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April 18, 2018

attacking mandarin oranges

Tank is not willing to pack fresh fruit in his lunch for school.  He will sometimes bring a banana, but I have very little confidence that he actually eats it.  His argument is that the fruit is warm or mushy by the time he eats it.   In case you are a mom (and therefore uncool by default) then you must be aware of the trend:  it is dorky to take a lunchbox to high school.  Thus begins the viscous circle:  no lunch box, no cold packs, no fresh fruit (at least for Tank).

My 6 foot 1 freshman isn't a huge fan of apples.  This is ludicrous because his mother buys the most expensive, delicious apples known to man.  The checker at the grocery store frequently asks me if I seriously intend to spend $40 or more on a weekly supply of apples.  I don't mind spending more for something that is wonderfully delicious AND healthy.  Where else can you get that?  If you haven't sampled a Honey-crisp apple - what are you waiting for?

Tank's before school breakfast routine doesn't include fresh fruit either.  His morning consists of us begging him to find socks to wear, to not get 'caught up' with the tots I sit for, and to just make progress in general to be ready on time.

There IS ample fresh fruit available in our house.  Honest.  This kid's lack of fruit intake has been a sticking point with me for most of the school year.

I packed cans of mandarin oranges for our trip to Scotland.  Unlike Tank, I don't like to be without fruit.  While I was in the shopping-for-Scotland mode, I picked up a few of those single serving cup packs of mandarin oranges to see if Tank would take that to school.  My purchase was a big hit.  Tank began to take a fruit cup in his sack lunch.

On Sunday I ran to Costco.  I purchased a case of mandarin orange cups that would be perfect for Tank to toss in his lunch.  Buying in bulk is the way I roll whenever possible.

My mistake was that I didn't open the thick cardboard box that held the 20 plastic cups of mandarin oranges.  I foolishly left the box on the pantry shelf.  Tank struggled to open the box himself.  Mornings around here resemble feeding time at the zoo.  Chaos.  I was only vaguely aware of Tank's 10 second attempt to rip open the box of mandarin oranges.

I mass produce peanut butter and jelly sandwiches most mornings and if I am not careful I lose track of who needs what.  I have been known to gift one kid with two sandwiches and less fortunate kid with none.  The tots I sit for eat PB&J, so I make theirs in the morning while I am making the sandwiches for my gang - then I set them aside in a Tupperware container or an empty bread loaf bag.  Recently I stuffed the tot lunch in an empty bread loaf bag.  When I cleaned up the kitchen I absentmindedly put the bread bag back in the bread drawer.  I enjoy creating little scavenger hunts for myself.  The idea behind the one-time-sandwich-making assembly line is to simplify my life.  Imagine my excitement in searching for the previously prepared sandwiches at noon that day.  Baby crying offered the perfect backdrop for me as I dug thru the trash and shuffled paperwork around on the counter before I opened the bread drawer.

These are the surviving mandarin orange cups.
  My advice on opening the box with a steak knife: 
Don't try this at home, all you impatient kids
out there who are suddenly so
committed to eating fruit you
can't control yourself.
Sorry, I digress.  Just trying to paint a vivid picture of our morning fun.

Before I could stop him, Tank-who wasn't making any progress opening the box with his bare hands and noodle arms- attempted to open the box with a steak knife.  He punctured the side of the box with the knife.  Ed was sitting at the island eating his breakfast, 'What are you doing, you idiot?!'  I grabbed the box from Tank.  Too late.  It was now leaking mandarin orange juice.

I ripped open the box and we found the leaker.  Tank put that one in a plastic bag for his lunch.  I made him rinse the rest of the containers off in the sink and spread them out on a towel.  He also had to address the juice leakage issue that was all over the floor.

I won't pretend that a string of bad words didn't escape my mouth.  It just happens that way.

Later in the day when I accidentally knocked one of the orange cups off its drying perch on the towel (because I wanted to make Tank come home and put them all in the pantry), the lid popped open from the force and it splattered all over the floor.  More of a mess to clean up.  And of course, more bad words.

I left that one off to the side, so I would remember to make Tank put it in a baggie for his lunch.  Curly hopped off the bus and promptly picked up the cup with the compromised lid and asked me if she could eat it.  She, of course, asked me this while she was waving it around at me.  It leaked all over the floor AGAIN.

This is the thanks I get for trying to get my kid to eat healthy.


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