PB & J

Growing pains have again hit JB hard. She’s grown through two sizes of clothing over the last couple of months, and her knees do ache, a pain I am all too familiar with from my childhood, and I’ve showered her with sympathy for it.

But more notable than that is the growing pains that have left us all with bumps and bruises as she navigates the social pitfalls of first grade and discovers who she is and wants to be.

And not every moment has been pretty. Some have been awkward, others ugly and even sticky. Peanut butter sticky.

While prepping for a quick dinner before Team Olson broke for the evenings activities, I discovered that JB had not eaten the PB&J that she passionately requested for lunch that day (school had not yet gotten out). When asked why she didn’t eat it, she said she ‘wasn’t in the mood for it’ at lunch and went off to watch tv.

As everyone sat down to dinner, she plopped into her chair, looked at her sandwich and screamed “I AM NOT EATING THAT!”

“Whats up JB?” asked BW.

“I. AM. NOT. EATING. THAT. SANDWICH. I didn’t want it at lunch and I’m not going to eat it now.”

“JB,” I said “You requested that sandwich, I’m sorry that you aren’t in the mood for it, but we don’t waste food. Now, please eat so that we can get to dance on time. Thank you.”

She looked at me and replied acidly “I am NOT going to eat THAT sandwich.” She then picked it up, and squished and wrangled it until it looked like an unidentifiable blob of brown and red stickey goo.

It was on.

“JB. I’m sorry you chose to do that to your sandwich. Poor thing. I don’t believe that it wanted to be treated that way. That being said, it is still your dinner. We need to leave for dance in a short while, so please eat and then you can change and we can head out. We don’t want to be late, alright?”

She looked at her sandwich, grabbed a knife and in stabbing the table, repeated that she was not going to eat her sandwich.

Charles told her to leave the table alone, that it had done nothing to her and that she needed to sit down and eat dinner, or go to her room.

BW silently sat back and ate every bite of his dinner intently, eyes wide open and wondering what was going to happen next since this was such very very odd behavior from the normally ‘chill’ JB.

“Fine!” she said as she held her fists tight to her legs and stomped off to her room.

“Well. That was interesting! Is she gonna get it now?” exclaimed BW in an oddly quiet voice.

“BW, don’t be rude. We’ve accomodated your growing pains, that’s what we need to do with JB right now. Obviously she’s had a tough day and … “

and we were interrupted by JB slamming her bedroom door as she screamed “I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU MOTHER! I HATE ALL OF YOU!”

“OOOooohhhhhhh! She’s gonna get it now! Wow! Mama! did you hear what she said!?”

“Yes BW, I heard it.”

“I think the whole neighborhood heard it” sighed Charles as he finished his dinner and set his fork down.

After a few moments of quiet chatter, JB came into the dinning nook and sidling up to me said that she loved me, and that she was so very sorry.

“JB, I love you too, darling.

“How about if you have a seat, finish your dinner and we can head off to dance. We have to leave in 15 minutes so time is running out.”

Coldly, she dropped her arms and stepped away.

“You are trying to kill me aren’t you? You want me to starve to death. I am going to starve to death and it’s all your fault. You know that!? When I die because you didn’t feed me dinner, it will be ALL YOUR FAULT!”

She then began to writhe on the floor crying and yowling that we were trying to kill her, to starve her, that we hated her and we were enjoying her slow, painful death! “Of Starvation!”

It was with the final ‘Of Starvation!’ that Charles lost it and started laughing. Once he started, BW couldn’t resist and he quickly followed, and finally the laughter rose from my belly.

To this she stood up. Looked at each one of us and coldly, furiously stated through tight lips “I HATE ALL OF YOU. AND YOU JUST LAUGHED WHEN I DIED OF STARVATION!” and once again stomped up to her room.

“Don’t forget to change into your dance outfit!” I called up “We have to leave in 5!”

At this point, BW was sitting on the couch, thumbing through a magazine before he and Charles had to head off to scouts.

“I spent an entire day with only lunch once and I survived… “

True that BW… but we nearly didn’t.

To her credit, JB was in the car, dressed and ready, relaxed and telling jokes in five minutes time. And her dance session was a blast and we had a great time chatting on our way to and from it.

Even today, weeks after ‘the sandwich’ incident we laugh about it… Especially her. She brings it up by asking “Do you remember that night I was crazy!? Because of a SANDWICH!? What was THAT about?”

But she was right. She didn’t eat that sandwich for dinner.

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