The Best Idea He Ever Had

Monday is pizza lunch day at the elementary school, the only school without a cafeteria where one could buy lunch in a pinch. . . if, say, one overslept or forgot to get lunch meat, or just couldn’t fricking deal with the prospect of making that many goddamn sandwiches again. Therefore, Monday has long been our throw-money-at-the-kids-and-let-them eat-crap-at-school day.

When school started up again after the holidays, CC issued a mandate: each of the four kids who have not yet graduated will be responsible for making school lunches one day each week.

Monday plus 4 kids making lunches each one day a week translates into both of us getting a whole extra thirty minutes’ sleep in the morning. That’s almost better than sex.


It had to be a rule laid down by him. I never would have been able to make it stick. First off, they wouldn’t have believed me. Then, when they realized that I meant business, they would have been stuffing fistfuls of dry cereal (if there was any left) into sandwich bags and hurling them at each other on the way out the door going, “Here’s your lunch!”.

But now, the night before their allotted day, they make the sandwiches. They gather the snacks. They label the bags and put the cold things in the fridge. There have been some interesting but predictable occurrences. Like the lunchmaker gets the most coveted snacks. And how the day that we were nearly out of bread, #4 equally dispersed the hateful heels from two loaves of bread so that everyone got only one, and no one got stuck with two. Except for herself; she was exempted from heels and got the last two regular pieces of bread. She left one heel for CC and I to share for toast.

The bread hates you too.
The bread hates you too.

Last night #2 came into the living room full of angst.

#2: I would like to state for the record that I HATE that wheat bread for sandwiches!

Me: That’s what you said when I bought white bread! What do you want?

#2: Well, I like that OTHER white bread!

CC: I bought a loaf of that- it’s on the counter!

#2: I KNOW! That’s why I used it for my sandwich.

Me: And you used the hateful wheat bread for everyone else’s sandwich?

#2: Well, yeah. That way there will be more of the good white bread for my sandwiches later.

Me: When has that concept ever worked at any time for anything in this family?

#2: We’re out of goldfish.

My favorite part of this whole thing, maybe even better than the extra sleep, is what they’re writing on each other’s lunch bags.

In retrospect, it should have been obvious but we didn’t see it coming: My darling baby brother, Fart Face, Booger.

But #5, having Friday as his lunch-making day, has the entire week to think up retaliations for what his sisters write on his bag.

The girls underestimated him. My favorite last week was Don’t forget your ointment!


22 thoughts on “The Best Idea He Ever Had

  1. diabolical indeed! We definitely had that issue growing up – three girls, all determined to ensure themselves a larger portion of the favourite. And NOTHING packaged divides evenly into three, so SOMEONE is going to get an extra package of birthday cake dunkaroos. Challenge accepted 😉

    1. When I got home last night, the lunches were all laid out with the last of the homemade chocolate chip cookies divvied up. I really wanted one. So I took one out of #2’s bag and left a dollar in its place

  2. I love your family — seriously, you should write a book once they all graduate and fly the coop. But first, be sure you’re writing all this stuff down – -it’s like a modern-day, blended “Cheaper by the Dozen.”

    1. He wrote it on #3’s bag, who is a freshman. Who ate lunch that day with someone who did, in fact, hold it up to the cafeteria and shout “Hey look! She forgot her ointment!”

  3. Haha! Love it. what is it about the bread? My son is so picky about the kind of bread. If it’s even slightly more nutritious (wheat) he complains about it. Acts like I was asking him to eat broccoli or something.

  4. How old is #5? Because that is some adult level retaliation, is what that is! Bravo.

    And there is NOTHING better than an extra half hour of sleep. Not EVEN sex. That’s right, I said it.

  5. Don’t understand the prejudice with the heals. When I was eating lunch sandwiches at school we would fight for the heals; they were nice and chewy and had the distinct advantage of not becoming saturated with something really gooey like sardines.

  6. Sadly, I only have 4 – therefore I have a day missing.

    But I love the concept. This morning when I left the house one was in the shower, none had eaten breakfast and no lunches were made – and it was the second day of the school year.

    I ran away.

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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