Every day the boy brings home a communication sheet from daycare. The sheet explains meals provided that day, his overall disposition, and the main activity. It informs us if he is low on supplies. He eats breakfast at home so it’s rare to see anything written in the breakfast section other than what was served that day.
This week, on Tuesday, they served Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and greens for lunch. “Refused to eat” is circled on his sheet. As a snack on Tuesday they offered a granola bar. “Ate everything” is circled. Also on Tuesday, he is described as happy and cooperative. He was actively involved when finger painting and recognizing colors. He slept for more than an hour.
Remarks: Zaid had a great day.
On Wednesday, chicken strips, mixed vegetables, applesauce, and milk was served for lunch. “He ate a little”, the sheet says. For snack, he was given goldfish. “Ate everything” is circled. He is described as happy, engaged again in finger painting. He needs wipes.
Remarks: Zaid had a great day.
On Thursday, meatballs, peas, fruit, and milk were served. He ate a little. Goldfish and milk were given for a snack, of which he ate and drank all. He is listed as cooperative and engaged in counting and naming colors, described as happy. He made a flower.
Remarks: Zaid doesn’t eat anything but snacks! Zaid does not want his lunch other than the fruit.
At the bottom of the page, it says “Please set aside a few minutes to meet and discuss:”. “Your child’s Appetite” has a faint line beside it. Is it a check mark? I don’t know. And honestly, with all the sincerity I can muster, I don’t care.
I am sighing. I am sighing heavily.
I do care whether the school thinks he doesn’t eat well, but I’ve written before about my experience with eating as a child. Just last week on Facebook I commented that for two nights he refused to eat the dinner I offered him. One night he only wanted dried cranberries or a granola bar, maybe an apple or banana. I’m pretty sure he requested and received each of those things instead of what I’d put before him. The other night he simply didn’t eat.
There are nights when he will eat three helpings of raw broccoli, but the potatoes and chicken go untouched. There are mornings when he will eat a bowl of oatmeal the size of which rivals that of his 11-year-old sister. On weekends I may lie that there is no more avocado just because I want more to myself after he’s eaten half the bowl. If I make berry muffins, he eats three. Every time, no matter what time of day.
He likes salad. He wants carrots, eggs, onion, tomato, cheese, and cranberries in his salad. Sometimes he doesn’t want dressing. He likes salmon cakes made with onions and green, red, and yellow peppers. He likes macaroni and cheese. He likes spinach and ricotta stuffed tortelloni. He eats.
Admittedly, I do worry, because maybe he is thinner than the other kids, not as tall. But overall I am unconcerned. Because he eats. He does. He’s just random with it. He’s not unhealthy. Neither my husband nor I is what anyone would (should) call larger than average. I could (am) likely described as below average weight-wise. He is not unhealthy, whether all they see is him eating the daily snack or not. If he were proclaiming he was hungry, then refusing to eat, I’d be concerned. If he were refusing to eat at home all the time, I’d be concerned. Maybe I should look more closely at their menu offerings; they clearly don’t make berry muffins.
Would I be more comfortable if he ate regularly? Sure. I’d like him to eat everything I present to him. Sometimes he does. But, if occasionally I offer fried chicken, potato salad, and spinach and all he eats is two helpings of spinach, then asks for an apple? I’m OK with that.
This past weekend we discovered his love of blackberries and strawberries. Between the five of us, both packages of each are gone. If he hated fruit or refused to eat vegetables, I’d be worried. But having your child cry because there are no more bananas, then dispatching your husband to the store to immediately re-up on bananas? I’m way more concerned with how much we’re spending on bananas than the fact that he didn’t eat all his pizza at lunch.
I keep thinking the joke’s on them. He’s just getting back at them for that bunny bullshit.