We’re supposed to check the boy’s backpack every day and look for any homework assignments or notes from the teacher. Some of the materials are self-explanatory, but some are weird and opaque. For example, there will be a piece of paper that says something like, “This such-and-such thing is happening and we could use your help.”

There are always a bunch of details missing from notes like these, such as what exactly is the thing that’s happening? When is it happening and where? And at what time? Who is the “we” that needs the help? Do I assume the “we” is the school? Or the teacher? Or the students? All of the above? Seriously, am I just too dense to decipher what these notes from school are trying to tell me?

Last night, right before bedtime, I found a note in the boy’s backpack that said, in effect, “The featured letters in class for Friday, September 23, will be M and N.” The note went on to say that my child should bring something to class that begins with the letters M and N. So, right before bedtime, the boy and I scrambled to find things that begin with those letters. It was a lot more difficult than I thought.

Off the top of our heads, we couldn’t think of anything. Our dogs’ names both begin with the letter M, but it didn’t seem responsible to have the boy bring a dog to school. After a few minutes of running around the house, we came up with marbles and Ninjas.

What items would you have chosen for the boy to bring to school that begin with the letters M and N?

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