For the First Time in Forever
Back to the Lunchbox

Hot Lunch Mess

So after all that lunchbox talk, Ezra decided that he DID want to buy lunch at school after all.

He decided this on Thursday but didn't tell me. Instead, he simply "forgot" his lunchbox at school, on purpose. Because he figured no lunchbox = no lunch from home = buying lunch at school = PROFIT. 

But he didn't tell me the "on purpose" part, and still made no mention of wanting to buy lunch until Friday morning. I handed him an older, back-up lunchbox and was in the middle of reminding him to bring BOTH lunchboxes home when he promptly lost his shit. 


I usually float the idea of buying the school lunch to Noah a few times every year, once the lunchbox fatigue really kicks in and we're out of milk boxes and I'm making sandwiches using the end pieces of the bread because that's all that's left. An emphatic NOPE is always the response, which I guess is fine because I haven't really heard much praise for the school food, and I know Noah would ignore every available option that wasn't pure starch-n-cheese. 

(Their school's website has photos of some of the selections, and I'm pretty sure I've seen more appetizing food styling on Orange is the New Black.)

But Ezra was up for the adventure of trying something new. He really wanted to get in the Buyer's Line* and get his own tray and pick his own lunch items. 

He just caught me off guard, and completely out of any damn cash. So I explained that hey, SORRY, but I packed lunch for you today and I will sign you up for the lunch money account onlinely thing later today so you can buy lunch next week.

He was so mad at me, you guys. I'm guessing that day's sandwich was the worst one ever.

I did track down the district's lunch money account onlinely thing (technical term) and started to create an account for him but stalled when it asked for his student ID number. Which. The hell if I know. I think I have it around here somewhere but I'd have to dig through a lot of paper and get off the couch and meh, I'll do it later.

SO. ANYWAY. WOW THIS STORY IS JUST A MADCAP ADVENTURE OF ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENING, HUH. Ezra asked last night if I'd set his account up so he could buy lunch. I hemmed and hawed and said something about needing to find his ID number first but that I would, promise.

"Oh," he said, and then clearly wanting me to drop the bullshit and get this lunch thing finalized: "My teacher told me the number is...9...8...6."

Jason and I both snorted at the adorable earnestness of this completely made-up lie. He's been doing this a lot — if you ask him a question he doesn't know the answer to, he will make something up and then deliver it with as much authority as a five year old can muster.

Ezra, did you ask your teacher when you'll start getting homework? Oh, yes. She said homework starts next July. 

Ezra, where are your shoes? Oh, yes. A bully stole them and lost them. They're gone. They're in the sewer now. 

"No," I chuckled, "That is most definitely not the number."

He stood there for a second. 

"STOP LAUGHING," he ordered, and then ran upstairs to his room. 

Oooooohhhhhhhh snap and burn. I'm sorry, kid. This lunch thing is really, really important to you. I get it. 

I couldn't find his ID number, but I did find two dollars and fifty-five cents this morning. I put it in an envelope labeled "EZRA'S VERY OWN LUNCH MONEY!" and drew some smiley faces on it for him. This delighted him to no end. 

So I guess we'll see what he thinks of the actual food. Don't disappoint him, cafeteria staff! This is apparently a very, very big deal for him.


*One time I forgot to pack a milk box in Noah's lunch, so his teacher spotted him some money to purchase milk at school. Every morning after that day, Noah would ask if I remembered his milk box and express relief that I did. "Otherwise there will be MILK FIRE," he'd explain. "I don't want there to be a MILK FIRE!" Which...the hell? Milk Fire? This went on for months until one night the translation suddenly hit me and I bolted up in bed and hollered MILK BUYER! out loud and scared my husband and the pets. This was a deeply satisfying moment in my life.



My oldest rarely buys and my youngest (who is the picky eater) likes to buy. It's kind of weird. He wanted to buy last Friday (pizza) and I forgot and sent him off with a lunch. He wasn't pleased.


Is it that stupid mymealplan website? That's what Hudson's school used last year and I can not get off the damn mailing list!!!!! Every time I tell it to unsubscribe I get an email two weeks later about some promotional thing. He doesn't even go there anymore, they are doing this to see how many times I will click unsubscribe.


Oh my god reading this post was like a window into my own life for the last two days, down to calling this school this morning to find the ID number I couldn't find while trying to register my son online. I actually took the $2.50 out of my kid's piggy bank because I didn't have the cash to cover him and we were down to like two graham crackers and a box of raisins for lunch. He is DYING to eat lunch at school, which I fully expect will lose its luster once he actually has to eat the food that is served in the cafeteria.


We made a deal that our daughter could buy lunch twice a month if she wanted. We review the menu at the beginning of the month, and she picks out the two days. However... [little voice] I think you're in the same county we are, and her teacher (she's also in kindergarten) did actually have them all practicing the information and how to enter it, and that was before we set up the account. So Ezra might have been correct... [/little voice]


That online lunch payments thing is SO annoying.


Our district uses which I love. It's super easy (but yes, I did need their IDs) and it emails me when they run out. I love school lunch, I hate making lunches. The youngest is so picky, but school lunch is helping her try new things. This week the alternate (every day has main and alternate) is chicken patty, which they love so I'm off the hook ALL WEEK! WOO!

Liz Tea Bee

How dare you mess with the plan?

I will say, I've worked in 4 different school systems in the past 5 years and MoCo's school lunch is by far the worst. It's pretty much inedible.

Em B

Poor Ez! Maybe don't discount him on that ID number thing too soon. My daughter is in Kindergarten this year, and they have worked on memorizing their lunch account numbers every day in school. She still can't remember our house number for our address (and it's fewer numbers!), but hot damn, does she know her lunch number. Good luck!


Over here in Fairfax County, it is online or parents write a check to the school ahead of time. No cash is accepted from students. I have fond memories of the neat piles of quarters on my dad's dresser (lunch was 75 cents at one point, IIRC!), but no more. Also, student ID number is different from the lunch ID number. It is annoying.


I no longer have little ones at home, but the "milk fire" confusion made me laugh so hard I cried! Sometimes it takes a bit to catch on to what kids are trying to tell you. Loved this!


LOL at his number fib. You just know that after "8" he wanted it to sound believable, so better skip 7! On our online pay system, there is a student id number (which is used nowhere else, as far as I know) AND the kids have a PIN that they have to say to the lunch cashier. Once it's all set up, it's great. But until then... ugh!


The Milk Fire story reminded me of how my kindergartner kept asking for me to write him a note so he could get the Supreme on Wednesdays. (This was while Coven was on and made us laugh, nervously.) So I wrote a note to his teacher giving him permission for this supreme thingie. She wrote back that he was very happy with his purchase of CAPRI Sun juice.


Thank you for Milk Fire. I'm quietly giggling at my desk. This is my second favorite funny Noah story. The first = fruit sticker of doom.

Leigh Ann

My twins are in first grade and are making up all KINDS of crazy shit. Like, one of them saw a cheetah on the playground.


Oh man I remember my elementary school had this really bizarre fascist system where if you bought hot lunch you had to sit in a different section of the cafeteria.


My first grade niece "couldn't find" her lunchbox at lunchtime one day, so she bought. Yeah, it just happened to be chicken patty sandwich day, which is her favorite. Her school just gives the kids a lunch id, no signing up online for it.


Totally expected the punchline to be that his ID # really was 986.

Sue W.

Funny, I was always a buy my lunch kid. My mother was "too busy" to make our lunch. I always wanted to be a take my lunch kid. That grass,'tis always greener on the other side! I hope for Zah's sake that the provided lunch was fantabulous beyond his wildest dreams!


I have one that has had the same $1.00 in her lunch account since 6th grade, and is in 11th now. I will have to will it to her brother, who goes through approx $25 a month and takes maybe once a month.

And I'll chime in on him probably knowing his lunch account number. They really do drill them into the kids head, because they don't want them to freeze once they are actually in line. Nate's teacher even had laminated paper versions of the keyboard for them to practice on :)

Lynda M Otvos

So incredibly supportive of you moms who go thru this torture. I cannot imagine having to keep all that shite straight. I can barely remember if I have eaten in the last twenty-four hours !~!

Respect flows from me to all of you incredible parents who do this for your kids.


Was his lunch great? I just went through EXACTLY THE SAME THING with my kindergartener (and had a similar talk with my mildly-ASD oldest about the buy line trauma) and she got to buy lunch today and IT WAS THE BEST EVER MOMMY AND I GOT TO SIT AT THE PEANUT FREE TABLE TOO!!!

It's too damn expensive to let her buy every day tho. Jeez.


Ahhhahaha don't tell Zah I'm laughing at him too. I think your kid and my kid would get along so well it's scary.

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