Sunday, May 03, 2009

Carnival or 3-Ring Circus?

Yesterday was the carnival at Levi's school. I slept 10 hours straight last night. I'm still tired.

Here is why:

Sometimes I amaze myself at my stupidity. Take for example this recent behavior on my part. Levi's little private school was planning their spring carnival. They sent home sheets to have parents sign up for things. I am thinking, well hey, I can spare some time on that day and help at a booth or game. I can help with set up or clean up. Whatever. So I signed up and sent the form back. 

Next thing I know I am on the committee! I could have said No, but again I thought, I have free time and I can help, so I spent the next month at meetings. I took the lead on the silent auction and raffle. In the beginning, we had 7 baskets for the auction. You know, the themed baskets that each class puts together. There was a Family Fun Night basket, a cooking basket, a Pamper Mom basket etc etc. Parents donated items for each basket, and then we got additional donations from the community. Things were moving along well. Each week I inventoried the baskets and then made lists of what items would be needed to fill in the holes. Whenever someone donated money we would use some to purchase the items needed.  I would run and buy the items and deliver them. 

We had one super-mom who used to be in charge of fundraising for a company and put her many talents to work. As the weeks passed, she came in with items for more baskets and for the raffle. The 7 baskets turned into 10, then 12, then 15 and it kept on growing. The head of the committee came up with an idea to have each class decorate a flower pot with the class theme. We had beautiful pots with hand-print zebras, thumb-print ducks, etc. That added 7 more items for the auction. The raffle went from 2 free pizzas to over 200 items! 

I spent hours and hours placing raffle items in individual labeled envelopes, making lists of who donated what and keeping all the contact info for sending thank you notes and giving credit where credit was due. I made sheets with the contents of each basket listed. I made auction bid sheets for every one of the 31 auction items. I made sure each and every item was accounted for and acknowledged properly.

In addition, I made a game booth (Lollipop pull). With Chris's help, I built it, painted it, hauled it to the school, supplied 400 suckers, a table to set it on and prizes. I hauled my own extension cords, chairs, tables, hot dog steamers, and misc to the school. I ran and got all of the supplies for the Funky Hairdo booth (41 cans of colored hair spray, etc) I worked all day Thursday and Friday getting things set up. In order to get all of this done, I got up at 3 am on Friday and 3:30 am yesterday.  I rounded up 4 teenagers to sit at game booths for 4 hours on a Saturday for free (That in itself is a miracle!) to help free up parents to enjoy the carnival. 

Yesterday morning I get to the school early to begin setting up. It's hot and horribly muggy and soon I am a disgusting sweaty mess. A couple of the teachers had volunteered to wrap the baskets but I found that they had not finished them all  so I had to do it. I set up tables, cleaned them off, arranged all the auction items, posted the rules, finished the baskets, hauled the big items (bicycles, etc) there, etc etc. I set up the tables for the raffle, hung signs, set up the tables for the DJ, hauled chairs and tables to the other building for games, etc etc. The only thing I had yet to do was write in the opening bid for the auction items. I was waiting on input from the school owner. 

This is where the train left the tracks. I am tired, hot, sweaty, thirsty and stressed. The owners' mother and one of the teachers take it upon themselves to re-arrange the auction and decide on the opening bids. I tried to tell them I had it under control but they just took over. I walked away and did something else for a few minutes. Then I heard them discussing the rules. Apparently, the rules did not meet with their approval so they decided to tear them up. Yep, pull down the signs and TEAR THEM UP. 

The next few minutes are a blur. I saw red haze, I told them to do whatever the Bleep they wanted to because although I had spent WEEKS killing myself over this, they apparently knew better and I was DONE. The could do whatever they wanted, more power to them. 

Later, as I sat at the raffle booth, trying to ignore the auction, I noticed that it wasn't going so well over there. The two women who took over were no where to be seen, small children were writing in outrageous bids, people crossed out other people's names, and one bid sheet had mysteriously ended up underneath another basket where no one else could bid on it. I swallowed my pride, went over and fixed things, changed some of the 'too high' opening bids to something more reasonable (you don't have an opening bid of $100....) told the kids they were not allowed to bid they had to have their parents do it, and organization was restored. 

In the end the carnival was a great success. Next year, when they send out the form to sign up? I will burn it. (Someone please remind me of this post in case I forget!!!)

Oh, and I am embarrassed I lost my temper. No matter what, I shouldn't have blown up. No matter what. 


Anonymous said...

They are the ones that should be embarrassed not you!

Paula said...

Oh Wendy

You signed up for this stress , isn't 2 nightmare adoptions enough for you ???
Where was our reality fairy when you signed this thing ?
I will remind you next year .
It doesn't even sound like you lost you temper very much though !


Marlene said...

I am so sorry you had such a rough weekend. I do know how you feel. I have been over stressed with so many board meetings & Public Relations committee meetings with my kids school and then with the Fundraising Committee with our church, plus T-Ball, Judo and Dance classes. I held it all in for too long wanting to be "Super Mom" but then being so grumpy and tired around my kids, I realized what was most important was being there for my kids. So, just this past Thursday I resigned from the School Board and the Public Relations committee. It took me months of stomach aches and head aches to do it but I did and now I honestly feel like a load of bricks have been lifted off my shoulders.
I hope you are not too hard on yourself. You have every right to be upset from all that hard work you put into the weekend and to have people walk in and take over. If you really want to, but I dont feel have to, say your sorry and be done with it.
Have a great week.

Dana said...

You canot help signing up for things... It is genetic!
Love You

Anonymous said...


Let me tell you! I had close to the SAME THING happen to me this weekend! We had a hamburger dinner "fundraiser" for Noah's ball league. Well....THEY CAME TO ME and ask me to organize it, in which I did. And, WOW! People came out of the WOODWORK to "help". It was crazy! Seems like it ALWAYS happens that way. Don't you just wonder why they didn't "volunteer" in the first place?


OK.....I willl stop now!