Posts Filed Under Lunch Lady Land

What I Want

posted by Momo Fali on July 6, 2010

On July 4th, 1998, I found out I was pregnant. My period was a couple of days late and there was a huge jug of vodka and cranberry waiting at a party with my name on it. Late periods and vodka don’t mix, so I took a test. Don’t worry, friends don’t let friends’ liquor go to waste.

My husband and I had closed on, and began to renovate, our first house in February, 1998. We got a puppy in May and the pregnancy news came just before our first anniversary that August.

At the time, we both had great jobs. We both worked together for a successful local business. It was a mom and pop corporation…big responsibilities with a family atmosphere. It was intense work, but I enjoyed it.

Just before Christmas that year, my pregnant self said goodbye to my co-workers for an extended holiday vacation. I never came back to work. Our daughter was born 10 weeks early on December 29th.

One preemie led to two and that second one? Well, he came complete with problems galore. I stopped working in the corporate world and, instead, became a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist and occasional Heimlich provider. I walked around with a phone attached to my ear listening to a permanent loop of health insurance voice systems.

Two years ago, when my son was in Kindergarten, I was offered a unique opportunity to work at the school as a teacher’s aide during the hours he attended. It worked out great. And last year, when he was at school all day and eating in the cafeteria for the first time, I became a lunch lady. That Heimlich thing? Well, it doesn’t always work if you’re not there to do it.

But, now my son is going into the second grade. He has made advances we never thought possible, one of which is clearing food from his mouth before he chokes on it. My daughter will be in middle school and my mom recently moved back to our neighborhood after many years away. Clearly, I’m running out of reasons to hang out with my children all day.

As much as I would love to be a housewife, take care of my home and laundry, plan meals and otherwise be organized instead of chaotic all the time, those things don’t pay the bills.

We have been struggling for a long time. My car is 13 years old and sometimes the doors don’t open and the horn doesn’t work, which totally gets in the way of me telling people what bad drivers they are.

Our washer and dryer are not long for this world, our computers are starting to implode and the stove is like a hormonal woman and only cooks when it wants to.

I have committed to the school until 2011. Basically, I have a year. I have a year to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I am almost 40 and though I’m not afraid to go back to school, I just don’t know what I want to do when I get there.

I want to write, I want to design, I want to be creative. I want to be passionate about something in the way I have been passionate about my children. I want to be fulfilled.

I also want to pay the bills and I just don’t know if the two go hand in hand.

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Hot Mess

posted by Momo Fali on May 25, 2010

I have five more work days until summer break starts. FIVE. I am excited about this for many reasons, but mostly because it will free up time to paint peeling ceilings and doors which dogs slam their noses into because they think they are ajar. Judging by the velocity at which our two dogs run into our storm doors, they clearly picture an enormous lamb shank on the other side.

I also work as a cook (read: lunch lady) in an old school with a single window air conditioner which blows out such a lack of cold air that we might as well have a politician standing in the corner. Or my hair dryer. Same difference.

I took the job because my son sometimes chokes when he eats, which has happened this school year exactly none times. I’m pretty sure my boss thinks it was a lie and that I really wanted to work there because I truly enjoy smelling like pepperoni.

There are benefits to my work outside of that choking thing and the fact that I have the same days off as my kids and never have to worry about child care. Mainly, that I can occasionally sneak a curly fry and that when we make green beans there is a veggie steam that coats my skin. That’s right. Free facial.

But, my house misses me. A lot. If I could read her emotions by looking at her cluttered basement or weed-filled flowerbeds I would see her crying. Crying like she just watched The Champ. She’s tired of her stained carpet and unwashed windows. I think my house would leave me for another owner if it could.

So I have started my list of summer chores. It’s long and ambitious, but I’m confident that I will have the energy and motivation to get some stuff done. If I can cook for 200 people in a kitchen that is to me what water was to the Wicked Witch of the West, than I can certainly get a few chores crossed off of my list.

Because even though my house is falling apart, the central air conditioning works like a charm.

Random Realizations IV

posted by Momo Fali on March 17, 2010

1. If you work in a school kitchen and introduce your seven year old son to some of the delivery people, you may find him telling the milkman all about his lactose intolerance.

2. When your husband quits his job and the next day he tears his calf muscle and needs an MRI and a walking boot and physical therapy, then two weeks later your son gets an ear infection, and a few days after that you get a sinus infection that requires five antibiotic pills that cost $178.00, you may find out that your husband’s former employer didn’t give him any grace period and instead canceled his health insurance the DAY HE LEFT.

3. And you may find yourself wanting to tell everyone you know what a horrible, greedy, downright nasty company for which your husband used to work.

4. Then you may consider using your blog for evil purposes.

5. Twitter and Facebook too.

6. If you spend months considering whether or not to have your hair shortened, and you finally muster the guts to have five inches cut off, it’s possible no one will notice.

7. Except for your husband.

8. And he knew you were going to get your hair cut.

9. If your family gets Super Mario Bros. for the Wii, you may find it brings about some extra-special, family bonding time.

10. Or, maybe everyone will just yell at each other a lot.

11. The DVR is the best invention ever, especially when you’re using it to fast forward through American Idol.

12. But, then you might get spoiled and think you can fast forward through your laundry.

13. And then you will be sorely disappointed.

Question of the Day

posted by Momo Fali on February 3, 2010

Do you ever wake up with a zit in your ear, a pulled muscle in your back from lifting a case of water and a nose that will not stop running no matter how many times you blow it, then notice that one of your favorite shirts has a hole in it and that your super-expensive work shoes are all scuffed up, and then you laugh as you think, “Who cares…I’m a lunch lady” and remember how, because of your line of work, you went to the grocery store yesterday with baked rotini on your forehead?

Yeah. Me too.