Mice in the Cafeteria!

mice“There were mice in the cafeteria!” My son never offers me information about his day. I only find things out by dragging the answers out of him, one question at a time. It’s a very tedious undertaking, one in which both of us get tired by the end. That all changed today. Apparently there were mice in the cafeteria. Four of them to be exact.

I had the honor of picking my son up from school today, due to an early dismissal caused by torrential rains and flooding. As soon as we stepped outside of the school building, my son excitedly reported, “There were mice in the cafeteria! But, I didn’t see anything.” He was disappointed that he missed seeing the scurrying little critters, but very excited about the “chaos” it caused in the cafeteria. I didn’t even know that my son knew the word “chaos”, so that was a proud moment.

School cafeterias have always had a bad reputation. His mouse adventure today reminded me of my own cafeteria encounter. One day my elementary school teachers invited all the parents to come have lunch with their children. Being a Momma’s girl, I was very excited about it. I thought about how much fun it was going to be sitting there, having lunch with my Mom around all my peers. It was going to be such an honor to have her there with me. All day I looked forward to the lunch hour to come. Finally, the time came and my Mom arrived at the school.

I was beaming with joy! We walked together in the food line, grabbed our lunch trays and had them filled with that day’s specialty, hamburgers. We happily walked over to one of the long rectangular tables in the cafeteria and took our seats. We chatted for a moment about school and how excited I was to have her there.


Then, we took a big bite into our hamburgers. When I bit down, my tooth caught something hard. With caution and a fair amount of fear, I peeked inside to see what I had just bitten down on. A stick was in my burger! A small one, but regardless it was still a stick. How does a stick get into a burger? I was so humiliated that my school had done this. “How dare they!”, I thought. This day that I had so much looked forward to, had just been ruined by a stick in my burger. My Mom should have been welcomed with gourmet food, not stick burgers. I was so embarrassed. Needless to say, that was the first and last time I ever invited my Mom to school for lunch.

As for today, all I can hope is that the mice stayed on the floor and didn’t actually get in the food. Either way, those little mice made my son’s day. As disgusting as it was, it was worth it to see him with a big smile across his face and with a story to tell. He even made up a song about it, called “Mice in the Cafeteria” on our way home. Somehow in the song, the mice started carrying diseases and making people sick, but he found it amusing and that’s all that matters.

The horrors of the school cafeteria seem to go on for generations. I wonder if their reputation will forever stay the same. One thing is for certain – mice are not the answer.

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5 Responses to Mice in the Cafeteria!

  1. culturemonk says:

    I empathize with your son…..I don’t like give a daily rundown of what i did, who i talked to etc…to people. I prefer to let it all come out over the course of time… Example: we are having coffee together and something is said and it reminds me of something that happened last week which then leads me to telling the story….

    A big part of it is because I like to think about everything that happened. I need hours…sometimes days, weeks or months to really let everything sink in.


    • mewhoami says:

      I am very much the same. I don’t share things unless something comes along or is said that prompts me to do so. I find your comment about needing hours, weeks or months to let everything sink in, seems to be very common among men especially. This is why men usually speak less. They are thinking. Women on the other hand, talk more and think about their words later. So, I give you kudos for thinking before you speak.

      In regard to my son, he’s autistic and struggles with communication. Therefore he has to be pushed to talk. I only do the after school ‘interrogations’ in an effort to get him to improve upon his social skills. With that said though, he is well aware that he doesn’t have to share any of his private thoughts.


  2. JayNine says:

    Hello There! Thanks for stopping by my blog–Thanks for giving me a way to find yours ;D I love this story: especially the SONG Part! I do that with my LO all the time. We turn everything into a song!


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