In which I go overboard for the sake of my child’s self-esteem

This post is in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures


On June 30th, Warner Bros. Pictures is releasing a new comedy starring Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell called The House, a film about two desperate parents and the lengths they will go to for their daughter. When they approached me and asked if this is something I could relate to—a time when I’ve gone completely overboard for the sake of my child’s dreams and wishes—I was like, you do know that “dooce” is latin for HAIRBRAINED. All caps. Just like that.

I wrote them back and asked, “Would you like a thank you card designed by second grader you don’t know? I happen to have a few.”

First, check out the trailer. The film also stars Nick Kroll, Jason Mantzoukas, and Allison Tolman:

For the last few years one of the fundraising activities at Marlo’s school is that whole thing where you have to sell assorted boxes of chocolate to family or friends. You know that awful thing I’m talking about, right? And some families take it so seriously that they go door to door like Mormon missionaries intent on selling you a planet.

I once opened my front door, and before the kid could say anything I pointed to my NO SOLICITING sign and said, “You learning what that means will serve you far better in business than trying to sell me a bonbon, honey.” Because I’m neighborly.

I hated those fundraisers and always sent Marlo back to school with an order sheet that had not one drop of ink on it. And apparently this totally devastated her when she saw how much the other kids had sold. When I explained to her that those kids most likely didn’t sell the candy—that the parents begged family and friends to take pity and buy a box of chocolate that they’d probably never eat—she was not consoled.

So I devised a plan.

Another fundraising activity that happens every year benefitting the art program at her school involves what are called “art cards” in which each child paints or illustrates a landscape or a portrait that is then turned into the cover of a thank you card. An order form is sent home and you can buy a set of any of the cards in your kid’s class. Normally I buy a couple of sets of Marlo’s cards and call it good. Most parents just buy a set of their own kid’s cards. And we pretend that we can tell what it is that they have drawn when we cannot tell at all whatsoever.

“That’s a beautiful bird, Marlo!”

“But it’s a park bench.”

“I meant PARK BENCH! A park bench that’s as beautiful as a bird!”

This year? I bought em all. Multiple sets of each. Several and then even more. A whole bunch of cards from each kid. And then I sat down and drew Marlo a side-by-side comparison of what she had “raised” through the art cards compared with how much chocolate that kind of money would have bought. And then I realized, what on earth did I do? I just paid an amount of money that would buy enough chocolate to give an entire herd of elephants a case of the shits.

So now I have hundreds of really horribly designed thank you cards. And I don’t want to throw them away, because ART.

When you get a Christmas card from me this year you’re going to love trying to figure out what the hell is on the cover.