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…

The ADD Leading the ADD: Is There Hope for the Future?

You know, this house is full of ADD people.  Many days I really think it’s the proverbial blind leading the blind.  I’m surprised we all get out of bed in the morning and get out of our house with clothes on, let alone function like normal people.

Case in point-lunchboxes.  It’s bad enough that the Professor is severely ADD.  What’s worse is that his Mom is right there with him.  On Friday he came home without his lunchbox.  I did not notice this.  I went all weekend and didn’t notice this.  On Monday we looked at the menu and decided that he would do his one day of hot lunch that day since it was chicken strips.  It was then that he informed me that he never brought his lunchbox home.  We talked about it, and he agreed that he would make sure to bring it home.

That afternoon he comes home and tells me that he still forgot to bring his lunchbox home, as well as his take home folder.  Ok.  Late last night I emailed his teacher and asked her to please remind him to put his lunchbox back in his backpack.  This morning I threw together his lunch in a Target sack-a peanut butter sandwich, raisins, and almonds.  Lunch of champions, I tell ya.  I open up his backpack to stick it in and find HIS LUNCHBOX.  Why did he tell me he forgot it?  And why did I believe him?

After he left I saw I had a new email. It was from his teacher, it said “I put it in his backpack yesterday, did it not come home?”  Ah.  That explained it.  He had no idea it was in there.  I’m sure she told him.  I’m sure he forgot since he didn’t put it in there himself.  I sheepishly fired an email back telling her that I did not physically check it.

This IS the child whose backpack I didn’t check for awhile because we have always had him put anything important in a folder.  After several reminders, he knows to bring us the folder.  And to put his lunchbox on the counter.  One day last year I noticed his backpack was getting pretty bulky.  I opened it and pulled out five sweatshirts.

There are a lot of things that happen that are purely my fault around here, simply for me not thinking to double check on stuff that he does.  One of the jobs we have him do around the house is take the frozen groceries down into the basement and put them in the big freezer.  That’s not complicated.  I assumed that he could do it by himself.  However, one time he left the freezer door standing wide open.  Overnight.  Thank goodness it was pretty much just bread in there.  I don’t know why I’m worried, I think that freezer has a force field around it.  This is the freezer that you bet I’ll climb in if we are ever attacked.  It survived the basement flood.  It floated in several feet of water, and somehow continued to work.

The kid gets it from both sides.  I was diagnosed with ADD in 2003.  My husband has never officially been diagnosed, but he’s a classic case.  Another absent minded professor.  You may recall a previous post where he had every lunch container we owned at work.  He brought home a bag full of them, finally!

I am really dreading The Professor’s eye appointment coming up in a couple of weeks.  He has lazy eye.  He has been wearing glasses for a couple of years to try to correct it, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.  That might have something to do with the fact that he was without glasses on and off over this time.  There for a while we were going in to get his glasses fixed almost weekly.  Medicaid doesn’t exactly give you high quality frames.  My mother finally helped us buy a pair that was considered indestructible.  He broke those too.  At one point he had one pair broken and one pair missing a lens.  After a lot of stress, we were finally able to get the one glasses lens replaced and the other pair of glasses replaced entirely thanks to a very understanding lady at the eye place.  She took one look at the good broken glasses and said, “I’m going to replace those for you.  That shouldn’t happen!”  Now he has two pairs of glasses, and the replacement pair has remained intact.  However he looks right over the top of them.  He was also given an eye patch that he was supposed to wear for an hour a day at his last appointment.  That lasted a little while.  Of course now it’s lost somewhere in the house.  It has been for awhile.  I have looked EVERYWHERE.   I kept thinking that I needed to call the eye doctor and get a new one.  And I kept forgetting.  Now it’s been a couple of months and his appointment is coming up.  I am embarrassed to take him and tell the doctor the truth:  That I do not have a brain.

Glasses and our family are not friends.  I have needed glasses since the 4th grade.  I have a slight astigmatism/nearsightedness and basically need them to read stuff far away.  According to the DMV, I don’t even need them.  This is probably a good thing, since I can’t seem to hold on to a pair.  I calculate that I have lost at least five pairs of prescription sunglasses.  I also lost my favorite glasses.  These were a pair of nifty looking plastic frames that I got as a freebie with my expensive transition lens wire frames I got a couple of years ago.  Transitions are great, but not for driving, because they don’t really darken in your car. I have very light eyes, and get headaches when I don’t wear dark sunglasses.  So I also had a pair of prescription sunglasses for driving, which of course I lost.

I currently use a pair of purple plastic sunglasses that cost $5 at Walmart to drive.  And then I just forget to put my glasses on.  And I wonder why I miss stuff.

My wedding ring is also missing.  Again.  It’s in our house somewhere.  Since it is “pokey” (as my daughter would say) I have to take it off when I sleep so I don’t slice my face open when I sleep.  So I’m sure it’s either in my bedroom because it got knocked off the nightstand, or in the living room taken off when I attempted to take a nap.  I sure hope the dog hasn’t eaten it.  He eats dental floss and dryer lint, why not wedding rings too?  I am glad my husband isn’t easily offended.  Of course he can’t talk-he used to work in a factory where if he wore a wedding ring there would be danger of his finger being torn off.  So every day he would put it in his pocket.  And forget about it.  I would wash his pants and it would come flying out of the dryer.  It became the running joke between us for the duration of his time at that job.  If we had money, I’d ask him to buy me a wedding band for our anniversary, that way I wouldn’t take it off.  I want a Lord of the Rings looking wedding band, but I’m afraid of the side effects.

I’m thinking another great invention for ADD people would be things that you just can’t off.  Glasses, wedding rings, etc.  We sure would lose them a lot less.

The Princess may be our very own Obi-Wan Kenobi.  She may very well be our only hope. She seems to have escaped the curse thus far.  She’s pretty on top of things.  I’m not saying she’s not going to have other issues, but at least she may be able to not be distracted by everything she sees.  I hope she doesn’t “develop” it later on.

Sigh… oh to just be able to pass as normal.  It’s never going to happen.  So bear with me.  I really try.  I really will keep trying when I remember to.  Just don’t hate my kid.  It’s not his fault, it’s all mine.  Don’t worry because I worry about it plenty (anxety, remember?)