Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Mystery of the Cut-Up Backpack

One Monday morning, as I was helping Madeline get ready for school, I noticed the nylon strap on her backpack was cut clean through. So I started to look a little closer and realized her monogrammed Pottery Barn backpack had been attacked. The zipper track was snipped (so the zipper came off the first time we tried to close the outer pocket) and the padded arm straps were shredded to the middle (as far through as three- or five year old fingers were strong enough to cut). I fired up my brand new sewing machine for the first time and reattached one nylon strap to the other, but that's the best I could do. Off she went to school.

Another interesting parenting challenge. Who to discipline when neither Madeline or Charlie will fess up? They both cheerfully offered theories -- that maybe it was just old? That maybe the friends we had over the night before were responsible (I knew that wasn't the case because Madeline's lunch box was chopped at the hand of children's scissors about two months earlier). I think they even threw out Maple and John as potential culprits. Rob and I agreed we didn't want to discipline both for what one had done, though we happen to think that both kids might have been in on it together. So we decided to let Madeline continue to carry the bag as quiet penitence. Interestingly, she's never complained once, even though she has to carry it by one strap and the outside flap is attached by a safety pin. I mentioned our little situation with a half-smile to Madeline's teacher (as a somewhat embarrassed explanation for why we were weren't replacing it immediately) and found out that Madeline had proudly showcased it at show-and-tell earlier that week!

It reminds me of the time when I was exactly her age, and I kept cracking raw eggs against the wall in the garage, desperately trying to understand why none of them were hard-boiled; I figured I'd keep cracking until one turned up. We may never solve the Mystery of the Cut-Up Backpack. But we did let Madeline pick out a new one from a catalog, which she will receive for her birthday in a two weeks.


Unknown said...

How is it I've never heard the hard boiled egg story of your childhood? So funny.

The Brown Family said...

So funny to wonder what is going through their young minds, isn't it?!? I'm sure one of the kids was doing some sort of science experiment in their opinion! And I too have never heard that awesome egg story! I love it.