Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Adventures of Green Camo

I've come to realize I have a lot of influence on the Boy. For example, I recently bought him a humidifier because he has a rotten cold and can hardly breathe at night with the heater running so much. Next morning I asked him how he slept and he said, "Much better and I really like Gordon."

Me: "Gordon? Who's Gordon?"

Him: "My new humidifier."

He looked at me like I was completely clueless not to have known he named it.

I only wish my influence over this kid extended to him getting organized and remembering the basics, such as where he put his jacket and his toothbrush, and why he should listen to me when I tell him not to leave his shoes in the road. And that it's important for him to treat his lunchbox with a little respect, since that is the source of his lunch. 

His lunchbox is green with a camouflage pattern. Hmmm. Maybe that's why he can't find it. It's a hand me down from the Boy's cousin. His cousin never cared much for it, but the Boy LOVES that lunchbox, probably because the alternative is a small, flat, pinkish-red girlie looking one I keep around for backup during those times when Green Camo is AWOL.

Since the beginning of school, the Boy has left Green Camo on the bus twice on the way home, and both times the bus driver saved the Camo and gave it back to him in the morning. Another time the Boy went to his aunt's house after school and forgot it there, so he didn't have it for a few days. Last month he was walking to the house from the bus stop and flinging Green Camo high in the air and catching it--most of the time. Just as he reached the house, an errant throw landed Green Camo on the roof--and we have a two story house. The poor lunchbox slid toward the edge and hung up in the gutter. 

Well, I am not about to climb twenty feet up a ladder on any day of the year, so there Green Camo stayed. Neighbors kept stopping me and pointing it out.

"Did you know there's a lunchbox on your roof?" As if the thing had dropped from a low flying plane or possibly a UFO.

A lunchbox on my roof? Really? I simply must get new eyeglasses.

Several of them suggested that maybe a high wind would dislodge the lunchbox from the gutter.

It might. Any idea how I can conjure up a hurricane? No? Well, since I don't have that kind of control over nature, I'm not going to stand out front holding a catcher's mitt waiting for a wind to come along and do its job.

Another neighbor suggested a fishing pole with a big hook. He offered to loan me one. I declined. I could envision myself hooking the gutter and pulling it down on top of my head.

The Boy excitedly volunteered to go up the ladder, and of course I said no. Any kid who could can't even throw a lunchbox straight is not coordinated enough to climb twenty feet up a ladder without mishap.

After ten days, my husband came home from a job out of state. He went up the ladder and snared Green Camo. 

I figured the Boy had finally learned his lesson. I figured wrong. 

About two weeks ago he left the Green Camo on the bus on the way to school, so of course his lunch was in it. One of the middle schools uses that same bus. In the afternoon, the Boy didn't ride the bus, since I picked him after school. Next day the bus driver, a sub, didn't have the Green Camo and hadn't seen it. The school Lost and Found was another dead end.

The Boy resigned himself to carrying the Girlie Red for the rest of the year because I told him I was not buying another lunchbox for a careless boy. A week later his aunt called and said that her son had been called into the office at his middle school because they had his lunchbox. The cousin's name was written on the outside of Green Camo from the year before. Naturally his cousin said, "It's not mine. There must be another kid in the school with the same name as me." I had to call and ask them to handle the care and well-being of Green Camo for a day or so until I could bring him home.

I went a few days later in the bitter cold with the wind whipping around and the temp well below freezing. I almost got hypothermia on the way in from the outer reaches of the parking lot. I mean it. It was like the tundra and I was not happy. 

Green Camo was empty when I looked inside. I don't know if some hungry middle schooler ate the Boy's lunch or if the Lost and Found lady threw it out. I suppose I'll have to add this question to my list of life's mysteries.

The Boy was ecstatic to see that his lunchbox had returned home. But where will poor Green Camo end up next?

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