I try very hard not to go overboard on the whole motherhood thing. Most of the time I do an excellent job. I let the children watch too much t.v., play too many video games, eat too much candy, send them off to do their own thing without playing with them all the time. I do my own stuff, yell at them, make them do chores for their allowance. I don’t always make them bathe before it becomes perfectly clear they really need to.
There are a few areas where I have a tendency to take things too far. Lunches would be one of those areas.
It started simply enough. Back in the day when Marlena started school she hated crusts on her sandwich. I hated cutting the crusts off. I discovered large cookie cutters are fabulous for cutting bread slices uniformly. So I began sending her to school with sandwiches shaped like the largest cookie cutter I had, a turtle.
Then things spiraled quickly downhill. I began to get more cookie cutters. Holiday themed, heart shaped, dinosaur shaped, you name it. Then I had to cut the fruit with smaller matching shapes. Then I turned into that crazy mom who sent her kids to school with incredibly detailed shaped lunches.
In order to regain my sanity I stopped sending lunches all together. The kid got a school lunch account and that was that. Until Oliver began going to school, this year.
He struggles with school and with mornings. He would much rather be doing his own independent little thing at home than being in a big noisy building with too many kids. He needs a soft personal touch. I started sending him to school with notes. Just cute little love notes on plain paper.
Then when he had come home complaining of a particularly bad day of bullying and teasing I thought perhaps he would make it through the next day more easily if his lunch contained a note from his favorite video game character, Luigi. So I printed a color picture of Luigi and stuck it in his lunch with a little blurb about being an amazing kid.
He loved it.
He loved it so much that he wanted another the next day, and the next, and the next.
Soon I was printing the notes on two sides of the paper using a template I designed on my mac in order to turn the notes into top folding cards. I had coloring pages on the inside and a full color picture and message on the outside. I began sending crayons tucked into his napkin. I looked up coloring printables for Sonic, Mario, TMNT, and anything else he liked. I began rotating the subject of the notes.
Tonight, I spent an hour creating a maze for Sonic the Hedgehog to go through.
Now I am officially that crazy mother who sends her kid to school with hand designed activity packets and crayons in his lunch.
Oh and best of all, he hates having crusts on his sandwiches too.