Sophia can by shy, although she is overcoming it a little at a time. Playing soccer has been great for Sophia, as well as her friend Allie, who I recently posted about.
The other morning, I took all the girls to their dentist, Dr Bo. (I will have to blog about Dr. Bo another day – LG always teases me that I have a crush on him – not true – but, he is just so cute with the kids – not to mention nice to me when they have cavities – Are there any other moms out there who just can’t forgive themselves when their kids have a less than perfect check up?)
Anyhow, on with the story. On the way from the dentist to the school, Sophia noticed that LG and I had not packed her a lunch. She started crying and begging me to take her home first, so that we could get her a lunch. I said, “Sophia, I don’t have time to go home, and they are having nachos at the school today and you like those. Just eat the nachos.”
This sentence again was replied with the saga, of which we’ve heard at least 10 times since the school year started. “But, mom, they always put chili on the nachos and I don’t like chili.” I replied the same way we always do, “Just tell the lunch ladies that you don’t want chili.” The thought of actually speaking to the lunch ladies was too much. Sophia started crying again. (This child must take after her father, I just don’t get her fear of people. It’s no wonder her father never formally proposed…that is just too much pressure!)
So, when we got to school, I decided that I was going to put an end to the nonsense. Sophia’s grade would be eating lunch in just 30 minutes. I told her that we were going to take a detour through the cafeteria to talk to the workers. She froze and planted her feet as to permanently attach her shoes to the piece of tile that is in the middle of the hall adjacent to the school’s office! I said, “Sophia, this is ridiculous. It is their job to feed you. You don’t have any problem asking me to tell every McDonald’s worker that you want katsup only. C’mon, I am going to show you how easy this is.”
I dragged her into the cafeteria where all the workers were sitting at their big table enjoying their last bit of a break before the kids came stampeding. There was no need to get their attention. All 8 workers were staring at me as I held Sophia in place. Sophia would not look anywhere but her feet and was squirming to get away. I said, “I am sorry to bother you, but this is my daughter Sophia. We just got done at the dentist and I forgot to pack her a lunch. Sophia loves nachos, but it a little nervous about asking you to leave the chili off. Is this something that someone could help her with today?”
Sophia was mortified. The head cafeteria worker didn’t quite get the seriousness of this situation. She stood and as she walked over in our direction, she replied, “We have to give her the chili, it is federal regulation.” (C’mon lady, work with me here.) I must have given her the perfect look of desperation. After staring Sophia and I down, she said, “But, we can put it on the side.” I said to Sophia, “Do you think you can ask this nice lady to put it on the side?”
Only silence followed. The lunch lady wised up and said to me, “Whose class is she in?” I told her. She said, “Don’t worry, we will help her today.”
I walked away, dragged by Sophia’s eagerness to escape. She was trying to keep her crying under control. I sat down with her as she tried to creep away. All I could do was hug her and tell her that I was trying to help her, not embarrass her. She kept repeating, “Just let me go to class, mom.”She finally broke my hold, and as she ran off to class, I hollered, “I love you Sophia, have a great day, and enjoy your nachos.”
I cried on the way home and called LG. I was plagued with the question as to whether or not this fiasco was even worth it. LG assured me that I did the right thing and told me that because I make Sophia face things that are so overwhelming, she will be better in the long run. For once, I didn’t totally believe him.
I was left wondering all day as the whether or not it was worth the trouble. After school, Sophia got in the car triumphantly. (I immediately thought to myself that I was the best mom in the world) I asked Sophia, “How did lunch go?”
Sophia replied, “It was great mom, they had a bunch of trays with the chili on the side already. I didn’t have to ask.” Well, I have to admit that this was wise of the lunch ladies (easier than staying on the lookout for the wreck of a kindergartner named Sophia), but I felt a little sabotaged. Where did the cafeteria workers leave my lesson? Didn’t they understand the depth of the execution?
A few days later, I took the kids to Wendy’s. (We love Wendy’s, here is another funny story about it.) As Sophia shouted from the back seat of the van that she wanted a hamburger with katsup only, I turned back and announced, “I am sorry Sophia, I am a little too shy, I don’t think that I can ask the Wendy’s worker for katsup only.” Sophia thought that was the funniest thing she had ever heard and responded with, “Mom , you always ask them for katsup only”, and almost as an afterthought she declared assuredly, “And, you are not shy.” After I ordered as directed, I reminded Sophia that talking to the lunch ladies should be as easy as it was for me to place that order. (Not that the additional pep talk would do any good, but a mother has to try)
Sometimes parenting is so futile. I guarantee that the next time we are going through the morning routine of, “For lunch you have a choice between teriyaki beef bites, peach and cottage cheese, or nachos…do you want to buy?” Sophia will automatically respond with, “I want to take, please.”
On a side note, because this post is about Sophia speaking: Sophia gave a talk in church today. She was so cute as she repeatedly said “The Dr. of Covenants”.