Where's Emily Post when you need her?

At my daughter's school, parents are welcome to come and have lunch with their children. I do this occasionally, but it's something of a treat for both of us when I can.

Lunch lasts all of 20 minutes. I spend it chatting with the Empress and her gaggle of friends. It always seems to be a big deal for the kids when a parent comes for lunch--no matter whose parent happens to show up. I guess the kids enjoy the diversion.

Recently, I've been hearing about lunches with the mom of one of my daughter's classmates. According to the Empress, this woman teaches some kind of "manners class." To the Empress' credit, she has very nice manners, but she--understandably--gets nervous when this woman is around. After all, this mom is a PROFESSIONAL!

Well....someone needs to tell Ms. Thang to get some manners of her own. Last week, she started critiquing my daughter's lunch. Apparently she's a vegetarian and she thinks everyone else should be one too. Oh...and she didn't approve of the cinnamon roll I gave the Empress for dessert. (I should note that the Empress eats two bites of anything and is finished--so getting a few calories into her is a major goal. It's not like she has a steady diet of Cinnabons....)

The Empress came home that day with her lunch almost completely intact. She was too intimidated to eat.

That was bad enough--but yesterday, the Empress told me that Ms. Manners stopped her as she was beginning to eat and asked her if she had said grace!

Once again, lunch came home almost untouched.

Now that's a bridge too far for me. Some stranger I've never even met is coming into a public school cafeteria and instructing my child not only on what to eat, but on her spiritual duties?!

Time to get creative, my friends. How should I handle this? (Short of pistols at dawn, of course...)