Y'all know that Little Red has started kindergarten this year, and one of the fun things that parents can do at their children's school, is volunteer. I try to help out as much as possible: kids parties (I love a party), having lunch (I love food), volunteering to help at book fairs (I am a avid reader... of children's books), Tuesday folders (I love getting to drop in and see my girl with her friends, and I really like her teacher, and just want to help her out)! I know, I know it may seem like a lot, but I feel like it is the least I can do to be a supportive parent. I even joined the PTO (parent teacher organization).
Can I just be real with y'all? This was one of the BIG things that I wanted to do at the school. PTO- I thought it would be fun to meet other parents, help raise funds for the school, and even to be able to give funds to teachers, I could help out in planning lunches and other treats for the teachers and staff (I mean, these are the people getting to spend 8 hours a day with one of my very best people)! They love on her, and it is the least I can do to thank them and do things that would to benefit them.
Now, I have friends who do this at other schools and their groups are not so welcoming. I know some of you are shocked! I have heard it can be a bit clicky. If you are new, you may not be listened to (like the other old-timers). I tried to go in with a open mind and a good attitude (because, that is kinda my thing). So, first meeting I walked in at 9 in the morning (yes, I went to a morning meeting, I just took a super early lunch that day.... and starved the rest of the day). I bounced in with my notebook and pen, ready to rattle off the list of fundraising ideas and things to do for the teachers and staff (I had a busy weekend of list making, could not wait to share). I just knew the room would be packed full of fellow ma and pa volunteers... and I was surprised when it was a table of 6/7 (one did not count because she was a teachers aide just taking a break and she got up and left), but whatev... I figured other PTA peeps would show up shortly after. As the meeting started, I realized this mighty group... well, it was a group of 6 (whomp... whomp) I was sitting next to this one gal, she was very smiley.... not like creepy smiley, just friendly... another mom looked at me like I smelled (and I could tell that we were obvi not gonna be besties), and then there was our fearless leader (I am a bit obsessed with her). I looked around kinda trying to feel out the room, are these happy people, funny people, or are these business people all about logging the minutes and get outta here kinda people. It was def a mixed bag, but I stayed.
Our first BIG business was fundraising. We were getting ready to put on a big ta-do at the school, a carnival! Yes, I was so excited! They began talking about the budget and what we were allocating to certain things when this lady.... we will call her Nan, begins to talk about how we will be serving pizza at the carnival, we have done this every year that she has been helping with PTO and it would be a few dollars a piece, and then she advised how we would be paying the pizza place pretty much 7-8 dollars a slice! Is Mr Tombstone Pizza coming to toss the dough himself?? (Y'all get that, it was a pizza reference to Tombstone Pizza, not my fav... we like Totinos). Anyways, my eyes bugged out of my head, but I looked down quickly so no one would see it! Wha?? Really, we are trying to make money here... for the school... that your kids go to.... #ThingsThatMakeYouGoHummmm
I was confused. What do confused people do? We ask questions.
What do confused new parents at a PTO meeting do? Nothing. You do nothing. You are there to try to make friends. You do not want to be black balled on your first meeting and never get to help again.
But what does confused Caryn do? She asks questions.
First one.... ummmm, why are we spending so much money purchasing pizza, this restaurant is super expensive. Would it not be better to save money and buy at the pizza place down the street?
It was a strange feeling. One momma looked at me like... we were going to get out of here early if I would have kept quiet and shut her eyes... looking back, she for sure passed out. Another momma... Smiley, kicked my foot, it was like she was giving me a little bit of encouragement, like she wanted to say that too.
Nan, who had almost gotten her 5 billion dollar pizza budget approved stopped speaking (oh, yea... I may have forgotten to say I interrupted her)... I am so stupid!! She turns slowly, like she had a hurt neck (maybe she did I do not know), she is turning, and immediately poo-poos my pizza!
Oh- no, she di-ent!
If you poo-poo my pizza you poo-poo me!
Nan is all... that pizza place is gross...
I would never feed my children that pizza....
the sauce is gross
it is super cheap....
and I just could not take her poo-pooing any longer. After she said it is poor quality food and cheap I totally Girl, Interrupted her!
I tried to think of something about the cost, we are raising money, save money and spend it somewhere else (I was thinking all of those thoughts, really, I was) until I said,
"my family owns that pizza chain down the street".
It was almost like the air got sucked out of the room, by those other 5 women.
Yea, I own that.
I look back and cannot even believe I said that. Stupid.
Well, Nan, oh sweet Nan, her neck turned faster this time to me and she tried to shovel all of her poo out of the hole she had been digging. I mean after all, she was talking to Little Mrs. Pizzaria.
She started backpeddlin' quick,
Oh, well, it is not that bad
We have eaten there before
I just went to a kids birthday party and they had that pizza...
It was funny. I was laughing. The other mommas finally started breathing again, I think I shocked them. Nan was still a ramblin' and I told her I was just kidding.
Her face was priceless. I mean now, it sounded like she owned it, she was talking it up so much.
She obvi did not appreciate my humor.
Needless to say, we are not besties. That is okay, I do love all of the other parents I have been able to meet. Some of them see me and ask if I am running any specials, or tell me that they had my pizza the previous week!
So, how has your experience been with your littles schools? Good? Bad? Fun? What are some of the BIG things your PTO is doing?