One of the parts of being a parent I was woefully unprepared for was the fundraisers! My children would come in and hand me this packet with all of the things that they want to buy in them circled. They also circle their goal gift on the back. That’s your goal, son? You want to sell fifty thousand dollars worth of wrapping paper to get a yoyo that lights up? I am pretty certain that I can just go get you one for like ten cents at the dollar store!
My children grew up without our family close by. My children would also wait til the last-minute to show me the packet. We would only have a few days left to sell this shit because it has been sitting in their bedroom being circled. Yes, I do see how they are like me with my Avon catalog *if you are new here please read “Hiding from the Avon Lady.” Hopeful little cherubs with their eye on the prize and no one to sell to. We lived in a neighborhood that was recently built, it was filled with children my children’s ages. Everyone was selling this garbage. My kids were so excited to get that prize and so I would buy some portion of what was circled. They would ask their horseback riding instructor and various other people who didn’t want any either but obligatorily purchased a candle or napkin rings.
The deadline day comes and the child only has to remember to put the envelope in their bag and bring it to school. Inevitably the envelope is left sitting on the table. Seriously this selling garbage to make money for the school is becoming a job for me. I mean, what the fuck guys? I then have to bring the envelope to the school. So I have to bundle up my baby, grab the envelope, put the baby in her car seat all while she is sticking her ass up because she doesn’t want to go. I mean how does every child know this trick? You go to put them in the carseat and they become stiff as a board. As a mother you know karate chopping them in the stomach is bad, so now what? What does the parenting books say about this? Oh that’s right it glosses over the “heavy as rocks, stiff as a board, made of jello and spaghetti arms” part of child rearing. So there you are fighting with your baby as they are stiffening up and you are thinking “karate chop is wrong….don’t do it!!! You normally like this child.” You finally have to bribe the fucking kid with donuts. “Hey do you like donuts?” and you hope that they do. “We can go get donuts after we drop this off at the school.” The child finally cooperates and you smile because you probably could use a donut after that workout you just had. You really deserve it for not harming your child in your battle of wills. American Ninja Warrior should have a portion of their show where the contestants are dealing with children who are unwilling. For this next round you have to give your child medicine that they don’t want. *If you are not a parent but have dogs it’s the same. *If you have neither then imagine wearing a bottle of sticky cough syrup and your child has yet to get a drop in them.
I get all the way to the school with the envelope and my baby in the backseat has fallen asleep. Now I have to wake up the sleeping beauty to bring her into the school. (I think the person who wrote the Fiona part of Shrek may have had a toddler. When your child is tired they are kind of ogres.) I am carrying my little ogre who is screaming and kicking and biting me to the door. I have to ring the bell and wait for them to ask me what the hell I want. Only the little siren in my ear is preventing me from actually hearing them. Finally I hear the little click of the door and I am allowed in. I walk to the desk and the office lady is always annoyed. Always annoyed ever since I was in school in the seventies and eighties. I think there is a class on being a school secretary that makes them all very fluent in resting bitch face. I am now seeing the two hundred other parents of the school all standing there with their envelopes too. Honestly, I knew this was going to happen. Why doesn’t the school have someone outside collecting these shits so that we don’t all have to come inside? Oh its the public shaming at how incompetent we all are as parents. “You didn’t remind your child to bring this in?”
“Yes, In fact I made a song about it and everything. We even practiced putting it in the backpack last night and everything. I mean what can I say I don’t actually know why I am here either. But that’s not the point….here is your check. I have got to go and wrestle this child back into her car seat now.” Like I want to be doing this at all.
I finally get the child back into the car seat and she no longer likes donuts because she is super fucking cranky. Now I don’t actually know what is going to get her into her carseat. “It’s not a karate chop! It is not a karate chop!” I tell myself. I finally ask “Do you want candy?” She does and like a charm she is sitting and buckling herself up. You would have too, don’t judge me. Candy for breakfast is only bad if you think it through. I didn’t and therefore it was not.
The day the fundraiser arrives there will be one thousand phone calls, emails, and text messages to alert you to pick up your fucking things because the school doesn’t want it either. This is always in some parking lot, like a drug deal. The text is always so cryptic….*FUNDRAISER: pick up packages at NTTGHM parking lot 5-7pm!
That is the only time too. Like if you have the fucking flu or a job too bad. And I just know that I am going to have a reenactment of the envelope drop off. I am going to see the same two hundred parents. My child is going to fall asleep on the way so she is going to be screaming. My older two are going to have to carry the boxes because my arms will be full of spaghetti arms and jello body. *seriously America Ninja Warrior just consider it, it could be the parent addition. The boxes are always deceiving large for what is inside. You open the box when you get home and realize that it was wrapping paper for Barbies. What the fuck am I going to wrap with this? I hardly ever buy jewelry as gifts. The napkin rings look suspiciously like the kids made them in art class, they are all misshapen and different sizes.
If you are like me, you laugh and take pictures because it is hilarious. If you are reading this please send me pics of your hilarious fundraiser things. I am on Facebook and Twitter and would really love for you to share them with me. Then at the very bottom of the box is your child’s prize which is always the most disappointing thing in the box. It’s either incredibly lame or amazingly small. Your child looks at it and they realized that they have been duped. Then they say something like “All of that hard work for this?” And this is really preparing them for taxes, which is not a bad thing I suppose.
Then your child has to deliver the packages to their proper recipients and they do so with less gusto than when they were selling it because they don’t care that you bought something they only cared about the prize which they have by now either broken or lost. This lesson of theirs never lasts because in the spring they are all super pumped for this new prize that they are trying to earn. It’s the circle of fundraising.
Moral of my story: It is not about the items nor the prize, fundraising does great things for schools and we should all support them if and when we can. Some of the things last though…I, to this day, have a frozen cake that I bought when one of my children was still in middle school. My oldest is in veterinary school, my son is in graduate school and my youngest is a sophomore in culinary school….thats one old cake. I am thinking this might be the Thanksgiving I will serve it. Also I might need to clean my freezer.
Until next time 🙂