Flipping my lid

Oh plastic container lid, where art thou? Why do you mock me so early on a Tuesday morning? Take pity. The coffee is not ready, the sun has not risen and I just stepped on a stale piece of yesterday’s breakfast cereal and it hurt. All I need to turn this day around is the square lid that matches this square container so I can fill it with penguin-shaped cookies and be Mother of the Year.

I know you are here somewhere, tossed into this drawer amongst the opaque plastic-wear, some with blue tinge, others with red snap-and-click lids (which work if you can find the bottoms). You’ve probably fallen in behind my kitchen furniture, also known once as the baby-change table. Nobody recycles furniture like I do. I wonder if I should tell Ikea of a new use for their Allen key furniture.

Once upon a time, this drawer and shelf fixture held tiny wash cloths and rolled flannel blankets, stacks of diapers, itty-bitty clothes and lotions, with a comfy pad on top hygienically protective against unpredictable surprises that emanated from infant diapers; a station at the poopy assembly line. Today it is holds a microwave, dish towels and enough mismatched plastic containers to ruin a morning.

It’s 6am and I still have to make sandwiches. Then I have to figure out how to pack all those containers into two lunch pails, without confusing the jam sandwich request of child A, who will eat only chocolate pudding, with the sushi request of child B, who prefers butterscotch. Don’t forget the spoons. Each container must hold enough nutritionally complete food choices, yet be socially satisfying so that my children are not ostracized in the lunchroom. The right junk food selection is key.

None of that matters, of course, if I don’t find that missing lid. Isn’t it bad enough that I have already packed two items that have committed the ultimate offence of being wrapped in a wrapper? Great. Now my children don’t have a litter-less lunch. Worse still, I added a juice box. It’s probably from concentrate, too. If there were a Mommy detention, I’d be in it.

Oh sure, I have oodles of plastic ware I could use instead, but the organized stacking I did the night before school started now looks like the shoe department after a BOGO sale. Yikes. You would never know the hour I spent matching lids to bottoms, stacking by size and usage potential.

No, I need this specific lid for this specific container because the geniuses that design lunch pails don’t make them big enough to fit the multitude of containers necessary for adequate lunches and two nutrition breaks. Those little cookies fit perfectly into this particular cube. This is serious.

Remember brown paper bag lunches, when your math homework squashed your wax-paper-wrapped peanut butter sandwich? There were no juice boxes or freezer packs. Everything was room temperature. Yogurt didn’t come in cups. Cheese wasn’t a string. Rice Krispies were homemade. Your mom bought Tupperware at house parties, in colours like pea green and corn yellow. She always found the matching lid.

That’s it, I’m pulling out the sandwich baggies. Detention it is. Sign me in.

Kelly Waterhouse