Peanut Butter

I’ve gotten into the (good) habit of putting everyone’s lunches together as I’m cleaning up the kitchen at night. I get the Webmaster’s veggies, fruit, yogurt and granola all organized to I can throw them in his lunch box as the coffee percolates in the morning. I make sure the kids’ thermoses are clean, so I can pour their milk as I’m packing their lunch. I check the freezer to make sure the cold packs are there, so they will be cold for the next day.

Then I ask Ane the most important question of all: “What kind of sandwich do you want?”

Her requests vary. Peanut butter and jelly. Ham and cheese. Peanut butter and Nutella. Peanut butter and Nutella with banana slices. She once asked for Nutella and jelly, but I told her that wasn’t a sandwich, that was dessert. She’s not fond of turkey, but she doesn’t mind roast beef. She tried hard-boiled eggs while she was out camping with Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa and liked them, so I’ve been meaning to try a little egg salad on her.

I never bother asking Tad what he wants, because the answer is as regular as the rain in Seattle. Peanut butter and jelly. Any jelly will do, but he does prefer the reds. If I’m using regular sandwich bread, he gets one sandwich. If I’m using the sandwich thins, he gets two. Add in some Pirate’s Booty cheese puffs in a container, milk, and a little treat of some kind, and he’s good.

Ever since school started, I have been experimenting with what I can send with Tad to eat. This is the first time that I’ve packed him a lunch to eat at school. He used to (and loved to) take his lunch box in the car with him on Fridays, and he’d eat in the car while I drove from speech therapy (which used to be from 11:30 to 12:20) to ABA therapy (which starts at 1:30). When I could see him eat, he would carefully set his peanut butter sandwich in his lap, have his thermos in the cupholder attached to his booster seat, open up a string cheese and have it right next to his sandwich, usually on the lid of sandwich container, and his Pirate’s Booty tucked in right at his side. He was so orderly about it. I was actually pleased about packing his lunch, because then I could send him with applesauce (not so easy to eat in the car), which he loves. And I could try some new things on him.

Well, forget that. String cheese is coming back unopened and warm after the ice pack thaws out. Applesauce has come back unopened. I even cut apple slices for him and wrapped them up carefully, only to get a note in his daily communication book that he’d thrown them away. He eats his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He drinks his milk. He eats the Pirate’s Booty. He’ll eat his treat most of the time, especially if I send a gummy fruit snack. And that is it.

When he had lunch at home, I could vary it up a little bit with some of his other favorites. Mac ‘n cheese. Leftovers like pizza or spaghetti. Chicken nuggets. But now those are all lunch foods for the weekends. And he eats PB&J every single day.

I try not to feel too bad, because it’s what he wants, peanuts have protein, he’s drinking whole milk, the Pirate’s Booty (which he got addicted to while he was on the gluten free diet) is a pretty decent cheese puff with no orange powder, and he’s willing to come home and have a healthy snack that may involve cheese or fresh fruit. On Monday he ate nearly a whole pear that was as organic as you can get – right off the tree in Grandma’s backyard.

Still, a part of me wishes that he was at home for lunch, so he could have a little variety. I keep reminding myself that though I would be sick of PB&J, it’s a comfort to him and it’s what he wants. And it certainly does make for simpler planning, and bulk buying of peanut butter at Costco. They have a really great strawberry jelly that comes in a huge jar, too.

So, I make whatever sandwich Ane has asked for, and Tad’s peanut butter and jelly. Their sandwich containers (one pink-lidded Princess one, one blue-lidded Cars one) go into the fridge. And when the morning comes, they’ll be packed into one pink hibiscus patterned lunch box and one Clone Wars lunch box, which will be shoved into one pink backpack and one gray Batman backpack. And then they’ll be off for another day at school.

One Response to “Peanut Butter”

  1. linda
    September 21st, 2011 09:45

    Will you please make me a PB&J?! But, I like a little butter on my PB side! And, if not asking tooo much, a little seedless blackberry jam?!
    Mister grew up with these…still gets them a couple times a month for lunch at work!
    I think I envy the cute lunch boxes, though! hmmmm…think I will get myself one for the back deck!
    hugs and thanks for the fun memories!