Sometimes it feels like we’re continually being hit up for money via the girls’ kindergarten. What I don’t like about it is the sense that the school or the PTA are using the kids for fund-raising — invoking the nag factor to get us to pony up. If they wrote directly asking if we could pay a certain amount per month to pay for extras the school can’t otherwise afford, we’d have no problem with that. But the reading marathon, the contests, the Scholastic book orders (of which I presume the school gets a cut) get tiring. Especially at this age when my daughters, at least, really do not understand money at all. Or odds or probabilities. We had several complete meltdowns around the Reading Marathon because they were convinced that they were going to get to ride in a limo (the final top prize for one student in the school).
So anyway, we weren’t prepared for the Scholastic Books order. The girls came home with pieces of paper on which their librarian (I think) had written the titles and prices for three books each in which C&I had expressed interest. These would cost a total of almost $50 and they somehow presumed it was a done deal that we’d be buying all of them. Screaming, crying meltdown over this. Finally we compromised and got one book each and one more to share.
I also am not too impressed with the books’ general level of literary quality. I don’t think it’s a promising sign about a book’s merits when it comes with a cheap dollar-store style necklace included (that’s why they wanted the book, of course). Actually to be fair, when I actually went to the sale with them set up in the library, they did seem to have good books mixed in with the necklace/book hybrids my daughters unfortunately gravitated towards. Showing a 6-year old girl a book with jewelry included is not really playing fair. Normally we’re pretty good at telling them that they can’t buy something, but somehow all the peer/school pressure involved here made it very difficult to manage. Maybe part of what was galling about this was that Grandma Suzy had just shown up with a few bags of wonderful/classic children’s lit from the 1950s-70s, next to which these looked especially tawdry.
This is the book/necklace title. Ballet, rainbows, magic, fairies, and jewelry, a potent brew: