Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Put your money where your mouth is

Parenting is a funny thing. Wonderful in so many ways, a pain in the ass at times, but always educational.

This week is the scholastic book fair at my children’s school. Oh, how they look forward to this twice annual event. And who can blame them? The opportunity to buy new books (sorry, Ellie, but it’s fun!): all the glossy options, all the never-before-cracked spines, all the snazzy bookmarks to accessorize with?

I typically give them $10 and let them budget it as they see fit. I typically give this to them toward the latter part of the week, after they’ve had a chance to thoroughly peruse the large selection.

But as soon as those ragamuffins were off the bus yesterday afternoon, they told me about their purchases.


Yes, both girls were “given” money by their friends. The oldest $10, the youngest $5. Who just gives their friends their parent’s hard earned money, I ask you? I asked them this very question too, and they just shrugged, and named the girls’ names.

Obviously the point was lost on them. I started over. Finally both agreed to return the money, still all the while telling me how much their friends insisted that they use their money. I started to start over. They quickly parroted back my message. My work was done (after I paid these friends off, of course).

Their choices were not what I would have hoped, but don’t I always say, “I don’t care what you’re reading as long as you’re reading?”

I do. I do say that. Often and loudly.

So, guess what I was treated to last night?


Although it wasn’t this exact book. It was a similar book, but in “quiz” format.

Lucky me.

Feel free to quiz me. I got almost every answer right!

Here is my very favorite: what did Bieber name his range rover? Lisa (Well, duh).

And what does he drink every morning with breakfast? A giant bloody Mary with a beer back? Supposedly not. The correct answer is orange juice. Supposedly. And I now also know that he’s sweet on sour patch kids, and is “very attached” to his phone, which is a Sidekick, if you were dying to know. Which I know you weren't.

I don’t have a “Celeb crush” on Bieber (his is BeyoncĂ©, btw), but my girl does, and WoW was she motivated to read the information and do those quizzes.

So thanks, wonder boy, you really expanded my horizons, and made me put those other girls' money where my mouth is!


pat said...

future fund raisers in the making?
Love, Nonnie

book snob in Central PA said...

Oh, Beth!
You are far a more patient and kind mother than I.
My poor children always complain that I NEVER give them $$ to spend when their class goes down to the bookfair and your blog is exactly the reason why I don't. (they have to wait for me to be there during parent/teacher conferences and then I spend..and spend quite a bit)
I'm also known by the other kids as the parent volunteer who won't let them buy the "crap" that is disguised as books (again, your blog post) and take them back to the shelves to help them find LITERATURE. Who knows if their parents appreciate my efforts, but I know an amazing librarian in heaven who certainly does!
Since I am a volunteer, most of the crap does not even make it out of the box (sorry scholastic, I treat it like trans fats or crack cocaine..things that need to be limited to young children).
They can bring their own $$ for an over-priced poster or pencil, which should keep social services at bay.
It might help if you stop saying the, "I don't care what you read as long as you are reading" :)

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Gag me! I do not understand the appeal of the Beiber. I wouldn't stop my kids from buying crap books with their own money, but when I'm paying I have the right to censor their choices. This is also my general rule for the Ice Cream truck and the game room, for what it's worth.