Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Fair

I've been volunteering at the book fair at Madalyn's school this week. As usual, being at the elementary school does so much for the soul and offers so much writing material...

There was the boy that couldn't seem to decide how to spend his final two dollars. He had picked a couple of books and then perused the goodies table full of pencils, erasers in the shape of animals and flowers, little containers of slime (that every household needs), a calculator that disguised as a bar of chocolate, and an itty-bitty Rubix cube key chain. His mother had programmed him well because he kept saying, "I can't get a toy. I have to get something that's not a toy..." He picked out a killer whale shaped eraser, and he wanted a sea life pencil to coordinate. I looked through all 378 pencils that were there on the table, and to no avail, I found no sea life themed writing utensils. Not a one. So there we were, clearly not buying any toys or anything that could be misconstrued as being a toy, and he was so hung up on the sea life theme that I wanted to take two pencils and shove them up his little sea life loving nostrils. But I refrained. The school probably wouldn't have thought very highly of a woman who took her frustrations out on a little boy's nostrils, so... I finally convinced him to pick out a couple of sea life erasers he really liked, and he could just use them with the plain pencils he already had at his desk. Ding....ding....ding!!!

At our book fair, each teacher comes in and picks out several books that he or she would like for their classroom. The grandparent's breakfast is strategically planned for the same week as the fair, and the guests attending the breakfast are informed that there are boxes with selections they can purchase and donate to the classroom. Smart folks there at the elementary school, I tell ya. Of course, each class is told about their teacher's box and that they are welcome to purchase a book for their teacher if they have enough money. On Tuesday, a little girl came in that was in my daughter's preschool class last year. So I went to her and asked her if she needed help finding anything. She said no, and then she wandered off to her teacher's box. She looked through for several minutes before looking for herself and walked away with a book to buy for her teacher. I thought that was the most precious thing I had ever seen. A six year old little girl surrounded by books marketed directly toward her little eyes, but her first thought was of her teacher and not herself.

And then there was the little boy who came in with a bag of change, wide-eyed at the book fair. He was a kindergartner, and it was probably his first experience at a book fair. So I asked him if I could count it out for him so that we would know how much he had. I poured the change out into my hand... three quarters, several dimes and nickels, and twenty pennies ~ all it added up to was $2. Broke my heart. So I lied to him about how much he had. I think I've already been forgiven for that little sin. The husband of one of the librarians has been writing a check every day to cover the small amounts some children were coming up short when they got to the register. I don't think there was a person there that didn't give something from their wallet to at least one child. You just can't help it, especially when you can see that they've literally brought all the could scrummage together.

I would still be there working, but Madalyn came to find me in the library complaining about her little foot. In fact, she's been complaining since Monday. So we walked down to the school nurse and she suggested we have the doctor check it out. So off we'll go this morning to the pediatrician. Hopefully all will be well. Hopefully.

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