Gavin’s school is holding its annual book fair this week. I love a book fair. Walking into a room or hallway transformed to display all sorts of stories exhilarates me. In preschool you will find big pink books, small open-the-flap books, books that pop with color or sparkle. I love every bit of it. Or did. Until this year when I was the victim of some book fair momfoolery. What’s momfoolery? Oh, that’s when you thought you had it all figured out, but your kid schools you in a major way.
Gavin, Chloe and I wandered around the small teachers conference room in silence and awe. I was so proud of their reaction. I instructed both kids that they could pick two books; one would be donated to Gavin’s classroom and the other would be put away for their birthdays later this month. With the groundwork set, I let them loose and read some stories myself while cleaning up after the hurricane that is my daughter. Ten minutes later we convened at the cash register to pay for our purchases: Owl Babies for C and a huge dinosaur book for Gavin. As I placed them in my bag, Gavin could not hide his disappointment.
“I don’t want to wait for my birthday!” he protested with tears already forming in his eyes.
But I was two steps ahead of him.
“Honey, this book is for your birthday but tomorrow your teachers are bringing you back with your whole class. I will put money in your backpack and you can buy a new book then.”
“Can I buy the Star Wars book?”
“Sure hon, you can choose any book and read it right away.”
He smiled and jumped up and down. Crisis averted. The next day we made it an activity to put the money in an envelope. He wrote his name on it and I put it in his backpack. Proud mommy moment indeed. My almost-four-year-old was growing into a smart, responsible little boy.
The next day when I picked him up from school, he ran out of his classroom swinging his plastic bag in joy. I excitedly took the bag and looked inside. I saw the same freaking dinosaur book I bought yesterday. Without saying a word, I lifted my eyes from his purchase to his little face.
“I told you I wasn’t going to wait for my birthday.”
My almost-four-year-old was growing into a smart (enough to beat the system), responsible (for taking life by the horns), little boy. God help those who get in his way. Including Mommy.