by Marinka on December 8, 2009

For to have more enjoyment of this post, read about how Young Ladrinka was fuming at me because last year I didn’t get him a Hanukkah present and his Anti-Defamation League-approved request for two Hanukkah gifts this year.

My kids had been at their school for a total of fifteen years between them before my luck ran out and someone official leaned on me to become a class mom. For Young Ladrinka’s class. It was inevitable, I suppose, everyone has to serve, but I put up a good fight and tried to get out of it.
“I’m just so busy,” I told the enforcer, waving my hands in the air as though I were a bird mid-migration (and simultaneously drying my nails).
“I know,” she said, obviously prepared for business, “that’s why Melissa agreed to do it with you. The two of you can be co-class moms.”
Melissa is my class BFF, so I’m sure you can appreciate the betrayal. It’s like suddenly I was in an episode of Intervention and they were circling the wagons to address my sloth issue.
So, I agreed. Mostly because I was afraid of what other techniques of persuasion she had up her sleeve.
And it hasn’t been bad.
Melissa goes to all the meetings and I forward to the other parents all the important emails that I get from the school administration. Things like “we are closed for Thanksgiving” and “there is a lice outbreak in the Third grade.” Believe me, it takes all I have not to editorialize on these emails and refrain from sharing mama’s lice wisdom. But I do it. For the good of my son’s class and society.
Everything was honky dory until last week, when I realized, holy shit, it’s December and class parents are supposed to collect money from the other parents for the teacher’s gift and I haven’t.
If there is anything that I hate more than giving money, it’s asking for money.
So I decide to ask Melissa to send the begging for money email because between you and me, that’s what friends are for. To do for you the shit that you don’t want to do yourself. I call her and it’s like she knows what I’m about to say because she tells me that she has no internet service. This is what is known as a fair weather friend. So I send the standard please put the amount you deem appropriate in a, and I can’t stress this part enough, a SEALED envelope, in Young Ladrinka’s cubby and Melissa and I will buy the gift. Thanks! email.

And I’m totally proud of myself because the deed is done and now I just have to sit back and wait for the cash to roll in. I have some ideas about doing an internet scam along the same lines, if this blogging thing doesn’t prove to be lucrative, but for now I’m content.

Except, the next afternoon, mama calls. Because she picked up Young Ladrinka from school and he was so happy and had the best day ever. Because in his cubby, he found $40 and he knew it was because I had decided to give him his Hanukkah present to him after all. Mama said that he wanted to thank me, although she felt that it was highly inappropriate to give him cash like that because children today are so entitled and she sees no end in the sight.

So, I did some fast thinking and realized that it was some parents who answered my siren song of “give me cash!” And Young Ladrinka assumed that it was for him.
Oh, how we laughed!
Oh, how we stopped laughing when I asked him for the envelope that the cash came in so that I could credit the parents who gave it and he said “I threw it out!!”
So, I had to send out another email:

“Thank you to whoever left the money in Young Ladrinka’s cubby. For reasons that I cannot quite explain, he though that it was his Hanukkah present and tossed the envelope. I’m sorry. If you were the one who left it for me, please email me and let me know. This won’t happen again.”

I blame Melissa.

One year ago ...

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonathan December 8, 2009 at 3:05 am

That’s hilarious! But wait, only one person gave $40? I’m guessing this teacher is getting more than the box of Russell Stovers and Candy Cane scented Yankee Candle that we used to give when I was in school.


Jonathan December 8, 2009 at 3:08 am

P.S. I just googled teacher gifts to see what they get for Christmas and one idea was a canvas tote bag bearing the message, “Teachers Have Class” . I think this will make your shopping expedition much easier. You’re welcome!


Maureen@IslandRoar December 8, 2009 at 8:43 am

Yeah, I hope that $40 was from more than one kid. Otherwise I’m telling my daughter to quit med school and consider a career change. What she doesn’t make in salary, she can clean up in holiday gifts.


December 8, 2009 at 9:49 am

Very funny post. Smart kid, too. We send money in envelopes to school. I have been writing checks since I’m afraid the cash will never make it to the class mom. However, some of these moms have held onto the checks for over a month. That is one of my biggest pet peeves. The standard in my kid’s school is $20 per family, per class. I feel sorry for all those families with 3 or more children in the school. I agree with Maureen. My cousin is a teacher and she got a gold bracelet from one kid. Take care.


marymac December 8, 2009 at 10:31 am

Love it! And I am totally in with you on the internet ‘money in the cubby’ scam. I knew there was a way to make money blogging!
Thanks for stopping by Pajamas and Coffee (and informing me about NYC’s sexual preferences…)– it was FANTASTIC to meet you!


magpie December 8, 2009 at 10:39 am

Oops. And yeah, I hope that was from several people…


Sprite's Keeper
December 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Is there any way you can pay him in gelt since he’s so good at the guilt?
My kid’s teachers got assorted stuff from Bath and Body Works, but then I had the revelation that they may get the idea that I think they stink.
I should’ve joined the pool…


Chelle B. December 8, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Oh, I’m so embarrassed to have to do this but I only meant to put $4 in that envelope! I’m sure you wouldn’t mind sending me the $36 back, in a sealed envelope of course?

Very cute story – it needs no title btw.



December 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm

It was me! I’m hoping for an A.


Heather December 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

At least you didn’t have to call each parent. I would rather get a root canal than call people to ask for cash. Or call people at all.


Heather, Queen of Shake Shake December 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Compulsory education and compulsory gift-giving go hand in hand!


jessica December 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm

this is one of those times when having kids can seem “challenging”. Mine would do the same.


Lady of the House December 8, 2009 at 2:10 pm

This is precisely why I never take my sunglasses off at school. I am completely comfortable having the other parents think I am perpetually stoned. I was class mom once. NEVER AGAIN!


anna see December 8, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Totally Melissa’s fault.


December 8, 2009 at 9:11 pm

so wait, let me get this straight: you send an email to adults, telling them to leave envelopes w/$ in your son’s “cubby” (an open box-like space that anyone can access?); you don’t tell them to indicate on the envelope that it’s for you; you don’t tell your 8(?)-yr-old son anything about the envelopes arriving… and yet the plan goes awry? shocking. truly shocking.


Sophie, Inzaburbs December 9, 2009 at 1:09 am

My son would do the same. He informed me seriously this morning that yes, actually money does grow on trees (and how can we argue with that?).
Oh, and you just reminded me I didn’t budget for teacher presents this year. Sigh, we probably didn’t need to eat this week anyhow…


Kari December 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Glad I read this before doing the same thing for my co-room Mom duties!


jo December 13, 2009 at 1:57 pm

My comment is more about the actual gift part. Teachers love cash. Trust me. The kids that gave me decent gift cards this year will get some extra love and attention from me during the rest of the school year (read Harvard Prep.). For those that “forgot” or threw leftover lotions from store gift giveaways into a used gift bag, I will personally see to it that all skills so far retained are regressed until said children are completely illiterate and/or communicating solely via animal sounds. I’m just sayin. Give. Her. The. Cash.


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