Tuesday, March 5, 2013


We have a good lunch-packing thing going at my house now that I’m back to working away from home. I suppose if you asked my husband, he might say there was nothing wrong with the way we did things before (a.k.a. Janet Packed All Kids’ Lunches). Personally, I like things better now.  The kids pack a thing or two at night, I pack a thing or two in the morning and my husband usually does the main item, by which I mean a sandwich or wrap or something in a thermos.

I’m not sure how we evolved to this rhthym, exactly. I remember a few mornings where I was harried and he shooed me upstairs to finish getting ready for work and took over packing the lunches. However it happened, it’s working well for me. It’s working well for the kids, too. Who makes great wraps? Dad. Who instituted Chicken Burger Fridays? Dad. Maybe Claire from Modern Family was right: There can only be one fun parent.
Regardless, we got rhythm! And, really, who can ask for anything more? (with apologies to George Gershwin) I get up first and do my lunch thing, slicing apple, pouring juice, adding cold packs to lunch bags. Then he gets up and I pass the invisible baton, heading upstairs to make myself presentable for work. There is something pleasing about the cadence of it; about this notion of marriage being about sharing the fun stuff and the slightly tedious stuff. It feels like we’re a well-oiled machine.

This morning when he came downstairs, he peered into the open lunch bags on the island and noted the absence of that one main, stick-to-your-ribs, stay-with-you consumable.

“I thought you had a plan,” I reminded him. “Something about leftover ham?”
Ah, yes, he remembered, as I headed upstairs. I swooped back through the kitchen 45 minutes later, grabbing my lunch bag off the counter on my way to the back door. Glancing inside I noticed the glaring absence of The Main Thing. He didn't realize I needed anything like that in my lunch.

Apparently our machine could use a little more oil.

What’s for lunch tomorrow?

-          Carrot bran muffins with pineapple and raisins

-          Fruit cups
-      Yogurt drinks

-          Rice crackers

-          Apples. Again. (I’m getting sick of apples)

-          ??? ß I don’t know. It’s not my department. J


  1. My Dh and I have a similar routine. I pack the small stuff the night before and he does the main in the morning. Getting the kids involved is a good idea.

    Janet, I wanted to touch base with you because a few days ago when I was slowly walking up the walk with my 3yo I had a flash back to a lovely post you wrote years ago. It was about your youngest and walking slowly with her and how it forced you to savour the moment and not rush. I totally felt that way with my boy, it was lovely.

    1. Hey Chantal!

      Thanks for your kind words. I remember that post and the experience that prompted me to write it. My "baby" is 7 now and moving at a much faster clip. I still try to savour the slow moments between us.

      Also: Your baby is 3??!! Blow-mind.

  2. I am SO envious. When I was sick a few years back, Bill took over lunches of course and my kids still refer to that time longingly because Bill brought in a lot of junk food which I have since brought OUT.

    I'd still like it if he made sandwiches, though, geez!

    1. Right? I don't think I can ever go back. :)

  3. Claire is right. I know because I'm NOT the fun parent. But I'm the one who is home all day, my husband sees the kids for 1-2 hours a day. It's easier to be fun that way.

    1. You know what happens when you have two fun parents though...you know that kid who wears pyjama pants to school and passes out $100 bills?

      Two fun parents: mark my words. :)