Life as a father requires MacGyver-like abilities in many areas.  In this edition of "Trial and Error" you'll see what happens when grocery bags are nowhere to be found and a lunch needs to be packed.

At the National Night Out Kickoff Party in Harker Heights, Logan spent quite a bit of time in the world's greatest babysitter.... the bouncy house. Photo by Jamie Garrett

Both my boys have lunch bags they take to school.  They both said they wanted to take their lunches this year instead of relying on cafeteria food.  We obliged with new lunch bags for both.  After a month of school we've lost one lunch bag and quickly destroyed the structural integrity of another.  The lost lunch bag was actually lost on the first bus ride of the school year, which accidentally came on the second day of school.

We bought a replacement lunch bag after the first went MIA with no hope of being found.  We've been stubborn on the deteriorating lunch bag.  I can't comprehend how the bag has been as torn up as it is.  We haven't replaced it yet, but since it's older brother Tyler he's decided HEB grocery bags served quite nicely as a replacement bag.  The unfortunate side effect of that is my supply of HEB bags I use for MY lunch have gone missing.

Today I was left with three choices.  I could go with a tiny christian bookstore bag, I could stash the lunch in my laptop case, or I could go with Yertle.  You see, Yertle the Turtle bags were being given away Saturday at the Harker Heights Community Park as part of the HH Police Department's National Night Out Kickoff Party in the Park.  It was a great time for younger brother Logan.  He's always complaining that he never gets to come to work with me like older brother Tyler.

Logan got meet his hero... a brown paper bag. The brown paper bags daddy brings home usually don't have healthy stuff sticking out the top. Photo by Jamie Garrett

The problem with taking him to this remote broadcast was that it was so much fun.  He's going to think that every time I go to work without him I'm going to a place with bouncy houses, face-painting, firetrucks, helicopters and prizes.  That stuff doesn't take place at my job nearly as much as it should.  In the process of making the rounds at all the games and booths, Logan picked up a Yertle the Turtle bag stuffed with goodies (some of which he claimed are "girl stuff that's pink").

As the time came for me to walk out the door for work I was left with three options, two of which weren't realistic.  That left Yertle.  I had to make a mess on the counter to get all the prizes, including the "girl stuff", out of the bag.  With apologies to my wife, who will make it home first this evening, I didn't get time to clean up my mess afterward.

As much as I claim to not be bothered by my only choice of lunch bags, I certainly hope my boss doesn't walk by and see this. Photo by Jamie Garrett

I did, however, have an impromptu lunch bag.  I might even be cool enough to pull off a "retro" look with it, but I don't care.  What matters is that I now have a lunch bag.  I'm man enough to own up to it.  It might make the whole "weird guy with the beard"  look I have going seem a bit less rough around the edges.  Or it might just creep people out.  Either way, Yertle and I are attached at the hip (or stomach) now.

This is just one more example of the daily struggle to meet the kids' needs while still making myself presentable in public.  I'm just lucky most days if I can find a clean pair of underwear among all the Spongebob and Scooby underwear that comes out of the dryer.  I spend so much time each morning concerned that each kids has brushed teeth, matching clothes and a lunch bag in hand that I'm left reeling after they leave for school.  All parents go through it.  Not all parents have a Yertle the Turtle lunch bag as evidence.