The forgetful boy and the lost gumshield

I used to think it was my eldest who was the forgetful and disorganised one in our family. My younger son was always pretty reliable.

Until he started secondary school.

I don’t know what happened, but oh my goodness! That boy lost and forgot more things in his first term in year 7 than his brother had forgotten in over three years at secondary school.

He’s not deliberately careless. He really doesn’t mean to lose things, but somehow he can’t help it.

Shirts, PE tops, rugby hats, water bottles… If it could be removed from his body or his bag, he would lose it.

Some items came back home eventually, others didn’t.

In year 8 so far, he managed to forget either his guitar or his rugby boots three Mondays out of four. Then on the fifth Monday he excelled himself. We couldn’t find his school shoes in the morning and, by process of elimination, worked out that he must have left them behind after rugby on the Saturday. At a school 15 miles away.

Remarkably, we got them back, although it did take an hour and a half out of my life that I’ll never get back.

Then less than two weeks later, he took it a step further.

He came home without his PE bag, which contained his PE kit and trainers. But luckily not his rugby kit and rugby boots. He was particularly upset about this because it wasn’t his fault (in his opinion). He’d chucked his PE bag on the ground outside. In the area where everyone chucks their bags and there are notices everywhere saying ‘Please don’t leave your bags here’. Clearly someone had mistakenly picked up his bag.

But they would realise their mistake, wouldn’t they? They’d notice that the shorts were too small and that the trainers were wrong. Right?

But they didn’t. There was no sign of the bag in lost property and the name label in the shorts wasn’t helping them to magically make their way back home.

On the Sunday evening, I went to check my son’s gumshield was clean for his rugby match the next day. But it was nowhere to be seen. Of course, it was in the missing PE bag.

Why did we only realise on Sunday evening, when he had a game on Monday? Why didn’t we notice on Thursday, Friday or Saturday? Or even on Sunday morning?

Without a gumshield, he couldn’t play.

So somebody had to go out in the biblical rain to buy him a new gumshield, then drive to school with boiling water in a flask and a saucepan to tip the boiling water into, to mould the gumshield.

Gumshield, Son, Forgetful

While I was sat in the car park, the opposition team bus arrived. We were cutting it a bit fine.

My son burst into the car, looking like a drowned rat, but still feeling pleased to have found the water bottle he’d lost on Friday. No sign of the PE bag though. The gumshield was fitted in record time and he was gone.

I’d only just left the school grounds when the phone rang.

‘Mum, the game’s been called off!’


And the missing PE bag? That eventually materialised in lost property two days later, nearly a week after it had gone missing.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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    • Ha ha, every cloud, eh? 😉

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  1. Eek!!! Well done on getting a new gun shield in the nick of time though. If it makes you feel better, my husband can’t see things that are in plain sight so I wonder if it gets worse as they get older?

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    • Eeek! Surely they can’t get any worse?! My husband isn’t bad at all, but he had a very different upbringing to my kids. I suppose my boys will eventually become someone else’s problem!

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  2. Crikey! I’m reading this and thinking 1. How much extra money it must all cost to replace lost kit/gum Shields eat and 2. How lucky he is to have a mum like you!
    I can see this happening to my girl, who is already forgetful, although we haven’t lost school shoes…yet!

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    • Thanks very much! He’s lucky that I don’t have a ‘proper’ job and have the flexibility to chase round after him, although perhaps that’s half of the problem?! I reckon it would have been at least £100 to replace the bag and its contents 🙁

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  3. Yet again Sarah, you are giving me images of my future life. FOrgetful teenagers and mad cap dashes at the last minute. This is what it’s like wither older kids, right?

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    • Sorry! I’m afraid this pretty much is what life is like with older kids. Although I can’t yet vouch for girls – they may be easier!

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  4. Ha ha I did smile at the ending! What a fab mum you are – they’ll remember this in years to come 🙂 I do think they get incredibly forgetful at secondary school age – I blame it on the hormones 😉

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    • Thanks very much! I do like to help them out, even if it does make me a bit of a mug! I think he is genuinely sorry and grateful. It must be the hormones! 🙁

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