Let The Fun(draisers) Begin

Do you know what school starting back up is synonymous with? Aside from early mornings where everyone bitches, doesn’t eat their breakfast, and then whines about being hungry? And also loses the mate to every single pair of shoes they own?

Fundraisers!

I’m pretty sure they shove the fundraiser forms at kids the second they enter school on their very first day. Forget school handbooks, emergency contact forms, and all that crap — fundraiser forms are priority number one. This means that basically from late August until mid May, anyone with a child is a social pariah. People will go great lengths to avoid being asked if they want to support Little Johnny popcorn or fruit crate fundraiser.

I hate school fundraisers almost as much as I hate zucchini, and that’s saying something. It’s like that song from Annie, It’s A Hard Knock Life, where the little orphans are singing about all the shit Miss Hannigan makes them do, but with adults and selling useless crap instead of cleaning.

It’s the hard-knock life for us
It’s the hard-knock life for us
Always making us sell useless shit
To buy more cheap Chromebooks for your kids
It’s the hard-knock life!

(Excuse me while I go rewrite the disgruntled parents version of Annie.)

When I was a kid, we had one big fundraiser for school where we sold wrapping paper. Apparently at Christmastime, there was a massive shortage of wrapping paper, so it was crucial to sell the same thing you could buy at Walmart at a 300 percent markup. And then there was a fundraiser with the softball team where we sold candy. Candy wasn’t a problem, since most people didn’t cringe when they saw you coming their way with those big boxes of M&Ms. Except for that one lady who yelled at me for trying to kill her because she was diabetic, anyway. (That’s every 10-year-old’s dream — to rid the world of the diabetics. Sigh.)

Things are different now. They sell lots more useless crap now, and depending on which school your kids go to (not the boy’s), the kids who sell the most useless crap are treated like celebrities for a day. One year there was a limo ride to a local pizza place, followed by playing in a bounce house rental. I think that was the same year, at least.

There’s also the “Fun Runs.” Little Man has repeatedly asked what the heck is supposed to be so fun about these Fun Runs, but I’m not really sure.

Maybe an inflatable obstacle course would be lots of fun, but jogging around a track or inside of a gym isn’t anyone’s definition of fun. Some years they do Color Runs, which I have a love-hate relationship with. On one hand, it’s fun to squirt my kid in the face with the colored chalk stuff, but on the other hand, I have to let him ride home in my car. We’ll call that the Sorta Fun Run. (By the way, I was so disappointed at the first Color Run. For whatever reason, I thought we got to throw large paint balls at the children. We did not.)

It is my dream that one day the schools will have fundraisers that the parents will actually enjoy. Instead of being forced to wait tables for a night at a restaurant so the school can keep the tips (whoever the fuck came up with this horrible idea for a fundraiser can go straight to hell) or harass coworkers to buy garbage, we need fundraisers that are actually fun. There has to be a way  a person can raise funds while not hating their own existence, right?

Ultimate Dodgeball

There are two ways you can go with this. First, parents vs. other parents. Charge $10 per participant and have fun launching balls at the heads of the other parents you loathe for an hour. Second, parents vs. kids. Same idea, plus you get to unleash some of that pent-up aggression over certain individuals leaving messes all over the house again. Borrow balls from the school, meet in a public space, and it’s all profit.

Drink-A-Thon

Instead of getting people to pledge a buck or whatever for your kid to walk a quarter-mile, how about getting people to pledge money for each glass of wine or beer you drink? Some of the…more seasoned…moms would probably be able to raise the rest of the funds needed to build the new playground in no time at all.

And if you aren’t a drinker, then get people to pledge money for each glass of water or Coke you drink. You’re with other adults, kid-free, having fun, and raising money, so it’s a win-win situation.

Adult Fun Raffle

Some schools have Fundraiser Raffles where they get people and companies to donate all sorts of stuff, you buy a bunch of tickets, and then you put your ticket in the bag for whichever item you want. Some of the items at these raffles are neat, but others just blow. (Why the hell would I want to put my ticket in the $1 oven mitt raffle vs. the beach weekend raffle?)

At the Adult Fun Raffle, there will be no oven mitts, kiddie art classes, or coloring book sets raffled off. Gift cards for the local pub, babysitting vouchers, date night supplies, etc. will all be raffled. Baked goods — but not the kid-friendly kind — will be raffled. You get the idea. We’ll even let Karen raffle off the rest of her Pure Romance stock, and we’ll take her word for it than everything is unused.

See? Fundraisers really can be fun. Or at least not kill-me-now painful.

If you could come up with a fun fundraiser, what would you choose?


Good news on the book front — I finished the rough draft. Anyone who emailed me about being a beta reader for the book can expect an email soon with a PDF file of the book. If anyone would like to be a beta reader and hasn’t already gotten in touch with me, email dorkymomdoodles@gmail.com.

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Open House Bingo

Remember the Parenting Drinking Game? The one where we got to take drinks for things like the kids tattling or fighting?

Well, now there’s Open House Bingo! Simply keep this bingo card on hand and mark off squares for when certain events happen at Open House Night. At the end of the evening, you get rewarded depending on which bingo pattern you end up with. This game is guaranteed to make dealing with crowds, dodging sign up sheets to volunteer for doing all the things, and ignoring passive aggressive comments slightly less painful.

(Assuming you don’t have superhero vision, you can open this image in a new tab or zoom in to read the small words.)

(In case it isn’t obvious…you’ve got any five in a row, five diagonally, an X, four corners, and full card. For the love of God, if you get the last one, get the hell out of there.)

Based on past Open Houses, how do you think you’d do? Is there anything you’d add to one of these squares?

#AtoZChallenge: ‘D’ is for Doctor

Like any little kid, Baby Girl likes talking about what she wants to be when she grows up, and she wants to be a doctor. Occasionally she’ll mention being an ice cream man or a storybook writer, but mostly she talks about being a doctor. She’s had a not so low-key obsession with doctors for a long time now. While everyone else I know dreads going to the doctor, the girl lives for it and often creates reasons to go. “Oh, I’ve got a boo-boo! Call an ambulance!”

If Baby Girl were able to leave the house by herself and drive, she’d probably have a restraining order by now.

The girl gets ticked off anytime the rest of us have to go to the doctor and don’t take her along, and she asks a million questions when we get home. There’s always a little bit of hope in her voice that maybe something will be badly wrong with us, because that means more visits, more procedures, and more deets to share.

I think all of this is adorable, of course. Even more adorable is her in her doctor’s scrubs for Halloween.

She has quite the collection of toy doctor tools, and she even has a few real things, courtesy of an EMT who took interesting in BG at a restaurant one day and gave her a tour, hooked her up to an EKG, the whole nine yards. Baby Girl was in heaven that day.

One thing Baby Girl likes to learn about is body parts. She’s very interested in the different organs and their functions. You might be thinking, “Smart kiddo!” but know that her interest doesn’t stop with her little body parts doll she got for Christmas.

She’s also very interested in where babies come from. She’s three, y’all. I gave her a sciencey rundown, and she later asked my husband where she was before she got in my belly. He told her that she was in Heaven with God. This freaked her out because she associates that with being dead. She brought it up with me again later, and I talked to her about starting out as an egg in my ovaries, which went over much better…

And then, of course, she wanted to see the ovaries and find out how all this went down. I showed her an awesome YouTube video (you can see it at the end of this post), and she has watched it at least a dozen times. She’s absolutely enthralled.

Then the next big question came:

I didn’t want to tell her about vaginal delivery. That’s just too much right now. I don’t care if she educates her classmates on the rest of it, but I really don’t want anyone calling me because Baby Girl talked about pushing a baby out of one’s vajayjay. (And she’d use the correct term, of course, but I’m not.)

Instead, I told her about C-sections. She was born via C-section, so that worked. She was fascinated with that, which made me kind of scared…how long before I wake up in the middle of the night with her trying to perform surgery? It was like the time Little Man got super interested in organs, too, namely the heart. He talked about wanting to hold a beating heart in his own hands one day, so I didn’t sleep for a while.

Yesterday (we’re not blasting too far to the past for this one), the attempted C-section happened, but I wasn’t injured in the process.

We were hanging out playing doctor with her stuffies when stuck one under my shirt.

Oh lord.

She took her toy doctor scissors and pretended to cut open my belly along the area where my actual C-section stitches are.

And then it was time for Pete the Cat to be delivered.

We then repeated the process many more times before she decided that I should be her nurse and give all of her stuffies their flu shots.

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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#AtoZChallenge: H is for Hulk DNA

Like a lot of kids, Little Man has a love-hate relationship with school. He usually enjoys going — and often comes home excited about the things he got to do — but is less than thrilled with other parts. Namely having to get up in the mornings, staying for seven hours, and going for five days per week. (Half days two or three days per week is what he thinks would be suitable.) Oh, and the homework — he hates that, too. He considers it a form of medieval torture, and in kindergarten — when he’d come home with an hour’s worth of homework that required cutting, pasting, and coloring — I didn’t disagree.

During a complaint session back in first grade, Little Man gave us some interesting reasons for why he shouldn’t have to do the school thing.

You can’t say that the kid doesn’t have his priorities in order — Hulk DNA should definitely trump working on handwriting.

What are some excuses your kids (or you as a kid) came up with to try to get out of school?

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