After working day two of Field Day ("Field Day, The Sequel: The Big Kids Get Their Turn"), I got to have lunch with the Little Kid . . . and seven of his best friends (six of the male persuasion, one female). Lunch cost three dollars, but the entertainment was free.
"Mrs. Mick-a-linchey, did you get the cheese sticks?"
Yes, I did - they came highly recommended, by several of you.
"Do you know why they call them cheese sticks?"
Because they have cheese in them and are shaped like sticks?
"No. Because - see, when you bite into them, they - do you know what's in the middle of the bread? It's CHEESE. And, see, the bread looks like STICKS. So they are CHEESE STICKS."
Got it. I can't help but notice that I am the only one who opted for vegetables [which, for the record, were wonderful - I particularly liked the squash with Italian breadcrumbs and marinara].
"I used to eat broccoli, with cheese sauce. But then I stopped."
"Yeah, me, too."
"But I still like cheese."
"Yeah, me, too."
"I like all of the types of chicken, pretty much."
"I'm allergic to vegetables. When I eat them, I throw up."
"Mrs. Mick-a-linchey, the vegetables - I think they're just for the teachers and the other adults, like you."
But eating vegetables will help you become adults.
"Well, I'm going to start eating vegetables, because they will make me strong."
"I'm going to eat carrots. Carrots are good for your eyes."
Okay, so you concede my point about vegetables being good for you - why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?
"Did you know that jalapenos are vegetables, Mrs. Mick-a-linchey?"
Nice attempt at misdirection, kid. And jalapenos are, technically, fruits.
"I eat sushi. My mom cooks it for me."
She . . . COOKS . . . it for you? Yeah, okay, moving on.
During the course of the meal, I am asked to remove the safety seal from what seems like a thousand plastic milk bottles. The kids all peel the plastic label strips from their bottles, and one of them figures out that if you insert one end of the plastic strip into the mouth of the bottle just so, and then replace the cap to hold the end of the strip in place, your milk bottle will look just like Superman. Well, if Superman was a milk bottle, and his cape inserted into his upper scalp. Soon, I am surrounded by a whole army of milk bottle superheroes. The boys fight over whose bottle gets to be Batman. Aurora informs me that HER milk bottle is a girl - Wonder Woman, to be exact.
Aurora, I knew that I liked you.
I am asked to take pictures of the milk bottle superheroes with my phone. Then everyone has to inspect the pictures. When I finally announce that it's time for me to leave, I get a hug from my own child - and about ten others.
Best lunch date I have had in recent memory.