Cat in the Hat Redux

My second attempt at a Cat in the Hat bento lunch is meant to be the thingamajigger, Nick, and Sally from the Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That (a series on PBS). I know it’s a stretch.

Turkey sandwich decorated with red and orange pepper, a grape, and goldfish cracker; babybel cheeses and greens.

As expected, my son asked for a Cat in the Hat lunch the day after I made him the original. I begged him off by saying we couldn’t do the same thing every day. He then proposed we do it once a week. He is so rational, and so darn cute, that I had to agree.

He had big ideas for the lunch, wanting to include about 7 different things from the show. I started to worry that whatever I came up with was going to disappoint him and his grandiose vision. Four-year-olds do not always take disappointment well. I decided to involve him in the process, hoping it would soften the blow.

First I had him trace the largest bento box we have to show him the limited space we had to work with. It didn’t seem to make much of an impression. Next, I made a crude sketch of the thingamajigger. I cut out the shape so we could see how it fit in the box. He decided to trace the cut-out instead of having me tape it in our bento-shape. I was happy he was finding ways to participate.

When we finally made the thingamajigger out of food (mostly red and orange peppers), I wasn’t pleased with the result. I admit, I felt daunted and I think it showed.

Thingamajigger Comparison

Next he wanted to make Nick and Sally. I had seen really cute babybel people on pinterest (they originally came from the Cute Food for Kids blog). They didn’t look like Nick and Sally, per se, but they did look like people and I had babybel on hand.

I could tell my son wasn’t pleased with the way the lunch had turned out. But, he didn’t have a huge tantrum about it. I think because I involved him in the process, he saw compromises along the way that led up to the final product. As I dropped him at school the next morning he said, “Well, next time we’ll do better.” That’s the spirit.

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