Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Wrong Kind of Ham...

So I have been called into school. Apparently, I have been forcing my child to eat food that he hates - in this case ham.

Now, TJ loves ham - it's pretty much the only meat he will eat - he is a vegetarian otherwise, loves his salad and vegetables - I'm not complaining about that but as TJ 'sees the world differently' then he also insists on having the same lunch on a daily basis. We have set up the routine for him and he sticks to it. So I was quite surprised when I was informed that TJ had decided to have a huge temper tantrum in the middle of the school dining hall and in a fit of rage throw his half eaten ham sandwich at the dinner lady - who at the time was trying to coax him into eating it.


So the dinner lady 'told on him' - his words not mine - and I was duly called in.

I thought they would be telling me how they would be disciplining TJ, what consequences he would have for being so unruly and downright rude... Nope. They were bringing me in to ask that I only give him food that he likes as they need to ensure that he eats an adequate lunch.


I told them that if he doesn't eat his lunch that I lovingly prepare for him (complete with little notes saying how I am thinking of him - as the books tell us to) then he can go hungry - after all he gets home a little after 3 and has a snack then - a couple of hours won't kill him and maybe, just maybe, he'll think twice before throwing good food away. (I'm very traditional when it comes to wasting good food).

They asked me what he did like - I said chocolate spread and peanut butter - together - 'Well he can't have that in school - that's not nutritious" said the food police, "and we dont have peanuts in school in case another child has an allergy and sits near him." Hang on a minute - I just saw another kid munching a bloody Snickers bar in the playground!!!!

"The other thing he likes is ham,' I went on. This was met with a stony silence. So TJ was brought in. He looked at me sheepishly.

"Can you tell Daddy why you threw the sandwich at the lady?" asked the food police.
"I didn't like it." came the reply.
"But ham is your favourite," I said.
"Yes, but its the wrong kind of ham," he replied.

I had now heard everything.

"The wrong kind of ham? Can you explain that?" I asked - my tone was probably sounding a little harsh by now.

"Well,' (you always know you are going to get a long winded, roundabout answer when TJ starts with 'well.')

"Well, I like the ham with lions on the packet (the one sold in support of the armed forces that I think I have bought twice before, I'm pretty sure if any of the armed forces ate it they would return it as its mainly water and tastes foul) and this one didn't have lions on the packet." TJ told us.

There was a knowing nod from the food police. "So you didn't like the taste of this type of ham,' she said. I think my mouth may have fallen open and she bought this excuse hook, line and sinker. "Why didn't you like the taste," she went on.

"The taste was ok," TJ replied, "It just didn't have three lions on the packet."

I breathed in and counted - I didn't get as far as ten.

"TJ," I said (using that tone that all parents seem to develop - I've no idea where it came from), "TJ, can I just ask - where were your friends whilst you were eating?" TJ is a noticeably slow eater - its part of his syndrome.

"Oh they all ran outside to play football - but Miss said I had to eat my lunch first," came the reply. He then froze realising that just maybe he had given the game away.

"Right," I said, "So I have come into school because you would rather throw your lunch at the dinner lady and then cry because I gave you the wrong ham - all because you wanted to go out and play."

He nodded slowly.

"Ok," I said, "Well, I won't give you ham tomorrow  we can look at what else you can have tonight but you can go swimming with school and I'll see you afterwards - is that ok?"

He nodded.

The teacher smiled and all was well.


A little later I went to collect him from school. "TJ didn't go swimming today," said the teacher - the same one as before, "He told us that you didn't pack his swimming trunks."


"Yes, I did,"I replied indignantly, "I packed them with his towel last night."

I was now obviously the worst parent in the world - not only did I force feed my child processed meat products but I expected him to swim naked - I knew what she was thinking - perhaps we were a strange gay naturist family. At that point in time I was so cross that I nearly said that we were...

I looked down at our youngest son.

"I asked you to check your bag this morning, did you?"

"Yes," he said, "Only I took my trunks out."

The swimming police teacher nodded knowingly (which made me want to punch her - I didn't - I just smiled)

"Why?" I asked simply.

"I didn't want to wear my blue ones," he replied.

I was about to say something when I realised that he only has blue ones.

I knew this argument was going nowhere so I simply smiled. took his hand and said, "Come on lets go home."

He smiled back and said, "Daddy, can I have ham sandwiches for tea."

I nearly threw them at him!


  1. Oh it's nice to read this on a day where I'm feeling overwhelmed in early placement of 3 kids. It made me smile. Thank you

    1. Three! Wow! I'm in awe... you'll be fine. Just hang in there and there is a wealth of support online - both here and on twitter and facebook. Even having someone who understands the adoption process in a virutal capacity can be an amazing help. See you there!