Death of a Salesmom: Charlie and the Coupon Book

No one tells you when you become a mom that in addition to coming up with ALL of the money you need to raise your child, savvy organizations will use your child to enslave you to fundraise for them.  These kids are little; they can’t go out on their own and sell stuff. So WE have to do it.

And we even get strategic about it, so our kids can get the prize. Yes, yes, they have it all down to a science!  Sad thing is that when you add up the TIME you spent fundraising, it makes a lot more sense to just make a small donation to the school, pay to take your kid to the corn maze and call it a day.

(Yes, I know it helps the school. That’s why I do it. Just wanted to rant for a second. )

Okay, enough of that.

Charlie (5) is entrepreneurial at heart. He’s always looking for something to sell.

Exhibit A

Customized lunch bags filled with empty water balloons that
Charlie plans to sell door-to-door to our neighbors.

“To Tracy From Charlie” (left) and “To Teh Bradshaws From Charlie” (right)

The kid likes money in general. But he also loves coupons. The other today, in fact, when he got the mail out of the mailbox, he immediately separated out the pizza coupons before handing the rest over. He thinks coupons are money.

I know my pal, Frugalissa, would agree and appreciate the fact that Charlie begged. I mean BEGGED for a school coupon book of his own. Last year’s would not suffice because the coupons are expired. (It’s so much easier when they can’t read, isn’t it?)

He wanted to take some to school and sell them. To whom? Five year-olds? I’m pretty sure he’s the only kid on the playground who wants his own school coupon book.

Anyway, he wore me out and wore me down. He reminded me of the relentless kid from Better Off Dead who wants his two dollars.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I bought an extra coupon book (so my daughter could get a prize). So, I gave in. It seems wasteful, but no more so than some toy at a store a kid wants but won’t play with. Plus, a coupon book is only $10 and I can pilfer from it.

Smart mom that I am, I decided to leverage it for good behavior until bedtime.  (He asked for it every ten minutes and I ended up putting him to bed early to make it stop). While he was brushing his teeth, I swiped the few we would actually use thinking he would be none the wiser.

We climb into bed for a story and he is beaming with joy, flipping through the coupon book showing me his favorite ones (where did this kid come from?!). He referenced the Chic-fil-A coupon, and I sort of held my breath for a second because it’s one that I took out. D’oh! I’m about to be busted! I thought.

Thankfully, he didn’t notice. Instead, he wrapped his arms around my neck and told me how much he loved his coupon book and that I was the best mom ever.

So, I guess in the end, being a Salesmom pays the occasional unexpected dividend. And, at some point, these kids will actually be old enough to do the selling themselves. When that day comes, watch out, kids! Charlie is going to CLEAN UP!

Do you have to sell stuff for your kids?  Are you okay with it, or does it make you nutty?


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