We pack a lunch for my kindergarten daughter. There are a couple of reasons for this, the most important being: because we want to. Anyway, into the second week of school, she tells us that she’s been having 3 chocolate milks a day.
We don’t pack those.
In fact, chocolate milk is rarely an option at our house because if the wind isn’t coming in from the east during a waning crescent moon, it’s not happening. You know what happens to werewolves on a full moon? We feel that. If you give my daughter chocolate milk when she hasn’t had a full night of sleep, no television, and a completely ordinary day, lock. the. doors. I’m serious; it’s about to get ugly.
3 chocolate milks a day.
Apparently, there’s an option for chocolate milk before and after school. Why anyone would want to provide chocolate to brand new kindergartners (or anyone, for that matter) before sending them off to hang with their new teacher is beyond me but I didn’t get a vote in the matter; I wash my hands of it. But 1 + 1 = 2. So how do you get the third milk?
“I get it at lunch.”
I freaking love my daughter, ya’ll. Her boldness and her innocence. She just takes a milk. Every. single. day. And it’s totally on us. She’s coming from a daycare where lunch was included. It didn’t even cross my mind to explain hot lunch to her!
So we sit her down and explain the whole process to her. Better late than never, right? And we explain the need to pay for things that aren’t included in day-to-day kindergarten. And accidental stealing. At this point, her eyes get big and she gets that adorable embarrassed, shy smile that kids get when they had no idea they did something bad and aren’t sure if they should be horrified or laugh about it.
I tell her that she can’t take milk anymore unless we pay for it and that we’ll tell her if we put money on her account for hot lunch. She nods and we sort of sweep the whole thing under the rug because honestly, how many days has she done this? I have no idea! The more you ask a kid, the less they know.
Until last night.
Emma and I are going through her bedtime routine and we start looking through the school apps on my phone so she can point out who all of her classmates are in group photos. We talk about her friends and their different personalities and all the things she’s up to lately. And then I open her lunch app for the first time ever. We don’t use it, so there’s no point in looking at it, right? Wrong.
Account balance: -$2.60
Well I’ll be. Here we think she’s done this sneaky thing that we’ve swept neatly under the rug and her purchase history shows 1, 2, 3, 4 chocolate milks within the first 4 days of school with nothing after that.
So I ask more questions and this time she seems to remember a little more clearly.
“Well, I put it in a white bucket. Then I take it.”
I pry a little further and she elaborates.
“I put it in a white bucket. Then I give them a card and I take the milk.”
Ahahaha, I think my kid is stealing from school and all this time she had just put her milk on her house account. Phenomenal. I tell her we have to pay the balance and she asks what will happen it we don’t. I tell her they won’t let her graduate kindergarten if we don’t pay it but I assure her we will.
Then the clever little fox starts putting the pieces together in her head about the purchase and this card that tracks what she takes and this account balance that mom has access to and pays off.
“So…” she says, “Can I start getting chocolate milks again?”
No, love. You can’t.