Pushing Cookies

Pushing Cookies

“I want to EAT the cookies!”

Oh boy.

I had just told Charlotte, my 4 year old, newly minted Spark, that I had 24 boxes of Girl Guide Cookies in the trunk.  I realize now, this is akin to telling a meth addict that you have 24 ounces of that blue stuff in your pocket.

“No, we don’t eat these cookies, we sell them.”

It honestly had not occurred to me when we signed Charlotte up for Sparks that there would be fundraising and cookies involved.  I mean, I suppose somewhere in my subconscious the thoughts lurked, connected by a tenuous thread, but they had not arisen to the front of my mind to warn me that my parent-fundraising days were about to begin.

“Sell them?”

Charlotte has very little concept of money.  She talks about me going to the store and buying stuff, typically food related.  So there’s a general idea that something called money can be exchanged for things to eat.

But Sparks is already expanding her conception of money.  Every week she has to take $1 as dues.  The first time, when I gave her a looney, she told me ‘no no, daddy, there’s only one due.  See?  This one coin is one due.’  So I give her 4 quarters now, and that seems to resolve the grammar issue.

And now there is fundraising:

“Yes, we sell the cookies to other people.  They give us money for the cookies, and then your Sparks leaders use the money for trips and activities.”

It’s a start.  Charlotte sinks into thought in the back seat, absorbing this information.  More likely trying to figure out the logical hole that would let her eat the cookies instead of selling them.  Eventually we talk about how much fun she had at Sparks.

We decided to enrol Charlotte in Sparks for a couple of reasons:

  1. When I was younger, I was a Boy Scout, and while I was slightly embarrassed of this fact while I was still involved, I have since realized that most of my practical skills come from my time in that organization.  Every time I identify a tree, correctly fix an electrical outlet, or perform first aid on myself when I get it wrong… they’re all skills from Scouts.
  2. Charlotte’s best friend was going, and this meant that the transition into a new activity would be easier.  It’s always easier when you have a friend.
  3. I took a quick look at the curriculum, and was completely sold.  Charlotte will spend this year and the next learning about nature, diversity, and community in an environment that nurtures self esteem, individualism and fun.

So far, she comes home happy every week, telling us all about what happened at Sparks.  In exchange for her experiences, I was happy to take the minimum suggested number of cases (2) and try to sell them.

Little did I know that Girl Guide Cookies really are like that blue stuff.  My wife posted on a popular social networking site that starts with an ‘F’ that we had cookies at 10pm that night, right before we went to bed.

24 boxes were sold by 6am the following morning.

Of course, my wife set aside two boxes just for us.  Because while selling the cookies is good, it’s also fun to eat them too.

Charlotte the Spark

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