I have been a parent for 21+ years and have three spawn. Something that I complain about even more than giving birth to them is making school lunches for them. OH, HOW I HATE IT. I will pay any amount of money -- ANY -- to have someone else deliver a school meal to my children, rather than me getting up early, trying to smash together a balanced, portable, midday meal, and then experiencing rage-y frustration when the meal is brought home with only the chips eaten. Or, the lunchbox never returns at all, and is found months later rotting on the playground and filled with a family of shrews. Hopeless.

Today I have found out that Miss Ten's lunch service at school has been suddenly and completely cancelled, forcing me very unwillingly back to lunch-making duty for at least the rest of this school year. My soul cries out in despair at this, for if I leave this task to her, she will pack nothing but chips, a handful of Nestle Toll-House Chocolate Morsels, my Sharpies, a small Japanese toy, and a beer. I am in Infinity Facepalm mode right now.

Yet, I shall once again make an attempt to Do The Right Thing. With stunning accuracy, I predict this is how my efforts will unfold over the next week:

Monday: Brand-new lunchbox with cute bento box insert purchased. Sections filled with adorable mini-portions of California rolls, fresh fruit salad sprinkled with a little lemon juice, herb salad with garlic croutons, an oatmeal raisin cookie baked by Grandma, and a Vitamin Water.

Tuesday: Brand-new lunchbox never came home. Fill old Disney Princess lunchbox with leftover tortellini pasta, another salad, a tiny container of parmesan cheese, and a single-serving container of peaches, with a Vitamin Water.

Wednesday: Find yesterday's entire lunch in the way back of my car, because it isn't cool to bring a Disney Princess lunchbox to school anymore. Resist temptation to send it along again. Find brown paper bag and fill it with a cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread with mayo and greens, a bag of Sun Chips, a box of raisins, and a granola bar, with a plain bottled water.

Thursday: At Wednesday pick up, find Wednesday lunch compacted into a smooshy soccer ball being used on the playground, sans water bottle. Fill large ziplock bag with loose slices of cheese, a quarter-filled jar of Skippy Crunchy peanut butter, mushy grapes from the bottom of the fridge fruit door, a clove of garlic, and a Slim Fast shake from 1998.

Friday: Receive 6AM phone call from school principal chastising me for sending peanut products into school. Hand child the phone and go back to sleep.