Saturday, May 7

I'm at a loss

Ok, all you Cancer Mommies out there. I need some advice, and you are always my best sounding board.

I am actually awake, typing this post at 1:30am, no thanks to a neighbor lady who has my brain on overdrive trying to decide what to do. (BTW, I never have insomnia. That's something I leave for my husband to deal with. I could have slugged down 20 Cokes Pepsi's and I'd still lay my head on that pillow and fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean and the face of Johnny Depp.)


Anyhoo, as the President of my kids' school Parent-Faculty Association, I was involved in finding volunteers to head up various programs and events throughout the school year. One of those programs at our school has been a challenge for me to fill. It is a great opportunity for the kids to learn how to give direction and keep everyone safe. We've had an amazing lady running the program for years, but her kids have left our school to move on to bigger things, and we needed someone else to step up. After doing some cajoling talking to several parents, one decided she was interested in running the program for the year. Great! The PFA agreed to a budget for said program, to replace tattered equipment, and to help give the kids a party to celebrate their work at the end of the year.

Up until May 1, a small portion of the budgeted amount was spent on equipment. But now this parent wants us to increase the amount we budgeted by $100 to pay for the party she's planning. Mind you, she's got a substantial amount in her allottment that she thinks she's going to use for this party already. There's really only been a handful of kids participating regularly anyway, so I have a hard time understanding where she's spending all this money.

I have already discussed the situation with our council members on the PFA, and they all agreed that we cannot increase the funds designated for this program solely for a party. So, I came right home after our meeting to write this parent an email explaining that the council didn't approve her request, but we hope they can still have a smashing party. (Of course, I'm trying to bite my tongue so I won't say what I really think.)

Not 2 hours later, I receive TWO messages from her, angry that the kids aren't appreciated enough for the hard job they do every day and she cannot believe the PFA is unwilling to help give them proper kudos for their work! WTF? She did everything but call me names on these messages! Frankly, she was downright threatening to me, and the hostility in her voice was very apparent.

First off, I'm terribly glad I didn't answer those calls, or things may be really bad right now. Second, where the hell does she get off?! Third, I'm so pissed at her for ruining a fine night's sleep I can't even express right now!

After some thought, I've decided that it's best for me to take the high road. I will be returning to the council with an email prepared, that they will need to approve any and all expenditures for the program, as we are responsible for using the monies we raised for the good of the entire school. My husband is helping me put the finishing touches on the email, so I don't have a whiff of anger in it. It was actually his suggestion to have her put her request in writing, that she wants so much money diverted from the rest of the students so that her handful can have a whooping good time. If that doesn't make her feel like an ass, I don't know what will.

Oh, and before I forget, this parent is a neighbor (obviously) in a very tight community. It's sort of like living in a small town, where everyone knows everyone's business, but in a nicer way. (Is that possible?) We have the village to help us raise our kids, but we also get the shit, too.

So, what would you do? Would you be losing sleep over this? Has cancer taught me nothing?! I need words of wisdom here. Help a girl out, will ya?