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Thursday, July 31, 2008

The day she came home without her bento box

Just the other day, I was reading Jo-N's comment that her only concern about packing bento is that her kid may not bring the bento box home, since it happened once before.

I had remembered thinking, "Oh, it's probably because Jo-N's kids are younger than my kids".

After all, Kimberly is already in Primary Two. Not only she comes home with her bento box, its complete with the day's foodpicks and dividers and food cups.

Today, my 7 1/2 year old rang me up at the office. She asked if I could go to her school's lost and found store because she couldn't find her bento box. She said that she had left it on one of the round tables while she went to play. When the bell rang for ending of recess, she came back for it and found it gone.

That was her favourite bento box. It's a Love and Berry bento box.

For those of you who haven't any little girls or are not familiar with Love and Berry, it's those 2 Japanese girls, who, according to my little girl, dress up in beautiful clothes and had dancing contests.

They have this Love and Berry arcade card games at the play area at Jaya Jusco Midvalley. You can see little girls choosing their selected dress , hair do, shoes from their pile of card collection before punching the "go" button and swiping the cards through. The Love and Berry girls would be magically transformed into the outfit chosen. Cool. yea? And those who coordinate their outfit better get higher points! Ha ha.



Anyhow, I got Kimberly this Love and Berry bento box for USD16, and Kimberly was ecstatic over it. It's her all time favourite bento box.

Today, according to MIL, she came home in tears. She has been holding back her tears till she got home, the poor dear.

So I packed up my laptop, left office and phoned the school's lost and found person in charge to arrange for the key to the store room to be passed to one of the security guards so that we may have assess to it after the person in charge has gone home for the day. It was after 5.30 pm when I got there.

As usual, one of the guard would escort the parent in , due to safety measures taken by the school. The particular guard, Rashid, went with me to the cafetaria where a pile of food containers were stacked up on one of the tables. Apparently, every day after school, some kids would inadvertently left something behind.

One glance told me Kimberly's favourite Love and Berry container isn't among those in the pile. So I asked the guard if I could look through the lost and found baskets in the storeroom.

Rashid said it probably wouldn't be in the lost and found storeroom because the day's pile is still in the cafetaria, but I thought I take my chance anyhow.

We went upstairs and I pulled up my sleeves and rummaged through the pile of leftover containers with rotting food still inside them, trying not to breath as I do so.

Nope. Nothing. Feeling disappointed, I asked Rashid if we could look through the cafetaria again.

We went down and Rashid asked the cleaning lady sweeping the floor if she had seen a pink coloured container. She said," Yang itu saja ada" , pointing to the pile that I had looked over.

You know, when your kid love something so much, you do everything you can to try to get it back. I am sure lots of moms would agree with me on this.

So, I continued searching. I look under tables, behind doors, on trays, behind counters, under the sinks etc, all the while the cleaning lady keep stealing glances at me.

On searching the last of the 4 corners, just before I reach the tall 4 footer metal dustbin, the cleaning lady said, "Oh, ya, Ada satu, Yang ini" And she walked to the very dustbin and whipped it out from behind somewhere.

I was so grateful she found it, I keep thanking her and Rashid.

See? Like I found gold only !! And it's only a bento box. Ha ha.

When I reached home, Kimberly was overjoyed and gave me a hug,

"Momma !!! You found it !!!"

But what Rashid said earlier struck my mind, "kadang kadang bukan kanak kanak yang mau. Orang dewasa pun nak juga. Boleh bagi anak sendiri"

I am half minded to think that he is refering to the cleaning lady, with her initial denial and her quick recovery of memory loss, because Rashid looked at the cleaning lady funny.

Malaysian being Malaysian, we like to give people the benefit of doubts. In all probability, the cleaning lady could have earnestly forgot that she placed it behind the dustbin and not pile it together with the stack of left-behinds.

In my opinion, whether she had the intention or not,whether she had forgotten or not, at least she has conscience enough to disclose it at the end or had jogged her memory in time. To a grown-up, it's just another container, but to a certain little girl, it's really important.

And a little girl got back her favourite bento box !

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  • US$16 is expensive! Thank goodness you found her favourite bento box. Kimberly must be very touched by what you did.

    Btw, I don't understand malay... What did the security guard said? Is it the cleaning lady kept it for herself?

    If you ever come to S'pore, we must meet :) Our girls can chat and exchange cards. ;)

    By Blogger LZmommy, At 5:18 PM  

  • Unbelievable. And i tot in the beginning that some kids may have stolen it.

    By Anonymous shooi, At 8:55 PM  

  • oh my! you're such a devoted mom. Glad you found her favourite box. The cleaning lady's action is really suspicious. I am really sad with this bad Malaysian attitude of wanting to get a freebie everytime, even at the expense of a child.

    By Blogger 3lilangels, At 9:56 PM  

  • Tell me about it. I know how hard it is for a child to lose something so precious in her eyes. I've gone through it before, and I definitely know how good it feels to find it back again.

    By Anonymous giddy tigress, At 11:05 PM  

  • Understand how it's like to lose something precious. My girl will brawl her eyes out. Glad you found it finally.

    By Blogger Rei, At 10:16 AM  

  • i am so glad that you managed to get back the bento box... persistence does pay. sadly, i tend to agree with what Rashid said... in these days and times, with money so scarce, the cleaning lady, probably being a mum herself saw something very nice which she wanted for her own little girl. perhaps she wrongfully thought that your little girl comes from a better off family, she can easily get mummy and daddy to get her a new lunch box. sigh..this is the reality of life.

    So, does that mean Kimberly's not going to bring this bento box to school anymore?

    By Blogger YozoraNiteSky, At 10:35 AM  

  • really admire your effort to try to find it!
    that's what I am worry also, lost their favorite bento' box. Not to think negatively but some times our kids can forget but some other times, it might be stolen as well.
    some times being kids, when they see nice stuff not belong to them, and in their mind they just take it ( even for a while)will not harm others .And school is a big community we can't be sure who will take others stuff and who doesn't.

    By Blogger Sandra@miabambina, At 11:44 AM  

  • good to know that you found her fav container :)

    misha always misplaced her things too .. but usually the day after than .. it will somehow appear again at the Lost and Found area :)

    you are such a good mom. if it is misha .. haha.. she will definately be scolded by me :)

    By Blogger I am Princess Misha's Mum, At 12:06 PM  

  • Good that at least you found yours. I think its pretty normal, even in SIngapore...Rachel "lost"her favourite princess bento box and her NIKE cap too...for her case, the things were never found...from her teacher and her accounts (recorded in her blog) its obvious someone took it intentionally...

    From then onward, my girl had learn not to entrust any thing to anyone or leave precious things laying around unattended.

    By Blogger Rachel, At 3:16 PM  

  • You really made a thorough search didn't you? I think most of us would have missed it. Haha.

    Anyway your story reminded me of the cleaning lady at my old office. She took my cross stitch patterns to "photostat" but each time I asked her back for it she gave some lame excuse and never did return it to me eventually. I would have gladly photostated it myself and given her a copy if I knew she wanted it so much but ... oh well... I'm just mad because the book contains many of my favourite patterns and I can't find it anymore.

    By Blogger mumsgather, At 6:39 PM  

  • Oh dear! Luckily you are persistent enough. Must learn from you... normally I will give up if I can't find it and won't bother to ask.

    By Anonymous Angeleyes, At 9:09 PM  

  • Hi LZ mommy, the security guard said,"Sometimes it's not the kids. The adults want it too. Can give their own kids". It's not really the issue of whether it's expensive or not, but how much the little one love it, you know what I mean?

    Hi Shooi, I had thought some other little girl may have taken it at the spur of the moment, but glad it wasn't the case.

    True, 3lilangels. These attitute does exists particularly in 3rd world countries like ours, but I think had she intended to swipe it, she must have seen how desperate I was to find it for Kimberly. That shows how important it is for my little girl.

    Yea, giddytigers, one time when Kimberly was young, we had a hard time looking for her security blanket in a shopping mall. ha ha.

    Hi, Rei, that was her absolute absolute favourite. It wasn't half bad if it's something easily available. We could just get up and go buy another one, yea?

    True Yozoranitesky. Actually, I wouldn't have been that persistent if it is something that we can easily buy here or online, but Love and Berry products are really hard to come by online. And those people I know who goes to Japan has no clue where to get them for Kimberly. Frankly, neither do I.

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 10:50 PM  

  • yea, Sandra, these things happened all the time. But hard for an adult to understand something precious to a kid. Even my husband don't understand why the Love and Berry bento box is so important to Kimberly. He says its the same as the Jaya Jusco Princess Disney one because both are similar in shape and pattern and both are pink. ha ha.

    Hi, Misha's mom. If it appear in Lost and Found later, then it isn't so bad, yea?

    Rachel's mom, I think Kimberly too has learn to keep things that are dear to her heart near from now on. She asked me to only use it when I am out with her and not to use it for school anymore.

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 11:00 PM  

  • Mumsgather, you have no idea. I too, have lost many favourite recipe books, kids bedroom decoration books, 1001 things to do with kids books, how to's books from the guest room, from all kind of distant relatives of MIL and FIL that came by the town for the night and FIL/MIL/DH graciously said they could put up a night here. Sad that people do take advantage of hospitality.

    Angeleyes, if it is just any bento box I can buy online easily, I wouldn't have been so persistent. ha ha. But after Kimberly told me about it, I surf the net from the office and couldnt find them anywhere, so I had to go back to the school to find it. There is a love and berry site that sells but I am kind of rusty in my mandarin, it is going to take me a long time to figure out the shipping costs etc.

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 11:24 PM  

  • Hi Allthingspurple...I haven't seen kids here with Bento boxes....nor have I seen one....I guess I never really looked.
    Next time go walkabout will see what are Bento boxes? Ha ha.
    I guess because I take a pass at Japanese food. Lee.

    By Blogger U.Lee, At 9:18 AM  

  • Allthingspurple - sad but true, sometimes people just "accidentally" took things that are not theirs. But glad that all ended well with the bento box. I'm sure Kimberley's response to the find was worth every bit of your time and effort

    By Blogger A Mom's Diary, At 5:03 PM  

  • Thanks for your translation :) I think this kind of things happens everywhere...

    By Blogger LZmommy, At 3:54 PM  

  • we will do anything for our kids... and seeing them smile and happy are the most valuable treasure for us. I have just gv my bento box to my nieces. I wonder if their mom will do something about it. i wish they stay with me and i don't mind to wake up early and prepare their bento. sooo glad u found them.. not to sound bad bad i think the cleaning lady will sure take it back if you have not gone there in time.that is normal people behaviour

    By Blogger Deana E, At 8:44 AM  

  • u r such an udrstanding & loving mom...getting so emotion, it just showed how much she must have loved that box! thk god mumy's effort & the tears were not wasted!
    yes, having the heart of greed is part of msian...sigh!!

    By Anonymous jacss, At 1:25 PM  

  • awww... brought me to tears when I read it. This is how the fairy tales always end, Happily Ever After! The End! Namaste!

    By Anonymous Hijackqueen, At 12:20 PM  

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