It’s book fair time. Dangerous territory at the best of times. Sure, reading is great…GO BOOK LEARNIN’ and all that…yada yada. But let’s be real…that’s not why the kids really go is it? It’s the erasers the size of my head, pencil sharpeners in the shape of hippos, and posters laced with cats that really draw them down the locker-lined hallways and into the library. My kids love books too, but the book was definitely the afterthought in the presence of the almighty trinket. Like the vegetables that I drag out of the freezer at the last minute to make my dinner look a bit more like a meal than something you would eat at a ball game.
This year I was happy to hear from Molly and Grace that the books were the star attractions for them. I wasn’t sure what Maggie was going to choose, if anything. So I agreed to take them after school yesterday to make their purchases. I was clear that they needed to use their allowance to buy what they wanted though since we’ve got Christmas and birthday season on the horizon. There may have been some muttering about not being made of money and how you can’t get blood from a stone in there as well.
We walked in and it was like the change rooms after swimming lessons. But with less nudity and fungus. Just as hot and nowhere to turn around without it being awkward. We had never been on the first day of book fair before. I usually wait until they are out of everything and I have to explain to Maggie that she can’t have the display copy. This year we were on our game. A game that should be played with protective equipment.
Molly found two books that she wanted. She was tempted by the washi tape sticker book, but ended up with one real book and one book about minecraft, which we will call a “book.” Grace bought one book, a giant eraser, a bookmark, and a poster that none of us understand. I thought she was getting a minecraft poster, but she bought this one instead:
I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. I asked Grace what it means and she said she bought it because she likes the colours. Score one for literacy at the book fair! Now I see at the bottom that it must be a quote from The Fault in Our Stars, which I have not read because who needs more crying? Not I. But I still don’t understand it. Clearly I either need more education or stronger pharmaceuticals for this to make sense to me. It’s bad enough I don’t understand their math, but now I can’t even keep up with a poster. But it’s in her room, and hey, it’s blue!
Maggie circled the displays like a shark. I also showed her a shark book but she didn’t want it. I showed her several books that I thought she would be interested in, and I may as well have been showing her copies of the phone book. No to every one. Until she found a Lalaloopsy book. She picked that up like it was gold. She already has that book I told her, and I put it back. Eight times. At one point, she hugged it to her chest and tried to make a break for the door. She was on the brink of simultaneously being recruited for the football team, and arrested for petty theft. Although at this point a police escort out of there was looking pretty appealing.
On our last trip around the room she spotted a stuffed cat. It’s the same size as the Beanie Boo’s that she adores. Finally she found something she wanted, and it even came with a book so I could at least pretend that was the reason we were buying it. Nevermind that the book fell out of the sleeve no less than 18 times between the shelf and the parking lot, and she didn’t seem to notice, and I may even go so far as to say it was intentional…IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE BOOK – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
So home we go, cat in hand, book on the floor of the van. Before I let Maggie take off to her room with her kitten, I sat her down and insisted we read the book together.
I quickly regretted this.
It seems that this is no innocent story about a fluffy kitten at Christmas.
It’s an Elf on the Shelf disguised as a friendly kitten!!!!!! I was bamboozled into bringing another high-maintenance holiday spy into my home!!! AND the other girls heard me read the story and the part about how it leaves at Christmas! I’m going to need a warehouse to store these things between the elf, her extensive wardrobe, and now this kitten! I told the girls that I am writing a strongly-worded note to Santa that we simply cannot spare the cat for the year. I may even shoot a short ransom video of it using today’s newspaper to line its litter box. Unless Santa sends a sack full of cash down the chimney on the 25th he’s not getting his kitten back!
The kicker is that the spy cat has a bell around her neck so she’s super hard to move around without anyone hearing! WHY?!?!?
It’s too late for us, but I put this out as a public warning for my faithful readers – SAVE YOURSELVES!!
SJ Hearn, Scholastic, and Mrs. Librarian – you are all officially on my naughty list!