Submitted by Kathy Haselmaier
It didn't take long to figure out that an "I forgot my lunch" call from one of the kids created a huge logistical challenge when both parents are working. So we devised a plan.
On the first day of school, in addition to either a sack lunch or lunch money, each of our children was given a sealed envelope containing extra lunch money. They were to put it in their backpack and leave it there all year. (We also told them that this was a secret and that they could not tell anyone the money was in there. We wanted to be sure nobody was tempted to take it.) If they forgot their lunch, they could use the money to purchase lunch that day (instead of issuing an SOS call to us or going hungry).
If the envelope remained unopened in their backpack for the entire year (or was it a half year?) they would be taken to an ice cream store on the last day of school (or around then) to use the money to purchase ice cream.
Interestingly I have only faint memories of how this turned out. I think at least one child got ice cream at least once. Knowing them, they may have called some other parent, teacher or student and taken out a loan. I don't think my kids read these stories, but if they do, I'd be eager to hear what they remember.
The good news is that I don't remember needing to respond to "I forgot my lunch" calls often and my grown children are pretty good at keeping track of their stuff. At least by our standards :)