Notes from the trenches
I always start out making my kids’ lunches with such high intentions. You know, creating little Bento-style bunnies made out of rice and carving roses out of radishes. And then I realize I have about five minutes to assemble lunches in the morning and that all goes right out the window. (For the record, I have never made a rice bunny. Not because I couldn’t do it, but because I don’t have that kind of time with three kids, one of whom still throws her meals on the floor, anyway.)
I bought them these awesome Planetbox Lunchboxes, which besides being adorable, are so easy to clean it’s ridiculous. I take them out, dump anything left inside and put them in the dishwasher every night. The next morning, I take them out and pack them. And who am I kidding — I like assembling the cool magnets on top every morning, it’s like my own little puzzle. But the “washing every night” part precludes me from making lunch at that time, thus going against every time-saving soundbite you hear about how to get out the door on time.
Last week, I decided I was going to cut each of the kids’ sandwiches with small alphabet cookie cutters and spell their names. I am crafty like that. I got halfway through Jack — that’s only two letters in, mind you — and hit my first roadblock. I didn’t have a C. I audibled and made one by cutting out a freehand half-circle. Score! Then I realized the E was also missing. Do you know how many Es there are in Emmie? Christ. So I took the W and turned it on its side. Just call me Martha Macgyver.
After painstakingly cutting the sandwiches, I literally threw some grapes, carrots and a cereal bar in the rest of the compartments and called it a day. I was feeling pretty clever, so I added a note for each of them to have a great day with a little smiley face. I zipped up the carriers and was dismayed to find my little sandwich shenanigans had cost me precious morning time. We need to leave by 8:30 a.m. if we’re walking and it was 8:29. Everyone was still in pajamas and Emmie’s hair was doing some funky flip in the front and would need to be ponytailed within an inch of its life.
Eh, so we drove. Everyone was dressed and ready within 15 minutes and we pulled up to school at a respectable 8:58 a.m. School starts at 9, so we weren’t technically tardy.
When the kids got home that day, I was all hopped up to see what they thought of their lunches.
“So, did you like the surprise in your lunch?” I asked Jack.
“You mean the note? That was cool, Mommy. Why don’t you do that every day?” he asked.
“Well, sure, there was a note. But what about the sandwich that spelled your name?”
“The sandwich spelled my name? I thought it was just pieces.”
Clearly, my efforts were for naught. He didn’t even notice. I felt like a middle-school girl trying to impress a freshman boy.
I turned my attention to Emmie. I asked her if she liked her name-wich.
“Mommy, you had the letters wrong. You had two Ws in there. I don’t have any Ws in my name, silly silly,” she scolded.
At 3 she’s a freaking linguist? Whatever. She can barely write the letter E, how does she know it’s a W?
No more cute lunches for them. Perhaps since Jack liked the note so much, I should focus my efforts there. I love this idea — maybe I could take it to a whole new level? My sandwich-making skills might be suspect, but I’m pretty sure I can write the hell out of a funny little note every morning.
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