OUCH

It is late at night here at the Rabbit house, and I’ve just
had my heart a little bit broken.

See, ever since Tigger started preschool years ago, I’ve
been writing a love note on the napkin that I tuck into her lunch box.  The napkin notes have been a welcome and
expected part of the school lunch experience, and I have carried on the
tradition with Little Bit.

This evening, though, when I opened Tigger’s lunch box to
remove old wrappers and pack tomorrow’s meal, I found that Tigger had scrawled
a note for me on the napkin.  It said
that I was not to put notes in her lunch anymore, especially notes that ended
with “Love Mommy.”  The boys had teased
her about that “Love Mommy” part. 
However, she continued, it would be ok if I wrote notes on her napkins
at dinnertime.

Yes, it was inevitable. 
A third grader can only get so many kissy notes from Mommy before the
teasing begins.  You know, nothing on
Earth can change a child’s behavior more efficiently than the censure of his or
her peers.  If I had a teen who was stealing cars,
I would hire a bunch of kids her age to say rude, mean things to her about
car stealing, and she would never do it again.

And so I packed Tigger’s lunch and dropped in an unadorned
napkin.  As it left my fingers I felt a
tiny piece of Tigger’s childhood dissolve into the atmosphere.  It is fine and normal and healthy and it
still made me cry.

MORNING UPDATE:  While I was
upstairs getting dressed, Tigger peeked in her lunch box to see what
I’d packed.  When she found the blank napkin, she burst into tears.

I came down and found a note on the kitchen table.  It said, “Please put a napkin note in my lunch.  Love Tigger.”

And so I did.

Would it be wrong to teach her to say “F%$# YOU” to any boy who teases her about it?

AND ANOTHER
UPDATE:  There was no indication of trauma resulting from today’s
napkin note.  However, I did get a message back from Tigger.

“Don’t give me egg salad anymore!”

Ok, I can live with that.

 

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64 thoughts on “

  1. I am sorry. I still remember the look on my mom’s face when I told her I was being teased for kissing her goodbye when she dropped me off at school.

    (((((hugs)))))

  2. Nooooo!Some things you must insist upon. Write your note. It’s more important that she learn that a mother’s love is worth the teasing words of some stupid boys who are just jealous.I still write:”Your mama loves you” on the OUTSIDE of Sam’s lunch bags! (and he still kisses me goodbye in front of all his teenage buddies.)Don’t give in! She will thank you later.

  3. Father Time… he can be a real jerk, can’t he? Speaking from my own experience, she’ll remember the notes long after she forgets the teasing.

  4. I guess it was inevitable. I wonder why the peer pressure bond is so strong & why it would be peerishly bad to have a love note from a parent.  I recall my youngest  actually running away from me when I walked him to school or tried to.  Come to think of it that happened in 3rd grade.

  5. Awwww I know you’ll miss that.  I used to do that to my daughter, too.  Now she’s in college and doesn’t live here for me to pack a lunch for her any longer.  But I then began doing it to my son.  When we divorced, my husband and I agreed to share custody of him, so he goes here a week and there a week, which works well.  But my ex-husband started doing the lunch napkin thing with knock knock jokes, stealing my thunder and my originality, so I stopped.  It still makes me crazy to unpack his lunch every other Friday when I get him for the week and see his father’s handwriting on a note.  GRRRR.  Be happy though – you’ve taught your daughter to be more independent and to voice her concerns.

  6. I can relate. So hard to let them grow out of our public affections. I remember the first time I dropped Eldest off to 6th grade, I went to give her a big hug and she said “please no, not here.” I just about cried, because in 5th grade she would be elated to have me arrive at school, and would give me the biggest hugs. I guess it was just too embarrassing to be hugging a parent around all those 7th and 8th graders, huh? *sigh*

  7. It’s so hard to have them grow up and away from us!
    Now I am looking at apartments for next year with my college-aged daughter, and that’s hard, too.  This will probably be the last year she comes “home” for breaks.

  8. Not for me, maybe for you. :)It wouldn’t be wrong to teach her that we really don’t care what silly boys think!She is a leader not a follower. And that if she likes the napkins NObody can make her feel bad about it, unless she allows them to.If all else fails she can use ‘the eyeroll’, and that helpful phrase that goes along with it…”whatever.”

  9. Tell her you know a grown woman whose husband puts notes in her lunch (at least he did when I was still working in an office and he was able to pack my lunch).  And RachelsMommy has a good point.  Several, in fact.

  10. …I got choked up when I read that story. I can relate. When I took DQ to kindergarten, she insisted we walk her into the school. That lasted a couple months. Then she was just content to give me a hug before she left the car. Now that she a worldly 7 year old, she just gets out of the car and doesnt even look at me when I ask for a hug. The door slams and off she runs…(now *I* am sad).

  11. SO…………Did you sign it “Love Mommy”?  Lots of good ideas above, in your comments.  I sat and cried all the time the hair dresser was cutting SouthForkCheerMom’s hair the first time.   ahhhh but they do grow up.   She WILL remember the love notes in years to come, and look back, knowing how much she was loved.    Granny

  12. Ohhhh… I try to put a note my oldest daughter’s lunch each day… she searches for it and reproaches me when I don’t put anything in there. *hugs* I hates this growing up stuff.

  13. AW- thanks so much for the update.  I almost cried when I read the first part.  My boyfriend and I used the pager code 143 for I love you for a long time.  Maybe a secret code for you and the kiddo would be fun and protect her from meanies.

  14. awwwww…..I so did that for my son.
    My 17 year old and I were talking about one of his friends who turned 18 today.  We recalled my son’s 10th birthday and how everyone had come over and spent the night, etc. 
    This friend  told him just recently, “Hey remember when your mom would write you notes and put them in your lunch?  And cut your sandwich in 4 pieces?”    Even their friends remember….
    Now they are both off  to college  in the fall…they grow up too fast!

  15. Aaaaaaw! Maybe not “f**k you,” but certainly a few choice words to the brats who tease. They should be so lucky to have a great mom and a beautiful daughter like you two. That one touched my heart. Sounds like my Mom and I.

  16. THanks for stopping by… it’s still warm…where are you? ahh well anyway I finally got an entry… thanks again… come on down… for a visit that is… lol.. take care

  17. That is so heart-wrenching!  Mine are 18, 21 and 23.  The time goes by so quickly.  We all experience those moments, and I have cried at my share of “transition times”.  That’s so sweet that she immediately missed the notes.  Bless her heart!
    Kathi

  18. I loved the edit! Not only should you teach her to say f*&k you, you could also teach her to say “it’s too bad your mom doesn’t love you.” RYC: lets just say I use a yard stick instead of a tape measure.

  19. I think it’s sweet that she really wanted and needed it, just didn’t know how to cope with the peer pressure.  ARGGGH — that peer pressure is maddening.  Several people had good ideas how you could still convey your love to her.  That special code you make up for the two of you will be something she remembers always.  What a sweetie!

  20. Seriously, whatever you do will be OK.  Because it’s clear you love Tigger and Tigger knows it.  Letting go of childhood things does have to happen eventually, and it’s OK to let peer teasing be the reason for this letting go, and it’s OK to keep on with the napkins and tell her to tell them to buzz off.
    It’s ALSO fine to adopt my own idea of wrapping a single cookie, say, inside of a naked napkin, and tell Tigger that the cookie means “Mommy loves you” and each day let the wrapped napkin hold something different.  An apple, a pear, anything.  Doesn’t even have to be edible.  A quarter.  A dime.  Whatever is the secret gift inside the napkin means exactly:  Mommy loves you.  Or “Love, Mommy.”  Excuse me.  I just reread the blog to get the exact words.

  21. It sounds like she changed her mind and decided that love notes from Mommy were a lot more important than petty teasing.  Good for her!
    RYC:  Yep, everytime you try to do something nice like save some kittens somebody like the Shelter people shows up!

  22. I wrote napkins for my daughters too, as they got older I started drawing on their ziplocs with permanent marker… have a great day, thinking of you, funny faces etc. They always loved it. It’s so sweet your daughter really wanted that tradition to continue and realized that it was worth standing up for. Too cute! RYC: Since you’re a writer, I am not surprised!

  23. I’m 20 years old.  And I still sometimes hold my mom’s hand while shopping.  Now its more of a “sisterhood” love.  And yeah, sometimes I stand there wondering (what the hell am I doing).  But, I will always remember the love my mom showed me, even when it was embarrassing.  Growing up is good, but she will remember.

  24. haha that’s quite entertaining… and i still remember my mommy’s notes on my napkins… now that i think about it i almost miss it
    -K-

  25. My mom used to write us notes on little pink heart sticky paper and I LOVED it.  Then, when I got older and started packing lunches for my little sister, I would put a “Would you Rather” on each thing I packed.  She loved it and so did her friends.

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