Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When pennies don't bring peace

A friend of mine stopped by one evening to drop off a few items. She arrived right as I pulled into the driveway with both kids, post running an errand right before dinner. So they were in rare form. This is a friend who is *my friend*, not *the mommy of one of my kid's friends* so what that means is she doesn't really know my kids, and they really don't know her. You would think they would be on their best behavior, the one they reserve for people they don't know (never me).

My friend had stopped by because she was dropping off a bunch of pennies she had accumulated for a charity fundraiser, Pennies for Peace, that the 2nd grade does at my daughter's school. She remembered my daughter was in the 2nd grade and thought she might like them. She was also dropping off one of those car magnets that you see everywhere. This one was in the shape of my daughter's school's mascot, the tiger.

My friend gets out of her car and approaches us and makes the mistake of telling my daughter she brought something for her, not specifying the pennies. My daughter spies the magnet and immediately assumes this must be the item and immediately busies herself with the important task of figuring out where it should be displayed on the van. In the meantime, much to my embarrassment, the pennies were completely ignored.

Next my son gets into the act and grabs the magnet and repositions it to a new location on the van, at which point my daughter snatches it back and puts it somewhere else altogether. During this exchange I am subtly telling my children to stop squabbling, that it was just a magnet, and trying to (successfully) get my daughter to show some manners and thank my friend for bringing the pennies. No dice. My son grabs it off the van and they start chasing each other around shrieking about the superiority of their location. At this point my friend realizes it is in her best interest to depart. I am so jealous.

More shrieking and more chasing and since my friend has left I can start yelling, loudly, that for the love of god it is just a magnet and if they don't quit fighting I will take it away. And so they continue to fight. At this point I am tired, irritated at their embarrassing display of bad manners, and cold because it is night time and we are still standing around outside. It may even have been drizzling. So I just lose it. I yell that we will not have the magnet on the van if they can't agree. I am still holding the bag of five dollars worth of pennies which I consider throwing at my children (not really, that would have made a big mess in the driveway). Instead I snatch the magnet and stomp inside. But I need someplace to stash it out of sight because if it is visible then they will still fight over it and will also whine to me about wanting it back. So I stomp into my home office and in my worked up and now irrational state of mind I decide that it can't be kept anywhere on or around my desk because I am not sure if it is wise to have a magnet near my computer and other various electronics. So I stick it away. Somewhere. And go back to yelling at them for their appalling behavior.

The next morning I get up and want to show my husband the cute magnet my friend brought over. But I can't, because I have no idea where I put it since I didn't put it on my desk, which is the logical place. So now not only do I have ill-mannered children, but I have become the ill-mannered friend who doesn't display the gift of magnet. I am sure there is some sort of teachable moment in this irony, so if you can figure it out let me know. Just don't drop it off at my house when my children are home.


  1. Obviously the woman is not the *true* friend that you think she is because she stopped by right before dinner time. What is she--from another planet? that is the WORST possible time to stop by a home that has small children, pennies or no pennies, magnets or no magnets. This woman is your enemy.
    ps-- I will drop off that milk frother to you tomorrow afternoon, say around 4:45?

  2. thank god you didn't throw that bag of pennies at your kids. it would have taken FOREVER to clean up.