Before I begin, I must take a moment for shameless self-promotion and
beg remind you to go vote for me over at Friends You Love for a post I wrote about my fabulous BFF of many…many…many years…
Have I mentioned we’ve been best friends since we were six years old. And now… well, we aren’t six anymore. And she still puts up with me.
Ok. Down to business:
I hate saying or hearing my children say the following sentence:
“Would you like to pledge money for my walkathon?”
It makes me feel like this:
On Friday, my kids came home from school with a pledge sheet.
I cringe going from door to door for any reason, be it selling chocolate bars, raising pennies for UNICEF, asking if I can borrow a jerrycan because I ran out of gas in front of someone’s house.
But this weekend, my kids had to go door-knocking to collect money for a walkathon to raise funds for field trips (because apparently the $120/year I give isn’t enough to make it out of the school parking lot).
I went with the seven-year-old yesterday.
At the first few houses, he was as mortified as I was.
Holding his little clipboard out in front of him, his voice shaking with shyness and embarrassment, asking in his sweet little voice, “Would you please donate?”
People would take one look at him, and start digging into their pockets.
After filling in their name on the form and handing him their money, they would ask, “How old are you?”
He would say, “I’m seven.”
“Seven?” The tone was accusing; like they’d been had.
The kid is cute. And he’s little. Most thought he was in kindergarten, until he would correct them and tell them he is in grade two.
After a few more houses and a few more bucks, my competitive drive kicked in, and I was like, “Come on Terran, hurry up!”
As we hoofed it from house to house, I was coaching him on the faces he should be making while asking for donations: “Make sure you maintain eye contact. And do that little thing with you mouth…yeah, that one! It makes you look like a toddler. And whatever you do, don’t pick your nose, that’s not cute.”
At one house, a young dad was out in the driveway. When he saw us approaching, he didn’t even notice the cute, little kid with the clipboard. He was looking at the mama (ya, me!)
Young Dad promptly dove into his pocket and pulled out twelve bucks.
“You got twelve dollars Terran!”
Which of course had me thinking that we’d probably be well served if we returned home so I could comb my hair, put on some makeup, change into my shortest skirt and my highest heels. Nothing like a Hoe Mommy to help business.
But no way! We were on a mission. I was not stopping until we had filled every space on the pledge sheet.
After about an hour, Terran had had enough of the humiliation.
“Can we go home now? I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“No. Keep going.”
At one point I sneezed and dribbled in my pants (four kids came shooting out of me, this happens).
Terran said, “Does this mean we can go home now?”
I asked, “Can you see a wet spot?”
“Then keep going.”
Unfortunately, his seven year old attention span won out over my desire to
be the ruler of the land get every slot on his pledge sheet filled in.
I knew we were done when he started waddling and quacking like a duck while waiting for people to answer their door.
Seven year old who looks like a kindergartner canvassing for funds = profitable
Kid making animal noises while canvassing for funds = disconcerting
When we got home and I added up the money he had collected, I was shocked.
In one hour, the kid had made thirty eight bucks.
Thirty eight bucks an hour! That’s good fricken money.
I called out to my husband: “Hey Wayne! I just want you to know, I’m pulling Terran out of school. I’ll homeschool him or something. Tomorrow we’re going to stand on a busy intersection. I’ll get him to hold a sign that says, “We’d rather beg for food than starve!” We’ll make a killing!”