The Spring Fayre is the highlight of the school’s fundraising calendar. It is a great day of fun where the teachers, the PTA, parents and children come together as a community to help raise as much money as they can for school equipment. It is a day of class stalls touting their wares, tempting kids high on cotton candy sugar to spend more of their parents’ money; a day of splurging on raffle tickets in the hope of winning big; a day of kids running amok on the school grounds; and an uncontrollable buzz of excitement.
But….if you are a class rep responsible for one of those stalls, it is a day which always makes you feel like you are unprepared, even though you are not; a day you wish would zip by in the blink of an eye; a day which starts very early, forbids you food, water or loo breaks, and which leaves you feeling like you have spent all morning running chasing a marathon tail.
Guess who was class rep for one class this year? For the 2nd year running I decided to take on the role of class rep. Last year I was a class rep for DS1’s class. To appease my ‘mum’s sibling equality’ sense of obligation I agreed to repeat the role for each child, and volunteered to be DS2’s class rep this year. Cleverly, I joined forces with a mum I knew, and who had herself been a class rep last year (and who was also labouring under the ‘mum’s sibling equality’ obligation).
My decision to volunteer for DS2’s class was the cause of many tears from DD. In her eyes the ‘mum’s sibling equality’ rule was not as equal as she would like. She insisted on pointing out that she is the oldest and sooooo much older than DS2 that it was sooooo unfair (almost expected to hear the ‘valleygirl’ accented ‘like’ in there!) of me to skip her class. In my defence, another 2 mums had already put their hands up for her class, and I was just keen to get another class out of the way this year. A difficult rationale for a 7 year old to understand.
As I see it, class reps are ‘conduits’ between the school and the parents. Information regarding the school, year, class events etc. are conveyed through us. We organise coffee mornings and nights’ out, Christmas and end of year gifts for teachers. Simple! Or so it seems……until the School Fayre planning starts…..
At Christmas, it seemed like the Fayre, held in March, is soooooo faaarrrr offffff…..but, come the 1st of Jan, it springs up behind you quicker than the March hare!
Experienced class reps. Not a problem. We have it in hand. We will keep it simple. We will do the minimal amount required (more because both of us work and have more than one child at school!). AGREED. DONE DEAL.
Being a class rep is akin to being a dictator. There is no point giving the class a vote/choice re: the Spring Fayre. Where would that get us but into an unholy mess of 25 different opinions (if the mums responded), most of which would be imposing unrealistic, time-consuming ideas on the reps. Done deal. ‘They did the thinking, the reps do the doing’. NO. NOT happening. The mums need to be guided along the path without question, without fear, and without interference! And this is the route upon which my co-class rep, C, and I decided.
Fayre day came. Class reps were there before 9am. We set up the stall. We hung pictures drawn by the kids. We traipsed from the car/sports hall to the field and back for what felt like a gazillion times. We unwrapped sponsor’s banners. We were good to go for the Fayre 10am kick off.
After a slow start, our stall picked up pretty quick. I guess, at this stage, it might be helpful to inform you what our stall was…. the Sumo Challenge. Kids dressed up in inflatable sumo outfits to embark upon a mildly difficult assault course against the clock. Once our stall was set, we nabbed 2 unlikely suspects to trial the course for us so we could gauge where we should pit the record. Seriously….these boys were at least 10 years old. One completed the course in 35 seconds and the other in 48 seconds. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought they were working for the competitor! 7 year old DS1 completed the course in 22 seconds on his first attempt (and brought that down to 16 seconds by his 5th attempt!).
All that aside the day was an enormous success. C and I could not keep up with the demand at our stall. 3 sumo suits and we struggled to get them off one child to install the next! As much as I dread Spring Fayre day, I could not have anticipated that this year I would spend soooooo much time on my knees, carefully helping stinky, sweaty boy feet in and out of sumo suits. Indeed at one point, I was left with no option but to clip the battery pack to a boy’s boxers…..such was the tangle of cables that I could not attach it to the neck of his t-shirt!!!! If this were any other country, I would be sitting in a cell right now!
7 hours, no loo or food breaks later and we left to make our way home…..hello traffic…only 1 hour for 600 metres……
Spring Fayre….gotta love it!
BTW…..DD’s class next year, according to the ‘mum’s sibling equality’ rules, should be the next ‘victim’ of my by now well practised class rep skills……but am soooo oooovvveeerrr the Fayre, I persuaded DD to accept a large cuddly toy in lieu! Now that’s what I call a bargain!