I have zero doubt that we are on a special radar at school. Red flagged. The Underdaddy children are subject to shenanigans and special trips to the principal’s office a couple of times each year. It’s fine. At least they are making a mark.
So far we have visited for:
Fear of Alien Abduction
Random Excessive Crying
Bullying and the Fallout
Defacing a Religious Text
Attention Deficit Disorder
Sassy Preteen Mouth
Our legend gets passed by word of mouth and each new teacher is given a briefing from the teacher before. “Bless your heart, I had that one last year…” or “She is a little eccentric but really sweet. Good luck.” I’m not certain of this but people are people and the teacher’s lounge is like any other water cooler gossip spot.
But never in the disarray that is our life did I think that we were giving off a vibe of abject poverty. My kids are malnourished but it is through their own personal choice. They only eat whatever things they can confirm that we don’t actually have. If I only have Mac and Cheese, they want Hot Dogs. If I have Hot Dogs they want Mac and Cheese. They exist on juice and imagined injustices.
And I will admit that some mornings we don’t all roll out the door looking polished and primed for the day. Maybe someone has a ring of Oreo Pop Tart around the mouth. Maybe someone’s hair escaped a brushing. Same for teeth occasionally. These are signs of being behind the schedule, not of being poor.
I wonder what stories my children are sharing at school?
Whatever the cause, fast forward or err… rewind to a few days ago and Prima sets her backpack on the counter. Inside the backpack are some generic cans of tomato and chicken noodle soups along with some instant noodles.
UD: What are these honey? (Holding up a can)
Prima: (Shrugs her shoulders) Someone put it in my locker.
Prima walks off as if I wasn’t talking to her. Her sister walks in.
Jane: They do it randomly for kids who need it.
UD: Okay well, that isn’t random. That is targeted and how did it get in her locker?
Jane: The guidance counselor does it sometimes. I’ve seen her.
UD: Does she know whose locker she is leaving surprises in?
Jane: Yeah. Probably.
UD: Sooo… they think we are not feeding you guys?
Prima returns to the room.
Prima: I like these noodles they gave me.
UD: That’s not the point. And don’t walk off on me while I’m trying to talk with you. There are other kids who probably need these noodles.
Prima: Can I eat them?
UD: No! Maybe. I don’t know. (Turning to Supermom who just walked into the room) Can you return angel tree food? I don’t know the rules.
Prima: I’m eating the noodles.
Jane: I’m eating the Ravioli.
UD: I’ll eat the Ramen.
Supermom: No! This food is for the children.
UD: For our children apparently.
Supermom: No! Maybe… I don’t know. Put it in the pantry.
So now we have nonperishable food items for our underserved children to heat up and leave sitting in a bowl on the table while the go play their Nintendo Switch and wait for me to pour it out later into the garbage disposal.
If you have been on the receiving side of a community act of compassion then this post is for you. We are going to try and notch up our hygiene and nutrition plans since we are sending poverty vibes. I wouldn’t mind if it were true but I lament the fact that someone actually needs these things and they got sent home with a clan of children who have complete meltdowns over the wrong kind of juice or getting denied two types of meat in one meal. Example: Lady Bug requested a bologna sandwich with a side of hot dogs. She is a terrible vegan and, obviously, a princess accustomed to luxury in her processed meat selection.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.