Back to School

I’ve avoided the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue for awhile now. Mostly because the last issue I flipped through was about two-thirds gray and way depressing. Gray walls, gray bedding, gray crib. There was an occasional shot of navy, I assume, for color. I get the trend but it read sort of “prison cell” in the pictures. Also, I find the catalogue tends to be a little… twee. Everyone’s names are embroidered all over everything: shirts, pillowcases, picture frames, etc. And, hand to God, the last catalogue had two blankets stitched with the names “Cambria” and “Cale.” Just, no.

Anyway, I tackled their latest catalogue because I’ve been eager to ditch Millie’s crib and start putting together her bigger-girl room. I was looking for a little inspiration, except, their latest issue was all about back to school. Among the offerings of desk organizers and backpacks was a small section on lunch boxes. At first glance, I thought, well that’s kind of cute. All of the little dinosaur and flower prints and smart handles.

Then, I came upon this page:


I do not love my kids enough to make this for them.

Look at all of the food groups represented! In wee containers! The coordinating fork and spoon! The pious CLOTH napkin! But, hold the phone here for a minute. What exactly is PBK suggesting? Because as lovely as this presentation is, they certainly can’t expect my son to open his lunch box every day and find this.

First of all, I don’t speak French. I HAVE in the past left notes inside Henry’s lunch box but they’re usually on a stained Post-it note and say something like, “Don’t get put in the red group for talking again today!” Second, this whole make-your-own-taco-chip/hipster Lunchables idea is adorable but I can tell you right now, the lunch lady/cafeteria monitor that has to quickly clean up shredded lettuce, cheese and chicken in addition to diced tomatoes from the table/chair/floor before the next round of kids arrives to eat is basically going to hate you and your kid. I mean, with the heat of a thousand suns. I’ve seen how hard these people work. Lastly, just thinking about having to clean up the shrapnel that is sure to land in the deepest recesses of that case makes me want to take a nap.

So, I sighed, turned the page and found this:


If you do this for your kids, I don’t think we can hang out anymore.

Then, my brain started leaking out of my ear. That would be a sandwich (crustless, of course) wrapped in parchment paper and tied up with twine. TWINE. I get this is all the fault of the Pottery Barn Kids stylist who is probably really very good at their job but regardless, C’MON! My bigger issue is that this stainless steel bento box is $48.50. For a lunch box. For your kid. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I can spend money. I can spend money like a boss and I’ve spent it at Pottery Barn Kids before (looking at you, bunk beds) however, the day I spend almost fifty dollars on a lunch box is pretty much going to signal End of Times.

And, just because I can’t stop at that:


This would be a sandwich that resembles a baseball. What with the ribbons of red bell pepper and all.

Pottery Barn Kids, I feel you have a moral obligation to not present these lunches as viable options. No one can attain or maintain these standards. And, if they can, may God help those children when they arrive at college.

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