Book Fair blues

The poodle skirt

“No,” I said. “No, no, no, no.”

My daughter’s pigtails drooped with her face. She’d been dancing all night in her poodle skirt at the school sock hop. On our way to the car, we’d stopped at the school’s book fair. And she’d found books – lots of them, too.

What mom says no to book purchases at the school book fair? Especially an author mom!

This author mom. Why?

  • To make sure she learns she can’t get everything she wants with her very cute pout.
  • To make sure she understands money has its limits, especially before Christmas.
  • To make sure she learns to budget her allowance and plan for things she wants.

No, no, no, no.

Then I felt that sense of floating I always get at a bookstore. Like I’ve been sprinkled with happy dust. In those bookstores, I want to grab big carts and dump random books into them and then mow over the other customers as I  stampede to the cash register with my credit card. Whew.

No, no, no, no.

Then I saw the envelopes. Every teacher has one, filled with the students’ book fair wish lists. I looked at my daughter’s list. The new Captain Underpants. Phineas and Ferb. And Magic Tree House, Magic Tree House, and more Magic Tree House. My daughter’s wish list. For books. In her adorable second-grade handwriting.

But parents have to be consistent, right? I’ve read more than my share of parent advice books. If you no yes no yes no no no yes, your child turns into a crack addict or something awful.

So my no stuck.

But this is a week-long book fair. And after all, tomorrow is another day …

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