Smencils — $48
A bucket of Smencils, which are pencils scented like bubble gum, root beer, watermelon and other sugary smells that, when together in one bucket, remind me of a kindergarten birthday party gone bad. My son was supposed to sell them to raise money for the fifth grade class trip, but he’s not allowed to sell door-to-door, on the school bus or at school gatherings. In other words, anywhere where children congregate. And the only adults who would buy the stinky pencils are his grandmothers, because they’re suckers for a cute face. Meanwhile, I had to write a check for 50 bucks to the school so that $25 would be taken off our fee for the class trip. You do the math, because the school obviously didn’t.
Mother-Daughter Shawls — $25 for the pair or best offer
I knitted these myself, and then my 9-year-old daughter informed me she hates yellow. I’d post a photo, but it makes me sad to even think of it, let alone capture the image for my grandchildren to see how their mother broke my heart. $25 or best offer. I’ll throw in the homemade (blue, so I don’t understand the problem) scarf she didn’t wear all winter, too.
1,136 Matchbox Cars — $100, as is
They were in the toy box, the boys’ closets, in the couch cushions, under the fridge. I counted them all: 1,136 of them amassed over the years on birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Grandma visits, bribes. But ever since they discovered Mario Kart for the Wii, the Matchbox cars have been collecting dust. It’s a steal at 100 dollars, because really, I could have bought his-and-her massage chairs and a flat screen TV for the money spent on these stupid cars. Mostly in good condition, but I don’t feel like culling out the wheel-less cars or the ones with Bob the Builder stickers on their windshields, so you’ve got to take the entire set as is.
7 Chef’s Hats — Fits Children Under 8 — $50
We planned the birthday party for last October– a chef’s theme, because my son wants to be a “cookerman” when he grows up. You know, like Wolfgang Puck, the Cookerman. We were going to make pizzas and decorate cakes. Fun, right?
I went out and found eight chef’s hats for the birthday boy and his friends. Then his buddy got the Swine Flu and had to un-RSVP. Next, the triplets from next door got sick. We were down to four kids. We’d move it to another weekend, except one kid had soccer and two had lacrosse and one was going to Fiji with his family. (Really? You’re paying to take a third grader to freakin’ Fiji?) Then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then the holidays, and soon, we were out of weekends.
Anyhow, it pretty much had to be that weekend or my son would turn 9 before we could have his 8th birthday party. So we set up the pinata (a chili pepper) and the pizzas and the cakes, and then an hour before the party was to start — you guessed it — the birthday boy fell ill with the Swine Flu, too. We were going to give all the kids their hats and goody bags, but the logistics of getting the chef’s hats and the cheap plastic toy cookware to seven sets of parents was deemed futile . And once I caught the swine flu (of course), I didn’t care anymore. But on the bright side, the following weekend, we all beat the crap out of the pinata, and I gave out the candy on Halloween.