Ah we’ve been having a fun few weeks with Baby Boudica the Elder and his school. So far I’ve maintained a dignified silence about these matters, but recent events have led me to have a change of heart on this. I have things to say and I reserve the right to say them, loudly and to anyone who will listen. This is going to be the first post on this matter and most of them will also be brought to the attention of Norfolk County Council. Just for good measure. If you piss off the Boudica enough, don’t be surprised if she bites back. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
Now, we all know that the Baby Boudica’s have Autism, what people may not be aware of, is how many children with Autism like their food presented in a certain way. No different foods touching etc etc. Well, Baby Boudica the younger doesn’t want things he doesn’t like on his plate. Fair enough. I tend not to put things on my plate I don’t like either, it would be pointless.
So if you went to a restaurant and you only wanted sausages for example, but the sausages normally came with chips and you didn’t happen to like chips, you may ask them not to give you any chips. Which would be fine. The restaurant would respect your decision and not serve you chips.
So how come, if you’re having school dinners, you are forced to have the chips on your plate, whether you like it or not? No matter how much you complain?
Does this not show an alarming lack of respect? How am I supposed to teach my children to respect the wishes and opinions of others, when dinner ladies are completely ignoring their wishes by making them have something on their plate they’ve repeatedly said they don’t want? Are they hoping he’ll eat them accidentally without noticing? Do they think he’s really that stupid? Or have we gone back to the dark ages where they’ll be serving semolina twice a week again?
He doesn’t like bloody chips. Even without the fact that it is incredibly wasteful serving up food that you know damn well isn’t going to be eaten, it makes him stressed out and that stress comes out at home.
I would be absolutely livid if someone tried that with me. I see it as a form of control, holding power over children and bullying. And we know my views on bullying don’t we?
But what worries me the most, is that they are teaching small boys that no doesn’t mean no. That you can completely ignore other people’s wishes, people that are smaller and possibly weaker than yourself, and that you can force them to do what you want. That is very dangerous territory indeed.
While I’m on the subject of lunches at school, is it also right to rush children while they are eating to the extent that they leave half their lunch, as they have to leave the hall for the next sitting? I’m getting a little tired of Baby Boudica the elder coming home having eaten only half his lunch. Because he ran out of time. Moaning at children to eat faster? Really?
Now I understand that to get a large number of children through in a lunch hour could make proceedings a little rushed. However if you get to the point where children that eat slowly are not actually eating as they’re too stressed to eat, then something is seriously wrong. Especially if those children also have sensory issues and struggle in noisy environments. Stressed, surrounded by noise and someone telling you to hurry up, I think I’d leave my lunch too. Having a quiet room for those children would make a lot of sense, but sense seems to be sadly lacking.
So, dinner ladies of Norfolk. You will be having fries with that, won’t you?