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Napkin, Please

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.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. it sounds like those little ones keep you laughing, busy but laughing, messy but laughing, sometimes stressed but young and laughing 🙂

    it is wonderful that you guys get real and good quality food to eat, for those that actually eat it, lol.

    not too many school (or restaurants as you pointed out) can say that honestly.

    have a great wknd and say hi to your beautiful sis and nieces. hope all are well.

  2. This sort of reminds me of that joke that goes: “What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple?”

    So the next time you see a kid with a clean face who has been slurping pasta, you know where to look first after the tug at the sleeve.

    Too funny.

  3. hmmmmmmmm feeding spaghetti to kids under 10 should be against the law, haha. I have spots on my living room rug to prove it…….I have told my family more than once, spaghetti needs to be eaten at the table, NOT in the living room.

    So, do you own any paper skirts and blouses….because spaghetti sauce doesn’t come out to easily does it, haha

    Yikes, he wiped his face on your skirt? Or his hands were just covered in sause, well no matter it still made a mess I bet. This is a whole new experience for you isn’t it…….

  4. LOL….it is hard though…having a clean face and eating spaghetti. Even for those of us who are said to be grown up. About your t-shirt…how do you think teh smiley got invented?

  5. Melli — I am certain Chaz did not take any of that into consideration.

    Jill — indeed. That’s why napkins were invented in the first place.

    TLP — watch my pendant … back-n-forth … back-n-forth … you are suddenly getting sleepy .. and when you wake you are going to run right out and volunteer to work in preschool.

    Polona — oh yeah, hilarious — especially since I had banking and shopping to do on my way home!

    Pauline — aren’t you the one who is supposed to have all the perils?

    Louisiana — the food is good and plentiful. It is a rarity and a blessing. Also, my family is well, thanks for asking!

    Dr. John — nice try, but no sale.

    Dawg — I wish I’d known that spaghetti was on the menu when I’d dressed that morning.

    Gawpo — I see the correlation. And what makes you think I’m going to turn my back on him again?

    Nea — I believe he wiped his face on the back of my shirt and wiped his hands on my sleeve. What’s more, my shirt believes it, too.

    Minka — so you’re telling me it’s like a Shroud of Turin thing?

  6. Alastair — glad to entertain — and I always read NKotB, I just don’t always comment.

    Nessa — plastic slip covers cracked me up. If it weren’t for the heat I think it would be an excellent idea!

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