I happily packed off my preppy, Jasper, at the start of the week with his readers, his hat and his lunchbox.
Monday night his reader, hat, but not his lunch box, made it home.
Worrying about the poor psyche of his lunchbox (all alone at night in the big dark school) I asked Jasper, "Can you please bring your lunchbox home tomorrow?"
Tuesday afternoon came, and Jasper had bought home his lunchbox! But not his sandwich container.
"Did you actually eat your sandwich?" I asked him.
"Yeeeeeeeeessssss" he replied, his eyes looking around the room like a nervous squirrel.
"OK matey. You'd better bring it home tomorrow then!" I was nervously wondering about what wonderous new life sprouts from the crusts of a light rye, cheese and relish sandwich? And whether that life would be intelligent enough I could train it to remind Jasper to bring home his lunchbox!!
Wednesday evening remained sandwich containerless still.
Thursday I started to wonder if the teachers could smell anything coming from Jasper's pigeon-hole. Did they walk past and wonder "Hmmm? What child brings a parmesan and dead badger sandwich to school for lunch?"
Friday afternoon I picked up Jasper from the school gate and asked him then-and-there, "Did you remember your sandwich container?"
Jasper smiled his huge I'm-so-awesome-give-me-a-prize smile and blurted "YEP!"
As we drove home I was anxiously thinking about what I was going to confront as I opened his bag. Glow in the dark toxic sludge that formed the shapes of the planets of our solar system? Colonies of mould singing a rousing rendition of "The Wild Colonial Boy"? Strange, tiny, light sensitive creatures that peer up at me as I open the sandwich container, blinking, they ask, "Got any more sandwiches?"
I popped on a pair of latex gloves and opened his bag with utmost care, grabbed the offending sandwich container and had a look at it ...
It was empty! Jasper HAD eaten his sandwich! All that remained was the smell of old bread and a few cry crumbs.
As I sighed with relief I felt a slight pang of remorse that I didn't get a chance to train a new creature to sit on Jasper's shoulder and whisper to him when the home time bell rings, "Don't forget your lunch box!"
Do your kids forget to bring things home from school? Do they eat all of their lunch, or do you find special gifts of squashed sandwiches waiting for you at the end of the day?