As we prepare for what’s shaping up to be yet another insane school year, one viral TikTok video from 2020 is making the rounds again and making us all laugh at the hell that is packing school lunches.
One mom and TikTok user Jessica Woo (@sulheejessica) shows us the bento box she packed for her kid’s school lunch.
On the menu for her kid? Rice, panko-crusted fried pork chops with katsu sauce, edamame, cucumbers cut into flowers, and freshly blended homemade guacamole with freshly fried tortilla chips.
@sulheejessicaReply to @wendys__2 Happy St. Patrick’s Day ??? ##foodtiktok ##letsmakesomelunchformykids ##stpatricksday ##green ##katsu? original sound – Jessica Woo
While we all dreamed of being the type of mom that made these kinds of school lunches, I have so many thoughts about the video on the right, but most of them center around the letters W, T, and F.
Are there actually real people out there packing lunches like this for their real human children? Who are these unicorns?!
Frankly, here’s just a few of many things I’d prefer to do rather than pack such a complicated lunch for my kids:
- Get a colonoscopy
- Sleep-train quadruplets
- Teach a toddler to blow his or her nose
- Listen to my kid describe every single Pokemon and their evolution processes
- Take a first post-childbirth poop
And believe me, there’s more. I could keep adding to this list all day.
Look, this isn’t said with judgment.
I think it’s amazing there are actually people out there who are 1–willing to pack such a lunch and 2–have raised children who’d be willing to eat such a meal.
I mean, clearly, I’M not raising kids like this, but if you are, by all means, go on with your bad self!
I can promise you– if I sent this particular bento box lunch to school with my kids and that lunchbox came back empty, there’s a 100% chance it’s because my kids scraped every last bit of it into the garbage.
Plus there’s the time factor.
Who on God’s Green Earth has time to put together such an elaborate lunch?
If I include freshly sliced fruit, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. If I cut it into flowers? That would be my pinnacle of culinary achievement. If I were making homemade guacamole with freshly fried tortillas for chips on a school day (school MORNING, no less), I’d pretty much expect a trophy and award show in my honor.
Maybe a skywriter and some fireworks.
I’m lucky if I can verify each kid has adequately brushed their teeth and hair before leaving for school each morning! (Perhaps the masks our school system is requiring this year will minimize the impact when I fail to successfully manage even that much…)
In true TikTok fashion, user Chad Portie did a split screen video known as a “Duet” on TikTok and became our real dad hero packing his kid a more…ahem…realistic lunch.
Chad Portie (@txcajun69ac41bb) is all of us as he watched the intricate lunch on the right being assembled. His look wavers between bewilderment and complete shock.
Then he does the sensible thing. He opens up the lunch box, puts in a Lunchable, a Go-gurt, and a Coke.
Now don’t worry, he cares about healthy stuff too. At the last minute, he scrambles over to the fridge and tosses in a very sad looking, wilted celery stick for good measure.
I think it’s great that some parents want to pack extravagant, over-the-top meals for their kids. But for me personally? That’s just too much to ask.
Even if I could find the time to make a lunch like that (spoiler alert: I can’t), there’s absolutely zero chance I’d want to. Parenting school-aged kids is hard enough with just the basics, especially the past two years.
I just don’t have room on my plate (bad pun intended) for unnecessary things that make this parenting gig even tougher.
I don’t feel one bit bad about that and, judging from the comments on this TikTok video, I have a lot of company.
As @sarahredella4 explains, many of us survived Lunchables.
And as @p1ssm1llk says, even if it wasn’t a Lunchable, many of us packed the same old boring stuff, day after day. There were no freshly fried chips or homemade guac in our brown bags.
Of course, @Aidan0229 did point out one critical oversight by @txcajun / Lunchable Guy:
Coming in with probably the best perspective in the comments section is Tatum Johnson:
This school year, we’ll once again be navigating the unknown.
We’ll be spending even more time in unprecedented times (please, for the love, bring back the precedented times!). Parents: Do whatever you need to do to get you through.
If that means packing a five-course meal fit for a TV cooking competition? Go for it if that makes you happy and you can stay sane! If it means slinging a pre-packaged meal into your kid’s cooler bag? Fist bump to you!
Lunchables. Flower-Shaped Cucumbers. You do you, I’ll do me, and we’ll all get through another school year together.
Make sure to see the full viral TikTok video here:
@txcajun69ac41bbReposting my first (and only) viral video. Those were the days. Haha. ##viral ##lunch ##wow ##lunchable