Back in my previous life as a capable professional, my favorite job of all time was for a Pain Clinic.   I was the Director of Rehabilitation and worked for 2 of the smartest people I have ever met.   They were the doctors who owned and ran the clinic. reid absent-mindedI loved them both dearly and marveled daily at way they treated patients.   It is a place I would travel across the country to visit if I needed treatment. They were THAT good. The puzzling thing was that the two of them couldn’t have been more different from each other. One was scheduled, organized and tidy. One was not. Let’s just call the latter Dr. Shaw. Dr. Shaw was the lovable, absent-minded professor.   His brain was busy on important medical stuff and didn’t have space for details like where he left his glasses {on his head}, where he was supposed to be at the moment {in the OR}, or where in the HECK he left his dictation machine {@#$?!}. It was the portable dictation machine that caused the most trouble.   He needed it after EVERY patient, procedure or thought. Where did I leave the dictation thing? Those words would send nurses, assistants and me scrambling retracing his steps over the last few minutes looking in every nook and cranny of the treatment rooms {no where to leave it}, the OR {no where to leave it}, and his office {scary amount of books and literature piled so high that it could hold 1000s of small electronic devices without detection}. Life stopped until we found it. No work could be done until it was located. Medical care was on pause. Finally, the nurse that had worked with Dr. Shaw the longest came up with a solution.   Each morning he stopped by her desk so that she could TIE the portable dictation device to his lab coat buttonhole.   If he needed a new cassette or batteries, he would stop back by her desk for dictation device service.   It wasn’t until the end of the day that she would un-loop the portable device and free him from the tether. It worked like a charm. He never misplaced his coat! He never misplaced his coat. That is where I am headed with this tale.   My history of working closely with Dr. Shaw for years has given me hope for my own absent-minded child.   Reid, my sweet middle boy, is a tad on the distracted, unconventional-minded, and day-dreaming side.   I swear his brain just works differently. Last Friday as we were getting ready for school I mentioned that it was chilly outside and they needed to wear their jackets to school.   It was only the second day of the year that this was necessary and I had purchased brand new uniform-approved jackets for each of them just the month before. Reid couldn’t find his. Really? I scrambled through the old clothes pile that hadn’t made it to Goodwill yet and found his jacket from a year ago.   The sleeves were short and the fit tight, but at least he had a jacket to wear to school. Please go by the lost and found and see if you can find your NEW jacket. 6 hours later I picked him up from school.   As he walked out to meet my car in carline, I noticed that he wasn’t wearing a jacket OR carrying one. REID!   Did you lose the second coat today? Ya.   I guess I did. Go back inside to the lost and found! He did.   He went in and searched the box of lost items and came back in just a few moments with BOTH jackets. Whew. The cooler weather prevailed and he ended up wearing it again yesterday. This morning in the pre-school rush, I found out that he once again left it at school. He is averaging one coat lost per day at school. I can’t figure out a way to tether the coat to his body.

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  1. It is truly amazing the amount of lost coats, mittens, hats, etc. that are accumulated at school. Our principal used to put them out at every function hoping to find owners. Eventually, she donated them. Maybe some of the parents bought back their kid’s coat at the thrift store. My only suggestion is to put your child’s name in everything with permanent marker. When I was in elementary school (eons ago) we used to wear mittens that were connected to a long string to be pulled through the sleeves and just left dangling. They were rarely lost. It’s best to retrieve lost items ASAP before they get buried in the huge bins of other lost stuff. Good luck with that!

  2. I have made kids buy their own replacement mittens after losing two pairs in as many days. That’s what allowance is for. Also, it makes them far less likely to lose the next pair (and, indeed, they often subsequently find the “lost” ones). Jackets are more expensive, hence more frustrating. In MI, you can’t really come home without one, since you’re trudging through the snow, but still you’d be amazed at how many hats, scarves, gloves, and even boots go temporarily missing. I haven’t yet figured out a tether system, but if I do, I’ll let you know.

  3. Not sure how you do this with uniform coats….. but I just go to the thrift store and buy a bunch of used coats….. life is too short to spend looking for Mason’s coats. I’m sure they end up back at the thrift store at some point when they get left at some random place so it’s the circle of life 🙂

  4. Its quite a bit colder up here so we’re on to wearing hats and gloves already. And wouldn’t you know we’ve lost two hats and a single glove already. If you find a method that also doesn’t count as child abuse, please share!!!

  5. My similarly-minded daughter lost her brand new coat after about two days last year. We did not replace it. But this year we will have to, as the one she wore last year really is too small. I will at least remember to put her name in it this year.