Back to School and Why I’m No Fool

I stood at the bathroom sink on the first day of school, just staring down at the toothpaste and contact case in my hand.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how the two things worked together.  Did they?  Do I put one in the other? What the heck am I doing?  My brain is so fried….

Summer.  What did yours look like?  Was it an Instagram-worthy trip to the zoo and picnics in the park?  Or did you throw Cheerios at the kids, and shove them outside yelling “You can’t come in until lunch, pee in the bushes if need be!!”

We all know both scenarios happen.  C’mon on Mom’s and Dad’s, there’s no shame in our game, either way.  I started the summer with three kids, and by golly, when we walked to school that first day, in the torrential downpour, I counted that there were still three.  I’m calling it a win.

Of course there was fun.  We had pool passes, we went on vacation, we got a trampoline, we watched every episode of Chopped, we stayed up late, and we thankfully slept in.

It’s the other side of the tracks that we don’t like to talk about.  Really, because it makes us look like terrible parents.

“What do you mean you didn’t cry dropping your kids off?!

That’s so mean! Don’t you love them?!

They complete you, don’t you feel awful when they are gone because you miss them so much?!

What an awful Mom, I feel sorry for your kids!”

Yah….. How does that make me feel?  Oh, let me check.  Yah. Nothin. Nada. Zip.

Why? Because we persevered through summer.  We made it.  They are all still alive.  We made memories. We #nailedit.

And now

Off the clock. On sabbatical. Taking a siesta. WE’RE ON A BREAK!

Because of course we were down to the wire, on the final countdown, and they all started melting.  Anxiety, fear, bodily functions were happening that we don’t speak of.  And tears. So many tears.  Every darn thing.  I would just start to say ‘Sc…” and the tears came, someone peed their pants, and I start grabbing paper bags.

Scooter!  I was gonna say scooter! I swear!

And if I’m not scrambling enough to hold everything together in the final hours, then there’s scooter supply shopping, paperwork, 3 hair treatments, 2 days of conditioning the pool chlorine out, apple cider vinegar rinsing, blowing out, straightening, twisting, ugh, all the twist, hubby missing his train stop, dinner is burning, we’re racing around like tributes about to have their name called, and oh the crying, did I mention the crying?

There just weren’t enough margarita’s at that final summer dinner, to hydrate that fried brain of mine….  But I had one last bit of summer fun planned.  I had mustered just one last whoo ha of an idea, to end the summer with 5 big…fat…smiles.

I had all summer to think about it.  The worst part of our school morning, is lunches…. When I have to put the coffee down and make lunches every morning, I just die a little, every time.  I should be dead by now.

They all turn on me during the lunch-making.  Taking advantage of me when I have my coffee down. Jerks. They know where to hit me good.  It’s always with the coffee..

Well nope!  Not this year.  I’m gonna defeat those squealy little buggers AND I’m drinking my coffee while its still hot.


We spent some days practicing the new lunch routine, and we went all out.  We broke out the label maker, and the canning jars, and the step stools, and the cookies.  Always bribe them with cookies.

We took the kids to our final goodbye last night of summer dinner celebration, and when all the marga.., I’m mean meals were finished, we headed home for the big unveiling.

Dear hubby thought I was joking.  “What do you mean they are going to make their own lunches this year?! They can’t even walk down the hallway without breaking something or setting something on fire…”

Oh, ye of little faith.  How underestimated this #MOTY feels sometimes… I didn’t earn that title because I’m actually a good Mom…  It’s because I’m a genius. 🙂 duh.

We got home, I ushered the Hub’s to the kitchen, and we stood back and watched the magic happen.

And he laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed, and then he looked at me and laughed some more, and doubled over, and did that high pitched squeeky laugh thing he does, and laughed and laughed, until he died.

#NailedItWe labeled EVERYTHING..

We labeled EVERYTHING..


We made a Master List and hung it next to the counter.  It’s COLOR CODED.


 I spent just 15 minutes dividing up all the food into jars and containers.


 And this is the magic folks..  A 6 year old made this lunch.

Red peppers, carrots, string cheese, gf crackers, blackberries, hard boiled egg, sliced turkey breast, and turkish apricots.

I mean really.  Could it be much healthier? And he did it himself?!! Look at the smile on his face.  The pride in his accomplishment.  Some night we’ll video this so you can so the little clap and shimmy dance he does to get himself warmed up for lunch making.

And the best part? Its fool proof.  A whole week now, and the kids have made all their own lunches. We even broke the system Friday and let them make sandwiches for fun. Oh the glorious entertainment! We decided to do the lunch making at night before bed, because then Marty doesn’t have to miss watching all fun!  We stand back, give each other a little cheers of solidarity, and watch the fruit of our labor.

I’m dying a little….of the laughter.  Oh all the laughter from Hubby and I watching all the little minions smile and work in the kitchen.  They tell stories about what other kids at school say about their lunches, and hearing them respond “Hey, I made it myself!'” is music to a tired Momma’s ears.

This week menu options are:

Protein: Hard boiled egg and Lemon pepper turkey breast

Dairy: Cheese

Veggies: Broccoli, carrots, cucumber

Fruit: Blueberries, raspberries, pineapple

Grain: Cheddar gf crackers or Garlic and herb gf crisps

Treat: Turkish apricots or Salted Plantain Chips.




(Step-by-Step How-to nail lunch guide coming next!)

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