgetting" his lunch in his backpack when he felt like having school lunch. Oops, my bad!

This year I have lunch battles with my kindergartener. I've never done something as extreme as a bag of grapes, but I've come close. I've learned to email the teacher or call the school to let them know. They're always willing to support me, but I learned I have to ask for it.

Oh, also this year my 2nd grader came home hungry after forgetting his lunch. I didn't notice, the lunch workers didn't notice either, and my son didn't say anything. Poor kid - I would have rather he had been given some nachos.

Lisa said...

Some of the comments here are down-right embarrassing and immature.

I'd like to think that the school was acting in the best interest of the children.

We don't know all the sides of the story - only Jana's.

And if Jana has a problem with paying the bill - she can go in and talk to the school about that.

Suggesting immature behavior is ridiculous.

Jana - I DO love your blog and as many other readers have said, I read your blog with a grain of salt - I think there is embellishing (and assumption on my part) and think there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!

You sure got a lot of people all worked up about this post!

LOVE your blog!

xoxo

P.S. I'm a public school teacher and I hear both sides of the story all the time. All I'm going to say is, we try to please everyone ... but it's hard. Our first job is our students. Parents are a entire different part of our job that is typically over-looked by the public - please parents is HARDER WORK than teaching children sometimes.

Isabella said...

Not to stir the pot, but I'm guessing they gave the kids a lunch because one of the policies at our school is every kid must have a lunch. They want all kids to be full so they can concentrate better during the school day.

Isabella said...

Oh, and I agree that many comments here are being immature. I don't see how the school was at fault for anything.

Beth said...

I would not pay that bill either. We do not have a cafeteria at the school--but the PTO does offer some lunches on a pre-paid basis. If a kid tells us he forgot his lunch, we direct him to a teacher.
However, school policy says that the child who forgot lunch must go to the nurse and the NURSE will supply a bag of pretzels and a bottle of water (alternates available for allergies). The child is required to CALL home and ask permission to have the pretzels--thus avoiding the end around of "forgot my lunch" when the reality is "don't like my lunch". Good for you Jana for trying to teach them a lesson. I would be in the superintendent's office before the school opened the next morning to give them hell if this had happened to me.

Beth said...

@ Isabella--did you read her post? She did provide a lunch, not one her children liked, but it was a perfectly fine lunch.
I think it would have been okay to give the lunch had the school had her children call home to receive permission. Which obviously would have avoided the entire situation, bc then Jana would have told the school her children did have a lunch from home.

Kinyama said...

hahahaha!!!! love it.

inferior parent said...

Samantha - I very much hope you start a blog about correct parenting techniques. You will have so much material to work with. By trolling all the mothers' blogs on the internet, you can find a wealth of examples of how people don't parent like you and, thus, are obviously horrible parents. Perhaps you have already had this insight and indeed have such a blog. In that case I humbly kneel before you and implore you to provide a link to said blog on your profile. I wish to learn your infallible ways of parenting.

Megan B ♥ said...

Wow, this really riles me up. REALLY. Honestly? Talk about UNDERMINING the parents!!! Oh, I'm so mad!

Megan B ♥ said...

And furthermore, they don't LIKE what you are serving your children, so they give them school lunch? Who are they to make that decision? See? Mad.

Lisa said...

My daughters school use to let you charge lunches until Last year the principal was stuck paying 600.00 of charged lunches out of his own pocket. Now, if you don't have a lunch you get a cheese sandwich and milk. But they limit this to 3 times and then the principal will take matters into his own hands. If more schools would do this, than maybe uncalled for charged lunches would not happen. As for Samantha..please remove the cork out of your a@@. Nobody is a perfect parent and my guess is neither are you.

Anonymous said...

Cafeteria workers, lunch monitors and teachers don't have time to analyze each child that comes through the line and decide if the kid packed his own lunch, his mom is a nut, he's neglected, his mom is trying to prove a point, etc. At our school we have 30 minute lunches from the time you walk in the door until the time you leave. So if a kid has 2 pounds of grapes and cries that he's hungry and that's all his mom gave him, etc. then my instant reaction would be to send him for a school lunch.

I doubt anyone was trying to undermine your parenting, they were just doing their best. I have a student who forgot her lunch and her mother told her not to get a school lunch to teach her a lesson. So she was supposed to be hungry all day, and miserable, mind you, not learning, and whining and irritating the rest of the class? How about you teach that lesson at home instead of making ME impose your punishment for you?