Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Junk Drawer

If this post were a piece of my kitchen, it would be the junk drawer.  I love to keep lots of interesting things in my junk drawer: cell phones from 2005, coupons from 2008, permission slips from 2009, and twist ties.  I hoard twist ties and will dig them out of the trash can if you try to throw one away.  My junk drawer is a special place of non-related good intentions that don't always come to fruition.  Like that free tube of lipstick I got from the department store that I just know will one day look good on me, because a color called "Pervette" can't go wrong.

On second thought, I'll just trash the Pervette, but don't ask me to give up that Similac voucher that expired four years ago.  Those coupons make really good shopping lists if I run out of used envelopes.

Natalie and Daniel's school had something called the Boosterthon Fun Run which is a fundraiser that employs young people to come into your child's school and brainwash them with high-quality prizes that they can earn if they just call up friends and family and random people they may have met at a gas station and ask them to pledge a dollar amount for each lap the child runs.  The pledger, in return, gets a warm fuzzy feeling that about fifty cents out of every dollar they pay will go to the child's school.  I am undecided how I feel about the Fun Run though it was decidedly more expensive for all involved having two kids in school at the same time.

The first day there is a pep rally.  At the pep rally, apparently the kids are told what to say when they call up Granny while loud music is played and prizes are perused.  At carpool, the Boosterthon guys jump up and down to pump you up while you try to get your child into the vehicle before they explode with excitement.  This goes on for ten days.  Everyday, the Boosterthon dudes come into your child's class and pass out rewards to those who have collected pledges.  Everyday, your child comes home asking who else may they call because THEY REALLY, REALLY NEED TO GET THAT GLOW-IN-THE-DARK WATER BOTTLE!

I don't even let them drink past seven.  I don't see why they need to have it illuminate at night.

The day before the Fun Run, Daniel was freaking out because he was being told he needed more pledges to get more prizes help his school.  Apparently the wristband, water bottle, light-up bouncy ball, wristwatch, and t-shirt weren't enough in the booty department.  He needed mooooooooooooore.

Sorry, dude.  Here's a math sentence for you: $1/lap x 2 kids x 35 laps = more than I already want to pay.  I'd rather just cut a $70 check to the school directly but instead I'm essentially giving them half of that and letting you bring home stuff that was probably made in a sweatshop in a country that I can't pronounce and I can't be sure of it, but ingesting water out of that glow-in-the-dark bottle just may give you cancer.  So heads up on that.

The night before the event, it was like a thousand Tammy Fayes were crying from the sky and the field the children were supposed to run on was muddy.  So instead of being able to run outside where it was 78 degrees and breezy, the kids had to run in the gym where it was much warmer and smelled like B.O.  Like feet.  Like eau de sweaty men's locker room.  Gag.

Since the Fun Run had to be in such a compact space, each grade not only ran separately, but were also divided up into boys and girls.  Eve and I arrived when Natalie was about halfway through her run.  She looked miserable.

Last year:

This year:

It seemed like the kids had a good 30-40 minutes of run time last year.  This year, they had less than fifteen. So no time for water breaks.  And more puking (surprisingly not from our family).

The music was so loud that Eve's ears were hurting.  She screamed and cried at the top of her lungs.  It did her no good because no one could hear her over Justin Bieber.  Eve was especially pissed when she found out that not only did we need to stay and watch Daniel's class run, but that the boys would be running last.  She does not do the loud/stinky/hot scene very well.  She would not do well in many parts of the world, or even our house in the summertime when I declare a dip in the pool will suffice as a shower.

As we waited for Nat's class to empty out and Dan's class to enter, I scrounged around my purse for any kind of sugar I could give the child.  Luckily for Eve, I had several pieces of broken candy cane at the very bottom that distracted her from her desolation.  I would say that she only cried about 40% of the remaining time we were there, which was a huge improvement.  It's just been so long since we've seen Downstairs Eve that when she comes out, she scares me.

Daniel was totally into the Fun Run.  He was the pumpedest.  He doesn't mind bad smells or the heat or loud noise.  Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.

He never stopped smiling, which made me smile as I tried to fish out more broken candy cane pieces in my purse.  We got lots of high-fives as he passed.

Daniel thought the Fun Run was the bees' knees.  He would gladly sell his soul to be Fun Running every day of the week.  I do like that we didn't have to sell anything.  Ten days and it's over.  The school profited about $24K, and although another $24K went to Boosterthon, I can't say that I would want to be the one to organize something like this myself to keep more money for the school.  I have a love-hate relationship with this damn Boosterthon.  But thank you for listening.  I feel better now that I've talked about it.  Blogging is cheaper than therapy. Meet me back here this time next year to bitch about it some more but then absolve myself from any responsibility to change things.

I'm more vested in the bald kids than the sweaty, stinky ones.

We were back at school later that week to see all the family history projects that the kids in Natalie's class put together.  Nat interviewed Matt's mom to find out what life was like when she was in the first grade.  Some of the suggested questions included How did you talk to people who didn't live near you? and How did you travel to visit someone who lived far away?  Astoundingly, Natalie's grandmother was born after the advent of both the car and telephone, so she didn't have to freighthop or tie a letter to a pigeon's foot like they did the year before she was born.

At home, I had two very lazy weeks of just lying around with an upper respiratory infection that I couldn't shake.  And by lazy, I mean that I only showered occasionally.  One Sunday evening, I was on the couch sucking on cough drops and reading my latest issue of Essence, which I'm well-aware I'm not in the magazine's particular demographic, but dammit, they've got good recipes.  I hope not to be judged by the color of my skin but by the content of my cookbooks.  And to whomever signed me up for that publication, THANK YOU! but please stop signing me up for baby formula.  People are starting to gossip and I'm totally serious when I say I just ate a really big dinner.

Anyway, on the couch sucking and reading and Natalie turns on PBS.  There is a Downton Abbey marathon going on and she is immediately hooked, mostly because there are people who are kissing who shouldn't be kissing and why do cousins want to get married, Mom, you said that family can't marry each other, and oh my goodness why is that guy kissing that lady again?  I asked Natalie to listen to their accents and see if she could guess where the show took place.  Using the context clues of their fancy voices with all the uppity rich people and their formal evening wear they use to take long walks on huge lawns with no sign of urban sprawl, she thought hard before confidently answering, "Durham."

I continued to cough and cough throughout that night until Matt made me promise to head out to the doctor and see what was up.  I got a Z-pack and some cough syrup with codeine and then I totally had the best sleep of my life.  And I can't remember what happened that second week, but dang, I slept really, really well.  I think Natalie may have joined the Daisy Scouts.

She was so excited that her first meeting was a teddy bear tea with an older troop who had girls with names like Kit Kat and Tootsie.  Nat came home with her first patch and now I have to figure out how to sew it on her uniform.  I'm going to try my stand-by sewing technique of super glue with hot glue accents.  Sewing is my LIFE.

It's been a long time since I was in the Girl Scout game; in fact, I only did one year (as a Brownie) and I have just three distinct memories of that period:
1. Wrapping yarn around popsicle sticks to make countless God's Eyes, which would become the height of my crafting until I discovered Pinterest years later;
2. Awkward ceremonies where I had to don the mud-brown uniform which managed to do nothing more than bring attention to the terrible haircut my mom must have paid for me to have so we could all laugh about it later in life;
3. Making a walking stick by finding a giant branch in the backyard and decorating it with nail polish because I was out of paint.  I was out of nail polish pretty quick after that project.

Oh wait, I forgot one more thing:
4. Our troop never, ever went on a walk, unless you count the walk from the meeting area to the place where they kept the Hawaiian Punch.

My mental junk drawer overfloweth.

I did take Eve on a preschool field trip to the museum.  She got herself dressed that morning and I was getting ready to change her clothes but her outfit was so epic and conspicuous that I felt it was perfect to make sure I didn't lose her.  You don't send your kids into the woods in camoflauge on purpose unless they have a gun.

Yes, the outfit you are all pinning right now to your fashion boards includes a pink flowered headband, green polka dot shirt, purple leopard print tutu, black leggings, Christmas Snoopy socks and red glitter shoes.

My junk drawer looks tame next to Eve's dresser drawers.

Except when she's dressed as a possum.  (I tried to type "an opossum" right there but it looked ridiculous, like so little else in my life.)  Except for the mice in the garage that I wish would die (preferably outside the garage) and every other rodent that is not my daughter dressed up as a rodent, I think rodents are cute.  If I saw this one in my garbage bin, I'd maybe even share a twist tie with it.

1 comment:

  1. I just peed my pants!!! This is so funny. We have a walk a thon each year too. But the PTA puts it on and the school keeps all the money. A ton of work if you ask me. Thanks for the laugh I needed it.