Big Mama Blog

Beware the roaming band of lunchbox thieves

Yesterday morning I woke up and poured Caroline a bowl of cereal and then began to make her lunch. The making of the lunch has become an increasingly tedious task ever since she declared she is tired of sandwiches. There are only so many other options in lieu of a sandwich and I don’t know why she has to mess with history and basic science.

And so while I threw some peanut butter and crackers together along with some blueberries and anything else I could find in a package in the pantry, Caroline walked into the kitchen and laid her head down on the counter and announced her stomach didn’t feel good at all.

So I found myself on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, she’s not one to necessarily fake an illness. But on the other hand, I think having a day off on Monday gave her a taste of the good life and she wasn’t necessarily thrilled to come home with a bunch homework on Tuesday. Not to mention, she’d also lost her second lunchbox in a three week time period, which led P and I to have a discussion with her about personal responsibility and caused her to wail, “Great, now I’ll be the girl with the brown paper bag at school.”

Fortunately, P drove her up to the school on Tuesday evening just to make sure she hadn’t overlooked her lunchbox while leaving the playground as opposed to her theory that someone is “STEALING people’s lunch boxes at school”. Yes. Because why wouldn’t a band of thieves want to steal containers full of leaked remnants of pineapple juice and four stale Doritos?

In what she declared to be a MIRACLE, her lunchbox was indeed sitting on a bench on the playground. So perhaps the thieves just ate those four stale Doritos and put the lunchbox back where they found it.

But back to yesterday morning because I have wandered. She said her stomach was bothering her and she couldn’t risk the humiliation of throwing up at school. And, listen, I get that. I have thrown up publicly a few times in my life and it’s never an experience that leaves you feeling good about yourself. So I gave her a Pepto-Bismol and told her we could wait and see if it made her feel better and then just get to school late. In the meantime, we headed to the couch where I suggested she lay down and I began to check email and other important things like the stock market and perhaps – okay fine – I was totally checking out What Kate Wore because Kate and William are in the middle of their New Zealand tour with Baby George who is just the cutest and, frankly, I can’t get enough. I may have even watched some video feeds of them getting off the plane.

Anyway, after about ten minutes of lying on the couch, Caroline asked if she could go get her Kindle and read and I pulled the classic mom maneuver and said, “Well, if you don’t feel good enough for school then you probably just need to lie still on the couch and close your eyes”. Lo and behold, in what was our second miracle in a 24 hour period (the lunchbox being returned by the thieves being the first) Caroline decided about five minutes later that she could manage to make it through a day of school. I’m not sure if it’s because the medicine kicked in or the realization that she was in for a day chock full o’ boredom.

Thankfully she made it through the day at school without incident and even requested Luby’s for dinner after soccer practice. Nothing says full recovery like the LuAnn with fried fish with tartar sauce and macaroni and cheese.

One more thought from the day because at this point there’s no use in pretending this isn’t just a bunch of discombobulated observations, and really this next part is almost like a word problem. As I was driving to pick up Caroline and her friends from soccer around 7:15 last night, I passed by a house and noticed a girl who appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties wearing a bathing suit and talking to someone on her front porch. And I had a moment of envy where I wondered when the last time was that I had enough free time to be in my bathing suit on my front porch on a school night at 7:15.

Then I remembered that I am forty-three, so the bigger question is probably when was the last time I would have been willing to stand on my front porch in my bathing suit while cars drove by?

And the answer is somewhere around 1992. Which just happens to coincide with the last time I had enough free time to be in my swimsuit at 7:15 on a school night.

Problem solved.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter


  1. 1

    I can totally sympahize with Caroline about throwing up in public. I got that squeazy feeling yesterday ajd left work early. As i was walking away from the hospital to the parking garage, it hit me…. and didnt stop. I was on the catwalk… meaning not only people that i was unaware of walking by me were watching but also very likely the cars driving by under the catwalk. Grr. It didnt stop there. Every 5th step all the way to my car. The bad thing about puking as an adult is that i revert to when I was 10, want my mommy, and have tears and snot all the place. Its a total body experience. It made me reflect upon what you said at Mentoring Moms Monday night at OHC.. oh great, I wont be able to eat grilled chicken on salad for a while and how the heck will I be able to drive home like this. Right before giving myself my own personal peptalk about how I can make it, I look down and realize there was a ton of splashback on my pants and shoes. Fail. Now i get to fight back smelling that all the way home. I did empty ourt one of my daughers bags and keep it near for the ride… and i made it home.

  2. 2

    Our house has had similar miracles of improved health after a few minutes of resting only. Remarkable! :)

  3. 3

    Welcome to my world with the school lunch situation. My boys declared sandwiches were DEAD to them 2 YEARS ago, so I feel your pain. I usually get up, throw some mini corn dogs or chicken nuggets in the oven, and let them cook while we get ready. I put it in thermos’s and send them on their way! The only thing about that is…if someone “steals” Caroline’s lunchbox with a nice warming thermos, they’ve hit the jackpot of lunch boxes. Let’s just say I’ve had to replace a few of those and the makers of them value their work.

  4. 4

    I am fascinated by someone who not only has the confidence to stand on their porch at 7:15 on a school night in a bathing suit but the seemingly reckless burden that puts on the person they are conversing with. Is it discussed in conversation right away as in, “Oh, hi, Sue, sorry for my bathing suit, I was just…”?? Or is it completely bypassed as normal that someone would choose this attire and then stand on their porch leaving themselves open to neighborhood callers? Like those adults who choose to wear pajama pants in public. And not just plaid or solid color pajama pants that in a COMPLETE stretch of your merciful imagination could pass as yoga pants, but the pants with Sponge Bob all over them or cats riding bicycles. Ok. I forgot what I was commenting about…but I do remember I enjoyed your post!

  5. 5

    YUM! A LuAnn plater of fried fish and mac-n-cheese is truly the best! There’s just something about it that says “home” :) Glad to hear Caroline’s health has returned :)

  6. 6

    Swim goggles. My son’s swim goggles grew legs about every 2-3 weeks for MONTHS, until I told him that the next pair he lost would be replaced with ones purchased with his allowance money. Magically, that pair lasted six months before they broke, and THAT pair lasted four months before he lost them. Amazing how that worked…

    Glad the stomach bug wasn’t a stomach bug.

  7. 7

    the lunchbox bandits have struck in michigan too.

  8. 8
    Kimberly M. says:

    Well, in my experience of the B/CS Luby’s, I am thinking that eating there is definitely sign of a strong stomach…YUCK! LOL Although, my husband and son love it so who am I to quibble over such delicate tastebuds? ;-)

  9. 9

    Just wait until you’re older and you forget to try and remember when the last time was you’d even consider wearing a swim suit ANY where. Unless, of course, some witty and wise Texas lady shares her observation that swim suits are worn outside the confines of one’s own bathroom and challenges you with a word problem — the very exercise memory experts . . .wait, what was the question?

  10. 10

    Here at my house, my 16 year old prefers the “brown paper bag” of horror! One less thing he has to carry home! My 14 year old daughter on the other hand, went out the door this morning with a brown bag of shame because her lunch box is “missing”…she was not happy about it!

    We should probably get the FBI to draft up some type of criminal profile on these lunchbox thieves so we know what to look out for!

  11. 11

    Glad to hear that Caroline has experienced such miraculous events in the past few days ; ) I almost cried when I read she wanted Luby’s for dinner. I was born in SA and so many of my most precious childhood memories involve going through the line with my grandparents and being told not to “let my eyes be bigger than my tummy.” Oh the yumminess…thanks for the walk down memory lane!

  12. 12
    Amanda R. says:

    I got sick on the streets of Vegas once. It was horrible. There is only one thing people think when you throw up in Vegas and it is not, “oh, that poor girl has the flu.” Their judgement was even stronger than the food poisoning.

  13. 13
    Melissa s says:

    Love Luby’s. We don’t have them anymore!!!(in Nashville)

  14. 14

    Well. Thank you for linking to what Kate wore. I was unaware of this site! This should fill most of my 4 hour layover today.

  15. 15

    One of my 4th graders has decided that sandwiches are just. gross. Today she wanted a cheese quesadilla and a hard boiled egg. Because, I saw this thing on Pinterest where you bake eggs in an oven and get the same results as boiling them, only they peel perfectly. It totally works and she was happy. I guess she doesn’t mind eating a cold quesadilla?

  16. 16

    My daughter has abandoned sandwiches in favor of chicken salad on crakers, turkey on hawaiian buns or leftover cold pizza. Every now and then PB surfaces to be put on celery. :)

  17. 17

    One time my family hiked to a 15 foot waterfall that we could jump off of. It was pretty crowded. When it was my turn to jump the nerves kicked in and I stood at the top for some stinkin’ long minutes. Finally, it dawned on me that jumping to my death was a heck of a lot better than standing in my swimsuit with everyone staring at me.

  18. 18
    Misty Smith says:

    Thanks for that word problem at the end. You made me realize I’m not alone. I can remember lazy bathing suit days from my distant teenage past!! How wonderful those days were. Now I spend my time applying sunscreen, chasing kids, drying towels, etc….

  19. 19

    Poor thing – I wouldn’t want to be sick in public either. Ugh, the indignities.

    As far her lunch making goes . . . I taught my now seven year old how to make his own lunch when he was six and let me tell you, it’s been a total game changer. I mean the kid was coming home from Senior Kindergarten spouting healthy eating mantras so we just set some basic ground rules about what he can and can’t pack and voila!

    A year and a half later he occasionally complains about having to make it every evening (he’s too distracted to deal with it in the mornings) but when I just shrug my shoulders and say, “okay, I guess you’re not eating tomorrow” he gets over it fast. ;o) Ultimately he actually really likes getting to choose what he’s going to have each day and any issues related to not being able to make up his mind are his responsibility.


    Hope everyone is feeling back to normal soon!

  20. 20
    Elizabeth Pomajzl says:

    Love that she loves the fish Luann platter; it was a favourite of my brother & I but my kids do not share my love for Luby’s. And on freely hanging out in your swimsuit on the porch, I only do that at our lake house where there seems to be no shame about how you look living in a lake community. Thank goodness we have a lot of cedar trees & the boat blocking people’s view!

  21. 21

    Ha! you crack me up…..btw…..I am addicted to What Kate Wore also……glad I’m not the only one! I believe George has a Facebook page? Have you seen it?

  22. 22

    After raising 3 kids on packed lunches equipped with 2 sandwiches each for years, my 4th child refuses sandwiches. It has taken me years of struggling but , finally, by his sophomore year, did I master packing the perfect lunches for him. There will be a crown in heaven for me one day, bejeweled with disposable plastic containers and plastic spoons ( and brown paper bags), hallelujah!

  23. 23

    My cousin who has 5 kids, packed cereal and milk in a thermos( and if you freeze the thermos the night before it keeps it colder) for YEARS! Healthy muffins and cheese are a saving lunch -freeze muffins in ziploc bags with a piece of paper towel and that way they don’t get soggy while thawing in the lunch kit. Also the cold quesidillas, boiled eggs, pepperoni sticks, wraps,or soup in a thermos. Also “make your own sandwich” without bread but cheese, meat cucumbers or pickles. Good luck packing lunches. Only a few years to go!