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    « If only I could do the next 5 weeks pass/fail | Main | Thirty-Three Things... »

    September 06, 2011

    Pre-panicking over my inevitable (?) future as a Room Mom

    Dropping Jack at preschool on Friday was one million trillion times easier than our first preschool drop off, but I still felt panicky when I strapped myself back in the car and drove away. I wasn't sure what I found upsetting, but SOMETHING was upsetting and it was a good hour until my heart stopped beating super fast and my shoulders sank back down to their normal position. 

    After a while I decided that I was, once again, Projecting. As in, apparently I have unpleasant buried memories about starting a new school. I drove home from Target repeating, "A new preschool is not the same as a new high school. A new preschool is not the same as a new high school." over and over and over. I know. I SO would have failed a Parental Qualifications Test. 

    ANYWAY. I really really liked Jack's old preschool and while I am SURE that the new preschool is JUST FINE especially for Jack, especially because dear Lord it is PRESCHOOL not AP Calculus, I am still feeling a little suspicious. I was not impressed with the communication about the first day of school (NONE) although possibly I should take some responsibility for that as well, seeing as how I am super averse to picking up the phone and calling Powers That Be. His teacher is a lovely grandmotherly lady, the room is cute, the class is small, and Jack came home in good spirits, even if he did say, after I asked him how things went, "I don't feel like talking about that right now, Mommy." 

    OKAY, WHATEVER.

    When we picked him up I was handed a Giant Packet O' Fundraising Info. Welcome to Catholic school! Now, I know that public schools do fund raisers too, and I remember having to do a few when I was in school, but I've been warned about how being a Catholic school parent means you are pretty much on the development committee whether you like it or not. Since we are paying out-of-parish rates and he's only in the Pre-K program, I'm not sure how sucked into this world we will be, but it IS a trial run for kindergarten and beyond, so I'm [suspiciously] interested to see how it works. 

    I am not OPPOSED to fund raising. Obviously. But I happen to be rather bad at it. I can volunteer to help with auctions and fairs and all that organizational stuff, but having my kid walk door to door selling gift wrap? (This is the September Fund Raiser, apparently.) NOT SO MUCH. I just don't... Well, I don't know. Some people seem totally fine with this. And I've certainly bought my share of magazines and popcorn and candy and all that. But you know they expect you to harangue all your family and friends to buy the gift wrap, as well as the unsuspecting neighbors who have no idea who you are, and that just feels icky. I mean, I'm the person who doesn't even like wedding registries! 

    There was also a sheet of paper in my packet asking for the names and contact information for friends and family who would be interested in giving and/or attending fund raising events. And I can just imagine Random Relative opening up her fund raising letter from Maggie's four-year-old. GAH. 

    Have I told you that cold calling business contacts for auction items was once part of my job description? Until my boss realized that we were getting, like, NEGATIVE items and decided it was no longer part of my job description? 

    It seems like most of the Catholic school parents I know get Super On Board and become evangelists for their school and I'm not opposed to becoming one of those people EITHER, but it seems very DAUNTING. Tomorrow night I am skipping a church meeting to go to the curriculum night at the OTHER church. (I totally forgot about last month's meeting, and NEXT month's meeting is 3 days away from my due date soooo, yeah. They are totally going to fire me.) Anyway, I hope to Become Educated on more of this Catholic school stuff. Actually I hope to meet some other Catholic school parents, even though I feel about as skilled at this as I am at fund raising. WE SHALL SEE.

    In lieu of the First Day Of Preschool picture, which would be the APPROPRIATE ending to this post, but which is apparently on one of the OTHER phones/cameras we use to take pictures, which of course we have misplaced at the moment, I will leave you with a picture of the cake the FPC made for Molly's birthday party on Sunday. 

    Photo (12)

    I KNOW. The FPC is MY personal cake-maker. You can't have her. 

     

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    Comments

    Wow, I think that's the prettiest doll-skirt cake I've seen. Most of them have too-large skirts that look kind of weird, but this one is just right.

    Your son = my daughter. What's with the "I don't want to talk about it right now" stuff??? She's been saying this since she was like 3.5 or something. It's crazy! Also, I hate the fundraising stuff too :(

    Gak, the gift wrap one. I hate the gift wrap one. And there was a kid next door to me in Florida who sold me some lotion stuff, took my money on the spot, and NEVER BROUGHT ME THE LOTION. Not that I really cared, I bought it because I always buy things from cute kids, but STILL.

    Why did my sister become a veterinarian and not a pastry chef?! WHY?????

    I hate that schools you already PAY FOR ask you to raise money too. It doesn't seem right to me.

    When I ask my son what he does at daycare, he usually says, "Nothing." And he's not even 3 yet.

    Maybe we should start a petition against selling c#%p as a fundraising method. Why don't they just increase tuition by 30-40$ and leave the poor kids alone? Not everyone is a born salesman.

    By the time my daughter started first grade, I had had it up to here with fund raising. So I walked into the school, went to the office, and gave the principal $50. I said this is my part for fund raising. It's pure profit, and that's all I can do financially, and all I will do otherwise. She THANKED me and wished all parents would do the same. (Turns out she hated fund raising, also.) I walked down to the classroom, told the teacher what I had done, and said with a smile but in a very authoritative voice, "So there's no need to send any fund raising materials home with MyGirl." So worth it.

    I find this information very useful and it has considerably saved my time.thanks.

    Love the cake - so beautiful!

    My school district did a lot of fund raising. So did my 4-H club, my singing group, my choir, and my cheerleading squad. It was... awful. My parents finally just started sending checks to the various places because they were so mortified by my constant begging.

    This is not a helpful comment, I fully realize.

    Okay, so perhaps I feel this way because I do not have school-age children and I am not seeing first-hand the lack of materials/services/etc that this fund raising bridges the gap on but I FRAKKING HATE FUNDRAISING.

    PARTICULARLY for grade school ages, because children that young "fund raising" just feels ultra tacky and exploitative to me. "Buy this candy bar so I can have crayons!" Oh, no. No. And then utilizing the parents' networks? Asking for contact information? It is so....yucky. I mean, how is someone supposed to repsond when contacted via third party this way? If you don't contribute it reads as, "I do not like you or your children." It's so weird. So RIPE with opportunity for social awkwardness.

    I hate it. My mother never, ever participated or let me participate and something very dramatic would have to happen for me to change that family tradition. ESPECIALLY at a school I pay for. Claire's Montessori did it and I was just like, "Um, wait. I PAY TUITION. RAISE IT IF IT IS NOT ENOUGH."

    AGHHHH. This is probably not a popular opinion but whatever. It's mine.

    Also, I have always wondered....Is there any actual penalty or punishment for not fund raising? What if you simply...ignore it all? What happens then?

    Fund raising can't be compulsory (especially for public schools, right?). Is there some kind of public shaming that makes everyone keeps feeding this monster?

    Fundraising is my nemesis. We got the fundraising packet last week for selling magazines and its been sitting on my desk collecting dust. I have not even openned it. I am not the door to door or guilting family/friends type and I'm determined to use: "my daughter broke her foot and is on crutches" excuse for not selling a single magazine. Especially because there is bound to be another fundraiser next month - fish fry. Sign me up for that.
    And then my neighbor came over and actually asked to place a magazine order. I guess Jo must have been blabbing to neighbor's daughter about prizes for the top sellers and suckered her into it.

    1. My kids private Christian school (um, like 3 schools ago? We change schools a lot.) had a "bakeless bake sale" - in other words, don't cook any cakes, don't buy any cakes, just write a check. I loved it.

    2. Two teenagers came to my door today asking for money for the high school band. I gave them a $10 because, well, my kid goes to that school and he used to be in band (in jr. high). But honestly, I have NO IDEA if it was a real fundraiser or a total scam. Apparently any nice looking kid can come to my door and I will just hand out cash. Please don't spread the word.

    I'm with A'Dell. As a kid my mother never let us fundraise either (in high school it was our choice and I realized quickly I sucked at it and stopped). My kids will not be hitting up people for money. Period. Parent groups at the public schools here have actually started sending home letters saying that instead of fundraising they will ask for one donation at the start of the year. Done. No PTA bakesales to contribute to or Weebles (or whatever those dumb fuzzy things are) to earn. I much prefer it that way.

    Fundraising is a big pain. Especially when they hype it up to the kids about the prizes for a million items sold. However, most schools seem happy if you even sell a few items. Some parents I know just pick one of the year's events and sell that one. A friend's school tried doing a flat donation at the beginning of the year instead and had much a worse financial outcome than they did for the fundraising. Just buy what you want or can and let the rest go. Or... if you come across any great fundraising ideas that you think people will like better, let the school know. They are always looking for new ideas.

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