I spent the bulk of the past weekend and this week baking cookies. Some doughs I make and freeze for later baking. Some cookies I went ahead and baked and froze when they were done. Some I baked this week and refrigerated. And then—like EVERY SINGLE YEAR as if I’m just new to this whole thing—on Thursday I of course discovered that the number of Cookie Gifting Vessels I owned vs. the List Of Teachers was a mismatch, and off I went to buy more containers. At least that trip to the store broke up my day of finishing baking and dividing up everything and packaging it nicely and printing little cards and all of that.
Several people have asked me why I still bother to do this, now that the kids are in high school. Most people don’t, I guess. For one thing, I enjoy it, even though it makes for a rather nutty week. For another, I can’t just drop a wad of cash on every teacher who’s making a difference in my kids’ lives (even though sometimes I wish I could). A bunch of cookies seems like the very least I can do.
Someone asked me what they have to do to get on my cookie list. I said, “Teach at my kids’ school and don’t piss me off.” See? It’s easy. (And honestly, only once in many, many years have I ever skipped giving a gift to a specific teacher. It’s pretty hard to make me mad enough to where I withhold cookies.)
And yes, okay, part of why I do it is because sure, I can be a pain in the ass sometimes (pretend to be surprised), and I want to do something nice for the folks I may have irritated earlier in the year. I’m not one to opt for “not making waves” over what I think is right (again, just play along and act like that’s surprising). I will hold feet to the fire if I need to. But then I’ll make you cookies. It all evens out.
This brings us to my column this week at Alpha Mom, wherein a mom asks if she’s being too helicopter-y, and I get right up on my soap box about speaking up, loud and clear. It’s not about cookies, it’s about teaching our kids what is and isn’t okay.
Now I really want to hear the cookie withholding story.
You already have—it was the teacher from this story. That’s the one and only time I left a teacher out when doing gifts (at the end of the year, not Christmas, but still).
Stopping in to say thank you for your wise and absolutely right opinion on the harassment situation described by your alpha mom reader. As a mother of two teenage girls I would have intervened in exactly the way you suggest.
This year (in high school) we made extra sure to give our thanks to the librarians and the man that watches the door. My homeschooler get a lot more freedom than some of the other homeschoolers to come and go as she needs to and we need them to know we appreciate it. And we need to stay on their good side!
Cookies – I wish I’d thought of this when my special needs kiddo was in middle and high school. Many of his teachers were amazing. A few put us through the wringer, and believe me, we spoke up. Usually we created our script ahead of time and my dear darling husband spoke the lines because (go figure) teachers don’t like hearing critiques from one of their own.
But anyway, enjoy the cookie time! I’m sure the teachers love that you put so much effort into showing them you appreciate what they do.