Tornado E leaves his lunch box at school a lot. About once a week. As someone who rarely misplaces an item, I get frustrated with that kid.
First, I sent him to school with a blue lunch bag on the days he didn’t have his lunch box. He would bring the lunch box home that day. But I ran out of blue lunch bags without realizing it. Then I sent him to school with Hello Kitty lunch bags with dire warnings on the bags. “Bring home your lunch box.” “Do you want more bags like this one? Bring home your lunch box.” “I have more bags like this. Bring home your lunch box.”
The first day he walked into school kinda sheepish. Until he saw his class and his best friend. Then he showed her the bag, and they both laughed. Did I ever mention that Tornado E‘s favorite color last year was pink? He used pink like a badge of honor.
Soon I was running out of Hello Kitty bags and contemplating buying plain old brown ones or sending Tornado E to school with grocery bags. Then a friend gave me a Hello Kitty lunch box.
The last Hello Kitty bag had a note that said, “Bring home your lunch box. We own a Hello Kitty lunch box.”
The next week Tornado E left his lunch box at school.
Me: You’ll have to take the Hello Kitty lunch box tomorrow.
Tornado E: No, Mommy! Please, no! I won’t do it again. Let me take a grocery bag, please.
That night I packed the boys lunches, debating. I’m not the type of parent who believes embarrassment is a good parenting tool. I’ll never be one of those parents that does those humiliating pictures of her kids on the internet. I don’t want him to be harassed or teased. But then Tornado E can handle mean things pretty well. The kid has sarcasm down to nearly an art. I did say I was going to do it, and I have to stick to every threat. Parenting is hard.
The next morning, during breakfast.
Me: Ok. Tornado E, you can take the grocery bag today, but next time, you will get the lunch box.
Tornado E: I knew you were bluffing.
Oh, Christ, kid. Learn to shut your mouth.
Me: Fine. Take the Hello Kitty lunch box.
I threw the lunch and note into the lunch box and zipped it up. I dropped the lunch box next to Tornado E’s plate.
After school assembly, I was telling my friend the whole story. She chuckled.
Friend: Don’t you hate punishing them when they act just like you.
First off, I don’t leave things behind. And second, … shuddup.