Home Lunches vs Tuck Shop

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Sometimes, my kids can be so dumb.

“Let’s go home,” complained Master10 when he got to the car Friday afternoon. “I’m starving.”

“Me too!” Miss12 and Miss6 agreed from the back seat.

Which was odd, because I distinctly remember them not only going to school with a lunchbox, but also being given $3 each for the tuckshop.

“Three dollars isn’t enough to buy anything,” Miss12 explained to me. “All I had was a sandwich and some cucumber from home, and then salt and vinegar chips, a jelly cup and an ice block.”

“So only…” I said pointedly which counting things off on my hand. I really thought my overall tone and demeanour would have signalled a warning, but apparently that’s too subtle for her.

“Five things!” she exclaimed.

Oh, the horror. The injustice. The poor thing must be living off her body’s store of baby fat.

With no other recourse but to come clean I told her I’m surprised we haven’t been reported to DOCS and agreed she was wasting away like a punctured blown up mattress.

I should have saved my breath – I’m starting to think quality sarcasm is wasted on this generation. Sarcasm and, as I was starting to understand, tuck shop money.

When I was a kid I would have given my left nut to have tuck shop instead of soggy spam sandwiches.

In fact, as regular readers would know, I ended up with only one properly functioning testy and now I’m wondering if I don’t know why.

I was just about to announce they’d soon be looking upon the tuck shop with the same unattainable longing a diabetic has for pavlova, and that all school lunches would henceforth be made up of whatever stale biscuits they could find in our pantry when Miss8 saved the day.

“Well I liked it,” she piped up from the back seat. “And I had heaps to eat.”

“You even sound sort of grateful,” I called back while looking pointedly at a still pained looking Miss12 in the front passenger seat.

“I am!” shouted Miss8.

And maybe she genuinely was, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she hadn’t simply worked out where this conversation was about to go and decided to save the day. She’s so smart she sometimes seems to be older than her older siblings.

“That’s so lovely to hear,” I said.

“I love having money for tuck shop,” she almost sang. And then, because she can’t ever let a chance go by without trying for a little something extra, she added, “Can I have the same tomorrow, Daddy?”

I sighed.

“I’d let you,” I said. “I really would. But I don’t think the tuck shop is open on a Saturday.”

So much dumb. I guess none of them can think straight on an empty stomach.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

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