Stinky cheese.

image.axd (1) When I bring Tornado to kindy (where he seems to be much less of a tornado boy from what I hear, go figure..) I always glance briefly at the many banners and signs that are up on the doors, walls, windows and any available surface all over the place. There are “101 ways to encourage a child”, “be kind, make friends, have fun” and other admittedly noble reminders of how ideally teachers, parents and children should interact to thrive in this environment. Obviously, there are also lots and lots of artwork and crafts by the kids, and even some foreign language signs, some of which I must really think to have them correct some time… (‘cold storage room’ is just not the same as ‘fridge’, even in German).

Already at the main door, one of the banners says “Celebrate Your Uniqueness!” with the obligatory collection of multicultural kids smiling at you. So there.

Now let’s talk about lunchtime. I was a bit disappointed really, to understand that there is no canteen in kindy, and that even in school there will probably be more a tuck shop solution, meaning that kids bring their lunch boxes with cold food everyday. Having grown up with school only until noon (at least for primary school) and after living in France, where the bad canteens are basically what makes every child appreciate ‘la cuisine de maman’, I just assumed there would be cooking involved in full day care.

Well, there is not, so like any other mom in Oz, I am trying to find a balance between a healthy sandwich, fruit, yogurt, and some sort of treat for my boy. We bought a Ninja Turtles Lunchbox (his choice) and I am boxing and chopping and most importantly, varying the food as best as I can.  Did I mention he goes only 2 days a week? It actually already takes a lot out of me on those days.

So I was thrilled when one morning he asked me to put ‘stinky cheese’ on his sandwich! Great! My little gourmand is making choices, and I guess my inner Eurosnob rejoices over the fact that at 4 he enjoys cheese that many adults are too scared to even try. Our ‘stinky cheese’ is only a rich Danish Blue, but I can’t get much here and it’s our yummy little treat while the rest of the family is having mild ‘Tasty’ or ‘Colby’.

bluecheese-saintagurThat day in the car, I am asking my usual questions, never very fruitful – “How was your day? Did you have fun? Who did you play with ?” etc and after the usual teenage style short answers to everything, when I ask about lunch, he says ” The teacher said my sandwich smelled like vomit!”

I almost stopped the car. What the .. ??
Talk about multicultural experiences at kindy, yeah ?

Of course, I asked them about it the next time I brought him in. They denied the whole story and came up with something about some other child who had been sick – right  at lunchtime! Oh, it was bad! – and then there must have been some confusion and maybe another child said something about the smelly cheese to Tornado ? blabla..(Nervous laugh)

Yeah, I don’t think so. See, my son only just discovers the concept of lying, and he’s not yet very good at it. He wouldn’t have told me anything like that unless it happened.

I sort of laughed it off, but I am a bit…yeah, stinky about it still. It’s not like a blue cheese is this extremely exotic food, is it ? But then, there wouldn’t be used to much variation, because there really isn’t much multi-culti going on at our kindy. Our shiny new suburb just doesn’t have many ethnicities. There might be, at the most, a family of ABCs (Aussie born Chinese), somewhere I have seen two African kids, and there is one Aboriginal child around too. Not very representative for this country really. Not yet.

But what when one day some Asian kid brings in some really spicy homemade food that would certainly look very different – and smell ! – than what we get served in the take-aways that are already well installed in the neighbourhood by the way. Because we all like a bit of exotic food from the box at times, don’t we ?

I am just thinking that the kindy teachers need to re-study their educational banners a bit more, if they can’t even handle some stinky cheese.


Know your Blue Cheese – yum !

11 thoughts on “Stinky cheese.

  1. amandab75

    Princess loves her blue cheese and has been eating it since before she turned one. Yes, eating blue cheese does seem to be unusual in Oz, particularly with young children, but she loves it (although she did call our soft washed rind cheese that we bought “stinky” and won’t eat it).

    We go to farmers markets every fortnight and the cheese sellers there love her and are amazed at her tastes. She has become friendly with one of the stall holders and they always have a good chat and give her something new to try. We can spend $30 a fortnight just buying her the cheeses for her lunch platter! But, I don’t think she will be getting to take them to school, (would hate to think what they would be like by lunchtime!).

    The food thing is different at different centres. My girl goes to Kinder but stays the whole day for childcare (to give me a break and to give her some time with other kids). At her centre they do morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, they may even do breakfast for the kids who get there early, I am not sure. It was the same at her last centre too, but I do have friends at different centres who have to send in their own food.

  2. kaykay

    i can’t really afford the cheeses i’d like to eat myself and in our ‘burbs they’re a bit hard to come by too. tornado has a taste for savory things and i am trying to encourage that, they’ll discover their favorite candies on their own..
    i know some day care centers provide food, but i think it’s all just cold too.
    also of course they have a big fridge for the lunch boxes, the aforementioned ‘cold storage room’. (it’s tornado’s job to hand out the boxes at break time it seems). i questioned him what other kids have in theirs and he told me “Tom has Pizza for breakfast every day!!” I really don’t feel I’m doing too bad.

  3. Jen

    My sons friend at school told him that his salami sandwich stank! Luckily my boy didn’t care too much what he thought and kept eating it anyway 😉 he also soon found other kids with stinky salami sandwiches :). Perhaps pull the multicultural poster down anx put if in the Lindy teachers hands next session 😉

    1. kaykay

      yeah, I probably should. but i was already embarrassed enough by the fact that I could just TELL they were lying about the incident. (i could hardly start a fight about it though, in KINDY!).
      no, I’ll get my revenge soon pointing out all those French and German labels that contain errors and are proudly sticking everywhere. Eurosnob revenge is sweet.

  4. disydoit

    absolutely they need to get some manners. I suspect that they probably learned a lesson about how a child can repeat what they say to their parents. And that is does not reflect well on their professionalism.
    At sons child care the staff were just so young and immature. I would hear them saying things to the other kids that they wouldn’t say in front of their parents.

    1. kaykay

      actually, it’s funny, in our centre the young girls are very sweet and attentive. the older chicks rule the place though with a little bit of tough love at times and seem to have picked up a few bad habits.. or forgot the rules that hang on every wall..

  5. Being Me at Sunny Side Up

    That is really disappointing, isn’t it? And I’m with you – yeah, right, your boy got it wrong… Like you say, they’re only just discovering ‘lying’ at this age (my daughter is same age) and don’t know how to cover up and, besides, he wouldn’t really understand what’s right/incorrect to say. Sounds like, neither does his kindy teacher.

    1. kaykay

      yeah, see i KNEW he was making it up when he told me he hit a girl with a book, and she had to go home and the police came and arrested him during the day… (just to be sure, I enquired about it and it was just a minor accident and the girl was being picked up anyway) but this was very obvious. but of course i could also not tell them to their face “liars! liars!”.. i mean it’s kindy but we’re supposed to be the grownups there…

  6. sherms

    I’m Singaporean-Chinese and I can guarantee you your statement about some Asian kid showing up with more ..exotic.. cuisine being absolutely right. Laughs. Like century-egg porridge.

    It’s a pity the teachers’ aren’t more tactful and open. Especially when food can be such a great stepping stone to learning about another person’s culture.

    On a side note, this post and your other post of fairy tales made me think of Lane Smith & David Scieszka’s book: “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales”. It amused me to no end when I was a kid!

    1. kaykay

      🙂 yes someone else mentioned ‘The stinky cheese man…’ too, I must get it, my son will absolutely love it, especially since he is ‘Stinky Cheese Boy’ lol

  7. Pingback: Bean Boozled–I never liked jelly beans anyway. | Suburp

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