There's this kid on my lunch shift who has a ranch problem. All year long he's been pouring it all over his food. Sometimes he'll fill up a whole well in the cafeteria tray with it and eat it with a spoon. He spreads it on his bagels and dips pretty much everything in it. Sometimes I take his tray from him and spoon some out into the trash because I'd rather waste the "food" than have him eat it. He's been eating a little less recently; something I said must have sunk in, I don't know what. On Wednesday, a girl sitting at his table called me over:
Girl: Mrs Stripling! Xavier is being really disgusting and putting ranch on his french toast sticks!!
Me: Oh Xavier, come on, ranch isn't for everything.
Xavier: YES IT IS! I EAT IT ON SPAGHETTI! (He always shouts)
Me: (Sighing, sitting down next to him) Look, Xavier, I'm going to tell you this because I care about you, not because I want to be a meanie and take away your ranch. If you keep eating ranch at the rate that I see you eating ranch now, you are going to be at a serious risk for obesity, heart attacks, and diabetes when you grow up. Also, ranch has things in it that make ADD and ADHD worse for some kids, so you might even have trouble in school if you eat too much of it. So I'm not saying you can't eat it at all, but you just really have to slow down.
Xavier: OK HOW ABOUT ONCE A WEEK?
Me: That is great. Okay. Wonderful. I'm so happy.
I don't know what it was that made him think about eating it once a week, but I thought that was a good compromise. And guess what? He's been ranch free at school for two days, and he seems to be really proud of himself. I'm proud of him too. Even if he goes back to ranch next week, I think I can retire happily, knowing that this little hellion was able to tame himself for two days.