Of course you know I’m not talking about myself. I can finish a meal in 2 minutes. While telling a long-winded story. (me? long winded?) Jack, however…that’s a different story. Some days he can inhale his meals. But generally he takes his time, talks between, or during, each mouthful and asks for seconds. Apparently his friends at school are noticing.
me: The nurse said you visited her again today. During lunch. What’s up?
Jack: Um, I twisted my foot. No really I did.
me: Is it okay?
me: What about “your heart stopped beating”. What happened there? That was also during lunch?
Jack: Mom, I TOLD you about that one!
me: You did? Tell me again.
Jack: Sigh…it’s like this weird feeling that makes my heart feel like it’s stopping.
me: Do you forget to breathe while you eat?
Jack: No, it’s like an actual THING.
me: During lunch always?
Jack: (glances over at me sideways) Uh-huh…
me: Are you okay at lunch? Is your friend teasing you about eating your food in a certain order?
Jack: No. But they all make fun of me for eating so slow.
me: Do you eat slowly?
Jack: I eat regular. Then I get an ice cream or something.
me: Do you finish everything that you want during the lunch period, or do you run out of time?
Jack: I usually finish but then I throw away the stuff I don’t like, like the salad and stuff… Oh but I keep the carrots! They’re in my backpack.
me: I know. I found a soggy warm bag of carrots the other day. Thanks.
Jack: You can eat em with dip!
me: They’re gross now. Anyway, so are you feeling bad at lunch and that’s why you go to the nurse a lot?
Jack: No, I go to the nurse if I don’t FEEL WELL.
me: Okay. You know it’s fine that you eat at your own pace. Just because the other kids may eat faster, you don’t need to rush.
Jack: I know.
me: If anyone bothers you at all to make you feel like you don’t want to be there, please let your teacher know. Save the nurse visits for when you’re really really hurt or don’t feel well. She’s very busy and has sick kids to take care of. Okay?
Jack didn’t go to the nurse’s office today. So that’s something. I had no idea this was going on until I emailed the nurse about Jack’s inhaler and she informed me that “he’s a regular” in her office. Maybe he likes her, or the bathroom. He’s very particular about where he “goes”. It’s still funny to think he has this whole other life at school that I barely know about.