I leave lunch boxes, drink bottles and school notices on the kitchen table, where Y and the girls will sit and eat breakfast (or will walk past on their way to before-school care). The lunchboxes are often sitting with the school jackets the kids put on before they walk out the door. Sometimes I put the school bags themselves on the table and the lunchboxes and drink bottles and school notices next to the bags. I put out the notices and non-lunch things the night before, and I say "PLEASE don't forget these," and he says "Okay". I get the lunches out of the fridge in the morning and put them on the table, and I wake him up and remind him again: "The lunches and drink bottles are on the table, PLEASE don't forget them," and he says "yeah yeah, go, go, you'll be late for work", and I say "but PLEASE don't forget them!" and he says "I won't forget. Go!"
I remind the kids the night before, and tell them the bags are their responsibility and they have to help Daddy by getting ready and checking their bags.
I used to put things directly IN the bags, but sometimes they need to note what's going in so they will know to take it out again, and also on Y's day off HE should be doing the preparing and worrying and lunch-making, so I am trying to get him doing at least PART of the task. He's made lunches himself a few times but it can still lead to the same result, which is:
I come home at dinner time to see forgotten lunches/drink bottles/notices/whatever on the kitchen table, and to be informed by the kids that the notice is overdue and we owe $6 to the school office for lunch money.
And I round on Y and say "Really? Really?!" and he says, "I know, I'm sorry" or "OK, so I forgot!"
And I say "HOW is that even possible? They are right there where you all eat breakfast!" and I say "Do I really have to get up half an hour earlier than I already do, and wake up everyone and put everything in the bags myself and show you all what's what?"
And the kids say "It's not his fault Mum!" and sometimes I say "It's OK", and sometimes I say "Yes it is!" and sometimes I say, "It's ALL of your faults!"
And the conversation often ends with my signature line, "Do I have to do EVERYTHING in this house?" which is an unfair line because I know that I don't, but it's satisfying and self-righteous and cathartic and it's my signature line.
It's too bad Y doesn't have a blog to complain about me. If he did he could probably talk about the number of times I set my alarm at 5.30 and then turn it off and get back into bed and wake him up every 20 minutes with the snooze alarm. Because I'm sure that is quite annoying.
But he doesn't.