Battle at the Book Fair

BookWant to feel like a horrible parent? Take your son to the book fair.

You’ll walk away feeling like the worst mom on Earth. I’ve walked, no really crawled, away from two book fairs now with no hope for raising a descent member of society.

I love books. I love to read. Luckily, somehow I passed that love onto my boys – especially my 5-year-old. He reads more than any kid I have met. And he reads really well – he’s in kindergarten and he reads at a third grade level.

So I decided to take him and his brother to the book fair last fall. I thought I’d reward them for their hard work at school by buying them a new book.

Never again.

My youngest son is a true spoiled brat when it comes to the book fair. He cried giant crocodile tears, he stomped his foot and he screamed. All because I wouldn’t buy him Chupacabra. A sixth-grade book about a mysterious creature in South America.

Now I know he reads really well. But not that well. Not to mention the fact that it probably would have scared the crap out of him.

Why was he set on that book? Because it was the featured book on all of the Scholastic posters. He saw it hanging up in the halls for a week before we ever entered the stage where they set up the book fair. He knew what he wanted and he thought he was going to get it.

Not that time. He threw a giant fit in front of all the other book fair patrons and in front of my friends who were volunteering. I was embarrassed and angry.

But I held firm. He wasn’t going to get that book. So he wandered around sobbing for 10 minutes looking for something else he could settle on. He finally found a double-feature Ninjago book and we bought it and got out of there before he could change his mind.

I was nearly in tears.

I enlisted grandma’s help the second time we went to the book fair. She loves taking kids to the book fair. Well, she probably loved taking kids to the book fair. She may never spend money on another book for the Clemens boys again.

She told the boys they could each pick out a kit/toy (something I never let them buy) and a book. I thought this would be a breeze. Until my 5-year-old started pouting again.

He wanted to get the same book as his 7-year-old brother. The second book in the Spirit Animal series.

He hasn’t even read the first book in that series. And I know he’s a great reader, but I don’t know if he even could. It seems pretty long.

I wasn’t about to walk away from the book fair with two of the same book. Especially when I thought that even if we bought only one of them it might only get read once or twice.

Once again I put my foot down and once again he freaked out.

He wiggled and wailed and flopped around right in front of the shelf filled with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

It was great.

Then he spotted some book called, “Dark Lord.” Wow. Now that might be a really good book, but I didn’t feel like letting my kindergartner read it. Especially because it too is a sixth grade book.

I took him out into the hall to talk with him one-on-one. Tears were streaming down his face and he was breathing short and quick. But I told him if I heard him say he wanted “Dark Lord” or “Spirit Animals” one more time I’d spank his butt and we’d go home empty handed. I had had enough.

That’s when he did it. He walked right back into the stage and said he wanted “Spirit Animals.” I just about came unglued.

If it hadn’t been for grandma he might not have made it. I took a deep breath and left. She said she’d stay with him until he chose something else. Oh the love of a grandparent. They don’t get as embarrassed or angry as a parent. I hope to be just like my mom someday.

They came home about 10 minutes after I did with a Magic Treehouse book and a pointer toy.

He loved the book and can’t stop pointing with that stupid stick finger. And when his older brother is done reading Spirit Animals he can borrow it from him.

And I hope he likes it. Because after that fit he threw about not getting it he’s never going to get to pick out another book at the book fair again. If I go, I’ll go by myself and I’ll choose what we check out.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Book Buying | Boogers on the Wall

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