Hungry? Theres an app for that

It all started when we ran out of peanut butter this week.

Joel was putting together Olivia’s lunch, and had scraped the sides of the jar dry. We both looked at the clock and exchanged nonverbal cues. I’m not going to the store…are you?

“That’s ok,” said Olivia. “I can BUY lunch tomorrow!”

Now, if you raised kids a decade or so ago, you would have reached into your purse or pocket, pulled out five bucks, and stuffed it in your kid’s backpack. Done.

But for me, this was the beginning of an epic battle against technology. Technology, mind you, that was meant to help expedite this process and in turn make my life better/easier/simpler.

I recalled the email at the beginning of the school year which reminded us elementary parents that in an effort to be more “green” most school lists and newsletters would be digital. There is a website and an app for my smartphone which can help me access documents, like the school lunch menu.

I vaguely remember downloading the app last year, so I scroll through my phone.

Login expired.

Do I want to renew for $4.99? Sigh. Ok, I’ve come this far. Sure. iTunes password to login to the app store.


Ok, I’m in.


Lunch menu! Victory!

“Olivia, do you want snack pack A, B, or C?”

Upon this decision, we all go to bed. But I have a fleeting thought before I fall asleep. Have I updated her account with money for My School Bucks? YES THIS IS A DIFFERENT WEBSITE.

I make a mental note to do that in the morning because my brain was done for the day several hours ago, even thought I’m still technically awake.


Day 2

I arrive at work, and search my old emails for My School Bucks account, hopeful to find my previous login and password. No dice.

I go to the website, and click the thing that says “forgot password” and it prompts me with a reminder question. Now hear me on this, because thus begins my favorite part of this story.

“What is your favorite pastime?” the friendly website asks me.

“Hmmmmm,” I think. What IS my favorite pastime? I filled this thing out a year ago, in a postpartum haze with a newborn baby… so would I have chosen? Sleep? A Shower?

Then I think, I’m the type of person who wants the website robots to like me, or at least think I’m healthy and active, so I typed in “Running.”

We’re sorry, that answer does not match our records.

They’re on to me.


Strike two

I know now that I’m dangerously close to being locked out of the cafeteria if I enter another incorrect answer. So I click the button that allows me to completely reboot this entire operation. It says a notice has been sent to my email so I click back over.

I think at this point I’m sweating. I just want to buy my child snack pack C.

The email from taunts me with a link. I click and reset everything. What do I want my NEW username and password to be? Oh the possibilities! I think of a few passwords, which include symbols that are not family-friendly, and decide against them. Something pleasant, and I will write it down in two different locations for the next time I forget what I’m doing.

Once I’m in, and I see the options to add money via debit for my daughters lunch account (which we will most likely use three times total this year). I decide on the option that says, “Add $45” because—HEAVEN HELP ME—I am not going through this for at least another year.