Begging…errr…I mean pledging

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?”
“No.”
“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!”

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49 Responses to Begging…errr…I mean pledging
  1. Jill
    September 26, 2010 | 10:35 pm

    That is some serious coin.

    Can we vote more than once?

  2. Kristina P.
    September 26, 2010 | 10:35 pm

    I can pay him in Snuggies!

  3. Sandra
    September 26, 2010 | 10:41 pm

    Yes, you can vote more than once!

  4. ChiTown Girl
    September 26, 2010 | 10:44 pm

    "At one point I sneezed and dribbled in my pants…"

    BEST line of night! Hell, of the week!!!

    Sadly, I feel your pain, sista. I've been fighting a cold for over a week, so between the sneezes and coughing fits that won't quit, I've been wearing pantyliners all week!!! :(

  5. By Word of Mouth
    September 26, 2010 | 11:03 pm

    We were always stopping and giving money to a guy and his little boy near the highway offramp, then one night we got there a little later and saw them hop onto a shiny bright red motorcycle and speed off – think I was had :)
    Happy to vote for you!

  6. Roundabout
    September 26, 2010 | 11:18 pm

    Love how you "sell" yourself for the good of raising $ for the school!! My kids are doing the same PTO stuff here. Thanks for giving me a new game plan!! & by the way I voted for you too!

  7. Patricia ~ The Naked Writer
    September 26, 2010 | 11:48 pm

    HA Lmfao…this is why I try really hard to not sneeze and dribble…I don't want 4 children to come flying out of my womb…they stay in there as their punishment ;o)
    great post made me howl with laughter thanks i needed that!

  8. Pamela
    September 26, 2010 | 11:49 pm

    Oh gawd, I'm so dreading the fund raising crap. My son's school already sent home a pledge form for the Terry Fox run like 2 days before his kindergarten walkathon and I felt so guilty, but there was no way I was gonna go out there asking for money. But now that you've put it out there, maybe next time I will try the short skirt idea;)

  9. Semi-Slacker Mom
    September 26, 2010 | 11:56 pm

    Can you see the wet stop? LMAO, been there. You should have flashed your abs, you couldn't a 20.

  10. Semi-Slacker Mom
    September 26, 2010 | 11:57 pm

    That's: You could have gotten a 20.

    I need a drink.

  11. Booyah's Momma
    September 27, 2010 | 12:04 am

    What's ironic about this? "Can you see a wet spot?" made me laugh and pee *myself* a bit. Thanks… a lot.

  12. Saimi
    September 27, 2010 | 12:24 am

    Way to rake it in!! When it comes to sneezing, I stop, cross and sneeze.

  13. SkippyMom
    September 27, 2010 | 12:24 am

    ::fingers pressed into my temples:: Chanting "Only one more. Only one more."

    Stupid nazi fundraisers. I have 16 years worth of wrapping paper and a freezer full of cookie dough because of this sh*t – and what is worse they start on DAY ONE of school. We've just started to have sacrificial bonfires on the evening of the first day of school because my kid is not going door to door for this crap. You are a better Momma then I.

    I just fill the whole sheet in with fictitious names and surprisingly the check I ultimately submit says "Skippy Mom" – hee – they ALL paid cash. Not.

    I might add that they kicked me out of the Girl Scouts because I was incapable of Calendar or Cookie sales. I was awarded the FAIL badge as they gently booted my ass to the curb. No kidding.

    Wallene runs a mean Lemonade stand tho' :D

  14. <br><br><br><br><br>Dr.Sameena Prathap
    September 27, 2010 | 12:54 am

    Hi Sandra,

    Thanx for the lovely comments dear and for joining in my dental and food blogs!!I felt very inspired over your compliments!!You dont have google connect..so i should subscribe thro mail or join through FB..let me know dear..Happy to follow you..Please leave a message on my blog!!

    Dr.Sameena@

    http://www.lovelypriyanka.blogspot.com

  15. Just Plain Tired
    September 27, 2010 | 5:31 am

    I voted for you yesterday, or the day before — I'm old and forgetful, so not sure. But I don't think you can vote more than once. I simply got a thanks for voting message today.

    Amusing post and $38 an hour is nothing to sneeze at. ;)

  16. Jessica
    September 27, 2010 | 5:52 am

    OMG! I love how your drive pushed him along! Even with damp undies! Thanks for the 6 a.m. laughs.

  17. Pragmatic Spector
    September 27, 2010 | 6:02 am

    Hey Sandra wanna buy some Jamba Coffee to help raise money for this impoverished youth orchestra im a member of?

    haha kidding. Was young daddy cute? I would've totally pulled a hoe mommy if he was…

  18. scribblingsofasoccermom.com
    September 27, 2010 | 6:28 am

    OMG $38/hour…that's WAY WAY WAY more than I make :) Personally, I don't mind giving money for specific events, like walk-a-thons, read-a-thons, sponsoring races/5K's etc. I don't enjoy the fundraisers that require you to buy something you really don't need, ie wrapping paper, Christmas wreaths and so on. I get the school needs money, but I'd rather donate cash for an event than buy something!! Go Terran! :)

  19. Laura @ The Things I Said I'd Never Do
    September 27, 2010 | 8:20 am

    Christ, I only had one (very large) kid and I all the kegels in the world won't help during allergy season.

    We are going to be broke buying up everything for my son's fundraisers since I refuse to make him go through the same trauma I did when I selling girl scout cookies. I'd rather just have the option to write a check at the beginning of the school year and avoid all fundraiser.

    We'd be broke, but it's easier than door to door begging.

  20. ModernMom
    September 27, 2010 | 9:46 am

    Oh I am so impressed you got that stupid form filled in! I hate those tings and usually end up just making a whopping donation of my own:)

    PS Glad I'm not the only one who has to cross her legs when she sneezes!

  21. QueenieM
    September 27, 2010 | 10:35 am

    Oooh I hate going door to door … thankfully our school doesn't encourage it.

    LMAO at your story.

  22. *~Petra~*
    September 27, 2010 | 10:39 am

    Ha ha… that is brilliant. Thanks for following, I'm following you back. :)

    Petra
    http://donuts2crumpets.blogspot.com
    http://frugalityville.blogspot.com

  23. Mighty M
    September 27, 2010 | 11:04 am

    Oh funny…..we get so many kids coming to our door. And I hate to say no to any of them!! I hope the walk a thon goes great!!

  24. Queen of the Rant
    September 27, 2010 | 1:05 pm

    thats the spirit lol

  25. Bouncin' Barb
    September 27, 2010 | 1:14 pm

    Oh I so don't miss those days. Not at all. Now I get to give my granddaughters 7 & 8 some money and that's it. Loved your idea for the high heels and short skirt. Anything for a good cause!!! My exact sentiments.

  26. SoccerMom
    September 27, 2010 | 2:10 pm

    I still say that the candy bars are the best fundraiser ever. Everyone wants to buy one and you make a ton of money.

  27. Joann Mannix
    September 27, 2010 | 2:15 pm

    Can you see a wet spot? Oh Good Durn Night, that was fabulous! You've got a gold mine there. Better start on those signs right away.

    One time, my daughter and I hit the jackpot on girl scout cookies. This old man bought 37 boxes from us. When we went to deliver them, his son answered the door and politely refused the order. Seems Pops had Alzheimer's and he had already bought more cookies from other scouts than his family could eat in a year's time on the cookie diet. We ended up selling a total of 4 boxes. I hate that crap.

  28. MamaOnDaGo
    September 27, 2010 | 2:57 pm

    That's some serious money for an hours worth of work. Seriously schools, can I just write you a check so I don't have to beg family, friends, and neighbors to donate/buy stuff.

  29. Snuggle Wasteland
    September 27, 2010 | 3:01 pm

    He's making a better hourly wage than I am and I went to school for 6 years. Five of them were required, too.

  30. The Fitness Guru
    September 27, 2010 | 4:32 pm

    I dread going door to door with my boy. He's 10 but looks 14. Plus he has the worse sales pitch ever. It's mortifying! I do it though because I love him. (And his mom makes me!!)

    - Rick Makingmyway2010.blogspot.com

  31. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal
    September 27, 2010 | 4:37 pm

    So glad you found me today. This post had me laughing. Lost it on the wet spot! Might have peed a little too. Blame it on the coffe of the 3 kids. You pick. Now that I'm down to one fundraising kid I just don't do it anymore. Just take my money. No more gift wrap, cookie dough, pasta selling please.

  32. Julianna
    September 27, 2010 | 7:51 pm

    You know tose people who collect cans on the side of the road? Yeah, some of them have more money than everyone I know. :)

  33. Grace
    September 27, 2010 | 9:03 pm

    I despise fundraisers. My first question is always, "How much do I have to donate to not hear about this fundraiser again?"

  34. <br><br><br><br><br>Dr.Sameena Prathap
    September 28, 2010 | 12:08 am

    Hi Sandra dear,

    Google showed up on your page today and i joined in..I dont know y i couldnot see it the other day!!It loads late for some..Thanx for adding my recipes blog to your list..add my dental also please and do join in my home blog as well dear..amazing..you have more than 500 followers!!wow..hats off to you dear!!Am lucky to be on your reading list!!

    Dr.Sameena@

    http://www.lovelypriyanka.blogspot.com

  35. Kelley
    September 28, 2010 | 1:03 am

    That IS impressive! I liked how you got more agressive as the begging-for-money-game continued. You're such an awesome mom! Am I right or am I right?

    On another note, thanks for the nice words about my "Real Women of Genius"/Wal-Mart post. You don't need to ride MY coat tails, though! I love your creativity!

  36. Sara
    September 28, 2010 | 1:13 am

    I'm pretty impressed that you peed a little and kept going.

    That takes commitment.

    And bladder control.

  37. abby
    September 28, 2010 | 4:20 am

    I couldn't stop laughing and well just enjoying this post. I'm dreading the day my son's going to be attending school when he's much older to ask me to do this. I mean being the supportive mother just like you I'd go do this around my neighborhood as well or probably drive to a safer neighborhood, HAHA.

  38. crazy ramblings of a tired mom
    September 28, 2010 | 9:17 am

    I love your page, it is so cute. I totally get the whole fundraiser thing. I refuse to let my 7 year old sell a $20.00 roll of wrapping paper so the 5th graders can go to 6 flags. Its like one big pyramid scheme.

  39. Danielle
    September 28, 2010 | 9:51 am

    Hoe mommy would have sold me too. Cute kids do nothing for me. LOL

  40. Crystal Escobar
    September 28, 2010 | 11:06 am

    oh my gosh! you are hilarious! You've got me laughing out loud about the little "dribble in your pants". SO funny!

  41. The Mother
    September 28, 2010 | 11:16 am

    I detest this stuff. My gut instinct is not to let my kids go door to door, and to never submit to anyone who does.

    But that's not such an easy principle to stick to.

  42. Katy
    September 28, 2010 | 2:27 pm

    Okay.. .the kid is too cute. I feel the same way about school fund raisers. I hate them, but daughter on the other hand is a born sales person… if she would just put that same energy into her homework…

  43. Ameena
    September 28, 2010 | 4:13 pm

    I HATE fundraising with a vengeance and I am quickly learning that Maya's school is all about fundraising. I've decided this year to take the easy way out – I am simply going to write a check. I can't find the energy to be others for money anymore!

    I am so impressed Sandra because despite having 4 kids and despite dribbling you still had the energy to go door to door! Kudos to you and your cute kid!!

  44. Ameena
    September 28, 2010 | 4:15 pm

    be = beg…

    Apparently I can't find the energy to fundraise or proofread!

  45. Tooje
    September 28, 2010 | 9:44 pm

    Most people just hit up their family for these types of things and call it good. I can't even stand asking my family for such things. I have a pledge sheet sitting on my counter right now that I have to get TO to complete. I can't bring myself…I hate asking for money. I hate hate hate it. You are better than me!

  46. Jewls
    September 28, 2010 | 11:37 pm

    This post totally cracked me up! Dang though, 38/hour is good money!

    I'm totally considering the card board box for Christmas…I'll even wrap it up so he can play with the paper first…Z LOVES paper!

  47. Busy Working Mama
    September 29, 2010 | 8:16 pm

    I enjoyed this so much last night, I called my hubby over to read your last few posts.

    I recall the days of canvassing for funds. I attended Catholic school so we were always trying to sell stuff. My parents never helped, I spent hours diligently visiting each and every house. Once some weirdo kids shot me in the thigh with a bee bee gun (I know so little about guns I don't know how to spell that). Evil kids. It burned a hole in my best jeans.

  48. Welcome To Mommyland
    September 30, 2010 | 11:47 pm

    There was an old woman who would sit on a busy corner outside my office everyday. She disappeared and I read in the newspaper she was arrested. Apparently her son dropped her off everyday for "work". They lived in a huge home outside the city. Apparently this career pays very well.

  49. Sarah Elizabeth
    November 30, 2010 | 2:46 am

    I don't know about normal people but if I opened my door to a seven-year-old cutie quacking and making duck motions, I'd give him all the money in my wallet, because that's an awesome kid.

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