Last week we were mired in other more pressing concerns, but I kept thinking about some fitting military-type euphemism in keeping with the spirit of Operation Bento Box that would capture the setback the whole plan suffered last week.
I couldn't come up with one, though. (The words Retreat! Retreat! Retreat! kept flashing through my mind, however.)
Everything was going along fairly predictably. L.'s bento box has been coming home without the doughnut each day. He hasn't been eating anything I put into a second compartment, however, but I expected that to take time. Then, early last week, I got an e-mail from L.'s teachers inquiring about why we weren't sending L. to school with a lunch.
You can only imagine what my reaction was--after all the strategic planning and thought that went into the launching of Operation Bento Box we had now moved from being the parents who send their kid to school with a hunk of bread and water, to the parents who no longer even packed a lunch for their child.
Of course, once I had recovered enough to probe into the situation, we discovered that L. was so enamored with his bento box that he didn't want to bring it (understandably) into the cafeteria, lest it be exposed to all the various contaminants that live in your average elementary school cafeteria. He was opening the box up at his cubby before lunch, scarfing down the doughnut like a crazed person, swigging a gulp of water, then tucking it all back into his bag.
Here's where those pesky school rules keep rearing their ugly heads. While Scott and I didn't see much of a problem with L. eating his doughnut at his cubby before he crosses into enemy territory and enters the cafeteria, his teachers feel pretty strongly that he should be bringing his lunch into the room and eating it there. Let's see what happens when we tell him he HAS to, they suggested. I was inclined to put my foot down right then and there, but Scott convinced me to wait it out. We crossed out fingers, and held our breaths, hoping this impasse wouldn't turn L. away from his bento forever. Would he stop eating altogether? Go back to staring at his closed lunch box? Would we have to roll up our sleeves and (bloodily really battle this out?
I scarcely want to write this in case I jinx it all, but so far we're okay. L.'s been taking the box into the cafeteria, and yesterday, for the first time, he broke new ground--the Trader Joe's mini wheats I put in the second compartment--almost as an after-thought--were gone when he came home.
I feel something stirring inside of me--I think it's hope.