This week, my sons are in a daily basketball camp, which is good in many ways: They’re both in the same place; they have to wear a uniform shirt every day (no last-minute wardrobe changes in the morning!); and the camp serves lunch. There’s also no swimming, so I don’t have a load of towels and swimsuits to wash.
But come next week, they’ll return to their regular day camps, where the biggest problem for me is that there is no lunch. This wouldn’t be much of an issue if my boys liked homemade lunch, but they are pretty boring when it comes to sandwiches. They limit themselves to turkey bologna, salami or turkey. They don’t like standbys like PB&J or cheese or tuna.Ã‚Â (No, they’re not allergic, just picky!) They don’t like condiments. And forget those ideas of giving them pita and hummus or anything “fancy.”
Last week, my 13-year-old didn’t make his sandwich (this is his job) the night before and a few minutes before the bus came, he was throwing Rice Krispie treats and applesauce into his lunchbag for a snack. When I asked him about his sandwich, he said he didn’t have time to make it. As a veteran sandwich-maker, I started to hustle into the kitchen to make him something, because after all, he was going to be out in the sun all day and he would be hungry and what if he passes out and the nurse calls me and it will be all because he didn’t have a sandwich?
My husband, bless his heart, stopped me and said, “Don’t make him anything. I used to do the same thing, when I was his age. And I’m still here, right?” His reasoning was that if my son was hungry that day, he would remember to make his own lunch the night before, as we’ve asked him to do.
I’m not sure yet whether playing hardball has worked; my son hasn’t had to make his lunch again yet. But he did mention that he was a little hungry that day. And he apologized for not doing what we asked him to do. So maybe it worked?
Tell me some of the ways you play tough with your kids. And if anyone has any lunch ideas for my finicky sons, I’m open to them.