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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Monday, April 03, 2006

Lunchbox Inadequacy

I know that I'm a terrible mom when it comes to packing my kids' school lunches. I've even been mean enough to make them pack their own lunches, since they were in fifth grade. I had gotten really tired of them complaining, or not eating what I packed, so I made a deal. We would go grocery shopping together, stock up the fridge and pantry, and then they were on their own to pack something they knew they would be willing to eat. Of course they've been telling me how MEAN I am, and that they are the ONLY kids whose moms don't personally make their lunches.

So imagine my total chagrin when Christine (thanks a lot pal!) sent me a link to this woman who not only packs the most nutritious and beautiful and varied and amazing bento-box lunches for her kids every day, she photographs them too. As if to rub it in. Believe me, it's rubbing!

Now please, don't show my kids.


Blogger melanie said...

That is funny, because when I was in 3rd grade I insisted that I make my own lunch - even though I could only make pb&j, and the first few times I put in WAY to much j. But i was a weird kid.

Well, I guess when we're young and our folks are cooking for us, we really have the equivalent of a personal chef. Which is really a big fat luxury. What I think you should do is be "stragically incompetent" and start packing them up with rice cakes and crap they won't like. Then they'll want to pack up those boxes themselves - no complaints!

Monday, April 03, 2006 1:27:00 PM

Blogger melanie said...

In fact, I think it would be awesome to make food that is healthy and possibly looks disgusting in some way - I don't know, spaghetti that resembles entrails and what not. You could make it a personal and fun challenge. Again, "strategic incompetence" or maybe more like reverse psychology.

I know. What a sicko/psycho mother I'd make.

Monday, April 03, 2006 1:33:00 PM

Blogger Susan said...

Mel, you crack me up.

Monday, April 03, 2006 5:54:00 PM

Blogger Lilian said...

Hi Susan, that site is interesting, but it may be a "rip off" from another blog which is pretty amazing: http://veganlunchbox.blogspot.com/

This woman takes pictures and blogs about her son's lunch every weekday. And the results are *beautiful* to behold besides looking completely yummy!

Monday, April 03, 2006 8:28:00 PM

Blogger C(h)ristine said...

Mimi Ito Fisher is a "technorati" who has a big presence in the blogging world. I think she documented her bento boxes a couple years ago and actually stopped documenting her bentos last year, well before veganlunchbox (though I admire the veganlunch boxes too)!

Anyway, sorry Susan! I thought when I was offering you some gourmet salt, I didn't realize there was a wound to rub it into! :)

Monday, April 03, 2006 10:43:00 PM

Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

I wrote a paper for graduate school about the obento as a source of subversive female creativity in a society consumed by the male hegemony. (Yes it was just as exciting as it sounds...but, your post reminded me of this and my geeky "A" grade. So, thank you!)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 7:18:00 AM

Blogger Libby said...

Susan, I would feel the same way. In fact, I'm not even sure I can stand to click that link, really! Mariah takes leftovers or frozen lunches to school and her friends are actually envious of what they call her "indie lunches." (I.e, not corporate? Not sure...)

But: I have a colleague who tells me that when her kids started school she told them "big kids pack their own lunches," and, amazingly, it worked! Nick & Mariah, otoh, like to do so sometimes, but only at their own choosing. Sigh.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 7:20:00 AM

Blogger Susan said...

I can't believe there is this whole group (even if it is a group of 2) ubermothers out there who are making either vegan or Japanese lunchboxes for their kids, and taking photos of them for the world to see. Actually, I DO believe it.

There was a woman who used to pick up her kid from my kid's school every day. She would send him to school with a "snack" but then save his real lunch for after school. She'd bring it in a wicker basket, spread out some beautiful cloth to sit on, and then open up steaming hot thermoses, unwrap amazing things for him to eat. The whole scene made me feel sickly envious and absolutely inadequate, here when I was buying Lunchables at the 7-11 while rushing to get to school on time. Ergh!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 7:26:00 AM

Blogger melanie said...

Hey Susan (and all)

Do the girls have bento lunch boxes? If not here's a cool site that sells them: http://www.lunchboxes.com/bento.html.

Personally, I dig the metal lunchboxes, but I don't think they have the cute little comparmental thingies.

I like the idea of giving them "blocks" of food - sort of a culinary Tetris. Hrm.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 10:26:00 AM

Blogger C(h)ristine said...

they sell bento boxes at teh korean grocery! i grew up on these things. i felt like such a geek b/c i got teased for them.

my mom gave up on making me lunches and gave me money for cafeteria lunch instead. much better! though in hindsight, how silly of me.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 6:40:00 PM


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