Her mother was throwing two boxes of rockets into the classroom and that was it. But now that all foods are healthy, creative, and preferably delicious too, Joan often feels desperate.
Calum’s 10-year-old son recently came home sick and miserable. No, not the coronavirus, but an overly creative birthday treat. Classmate Ross had celebrated his birthday and handed out homemade juices. According to Callum, the entire class spit afterwards and everyone thought it was ‘so awful’.
I immediately felt sorry. Not so much with the group, but with that poor mother who must have thought she was too self-conscious by offering a green slurry of broccoli, spinach, banana and poor rose with the ‘dirtiest treat ever’.
Rose’s mother understood well. I’m also not too high on the Montessori ladder when it comes to cool and original skills. No matter how hard you try, they fall, stick, fail or get stuck in the kindergarten level. So I am already looking forward to my son’s eleventh birthday and the mandatory treat.
Important, especially if I don’t want to get my head around all the regulations. Our school has a strict policy on sweets and cookies. It actually means that we as parents are not expected to arrive with harsh contributions of dyes and sugars. Plastic purchases from discount chains or Chinese price advocates are also strongly discouraged with the aim of protecting the environment.
“Go and come up with something healthy and delicious for 33 kids, with all different allergies”
Of course I understand that, but in secret I find a bag with an eraser, a sharpener, a small football and a plastic medal so easily. You just have to create something healthy and delicious for 33 kids, with all kinds of different allergies and forbidden in terms of religion or way of life. In Callum’s class, there’s a boy allergic to cow’s milk, a girl who is intolerant to peanuts, and two who have grown up completely vegetarian. This requires a lot of creativity.
Popsicles and olibulin
In my youth it was wonderfully simple. I’m a kid in the ’70s and ’80s, when doodling meant making garlands out of folding paper strips and distributing all kinds of sugary sweets. You were given candy chains, which you enjoyed in class. Or lollipops, master drops or marches, just out of pocket. If I was really crazy, I put a hot dog, grapes and a big piece of cheese on a skewer. No one has ever heard of Pinterest and its millions of DIY ideas, nor of E numbers, cow’s milk, gluten, or lactose intolerance.
“Life wasn’t much more difficult for my mother than a watercress ice cream or an olibulin”
I was born on the 2nd of July and always blessed with sunny birthdays, and given gifts of summer. My mom bought two boxes of arugula ice cream that she took to class. You can see me in all the elementary school photos with the same brown wicker basket and similar colored sundaes. Only my brightly colored hat has a different number. For my brother, who from December 12, there was an olibulin in the basket. Life was not more difficult for my mother at the time.
Now water ice is not alone you did not, but also very boring. For his upcoming birthday, my son wants me to make something fun, something “sticky” he can unpack and show off. Uh. He should have known better by now. In recent years, I haven’t shown my best self.
“My son wants me to make something cute, something ‘sticky’ he can show off”
When I started kindergarten, I thought I could throw out a mandarin effortlessly in my junior year. Healthier and safer than a few grapes, with an emphasis on choking and swallowing hazards for youngsters. I borrowed a nearly identical wicker basket from my childhood and secured it with bows, balloons, and tape. Nice idea, bad execution.
Callum returned with 26 tangerines. Except for the teacher and two brave boys, no one liked the fruit. Including my son. Very boring, sigh. Well, that won’t happen to me again.
The following year, I saw Minions made of bananas on someone’s Facebook page. How fun was that? Callum was a fan of the yellow creatures, so I can surprise him with this. It took some creativity on my part, but if it works out well, it can still get a healthy treat without being boring.
I searched Google for “Minions bananas” and within seconds I found a worksheet in which all the patterns for eyes, suits, and hair were already drawn. That evening I sat until half past one, with welding eyes from pinching, cutting, coloring and gluing. I was broken, but very proud of myself.
So I took a closer look at the end result in the morning. This was actually exactly what I had when I watched a movie where Wendy Van Dyck performs: Beautiful handsome, but I don’t believe the character. Stays for me Wendy Van Dyck with a wig. Now all I saw was a basket full of bananas with a leaf and an eye folded. But well, Callum thought it looked like real minions and luckily we didn’t have to drink fruit juices all week. Only seven bananas left.
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In group 3, I could no longer stay away from the fruits. It should have taken a different path. Fortunately, my brother’s wife turned out to be a lifesaver. It is easy to use and technical.
My nephew is a few weeks older than Callum and I have been able to embrace her ideas with kindness or even the therapy itself. For example, the pirate’s castle, made of colored pencils with flags, treasure maps and chests, was almost still intact. I just had to fill the contents with a vegan cake made with coconut butter.
“For years, I’ve been flashing her ideas about food”
In the years since, she has impressed me with her nutritional ideas. From rice soccer cakes to wigwam tents made of salty sticks stuffed with homemade banana chips. But two years ago, they moved and settled eighty kilometers away. We didn’t meet each other and I also thought it was a weakness to get into the car just to get a 6th grade bonus. I should have been able to do it myself.
Months ago, I was checking Pinterest and making calls on social media to ask friends who have young children how they’re doing, in a therapeutic way. Strange that only mothers almost responded. It seems that no father would dare to take this school job or not openly admit it.
Except for a fanatic, who managed to pry out a lifelike cucumber crocodile (I was desperate to see the huge mouth with jigsaw teeth), my contacts were nothing more than fröbelaars. I listened with envy to that fellow who was allowed to hand out pink brownies or chocolate chips. But I also hated stories of such huge bags of chips that no one else ate their bread, that 27 boxes were emptied into the trash.
And I laughed at the story of Chantal who I thought was clever with a frankfurter mummy doll wrapped in puff pastry handles. After her creations came out of the oven, they looked like solid roosters. Bachelorette party fun, not immediately suitable for eight-year-olds. She drove to the supermarket the same day to get some sticky eyes that you can use to season the baked goods and make some slits in the sausage so it looks more like a male.
“Hey, that’s funny, peeping,” he said when he saw making sausage.
Unfortunately without success, Son Joss looked at the refreshment and rejoiced: “Hey, how funny, peeping!” The school was already hers. With Sinterklaas, she made a microphone surprise for her eldest son’s ticket, for the girl who could sing well and would later take part in a talent show. It’s such a shame that it looks like the girl got her first vibrator as a gift.
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Girlfriend Maxim recently inadvertently caused a real riot at school with her brewing business, which was brought to the school board. For example, for her son Max’s birthday, she bought 25 plastic beer glasses at the liquor store, three-quarters full of cream cheese (“pilsner”) and filled with popcorn (“foam”). The green label was printed, the beer brand name is not shown, but her son’s birthday is shown. Max proudly handed out beer, and the eighth graders ate this wonderful beer. You might think mission accomplished.
“For clarity, there was a picture of Max’s chip Glass”
Until a week later an additional newsletter from the school appeared in the mail addressed to all parents. In it, the teacher and “a number of concerned parents from Group 8” expressed concerns about the declining standards and values of “some students” in the class. A meeting will be called soon to toughen the rules: While NIX18 is the norm, parents aren’t supposed to preach differently, she said. For clarity, there was a photo of Max’s glass slide, and his name remains unclear for privacy reasons.
Maxim did not know what she saw. She in no way meant any harm to her treatment, and she was certainly not a promoter of underage alcohol. It was just a joke. But ok, I got the message. For her 5-year-old daughter’s birthday this year, she was filling an elegant baby bottle with popcorn (milk). Although she still doubts whether she will get the breastfeeding mafia after her.
The problem has been resolved
So you don’t get it right quickly. Reason yet another girlfriend to demand no more rewards at all. You find the system old-fashioned and unfair.
It is not financially feasible for every parent to provide a whole group of students with fruits, vegetables, or other (healthy) delicacies. Whether you finish two huge bags of candy lollipops for 3 euros, as before, or combine thirty skewers of fruit with balls of sugar and watermelon, interspersed with strawberries, raspberries, and grapes, and so you’ve lost 50 euros at a greengrocer alone. Add to this the decoration and any gifts for the teachers and so often many times in the family. You just have to be able and willing to pay for it.
“It will save us a lot of inconvenience and time.”
Her solution: They put 5 euros at the beginning of the year and the teacher has a birthday celebration every month, where she takes care of the good stuff. The issue has been resolved and the kids are still in the spotlight on this day. I think that’s a great idea. Not primarily because of money, I only have one child and can afford it, but especially for me and all the other moms who don’t have artistic hands. It will save us a lot of stress and time.
This article appears on Kek Mama 10-2022.
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