Scholastic Book, I Mean, Toy Order & The Raging Battle.
Anyone else have a problem with the ScholasticBook Toy Catalogue delivered directly into your kid’s backpack every month?
Fuck me. How did a reading program to get affordable books into homes and classrooms turn into a toy buffet? Sure, there are lots of Robert Munsch books in the book order…but the flyer is rife with Star Wars Mega Models, Face Painting kits, Make Your Own Christmas Ornaments (like we need those on our tree), and Hypnotize Your Mom into Buying You Shit Out of this Catalogue kits.
I actually had my six year old go through one of the more offensive book orders from this month(because Scholastic now sends four different book order catalogues home) and tally up the toy to book ratio. Toys: 35. Books: 15. I didn’t tell him he was helping me build a case against his acquisition of another Spy Kit.
Every month this is pretty much how the Scholastic Book Order conversation goes down:
Oskar: Mum, I want to get the Totally SecretSpy Kit.
Me:No, that’s not a book. And didn’t I get suckered into buying you some spy kit last time?
Oskar:Mum, that was like three months ago. And I lost the key, so now I can’t open my kit.
Me: That key was the size of a hair follicle on my upper lip. They design those keys so that you’ll lose them. And then have to get another spy kit. Guess what? You don’t need a key to open a book.
Oskar:But this is a book! There’s reading in it.
Me: But you're not interested in the words...you want the fingerprinting kit and the decoder. The only reading that’s involved with that is how to turn the living room into Spy Zone. I have to scale past enemy traps you’ve set just to sit on the bloody couch. And I also didn’t appreciate cleaning fingerprinting dust off the flat screen.
Oskar: But mum….I need The Totally Secret Spy Kit. Everyone in my class is getting the Spy Kit.
Me: Nope, not happening. Pick the polar bear book. Or the Yoda book.
Oskar: But MUM!!!!!!!
Me:Do or do not. There is no try.
Oskar: What are you even talking about?
Me: See, if you read the Yoda book, you’d know what I was talking about! (Sometimes I find spitting out a completely non-sensical quote will confuse the kids and can get me out of these sorts of discussions).
I get that these toys are supposed to be educational. But they are not books and they are not reading. If the book order were exclusively books, then kids would get excited about which book to pick. Instead, books lose their appeal and are forced to compete with make up and games. And every month I get to be Bad Mommy for not buying them.
There's a reason they don't put wine in amongst the milk and vegetables at the grocery store. Damnit, I went in there to get broccoli and 2% and somehow I've come out with a Shiraz and a Malbec. We'd never eat anything green again, but we'd all have a pretty sweet buzz going on most of the time.