The Preoccupied Professor and the Lunchbox Mystification

He's in third grade now!

He’s in third grade now!  Yes those are Christmas lights.  Don’t judge.

Just when you almost forgot that I DO have another child…

While The Princess is thoroughly enjoying her rule over the kindergarten world The Professor is busy being a great big third grader.

And with being a big third grader comes big responsibility.

It IS a big adjustment.  Third grade is when kids start going to different classrooms for different subjects.  They also have to keep an agenda-which is a book that they write down work assignments and check them off when completed. A parental unit has to sign it.  This all fine and dandy, but that means that mom has to remember it.  This isn’t a big deal except on days that end in ‘y’.  Since Mom is busy being distracted by all things library related and son has his mind on other things like books and superheroes, things tend to be misplaced, forgotten, spaced off, etc…

We’ve already had several misunderstandings.  One had to do with his school pictures.  Every year I take the kids to get their pictures taken at SuperTarget.  After a lot of wrangling with my conscience decided that it was just too much to pay for botht he school pictures and the Target portraits.  I leveled with both of them, because I didn’t want them to feel left out when the other kids got their pictures back.  I told them that we would be going to get our pictures taken later on.  Later like in November.

The Professor took this to mean that he needed to go in early to get his pictures taken on picture day, because he thought that I would be picking him up later that day to get his pictures taken at Target.  He took it upon himself to go down to the gym and get his picture taken with the kindergarteners…

Yes you can’t make this stuff up, people!

catholicThis morning I started packing lunches when it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen his lunchbox since last week.  This really wasn’t a big deal, because he ate hot lunch Friday and Monday.  But it IS a big deal as far as his lunchbox has been missing that long, because his mother has not had enough brains to notice.  Ew.

I checked the kitchen table, under the kitchen table, next to the kitchen table, the cabinet that the kids are supposed to put their lunchboxes in after unpacking them, the trash, his hamper and his backpack.

(Don’t laugh at me about the hamper.  We’ve found some really interesting missing items in his hamper.)

The lunchbox was nowhere to be found.  I had to interrupt his breakfast so that he could perhaps shed some light on this situation.  He proceeded to check the kitchen table, the back porch, his backpack, and the back seat of my car.

“Oh well.  I must have left it at school, he said nonchalantly and returned to eating his Cheerios.  I’m sooooooo happy that he is so concerned about this.

I reminded him as he left that he would have to remember to look for it at school.  I was hoping that the fact that he was carrying the lunchbox he had in kindergarten would be a gentle reminder.  Just to be sure that he didn’t forget I emailed his teachers, asking them to please remind him to look for it.

After school I asked him about it as we were walking up to the library.  “Did you remember to look for your lunchbox?”

“Yes.  I checked the lost and found. Both of them.  I didn’t find it so I must have left it at the library.”  (Highly unlikely, but I was glad he at least looked at school).

Of course it was NOT at the library.  On the way home after library club, we discussed the seriousness of the lunchbox situation.  “I can’t afford to run out and buy you a new lunchbox right now.  I don’t really understand how a batman lunchbox with your name written on it in five places can simply vanish into thin air anyway.  You’ll have to take your Cars lunchbox for now.”

He was really upset about that.  “Ok.”

We pulled into the driveway, and The Princess hopped out of the car, lugging her flowered backpack behind her.  The Professor got out lugging nothing behind him.

“WHERE IS YOUR BACKPACK????”  I hollered.

“Uh-oh, I must have left it at the library.  Drat.”  Because his mother is a moron who doesn’t notice things, I didn’t see the fact that he wasn’t wearing anything on his back when we departed the library.

And don’t you love the fact that he says DRAT??? That’s my boy!

I drove back to the library, muttering under my breath the whole time.  The Professor ran in, grabbed his backpack and we returned home, with the backpack but still sans lunchbox.

I took one last chance-I looked in the cupboard and pulled out both baskets of lunch containers, perused the dirty as well as the clean laundry stacked on the back porch.  I even checked the other cupboards just in case.  No lunchbox.  At that point I simply gave up.  It wasn’t ever going to turn up.

But then my mind worked its crazy magic.  As I was cooking supper, a thought occurred to me.  I knew exactly where his lunchbox was, and told him to go look for it.

Sure enough he found it, under the couch…

This post has been brought to you by an absent-minded mother, an even more absent-minded child and a really stinky container of ranch dressing left in a lunchbox under a couch for five days…

Yes THIS couch, the dog eating one...

Yes THIS couch, the dog eating one…

50 thoughts on “The Preoccupied Professor and the Lunchbox Mystification

  1. This brings back LOTS of memories. My kids used to take their lunch boxes to school every day. Of course there was always a thermos filled with milk. Sometimes they would forget to bring the lunchbox home. For a week! There is nothing worse than 7 day old curdled milk at the bottom of a thermos. Mostly though my youngest son conveniently “lost” his lunch boxes over and over again….funny post, Sarah! I can almost smell the sour milk from the thermos all the way over here!

  2. Wait. How did it get under the couch? Yikes! My kid is only four, but already he comes home, thinking “I brought you something” and the “something” is never there. Ugh to the days of lost lunch boxes and backpacks. Also? I think every mom would forget…

    • Our couches have a large amount of space underneath. He probably came home and took his lunchbox out of his backpack, set it on the couch, knocked it off and under because he was looking at something else…

  3. My TBP is in third grade now too and I agree that it is the big time compared to second grade. A whole lot of personal responsibility and new rules that mine isn’t loving!

    I so get frustrated about the backpack thing!! We also struggle with getting completed homework out of the folder and to the teacher!!

    You should check out the post I did tonight called Adaptation of My Tater- I think you will appreciate it! 🙂

  4. I can’t tell you how many things my oldest lost while in elementary school. Then in middle school, we visited his locker one day. Besides the 20 bottles of water that had a sip taken out of each that fell out of the locker, the stench was unreal. Just use your imagination on that one.

    I LOVE the Cars lunch box idea. Keep it handy as the thought of having to take that one may embarrass him enough to keep track of Batman!

  5. You found it! I’d call that a great success.

    When my son was in third grade I was talking to the principal about what a big change 3rd grade is and he said that through 2nd grade they learn to read, starting in 3rd grade they read to learn. I loved that and never forgot it.

  6. This is my daughter’s first year bringing lunch, and we’ve already misplaced the lunchbox at daycare. Nothing worse than sorting through 2-day-old lunch leftovers….. ew is right!

  7. We have been struggling with remembering stuff too. My middlest forgot her math workbook so she couldn’t do her homework. My oldest left her completed math homework at home one day and, then, she forgot to bring her math homework home. Just now realized it was all math – maybe that’s a sign . . . . .

  8. I agree with Deb, the professor is very cute indeed. His expression on that photo just melts my heart. I had a similar episode on this the first week of school, when not one, but, check it out, three pairs of shoes went missing at school. It turned out to be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen (first daycare center transporting them with the aid of Four Year Old to second school and my MIL getting involved). Glad I didn’t embarrass myself yesterday checking every single one of the bins and asking son’s teacher to take me to the lost and found box…

  9. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up: The Deadly Artificial Color Version | The Sadder But Wiser Girl

  10. I will absolutely be the mom who can’t find her kid’s shit. I can’t find my own. Or my husband’s, who seems to think that I’m the keeper of his stuff. Boy, is he confused.

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  12. LOL! So glad I read this today. I picked Christopher up from school on Friday and we went out of town and didn’t come back until late that night. So that means not only have I not signed the notebook, his lunchbox is still in there. Ewww.

  13. I LOVED reading this post! Your son reminds me of so many wonderful, talented students I’ve taught! Don’t worry about the organization, that’s what personal assistants and secretaries are for…

  14. Loved this post! So true and so funny! My oldest just started 3rd also and, yes, lots of changes to get used to! We haven’t lost lunchboxes (yet) but my pet peeves are lost jackets (lost 2 last year) and leaving their water bottles at the bottom of their backpacks where they leak and soak important papers. H-E-L-L-O! There’s a bottle holder on the side for those, Einstein! GAH.

    • My son had two of those on his old backpack and he never used them! HA HA! There was one day last year when I couldn’t figure out why his backpack was so heavy. I opened it and there were FIVE sweatshirts in there. I guess it pays to check your kid’s backpack!

  15. Before I had kids, I hardly ever lost or forgot about anything. I had “systems” in place. Now I constantly forget everything. I forget appointments. I forget why I even went into a store. I forget to mail letters, and yes I forget about my son’s lunchbox at preschool. I can’t even imagine how I would function if we had TWO kids! Great post!

  16. Oh I do love you! This post is awesome because it is my life. Only I’m the one who knows where everything is. The husband on the other hand?Wife, have you seen my watch, phone, keys, wallet, socks, shoes, tennis racquet?

  17. Miss Gremlin is trying so hard not to use the lunch box she had last year. There’s nothing wrong with it, she chose it. It’s not too young for her. She just wanted something else. but I said no, this is fine. I am waiting for it to ‘accidentally’ get lost though. but while the new food thermos is safely inside it Im hoping we’ll make it through the year. Kids are funny little creatures!

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