Thursday, November 20, 2008

Room Momming: Notes from the Front

"So, how's the whole Room Mom thing coming along?" you ask. Well, when last we spoke of this, my co-room mom had gone rogue, and despite her limited computer skills, was firing off emails and making a grab for various duties that I thought were mine. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I quickly adapted to a new world order in which Jan is doing most of the annoying stuff and I am organizing parties.

Since she had decided to jump in and start collecting money, I decided to start getting the holiday party together. And Jan is also lining up classroom volunteers and collecting items for the class auction basket. To that end, she needed to email all of the parents, and I'd told her how to copy and paste all of the parents' email addresses into her mail. By this time, she had also been the recipient of a mass email that I had sent, which had all of the parents' emails, not blind-copied or anything. Then I get this email from her: "Hi! Can you check this and if it’s o.k., send it to all the parents? I received everyone’s email addresses (thank you!) but I still don’t know how to group them together into one email." Then she favored me with an emoticon.

Okay, so she's not a whiz with the email. Or with basic digital literacy. The teacher in me is always happy to help someone who openly confesses that they don't know something. So I edited (slightly) her memo and sent it to the class, leaving in the superscription thingie that indicated it was forwarded from her. But of course, most parents did not reply to her. They replied to me and told me when they wanted to volunteer. I just forwarded the messages to Jan so she could put them on her schedule.

Then Jan went totally silent for a couple of days. I started to feel guilty because she was doing most of the jobs. So I emailed her and said, "Hey, since you're dealing with the money, do you want me to take over the volunteer schedule?" I even started making a Google calendar for the class. I was going to send it to all the parents and maybe give them the ability to sign up directly for stuff, right on the calendar. Jan never responded to me. But then we got another email forwarded by the teacher, from Jan (who must still be trying to master the whole email situation), with parents assigned to different volunteer slots. So I guess she wants to keep being in charge of that. She is an interesting combination of flaky, friendly, spacy, and territorial. But I can deal.

So, our actual Room Mom activities: The holiday party will be at 8:30 in the morning. Can you believe that? It's such a big elementary school that each class has an assigned time, to minimize parking problems, I guess. So we're doing a breakfasty thing with mini muffins, mini bagels and spreads, and fruit. Jan is handling the craft. And for a game, I suggested the Dress Your Santa game: The kids get in teams of 4 or 5 and each team has a Santa, usually a mom or dad, (but they LOVE dressing the teacher), and they have tape, scissors, colored paper, crepe paper, and cotton batting or cotton balls. They get 5 or so minutes to race to dress their Santa, then everyone judges them. We'll have different categories--funniest, most creative, etc--so basically everybody wins. I thought that would be properly chaotic.

Our holiday auction basket is BBQ-themed. That was Jan's idea. I suggested a Winter Fun basket, where the basket would be a snow saucer, and we could have mittens and scarves, cocoa, ice skating tickets, tickets to ride the Pink Pig, and maybe a wintery movie or something. Jan wanted to go with the BBQ, and she kept saying she had some "great meat rubs." So she has collected a ton of stuff for that, and the basket is a cooler, which will be cute. I sent in this child's apron from Ikea:

Party, check. Auction basket, check. Volunteers are happening. I am actually going in to be the Mystery Reader tomorrow. And Jan's collected a couple hundred bucks already. And again, children in classroom, learning/flourishing. I think we are going to be just fine as soon as I get a handle on Jan's communication style.


Amy said...

Hee hee. Is it wrong that I'm snickering at the "great meat rubs" line? Sounds a tad naughty to me. Hee hee...maybe it's not wrong, but it's probably immature.

P.S. The Basket sounds really nice, but I think I like the Winter Fun one.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, what do I have to look forward to!?!?! Jan sounds like she is where my mom was learning email, 10 years ago.

Bren said...

At one time, not everyone could be expected to navigate the internet with flair. But now, it's like driving 30 on the interstate with your left turn signal on. Email ignorance just slows us ALL down.

Jenni said...

"great meat rubs?" Bawhahahahahaha!

And you are a way more paitent lady than me. I'd have lost my shit at that room mom like five times by now. But, I'm pregnant and would totally use that as an excuse.

Becky said...

Jenni, I kinda raged out sometimes when I was pregnant too. Enjoy it while you can!

And yes, it's like weird, how email-illiterate she is! Even if she does have great meat rubs.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Sorry Room-Mom. But this is just the beginning for you. Just the beginning. And next year, when you abdicate the room-mom throne, out of sheer exhaustion and a sense of no-good-deed-goes-unpunished-rage, . . . and you think you're out of the woods? Bwa-ha! Think again. I won't even begin to speculate on your fate. Don't want to go there. Too painful. But hell, you had a good and happy life, up until now, am I right?