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4-Letter Word

September can make us wish we’d never had kids nuts.  It’s a busy month filled with constant badgering for pricey new clothes, school supplies, and overdue car payments. I find it hard to keep my AA promise head on straight.  Worse than the financial ruin though, is the 4-letter word (well, seven) that often leads to divorce: lunches. Oh look! A hive…

I didn’t always feel this way. In fact, when the boys started kindergarten I took great pleasure in making their lunches. Each evening, I would lovingly prepare sandwiches, wash fruit, and make tiny, hand-painted piñatas filled with home made, gluten-free organic granola. Once the lunch was nestled snugly in Thomas the Tank lunch bags, I would write a little love note (Have a fun day. Love, Mom.) on their napkins to encourage reading.   The entire process took 3 hours but being totally hammered made it fly by.

Over the years I slowly lost my mind enthusiasm. It became increasingly difficult to stay sober keep lunch stuff in the house and by the time Friday rolled around, I was putting things like croutons, uncooked rice, and staplers in their lunches.

It was definitely taking a toll on me. All I could think about was lunches and what to put in them.  This one didn’t want ham.  That one wanted fresh Alaska snow crab legs and beef tenderloin with a side of foie gras. At the end of every school day, my first question wasn’t: “How was your day?”  Or “Did you get bullied again?” but rather, “Did you eat your lunch?”  If the answer was, “No, I ended up going to Subway. My tuna sandwich is rotting in my book bag. When’s supper?”, I dropped to the floor wailing whatever I was doing, lunged over the counter, rifled through their book bag, grabbed the neglected mayonnaise-laced sandwich and screamed, “Put this #$!!ing thing in the fridge before it goes bad! That’s tomorrow’s lunch!” It was time for a family meeting.

The family meeting gave me an opportunity to talk to the wall express myself: “Hey guys. Listen. I know I’ve made your lunches for years and it’s totally my fault that I’ve spoiled you but I just can’t do it anymore. I’m exhausted and addicted to pain killers.  I need some help around here ok?”  Their response was unanimous: “Can you turn up the TV?”  Buoyed by their support I threw myself down the stairs together their lunch and for old times’ sake, I included a little note:

I hate to tell you this via napkin, but your father and I have been arguing so much over whose turn it is to make lunches that we decided to settle it by a legal separation.  We will share custody and lunch-making 50/50. This is good news for you: you will still get your sandwich every day. Have a fun day. Love, Mom

 

 

 

PS This is all your fault.

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8 thoughts on “4-Letter Word

  1. So sorry to hear of your separation, but lunches can do that. Lucky for us bringing a lunch is considered the ultimate in humiliation at our high school so no lunch, no divorce lawyer, phew! Loved it Co!!

  2. i hated making lunches…so in grade 11, i said “you have to do your own laundry”…Oh I hated doing their laundry to. thanks for the giggle!

  3. My boys aren’t even teens and I have a secret cupboard stashed with lunch stuff. That way, they won’t starve on Friday. Instead their mother falls asleep misses the bell for pick up time!! I. Hate. Lunches.

  4. Sadly I have sole custody of lunch making but to save my sanity… i don’t ask if they ate their lunch or not. If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat whatever is available… if not,,, they’ll have to wait for supper or the next snack time which is usually less than a half hour after their main meal. :o) Another great story Colleen… love it!

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