On the weekend, I was knee-deep in 5 loads of laundry when my son yelled down to the basement looking for his rubber worm Trashie character.
“Where is it, Mom?”
“No idea, where did you leave it?”
“In my pocket.”
“My shorts pocket.”
“The BROWN ones!” insert audible sigh here.
The shorts he was referring to were the very shorts that were now flipping around in a hot dryer. I found the shorts and sure enough, there it was, just where he left it. It was still intact, and much to my joy, finally clean.
I’ve been doing my family’s laundry for 12 years and I never check pockets. It’s not on purpose. Not some sort of lesson that they shouldn’t leave things in them – I just don’t do it. Once I’ve spent forever sorting the clothes into lights, darks, colours, towels, sheets and super-dirty, I just start tossing them in the machine.
It’s enough of a job just getting the clothes into the wash. Spend more time combing through everyone’s pockets? I’d rather have my fingernails pulled out.
Over the years I’ve washed rocks, gum, Lego figures, Bobby pins, shopping lists, loose change and dirt – Yep, sometimes the kids put dirt in their pockets. At least when I’m done with it, it’s clean dirt.
Gang, if you don’t want your precious items going through the wash, empty your pockets. ‘Nuf said.
At this point in the school year, I have made lunches for 8 months. Week after week. For two kids, that’s an average of 40 lunches a month, 400 lunches in a school year. That’s a lot of lunches. And the kids are sick of noodles, cheese sandwiches and wraps, and I’m sick of making them.
At the beginning of the school year, the kids and I make a list of 5 lunches they each like, as well as a list of healthy snacks. We write them down, pin the lists to the bulletin board and I rotate the items. The deal is, if they get tired of one lunch item, they need to come up with a new one. It works great until about October.
I don’t even know where that list is now. Probably behind the fridge or stuck beneath a pile of letters and permission forms. And when I ask them what they want, they reply, “I dunno, whatever.” Well folks, I’m fresh out of whatever. It’s like my brain has been sucked into a vortex and I can no longer think outside the box. And this coming from the parent who writes monthly columns for the school newsletter with new recipes to inspire other parents with healthy and exciting new lunch options. I’m telling you folks, I’m done.
If the Lunch Lady provided a 5-day lunch plan, I would sign up. I would. I would re-mortgage the house and sign up, just so I wouldn’t have to hurt my brain every morning trying to think up some new and exciting and healthy option for their lunches. Or listen to, “Not a cheese sandwich AGAIN!”
It’s not that I’m not creative, or don’t have an understanding of nutrition. I do. Check and check. It’s just that after 8 months of making kid-friendly lunches 5 days a week, I’ve hit the wall. I’ve hit it and slid down. It might be chicken nuggets for the next 7 weeks. I’m just sayin‘.