So, in the tradition of all good American educational institutions, Audrey's school sends home scholastic book orders about every 2 weeks. Ok, maybe it's not quite that often, but it sure feels like it. And in these book orders, they offer such literary treasures as “Enchanted Pony Academy,” “Cafeteria Jokes," and “Extreme Pranks” (that last one I’m sure was sent from a place of great evil to torment parents).
Now, let me be perfectly clear. I am pro-literacy. I am very pro-literacy. I desire to encourage a love for reading in my child’s young heart just as much as the next mom. But can we just dispense with the charade? These book orders are NOT an aide in this endeavor to encourage literacy and love of reading, as they masquerade to be. They are a marketing ploy, also doubling as a thorn in all parents’ sides. Lord help us with the book orders.
Because we’re trying to encourage independence and responsibility, we give Audrey a weekly allowance. She puts away a percentage for giving and for saving, and after that we let her decide how to use her spending money. So when a book order comes home, she pours over it to be very certain she makes the best decision about what to purchase. Now, because I truly want her to own her decisions, I try not to guide her too much. I figure I’ve already taught her the difference between things of value and worthless junk that falls apart or gets used up in 2 days. If she asks for an opinion, I give it casually, but I always make sure she knows it’s her decision.
So when the latest book order came a few weeks ago, after much deliberation and many surveys of what different family members would choose, of course she scrapped all our opinions and proudly chose this:
Now, before you make a snap decision that this purchase was a mistake, let me provide you with the crucial information that it also came with a mood keychain (which is not pictured because of course such a valuable item is with her at all times).
The amount of happiness & entertainment this 1st grader is getting from this mood keychain appears to be INFINITY.
Here are some things I overheard her saying in the next room while playing with it:
"I'm feeling aqua! Yes! I DO feel aqua! I DO! I feel aqua in my HEART!"
"Purple!! Yes! I've been WAITING to feel purple!"
"Cool. The table feels blue!"
"I wonder how I'm gonna feel tomorrow morning? I hope I feel blue or purple. Those are the BEST colors on the scale. Like, for real.”
"Banana, banana, meatball! Banana, banana, meatball! Make a pattern, oh yeah!” (I think this last one was just pure random overflow of the hyper-excitement with which the keychain was injecting her.)
A couple months ago after reading a really insightful parenting book, I began practicing how to help my child acknowledge and name her feelings. I’ve been taking great pains to listen when she’s having an outburst, and learn what specifically might be bothering her, so I can help her use the verbiage to communicate effectively.
And now all that work is down the drain, because I have to learn an entire new arbitrary system based on colors.
Thank you, Scholastic book orders. You're the reason I have crazy eyes.
Summer is almost here, parent friends! And you know what that means: a reprieve from all the book order dilemmas! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
**Disclaimer: I am aware that money spent on Scholastic book orders provides our children’s school with books, and for that I am truly very grateful. In actuality, I do see the benefit, and I recognize this post is merely a “mommy tantrum.” But thanks for reading my tantrum, friends.