Bento Box Lunches In the Powder Room

Take Your Bento Box and Shove It

Well, it finally happened, the thing I’ve been dreading…yesterday, my precious daughter rolled off the school bus bitching and moaning about the lack of artistic effort that I’ve been putting into her packed lunches. My first thought, “Oh shit, has she been on Pinterest?” My second thought, “We need to update our parental controls to include Pinterest.”

But no, it seems that some better-than-me mother (who, I guarantee, does have a Pinterest account) has been sending her daughter to school everyday with a lunchbox full of “love” in the form of Disney inspired entrees and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom carrots. And Ana has taken notice. Thanks a lot, lady. Thanks. A. Lot.

According to my daughter, Wednesday’s lunchtime was spent watching little Hayden nibble on Elsa’s certified organic noodle braid, while Ana despondently ate from a zip-lock bag filled with pretzels and an enormous amount of apathy. Her tale of woe was really quite heartbreaking. So, like any guilt-ridden mother, I decided to give this stupid Bento Lunch thing a try.

I promised Ana an Olaf lunch, but when I read the first three ingredients: Japanese Nori noodles, purple seaweed, edible modeling clay, I was all, “Oh heeeellll no!” Packing a lunch should not require me to source food from various specialty shops and craft stores. I haven’t shaved in four days and THAT needs to happen before I start driving around town seeking out cuisine for my 5 year old to throw out.

How’s that Meat Loaf song go?

“I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that. Nooooo, I won’t. do. thaaaat.”

But I promised her an Olaf lunch, so it was on to Plan B. Unfortunately, I had no Plan B…at least not until I drank a couple glasses of 2009 Cabernet from the Napa region—that always loosens up my wheels.

And so, exhausted, not-so-perfect mothers everywhere, I’d like to present my “Damn you, Hayden’s mom!” answer to this crazy, expensive, and time consuming lunch fad:

 

The “I ain’t got time for that. Here’s some lunch money” Bento Box

Step 1: Get lunch money from your purse.

Step 2: Arrange money and tape down.

Step 3: Use a Sharpie to draw the rest.

Olaf says…don’t “flake” on your test!

The "I ain't got time for that. Here's some lunch money" Bento Box - www.OneClassyMotha.com

 

Screw making little broccoli trees with an “I love you!” tediously carved into their stalks with an X-Acto knife while freebasing your blood pressure pills and trying to remember your insurance provider’s Mental Health co-pay. No thank you. Besides, unlike a scene from The Lion King made out of graham crackers and Russian caviar, my “I ain’t got time for that. Here’s some lunch money” Bento Boxes provide the perfect canvas for real communication between you and your child:

 

Confronting potty issues:

The "I ain't got time for that. Here's some lunch money" Bento Box - www.OneClassyMotha.com

 

Offering friendship advice: 

The "I ain't got time for that. Here's some lunch money" Bento Box - www.OneClassyMotha.com

 

Calling them out:

The "I ain't got time for that. Here's some lunch money" Bento Box - www.OneClassyMotha.com

 

I realize the “I ain’t got time for that. Here’s some lunch money” Bento Box still requires a minimum amount of effort on your part, which is something I’m normally against, but just think of the look on your child’s face when they open their lunch box and see something like this:

The "I ain't got time for that. Here's some lunch money" Bento Box - www.OneClassyMotha.com

Arachnophobia, cured. “Thanks, mom!”

Ladies, even if your child doesn’t buy lunch, I’m here on my linoleum floor begging you to step away from the melon baller and to embrace the beautiful quadrilateral simplicity of a square cheese sandwich. After all, you don’t need to win the “MOM OF THE YEAR” title because, as far as your child is concerned, you already have it.

 

Editor’s Note: Love this as much as I do? Make sure you follow Kim on Pinterest and check out her “I ain’t got time for that. Here’s some lunch money” Bento Box ideas Pinterest board! Have a great Bento Box suggestion of your own? Email her at kim@oneclassymotha.com. 

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Kim is a SAHM who spends her days trying to outwit her children, and her evenings sipping wine in her king sized bed while offering bad advice, ridiculous tips, and embarrassing family stories on her blog, One Classy Motha! You can also find her posting inappropriate things on Pinterest and Twitter @mothakim …but she usually keeps it classy for Facebook (her mother “Friended” her).

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  1. says

    Excellent example of thinking outside the box! (Ha, see what I did there…?) Seriously, when making a kid’s lunch involves more tools than rebuilding the transmission of a 74 Pontiac Sunbird, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. My kid went off to school this morning with a sandwich (turkey on a sub roll), a can of mandarin oranges, 7 Pepperidge Farm butterfly crackers, and a cut up apple (please note, she selected the contents of this lunch herself). The fanciest I got was cutting up the apple into wedges and soaking it in some Fruit Fresh so it wouldn’t be the color of a cigarette filter when lunchtime rolled around.

    • Beverley says

      Find yourself some Ambrosia apples. They don’t go brown!! There are other varieties that also are good at staying crisp for a while, but Ambrosia are the best.

  2. says

    Unless mom is glueing this shit down, I have no idea how Elsa’s braids or Olaf’s nose aren’t being dislocated on the way to school, because I’ve seen how my kids lob their lunch boxes in their backpacks.

    Mama ain’t got no time for that stuff, just to see them winging their bags around.

    The closest I will get is a “secret message banana” for my 8yo. I will happily write a sweet note if I have time.

    Thankfully, my 10yo is mortified at the thought. Love notes in his lunchbox are embarrassing payback for shit behavior in the morning, truthfully.

  3. says

    You’re not just a trendsetter, you’re an artistic genius!
    I’ve never understood the insanity of the Bento Box crap and I never will. But your alternative makes perfect sense!

  4. says

    Such. perfect. timing. My kids just started school. Just today, I heard the term bento box for the first time ever. These bitches are crazy. What happened to pressed lunchmeat and a thermos of lukewarm soup?

    But these? These I could do.

  5. says

    Too funny! I admit, I bought a Bento Box for my 6th grader, mainly because I felt guilty using so many Ziplock baggies for his lunches. But I’m no Martha Stewart, so for me it’s all about finding things to take up space in the different compartments! Grapes are great, as are cheese and crackers. 😀

  6. says

    Hahaha! This is hilarious!

    It may be because Halloween is fast approaching but I definitely saw the potential in the last example for a whole range of macabre offerings. I hope you’ve pinned these mofos!!

  7. says

    I love this! I bought little lunch box notes for my kids – I thought they were cool – AND they had trivia. Well it didn’t not meet my daughters expectations. She wanted a hand written note, like her friends got. So the next day I scribbled something down and stuck it in the lunch box. Still not happy – because apparently other mother use calligraphy and include illustrations!

  8. Greeny says

    No. No. No.
    Hahahaha.
    Okay, I’m done.
    Hahahaha.

    One. I just had to look up “bento box”, Google was kind enough to direct me to the insanity of it.
    Two. Luckily enough, not only do I not send my kid to school with lunches, I don’t have to send him with money for it either. It’s all paid for ahead of time, he eats the same as everyone else. If I were to go above-and-beyond for school meals it would be when I volunteer to do the breakfast or lunch for the school, for all of them.
    Three. If I were insane enough to do anything, I’d take the most lovingly lazy route possible and go with printing out notes. Why? Because I love my kids, I love notes, and there is no way I’m going to go through that instead of doing things that will make important impact on our days. So…I present 500 (yes, really, 500!!!) free printable lunch box notes:
    http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/57305/500-free-printable-lunchbox-notes

    Somewhere in that list of ridiculousness is a link to printable coloring notes, my kid loves all things creative and involving art. So toss one of those and a few crayons in and I would probably be rewarded with my own note of love when he shows up after school!

  9. Kaly says

    Hilarious. My kids don’t even want me to put a Post-It in their lunch hence they might die of embarrassment. This has saved me from Bento Madness and the daily washing of all of those ridiculously small containers.

  10. Lisa Miller says

    this is fantastic, finally a mother that makes sense. I never did understand the need for some mothers to make their jobs MORE difficult and time consuming rather than LESS.

    My kids get a sandwich with whatever is in the cupboard or fridge on it accompanied by a piece of fruit and some crackers and cheese.
    there is no way I would bother with this “bento box” rubbish, I would rather walk with the kids to school in a relaxed way instead of wasting time arranging and creating a lunchbox meal.

    Keep up the good work. because I am one of those “ain’t got time for that” mums.

    Lisa

  11. Jing says

    This so funny! And creative! Didn’t expect your planB would be far more awesome! You’re right, not everybody has time to make bento boxes. And I love the part about “Mom of the Year”. I just really wish moms will stop competing. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Ty says

    I was laughing so hard it was difficult to read this outloud to my mom and kids. Mom was crying! These are brilliant! It was even funnier when I got to the end and realized that I personally knew the author! Been a long time, but you’ve still got a great sense of humor! :-)

  13. sharyn says

    As a special education assistant I have seen a lot. I am grateful that you feed your children. I don’t care how you do it…. Believe it or not there are children who do come to school with nothing to eat. There are cases where finances are not available but there are also cases of shear neglect… Again, I thank you…

  14. Jackie Wood says

    My youngest child of 3 is now 34, and feeding their school age children is their problem, but I was almost hysterical over these comments. I was the ULTIMATE lunchbox ARTISTE in my day, until of course their Dad thought he needed to hook up with a childless chick who (had more time for him) After the sperm donor left, the qualified for free lunches.

    When we moved to a small college town so I could finish college, they became experts at picking food from the garden, and honestly, to see your three boys WILLINGLY grab a handful of veggies to go with their container of leftovers from dinner last night was so uplifting. WE made it through my college, and their high schools. They actually know how to plant an harvest a healthy garden! So do their children. I LOVE it

  15. Laura Beth Kerr Gilman says

    Love this! BTW – I love the Bento Box lunch concept. A few years ago, after being sick and tired of making sandwiches, day after day for my 4 kids, I purchased 4 “Laptop Lunch” boxes and put LEFTOVERS in them. It became a way to EMPTY OUT THE FRIDGE! No food waste. Leftover dinner from last night or two nights ago became today’s lunch. My jars of pickles consumed, My bags of baby carrots- same. Leftover apple pie – yep. Moms need to do what is easiest for them- without giving them food poisoning, of course. My kids are older now. Now, I only make one child’s lunches daily, She prefers a hot lunch so I usually reheat something and put it in a thermos container. My middle schooler makes her own and is very particular about what she wants. My two boys eat the cafeteria food. —- I do remember a few mornings I had fun with the laptop lunch and got creative – one time I gathered all green food for St. Patrick’s Day. The kids got a kick out of it.

  16. samantha says

    This morning I unceremoniously threw the juice pouch, microscopic bag of fruit snacks, a ziploc of grapes, and the PB&J (that i haphazardly cut into 4 not equilateral by any means) into a brown bag. Yay me. So domesticated.

  17. nicole says

    Speaking as one of THOSE moms, i have to say that i am not even remotely thinking of how i can one-up another mom when i pack my kids lunches. If you are feeling inadequate, you are bringing that on yourself.

    Do you think i do it for any other reason that the one that you gave…. “just think of the look on your child’s face when they open their lunch box and see something like this”.
    You are doing the same thing that the “Bento box” mothers are. The only difference is you are using money, tape, a marker, and clever drawings and they are doing it with food. Damn those “bitches”.

    You are right about one thing…”bullies are cheesy”

    • Ty says

      Wow! Took that one WAAAYYYYY too personally! This was meant for entertainment purposes and was clearly written with humor! Glad you enjoy your “Bento Box” lunches, but relax- nobody is bullying you!

      • nicole says

        I realize it was meant for entertainment purposes but it isn’t as funny when you are one of the moms that this blog is referring to. I’ve had other moms make snide comments to me because i cut my kids sandwich into the shape of a dinosaur or drew a face on an orange or something. I shouldn’t be made to feel bad because i spent a few minutes doing something fun for my child.
        And of course it’s bullying – unless making fun of someone is ok as long as it’s done with humor………..

        • says

          Oh goodness, Nicole, I didn’t mean to upset you. This post is meant mostly for mothers who fall short in this particular area, as a way to say “let’s joke about this insignificant shortcoming”.
          Nicole, You keep doing you- keep being an awesome parent!

  18. Karen says

    You have won the mom of the year award for creativity and personally interacting with your child during lunch at school. Bento box mom…… not so much. Sure she is creative, but what cool thing did she leave in a note to her daughter?

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