We never planned to have five kids. One kid seemed like an overwhelming challenge to sanity. Five just sort of happened. First of all, triplets. Thank you, fertile genetic ancestors, for passing down to me the uterus of some sort of superwoman. Then, you guessed it, twins, fraternal. At that point my husband and I considered buying a second house to maintain constant physical separation, because a sixth (or my god, seventh or eighth) child would have sent us over the cliffs of insanity. Not to mention the cliffs of poverty.
We survived, and we’re very happy. Three boys and two girls all within two years of age is an equation for chaos. Especially mornings. Mornings! The non-stop marathon that is known as Getting Kids Ready for School. My children seem to think walking out of the house naked, screaming and carrying baseball bats and Barbie dolls in lieu of schoolbooks is perfectly normal behaviour. Making sure they’re clothed, supplied, and provisioned for the day is like convincing a cage of monkeys to sit for a photo. I used to have some lofty ideals for how my children would be presented to the world. Now I am basically just hitting the minimums to avoid getting a visit from Child Protective Services. Excuse me, ma’am, are you aware that allowing your son to wear a Chewbaca costume to school is unacceptable? Why, I had no idea.
The biggest challenge is lunch. I’ve seen what their school serves and calls lunch, and I don’t want my children to have heart attacks at the ripe age of nine, so I pack their lunches for them. Of course, they’re like five tiny millionaires with their dietary requirements. David won’t eat tuna fish. Dylan won’t eat peanut butter. Derek won’t eat any sandwich with crusts, and Diana won’t eat white bread under any circumstances. Deirdre will eat anything as long as there is no vegetable or fruit anywhere near her sandwich, which is problematic but more of a long-term problem than the immediate crisis of getting everyone out the door for school.
The one time I mixed up everyone’s lunch bags taught me a harsh lesson: Child Protective Services is always just one lunch room riot away from my house.
So: Clear Bags to the rescue. How did my ancestor Moms manage lunch without these? Names written on bags, I assume. Post-It notes, perhaps. Crude, easily defeated safeguards. The Clear Lunch Bags solve the problem easily – every child sees instantly what’s in the bag, and I can actually just Release the Hounds and let each child choose their own lunch instead of having to hand them off. One less thing to do in the morning might not seem like much, but it is much. So, so much.
Plus, I am told the clear bags make trading lunches that much easier! Take that, Child Protective Services.