First Anniversary

It was convenient that this week, my one year anniversary of writing here, Pottery Barn Kids sent me their back-to-school catalogue. I enjoy this edition of the PBK catalogue for many reasons: tracking trends in names according to their many embroidered items (“Susie” and “Maureen” seem to be making a comeback, fyi), keeping up with what the kids are all wearing these days (berets and an inexplicable number of layers, apparently) and, of course, my favorite part of the catalogue, perusing the lunch box section to see what Pottery Barn suggests I send to school with my kids for lunch that will get thrown away devoured with enthusiasm.

I have to say, I was surprised at the lack of twine this year. I think the anti-twee movement is gaining traction! However, my eyes did roll so far back in my head when I turned the page and spotted this, that Bob was visibly concerned:


Just, no.

I am going to admit that I stared at this hard. And, for probably way too long trying to figure out how they made the bullseye sandwich. Is that a cookie cutter thing? In graduated sizes? With two different types of bread? That can’t be possible, could it? The only thing I can think of is that maybe they make bread that already comes swirled like that? Is that a thing? That’s probably a thing. But, you still have to use a cookie cutter to get that perfectly round shape, right? So, when I’m making Henry’s lunch at 6:45 in the morning, I would have to wield a cookie cutter with precision? I’m never going to do that.

Also, the toothpick “arrow.” That’s a thing that someone has to consciously purchase, right? Like, they are suggesting a parent out there spend actual money on special toothpicks to recreate this whole stupid vignette. Maybe they made the arrow out of a toothpick and one of those Post-It flags and some scissors? That wouldn’t be as bad as purchasing it, I think. Also, I’m pretty sure my son would turn that toothpick into some sort of lunchroom weapon in about five seconds.

Actually, the most ridiculous part of this whole lunch is the real silverware. I give it about a week before the fork goes missing, ten days before the spoon is gone forever and two weeks before you’re filled with regret for ever sending your kids to school with actual items that had to be returned.

Listen, I think it’s great to be creative with food and get your kids interested in eating and fostering adventurous little taste buds. But, honestly, if your kid opens up their lunch box at school to find this and their first reaction isn’t to recoil in horror, well, pat yourself on the back, you’re doing something right as a parent:


I’m pretty sure it’s not actually alive. But, I can’t be certain.

I believe that is vegetable cream cheese on a butterfly-shaped piece of bread (another early morning cookie cutter!), garnished with sliced radishes, flat-leaf parsley and chives.

Good heavens. I give up.

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.