Where have all the sweatshirts gone?

Posted on September 25th, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I have sweatshirt issues. Specifically, I have a child who owns several sweatshirts—all of which have disappeared. Now I ask you—where the heck are they? Are they on vacation? Is there a special “sweatshirt-only” resort in the South Pacific where all the little sweatshirts go to live? And if there is—isn’t it too hot for them there?

Honestly, I just don’t get it. Junior goes out in the morning with a sweatshirt on. He comes back in the afternoon without a sweatshirt. Okay, I understand that mornings are cold and afternoons—well, they aren’t so cold. So the sweatshirt gets taken off.

And left God only knows where.

Look, is it so much to ask that my child actually remove his sweatshirt in his classroom and put it into his backpack so it doesn’t get lost? Oh, why bother? Obviously, this IS too much to ask or I wouldn’t be spending his college fund on sweatshirts.

Look, it’s not like I haven’t tried to find the darned things, I’ve done everything possible. I’ve labeled all the sweatshirts with Junior’s name. Now you’d think that if another child picked up one of Junior’s sweatshirts and wore it home, his mom might look at it and think, “hmmm, that doesn’t look familiar.” And then, when she laundered it, you’d think she’d realize that her child’s name is different from the name written inside the sweatshirt and she’d return it to the school.

Yeah, you might think that, but you’d be wrong. Because despite my labeling, I haven’t seen one sweatshirt in the lost and found. Once, when Junior was in elementary school I even put his name on the OUTSIDE of the sweatshirt, where it couldn’t be missed. I loved it. That sweatshirt didn’t get lost for three entire weeks. Of course, Junior hated it. He swore he’d never lose another sweatshirt again if I would just not put his name in big, magic marker letters on the back.

So what’s a mother to do? I could humiliate my child forever—or I could become a regular at the lost and found table. Naturally, I picked the humiliation. But one look at my son’s big, brown eyes as he sadly realized that he would go through life—or at least elementary school—wearing his name on his back and I relented.

And that’s how I became a regular at the lost and found.

If you’ve never been to the lost and found, I can tell you, it’s a very scary place. For one thing, there’s not a sweatshirt to be found there. But there are, at any given time, at least five lunch bags with lunch still inside, several t-shirts, numerous pairs of pants, a couple of umbrellas and, once, a pair of smelly old socks.

And I came to realize, that even though my son was coming home without a sweatshirt, there were several kids who were apparently returning home without their pants or t-shirts. And I must say that made me feel better. At least my son wasn’t roaming the school grounds in his underwear.

But it didn’t help me find his sweatshirts.

And I was starting to get really ticked off. I mean, have you seen the cost of sweatshirts nowadays? It’s astronomical. Ounce for ounce a sweatshirt can cost more than a gallon of gas. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But it’s close.

And one day, it became clear to me that my only option was to check every single child in town and find out which one was wearing Junior’s sweatshirt. And that’s when Junior told me about something called “the yard-duty table.” Apparently, at Junior’s school, missing sweatshirts congregate at the yard-duty table for a day or so before being sent to lost and found—where they are never found.

But the good news was, Junior had seen his sweatshirt there. Yes, my son had actually viewed his sweatshirt—and several others that were missing—on the yard-duty table. So I asked—calmly—for Junior to bring home his sweatshirts.

And I’m still waiting. In the meantime, I hold out some hope. After all, by December he’ll have moved on to losing jackets. So I have the entire rest of the school year to figure out how to implant next year’s sweatshirts with a GPS device so I can figure out once and for all where Junior’s sweatshirts are living.

It’s either that—or stake out the yard duty table for the entire school year.

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17 Responses to “Where have all the sweatshirts gone?”

  1. pixielation Says:

    I became the mother that hung out in the lost and found room last year when Miss Comic Relief lost three cardigans in quick succession. I found it quite astonishing that there were school trousers in there. What DID that child go home wearing, and how did no-one notice?

    There were also winter coats, socks, shoes, bears and knickers.

    A friend of mine was also rummaging through the barrel one day looking for the brand new, named, fleece her daughter had failed to come home wearing after the first day of term – and found the one that had been “lost” on the first day of school the year before. A size too small, but still with the name sewn into the seam. We figure that an unscrupulous mother told her offspring to ditch the one she’d stolen the year before and pick a new one that fit.

  2. mrsbear Says:

    Luckily we haven’t had the kids lose too many items. Although we did have a situation one year where one of my daughter’s classmates borrowed her sweater then gave her some long drawn out excuse that involved the sweater being stolen in the night by thieves, never to be seen again. The mother was contacted, the sweater returned, all was right with the first grade, but we still talk about it.

    You could always staple the sweatshirt on. ;)

  3. Laurie Says:

    LOL. Maybe there’s a secret, underground network of moms who never, ever do any back to school shopping. They just have their kids visit the Lost and Found. And maybe the Lost and Found is where the mysterious thieves who only steal borrowed sweaters go to fence their goods.

    I’m certain there is an episode of CSI just waiting to be made here ;)

  4. @marymac Says:

    i know where they are! they are the magical, mysterious place where all the OTHER SOCKS are- you know, only one sock comes out of the dryer and THE OTHER ONE is lost? The sweatshirts are hangin out with those socks!
    LOL on your post!!! :) xo

  5. Laurie Says:

    I believe there is a secret society of socks. And one day, Dan Brown will write a bestselling novel where we all discover the symbology behind the secret society and how those socks will not have been sacrificed in vain. In fact, if you look very closely at the painting of the Last Supper, you will see in the lower, right-hand corner a tiny sock. Coincidence? I think not ;)

  6. Oinkteller Says:

    I feel your pain. Last year, my son lost three winter jackets (he found one but not the one with the “Columbia” label), a pair of winter boots and countless mittens/gloves. The only thing he didn’t lose was his awful hunter orange winter cap. After countless lectures, I gave up and took him to Walmart where I made him use his allowance to buy his own coat.

    I might be mean but it worked for us…he wore that coat right through spring!

  7. Laurie Says:

    Isn’t it amazing how if it’s: a) ugly; or b) purchased with their money it magically finds its way home every night?

  8. Anne Says:

    My son came home without his backpack one day. Nuff said. LOL

  9. Laurie Says:

    See? Now how do they forget backpacks? Every child is wearing one!

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  15. CANTSTOPYELLING!! Says:

    Mine will NEVER wear clothing appropriate to begin with…shorts when it’s 14 degrees outside and after sending them back in from the car, he FINALLY comes out with pants on…and has the nerve to take them off (to reveal the SAME DANG SHORTS) as soon as I start driving, so I see him, just seconds too late to do anything about it, exiting the minivan and entering the school to show off what a SORRY excuse for a parent actually drove him to school and “put him out” dressed like that in the winter! The winter clothes magically wind up in the dirty laundry repeatedly ALL SUMMER, even though I only saw them in 7 different stinky sweaty summer outfits all day that the sweatshirts seem to have gotten “soaked in” before deposited (and the STINKY clothes DO NOT EVER get put in the hamper), so they have to actually get washed as many times as they show up…….AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. CANTSTOPYELLING!! Says:

    sending him back inn for the 3RD time…I might add..

  17. Sweatshirts Says:

    The crewneck style sweatshirt is a timeless classic that never goes out of style.

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