Friday, September 21, 2012

The expenses of a child....

Ever since Kylee went to Kindergarten and began cheerleading, each day is a new and unplanned expense. When we signed Kylee up for cheerleading I was hesitant for many reasons. I assumed when I wrote a check for $125 it would cover more than the pom poms. Pause for laughter. Every week we are updated with fundraiser obligations, snack sign ups, drink sign ups, homecoming mum costs, homecoming gift costs, and don’t even ask how much I spent on creating her cheer bucket that isn’t even complete yet. Not to mention that all of her games are 30+ miles away so there’s the cost in gas and the parents have to pay to get into the games! I wasn’t aware that at the ripe age of 6 we were encouraging our kids to do and participate in festivities that high school students are doing such as Homecoming. Pause for additional laughter.

Of course buying Kylee a mum for her homecoming game was optional. But I would be the only parent who didn’t see the detrimental need for her child to have a mum (that will end up buried at the bottom of her closet), and I couldn’t allow Kylee to be the odd man out. I’m completely outnumbered by the seasoned cheer moms and the lengths they are willing to go for their daughter’s cheering careers.

The expenses don’t stop at cheering. Kylee comes home every day with another Schoolastic brochure with overpriced books and order forms. She circles the ones she wants and naively believes she is going to get them while I secretly throw them in the trash when she’s not looking and cover them up with mashed potatoes. The other day she came home with a coupon book that sells for “only” $20 but has $10,000 in savings inside, or some drastically unrealistic figure. The letter accompanied with the book was encouraging all students (a.k.a MOMs) to sell as many books as they can and the proceeds will go to their school.  The fundraisers are everywhere and they are endless. My career is in sales. I sell every day. The last thing I want to do is push my friends and family into buying $5 raffle tickets for a $1 off their meal at Spring Creek BBQ, or begging them to buy a coupon book that always ends up in the floor of the back seat and never used all for the sake of helping her school and cheer squad. Don’t get me wrong, I want to help both but I am a tad curious where the funds are actually going. The coaches don’t get paid, I’m still shelling out money at almost every single cheer practice and being summoned to join the PTA for more fundraising meetings. I’m one flyer away from sewing a DO NOT SOLICIT sign to Kylee’s backpack and uniform!

Of course picture day accompanies more expenses because you will be exiled to the island for terrible parents if you don’t buy one of their inflated photo packages. Yesterday Kylee came home and said she has to wear purple. Why? She doesn’t know. All she knows is if she doesn’t wear purple she might be kicked out of school and never welcomed back until she slaughters a baby sheep. It is that dramatic. I explained that the school always calls when something important is going on that the parents need to know about. She overruled my attempt to calm her down and begged me to stop and buy her a shirt before we went to cheer practice. So we rush to Wal-mart for a purple polo. Fail. Academy, fail. Children’s Place, fail. She settled for a maroon polo. This morning she comes out in a blue polo. I was confused.  I reminded her that just 12 hours prior she was certain her academic career would fall to shambles if she wasn’t wearing a purple shirt and her reply was, “I think if it were really important the school would have called you.”