Today in the school cafeteria they served spaghetti. It came accompanied by green salad and fresh pineapple. (Yes, fresh.) There was also milk and homemade dinner rolls. (Yes, homemade.) I kid you not, I have eaten worse food in fancy restaurants. The only damper on the meal is that before I can eat mine I have to aid several three and/or four year olds while they
smear their faces eat.
Today I sat between Chaz and Jay. The purpose of my position was more to keep them from playing then to aid them in eating. They are both more then capable of self-feeding. I gave them each napkins, opened their milk cartons and tuned them out in favor of a conversation with Miss Angel. It was awhile before I realized Chaz was talking to me. He had been trying to get my attention long enough that he was exasperated. I apologized to him and asked him what he needed. He requested another napkin. His first one was quite liberally coated in spaghetti sauce. I complied and went back to my conversation.
At the other end of the table, K.K. caught my attention. He put a strand of spaghetti in his mouth and sucked it in, then repeated the performance. I glanced at Jay. He was doing the same and his face was coated in spaghetti sauce. The significance of Chaz’s sauce soaked napkin seeped into my tiny brain. As I turned my head to the right to look at him I felt a tug on my shirt sleeve. “Nafkin, fwease,” he asked. His face was clean, but his second napkin was soaked in spaghetti sauce. I gave him a clean napkin and ordered, “Quit playing in your food and eat.”
A bit later as we were returning to the classroom Ms. Lisa asked, “Ms. Charlene, how did you get spaghetti sauce all over the back of your shirt?”
That’s when I remembered Chaz tugging on my sleeve and his clean little face.