Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Boy Who Cried, "Lunch!"

My children, the three people I have carried in my body and sustained with my own body both before and after they were born, the people I love more than life itself...these people do have a capacity to drive me crazy.

Several years ago, when I was still an at-home mom, they had developed a very irritating habit.  They were all fairly consistent about forgetting things at home, whether it was gym clothes, homework, or lunch.  They also had a tendency to miss the bus.  All three of them displayed this tendency but Isaac most of all.  It got to a point where I was making between 3-8 runs to the school per week just for forgotten items or missed bus trips alone, never mind the scheduled runs like pick-ups after extra-curricular practices and events.

No amount of pleading, begging, or full on flip-outs altered the behavior.  I instituted a taxi fare.  Yes, I'd be willing to take your slow moving butt or forgotten items to school but there would be a $1 fee imposed per trip.  If a child did not have $1 they would be assigned an extra chore to pay for the trip.  They children were aghast.  In their minds it was my duty to be at their beck and call.

The first year I collected $55 in taxi fares after instituting the system in the middle of the school year.  Each dollar went in an envelope with their names on it and I put a mark under the name of the child who paid the fare each time to keep track of it since they each insisted it was their siblings not they themselves who had a problem.  With my taxi money I scheduled a massage and sent them each a thank you note for the treat. They were irate.  I told them if they wanted me not to have a massage on their dime they needed to make sure they had no need to pay taxi fare.  The next year there was a reduction in fares charged for the girls.  My son was slower to learn.

Then I became a member of the workforce.  Missed buses were a more significant problem and irritated me far more.  I jacked up the taxi rate to make my point.  The problem persisted.  I doubled the rate for my early morning days.  The lesson was learned.  My son rarely missed the bus and stopped forgetting things.  Last year I think I could count on one hand the times I was asked to run him or his stuff.

This year since I have been unemployed he has gone back to his old ways.  I am not pleased.  Last week I received a text requesting me to bring him lunch since he had forgotten his.  I was annoyed and told him so.  We went back and forth a few times without me agreeing to bring his lunch. Then he sent the following text:

In my personal opinion, I believe it would be a great privilege if I were to receive a healthy and balanced lunch from the most caring and wonderful woman whom I had the fine pleasure to live in and be birthed from.  Regardless of my future, I know your unconditional love will prevail.

I told him I literally laughed out loud.  He asked if that meant he'd be getting lunch.  I told him since he made me laugh so hard I'd bring him something from home.  He tried to negotiate something elaborate or purchased.  I told him not to push it.

Later that evening when I was telling Mr. Lime about it, Isaac interjected, "You know, Mom, that was a total test."

What?

"It was a test.  One of the other guys at the table said he forgot his lunch and was going to have to ask his mom to bring something from the deli.  I told him no way my mom would do that.  He didn't believe me so we each sent identical requests to our moms.   His mom asked what he wanted, went to the deli, got that and more, and dropped it off at school.  I had to negotiate with you for a half an hour and make you laugh hard enough to pee your pants before you brought me a sandwich and fruit from home."

Well, I sure hope you don't forget your lunch from now until you graduated high school, son.



20 comments:

Sailor said...

I love it- I've been amazed at the amount of running that my wife has done for years; even without them being "lates/forgots", it's phenomonal how much logistics are involved with the activities and sports and school and and and...

So, good for YOU, for getting a massage out of the deal- and for having a kiddo that can make you laugh out loud about it!
Although, I do suspect he'll not make it through HS without forgetting now and then.

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig said...

We only live 6 blocks from our kids' school, so taxi rides are a non-issue. But charging a fare is truly an inspired idea; I applaud your ingenuity.

Clever kid, your Isaac. But I'm with you - hope you enjoyed the meal, kid, 'cuz there ain't gonna be another one. . .

I also had to laugh at - "the most caring and wonderful woman whom I had the fine pleasure to live in and be birthed from". Like there were others, who weren't so caring and wonderful?

;)

Stephen Hayes said...

My mother would never have brought my lunch to school, not for any amount of money, not under any circumstance. That's the trouble with being a chubby kid; everyone thinks it will do you good to miss a meal or two.

Bijoux said...

I count myself blessed that my kids never forgot anything, ever. But believe me, we've had our share of other issues, like last minute remembrances of needing colored index cards or some such thing I didn't have on hand.

Tabor said...

Your son is going to be so much better as a father and husband. Stick to your guns. It is not your job to be his maid. It is your job to be his guide.

Suldog said...

This is why some animals eat their young. Or it's why some young animals eat their parents. In any case, here's what you do the next time - bring him soup and a fork. Or, even better, come to school dressed in clown make-up, rainbow wig, floppy shoes, etc. Make sure you have a horn to beep a few times and a big sign around your neck saying "Isaac's Mom"! If that doesn't discourage him from calling you again, I don't know what will.

Craig said...

Laughing @ Suldog. . .

True Story - There was a mom of one of kids' classmates at the big public HS, who told her kids, "You embarrass me, I WILL embarrass you."

So, when one of her kids ran afoul of the assistant principal, requiring a parental visit to the AP's office, she arrived dressed in slippers & bathrobe, with curlers in her hair, while Junior tried to slide out of sight in his chair. . .

Kat said...

Yes, but how many times has your son's friend forgotten his lunch or homework, etc. It is the frequency that is maddening. Did you ask him that? ;)

Regardless, the sense of humor is priceless. Love it. :)

~Dragonfly~* said...

OMG! I love the taxi fare!!!! Also love that you a teaching your son to respect and appreciate women....and to not take them for granted!

Suldog....love your response!

I say you devise a "test" for him....

Mama Zen said...

This is hilarious! And, I'm implementing a taxi fee immediately!

Leave It To Davis said...

My kids were always good about remembering what they needed. In all the years I took them to school and picked them up, I could count on my hand the number of times they needed me to bring something. I never minded. The reason? My dad was so wonderful....even after I married and was working full time, if I was hungry and had no money, all I had to do was call him and ask him in a really sweet pleading voice if he could bring me something from Jack in the Box or Dairy Queen....not once did he ever even flinch....he would be there with food in hand and expect a hug around the neck, which I dealt out with not a moments hesitation. I miss him so much now. There is no one I can call who would do that for me now....not my hubby...not any of my three kids. Sad. Just remember that when you do something that is not expected, it will long be remembered, even after you are gone. :)

That corgi :) said...

LOL, I absolutely loved this! I would have been the mother that went to the deli....Good for you though with your taxi charges and trying to get the kids to be responsible for things they needed to be responsible for.

I can't tell you how many extra trips I made to school when my kids were in school (thankfully both graduated one in 2003, the other 2007).

When my youngest was a senior, he had a 6:45 a.m. class and he is not an early riser. Every morning was a stretch to get him out and going; thankfully it was gym so if he was a few minutes late he wouldn't get a tardy, he just had to be dressed and out on the field the time the coach wanted them there. I don't even know if he was awake when he was driving to school. I used to see him out the door, wish him a good day and pray to God for his safety to get there on time and in one piece.

One morning I handed him a textbook he had left downstairs on his way out the door. An hour later I'm walking the dog and my cell phone rings. Its son asking me "do you know where my book is?" I'm like "I handed it to you this morning". He totally forgot I had done that, LOL.

I like your system so much more better.

I won't even tell the stories that I would take orders for him and his friends and every so often bring fast food for them for lunch.......

you are a great mom!

betty

Beach Bum said...

Well, I sure hope you don't forget your lunch from now until you graduated high school, son.

I have found that my son can forget all manner of things both great and small. School lunches being one but amazingly my son has also forgotten nearly everything about the family vacations we have gone including the two Disney Cruises we did with him.

I wish I had an explanation over this but the only thing I can come up with is that he is a teenager and is totally wrapped up in his own life.

Daryl said...

ah boys/men they dont know when to leave well enough alone ... and i love you 'fare' system .. so smart .. i think i might use a variation of it on Toonman who works at home but emails or calls me at work to ask me to bring things home with me

Daryl said...

oops .. happy thanksgiving, to you and yours ... i am thankful you got a job and thankful to know you!

Hilary said...

The boy has also just learned not to reveal those sorts of things. Too funny.. and yeah, he'll remember these days and be a great dad. I love Suldog's suggestions. I wouldn't put it past you to do that!

Dave said...

A brilliant story Michelle. Well done in taking the action that you did. I think the last part shows, though how a woman can be taken in by a man with a smooth tongue, huh? Flattery will get us anywhere... - Dave :-)

Tim VanSant Writes said...

Amazing that he could be so smart to push your buttons during the test yet not realize that's the kind of thing one only admits years later.

Jocelyn said...

This reminds me of how our costs tend to match our incomes. If we make more money, we still don't have enough at the end of each month, and if we make less, we spend less. If you are able to respond to your kids' "needs," they need you more, eh? ...albeit in very humorous, goofball fashion.