The last day of the school holidays and I had to work so Meg and Amy were going to spend the day at holiday care.
The holiday care here in the village is really amazing. Great, new, (warm!) spacious building, lots of staff and volunteers and they have a schedule that includes homework time, rosters for using the gym space, activities and events throughout the year and it's just somewhere kids want to go, which is great for the kids and great for the working mums too!
On any day the kids go to holiday care they have to take their lunches with them.
I don't like to use the processed easy foods from the supermarket just because I think they are probably not that good for you what with all those chemicals.
So, if I make the girls lunch it contains a lot of vegetables and leftovers and some sausages to keep them happy (probably one of the most processed foods you can get, right? Hypocritical old me...)
Anyway, Amy is striving for independence at the moment and is very, very keen to cook all her own meals, do the dishes and the laundry and do the grocery shopping and drive the car.... Normally a mum would be thrilled at a kid so keen on helping out, right? (well, other than the driving....)
But remember Amy is seven.
Her enthusiasm far outstrips her abilities at this stage, but not wanting to discourage her I try to find a balance between creating more work (the one and only time Amy washed the dishes for me we lost a cup in collateral damage and ended up mopping down the floor as a bonus...) and not letting her do anything until she's 18.
Making your own lunch seemed pretty harmless and so we agreed to go shopping and they could be in complete control of their lunch.
The excitement was almost unbearable.
Meg can do the math so I gave her 1000 yen and said to think about a healthy lunch (they learn nutrition at school.)
Hmmm, well, the good news is they brought home change.
The less impressive thing was the amount of fried food they bought. Whoa baby! Poor deprived kids, I'm not confident working with oil so deep fry about once a year and I guess they saw their chance to correct this deficiency, huh?
The finished product:
three rice balls and:
strawberries, mandarin (pre-peeled) potato croquette, crumbed prawn, cucumber, fried chicken and some ham 'confetti'
I asked about that balanced meal and the vegetable content and was seriously informed that cucumber and potato and mandarin and strawberries was loads of vegetables and anyway rice grows on a vegetable too.
The same ingredients arranged differently and with the addition of a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.
And the verdict?
They loved it!
But I hadn't anticipated quite the excitement of having made their own lunch. Or how much that excitement would translate into vociferous proclamations of the fact that it was a self-made lunch.
When I went to pick them up one of the staff asked me with a quite quizzical expression on her face whether it was true Amy had made her own lunch?
I replied all upbeat and happy and impressed- yes! Pretty good huh? And she went shopping with her sister for the ingredients, too!
Ehhhhh? was the answer.
And I got the distinct impression that it was a hmmmm of dereliction of duty disapproval rather than a 'how cool is that!' hmmm.
Oh well, least she didn't tell them that I don't pat her back till she falls asleep either.