The one where I find something disgusting in Belle’s lunchbox

Getting the balance right as a parent can sometimes be really hard.

On the one hand you want to help your children in any way you can, do things for them and make sure they happy and relaxed. On the other hand you want them to learn how to do stuff for themselves, to take the initiative, and to discover that NOT doing stuff has consequences.

For example, Belle starts year 11 tomorrow and roughly three times a day for the last six weeks I’ve reminded her about homework, and to do things like wash her PE kit. I’m not going to do it for her though. There comes a point where they have to appreciate that not washing your PE kit means going to school with a dirty PE kit and that’s that.

The downside of all this ‘teaching’ though is that when you enquire about the whereabouts of their lunchbox on the last day of the summer holidays you get presented with this:

Mouldy sandwich

*throws up a bit in mouth*

This, as far as I know, was once a sandwich.

I had got so sick, after 18 years as a parent of school age children, of throwing away half eaten sandwiches, that I’d decided to just not. At 15 years old Belle should be capable surely of emptying her lunchbox?

You’d think.

Actually, you’d THINK she’d be capable of just eating the lunch in the first place, then she wouldn’t NEED to throw anything away.

I’m not being cruel though am I to have stopped doing things like this for her? One mouldy sandwich does not make me a terrible parent does it?

No. Of course not.

The main challenge here of course was how to get a photo, (for scientific research purposes), without inhaling toxic bacteria and keeling over in the kitchen.

Bee made a plan.

I held the camera and we both held our breath. Bee went in, quickly and calmly, and removed the lid.

Click went the camera.

Click went the lid, placed carefully back in place by Bee.

Then we both ran away.

Now THAT’S the kind of initiative I’m proud of in my children.



  1. Sarah
    5 September, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    I’m genuinely flabbergasted that you think it’s acceptable to exploit your kids for the sake of your own career. Your daughter deserves to make mistakes without having them splashed all over the internet.

    • Jo Middleton
      6 September, 2017 / 11:12 am

      Thanks for your comment and your concern Sarah but I can assure you she found it very funny and she always has editorial control, so no need for you to worry.

  2. 5 September, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    And it got you featured in the daily mail to boot!

    • Jo Middleton
      6 September, 2017 / 11:09 am

      Yeah I just saw that! I loved the comments saying they were sceptical about the photo because of the condition of the orange, like I would stage a mouldy sandwich

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