I responded to an email at the beginning of the school year that asked for a volunteer to coordinate the parties for Bean's classroom this year. Last year I volunteered every Monday in her class to help her teacher out with reading centers. I know this might come as a little bit surprising to some of you, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with those little nuggets. My work schedule this year unfortunately does not accomodate that level of volunteering, but "Classroom Party Coordinator" was something I could definitely manage so I went for it.
I sent out an email in late September introducing myself to the parents, and I put together a sheet to go home in the kids' backpacks. I didn't use the template because it seemed kind of impersonal, and I even crafted my own Spanish version because the grammar on the one the PTO provided me was embarrassing. Sometimes it pays to be a bilingual ginger. I'm sure any of you with kids in school, or teachers, have seen the sign up sheet. It is broken down into very small and inexpensive tasks, maybe a game or snack, plates or napkins, a craft or juice boxes. I made very clear in my note that I know financially things are tough for people, but if everyone could donate one thing during the school year I would really appreciate it. Out of the 23 or so kids in Bean's class, less than half of the parents signed up to contribute anything to a party. There are a few parents that have been awesome, signing up to bring in something for all the parties, or letting me know that they are flexible in what they send in, or even offering to donate more than one thing for a single party. I love these people, but I am now at the point I want to kick their slacker-ass counterparts in the teeth.
I sent out another email before the Halloween party, explaining that I was unfortunately unable to cover the expenses for what we were missing for the three parties for 23 kids. I tried to be delicate when I encouraged those parents that might have overlooked signing up to pitch in because I was having a hard time putting together a full list on such a limited parent response. I'm sure they see my name next to what I am bringing in, and it is always more than one thing. I'm sure they notice that we have a lot of the same parents sending stuff in for the Christmas party that sent things in for the Halloween party. I emailed everyone again last week and sent home another note in the kids' backpacks. I've gotten confirmations from parents, but the only parent I have heard from that I've put on my mental slacker list told me she was sorry but she couldn't help out because it's hard for her to get to the store with her two kids. Holy shit I almost lost my mind. I very politely responded that I understand, sometimes between my FOUR children and working TWO jobs SEVEN days most weeks, it's difficult for me to find the time too. Bitch, please.
Look, I'm not trying to be insensitive here, but come on. Even when I was a single mom, I always sent stuff in or volunteered. If things are really that tight, I would understand, I've been there myself. It's the complete lack of a response from the parents that is seriously pissing me off. I know a couple of these families live in the nice subdivision past the library in houses three times the size of mine so I know they can get up off the change for $3 worth of napkins. It takes literally 30 seconds to email me back, check a box and sign your name on the sheet I have sent home with your kid twice now, or call or text me at the number I have provided you. I try my best to give people the benefit of the doubt, but at this point, I can draw no other conclusion other than you're A.) rude; B.) lazy; or C.) just an inconsiderate asshole.
Ho, ho, ho.