It is hard to believe, but we are nearly one month into first grade for R. This year, so far, has gone incredibly smooth, a lot more smoothly than I had imagined. Sure, some days R comes home exhausted, and therefore, grumpy, but most days, a little down time and a snack are all he needs to cure his “phew, I had a long day at school-itis.”
As an aside, it is amazing to me how much he eats and drinks at lunch can affect his after-school mood. On the rare occasions when he is really grumpy, I’ve looked to find a barely touched lunch or a water bottle that is still full. I have to remember that he is only 6, and sometimes he gets distracted or forgets to eat a full lunch, but I keep trying to gently remind him how important eating a good lunch is without hounding the poor boy. Amazingly, after a good snack and drink, his mood transforms back into my usual happy little guy.
While R adjusts to eating lunch at school, I am trying to adjust to making and preparing lunch every night. With our early morning deadline to make it to the bus, it is essential that I make R’s lunch or at least the majority of it the night prior. If he takes something that is going to be warm in his thermos, I pack all of his other items, and merely heat up the item before packing it up too. This whole “make it the night before” has saved me so much stress, I do not even want to imagine.
But even my best planning sometimes goes a wee bit awry, like last week when I was packing R’s lunch into his backpack and felt a little fuzzy headed. I zipped up his lunch bag thinking, “there doesn’t seem to be as much as usual in there.” Minutes after he left for the bus I found his diced kiwi (his current favorite fruit) in the fridge and threw shoes on G and I, as I ran after SPH and R to deliver the missing fruit.
All of this is to share that while it has only been a month of packing lunches, I can’t believe it has already been a *month* of packing lunches for this mom. I’ve learned a thing or two, and one tip another mom recently shared with me, I wanted to share with you.
Today’s “Tuesday’s Tip” is this:
When you pack your school-age children’s lunch, go ahead and prepare your younger child(ren)’s lunch as well. This will give you a great deal of flexibility the next day. If you decide to go to a park during lunch, you already have a lunch packed! If you want to go on an outing, lunch is ready. And even if you stay home, what busy mom wouldn’t love a lunch at the ready to give their child? If nothing else, it can help your younger ones help feel connected to their older siblings, a very good thing indeed.