"The Lost and Found Bin"
Also known as the "Box of Vermin," "Mountain of Mites," or my personal term of endearment: "Bucket o' Lice." Any parent or school educator/administrator will tell you that this place is nasty. If the producers of 20/20 went in there with a bacteria kit, they would undoubtedly discover all kinds of new diseases. The items in there are often months old and usually filthy. The bin is filled with clothes, lunch boxes, and other sundry items which probably originated from good homes, but somewhere along the way, went bad. Alas, no one wants them now. Many parents will just kiss the items goodbye forever rather than approach that bin. This would prove far too expensive for me and parents like me.
Often, you can locate your child's belongings just by eyeballing the pathetic pile of rancid, skid-marked junk. This makes things easy (assuming you brought plenty of Purell for your hands and a large Ziploc bag for storage). But, other times, the pile is so large that you simply cannot get through it without actually touching the stuff. If you've never been prone to panic attacks, this could do it.
Last winter, we had a pretty good run. OK, so the gloves were showing up in singles or not at all, but those are easily replaced. But, then, one day my son came home in below 20 degree weather, shivering and turning blue, and said the words that no mother ever wants to hear: "Mommy, I lost my coat." Oh no! You know what this means? Not the Bucket o' Lice! Please, anything but that! "Honey, will you do it?" I most gently ask my husband. Of course, he has at least 10 excuses which are better than all the ones I came up with.
The next morning, I send the kid to school in last year's coat (which now has sleeves which reach down only to his elbows) and I come to school armed with my rubber gloves, salad tongs and shower cap (for hair protection). I have considered wearing goggles, but seriously, I don't want to embarrass myself!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.