Fast food was a not a treat for “T”. If fast food was on the menu it meant she had messed up somewhere in the planning of the day. Fast food was something she got when there was nothing else available and no time to prepare a meal.
But when she became a Lunch Buddy for a 10 year old boy her paradigm shifted.
In 10 years he had eaten at McDonalds only three times. All three times were special occasions when his father came to visit.
Ten year old “E” was challenging to say the least. He found his way into the Principal’s office more days than not. His grades suffered. His attitude created a cloud of discontent and angst in the classroom.
T was assigned to E as a Lunch Buddy.
Their relationship began with just lunch. But E hated school lunch. Lunchtime was when E most often got in trouble. He would steal items out of other kids’ lunch bags and throw them across the room. Sometimes he would crawl under the table and pinch the legs of his classmates. It was a straight hall pass to the office and a missed recess.
Even when T was present at lunch E would act up.
She had an idea.
One day she brought in a Big Mac, French fries and a drink.
E couldn’t believe his eyes. His mouth dropped open as if it was a four course meal with lobster.
“You got that for me?” He asked innocently.
“I sure did” replied T. “Let’s go eat this together in the classroom.”
The two headed to the classroom and sat together enjoying a wonderful lunch.
They talked about the dad and how special those visits were to McDonalds. They talked about how lucky the other kids were that got to bring sack lunches made by their moms. Then they talked about the why behind the behavior. And they made a deal.
Every few weeks – – if the grades and the behavior improved, T would show up with a wonderful lunch for E.
One Big Mac a month was enough to reduce office visits and lift the GPA.
What is in that “special sauce?”