It’s that time of year again

In about an hour, I will set out (as I try to do twice a year) to go help one of my BFFs host the book fair. This fair’s theme is “Camp Read-A-Lot” and she’s gone all out (as she always does) to decorate the library in a camping theme. On the outside of the library, on the wall, she has made an Airstream trailer out of ‘teacher paper’ (IDK if it has a proper name, but it comes in several colors on these giant rolls that go on this giant holder thing that you always find in teachers lounges at elementary schools). Another mom brought in a pop up camping tent. There are camp-like things ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE. And it is GLORIOUS.

I love book fair week…the kids get so excited about picking out  new books.

I also hate book fair week because it drains me of every last ounce of energy I possess because it takes THAT much energy to get through the day. Especially the first day when the kids are making their wish lists. The kindergartners are the hardest, since they can’t write too well at this point. But there’s also a lot of “If you need help, raise your hand. Please don’t write on top of the books, you’ll leave dents and then we’ll be sad. Use the whiteboard you brought with you or a friend’s back. If you can’t find the price, it’s on the back and please write down  the price that says U.S. That’s us. Do not write down the one that says CAN. We’re not Canadian, eh?” (Nobody ever gets that joke.)

It’s also draining because we have a junk table full of erasers and giant pencils for which you could NEVER find a pencil sharpener to fit and plastic poker sticks (that’s what I call them. They usually have a pointing hand on one end. The kids use them to poke each other) and stickers and just plain cheap crap that isn’t worth wasting your money on. These are the things that kids, naturally, like to try and swipe when we’re not looking thinking they’re all badass and shit. Yeah, you bad. You stole a 50 cent eraser from the book fair. Ooh you SO bad.

Then we have the kids who actually try to steal BOOKS. Which if they get caught, they get a stern talking to from BFF and from the principal and probably from their parents.

And then we have some kids who are so desperate, they steal money FROM THE OTHER KIDS. No lie. One time we had a girl who came in and kept buying stuff for all her friends. Which ok, cool. Your parents give you money and that’s how you wanna spend it, great. It turned out that she’d stolen most of the money she’d spent from other kids in her class and it broke BFF’s heart to have to go take the items she’d bought back from the kids she’d given them to. Because it wasn’t their fault, yanno? They just happened to have a shitty friend.

We also have had kids who stole checks from their parents, which make it necessary for us to call parents EVERY time we get a check (unless it’s from a PreK or a kindergarten kid) to make sure they didn’t steal it. Parents are usually like, “WTF? Why you calling me?” and then we feel like assholes because we have to explain the policy about checks. We’ve also had, on one memorable occasion, had a kid come in with her older brother (he was college age) to buy stuff and the check he gave us bounced like a rubber ball because it was stolen from their grandparents who didn’t have any freaking money. Nice, kid. REAL nice.

But generally, despite the fact that I have to bring my A performance game and it’s exhausting as hell, I have a good time. 🙂 And that’s as it should be.


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