So your little girl wants to be in Girls Scouts…. awwww. I am guessing that she is probably in the first grade, and some Moms have gotten together and decided to start up a Daisy troop with plans to lead those girls up through the ranks… from Daisys, to Brownies, and on to Girl Scouts. The Moms have enrolled in a Leadership Training Course, have gathered together all of the necessary forms, and have called a meeting for parents of potential members. And your little one is looking up at you with hopeful eyes asking if perhaps she can be a Daisy Girl too…..
But Mamas….. I'm warning you…. don't let your babies grow up to be Girl Scouts….
Oh sure, the sisterhood and the activities are great… and yes, your daughter will definitely learn the values of friendship and community. She will gain exposure to all sort of cool crafts and fun things to do…. she'll proudly sell the cookies, hold hands with the other troop members in the closing circle, and say the pledge that promises dedication to all kinds of sweet ideals.
But there is a Dirty Little Secret…. one that you won't find on any permission slip or in any handbook. And I am here to share that secret with you.
Being a Mom of a Girl Scout means that you are committing yourself to hours being enslaved in one of my most hated activities of womankind…. ironing! All in an effort to iron-on a bunch of damn patches onto a polyester vest! So before you sign on that dotted line… just make sure you know exactly what you are committing yourself to….
Now I don't know about you…. but I don't even iron my own laundry, until I reach a state of absolute and final desperation. All of your wrinkly clothes just sit in a pile for weeks on end until I run out of shirts to wear. My husband has long-ago figured out that he better rely on the local dry cleaners vs. his adoring wife if he actually wants to wear shirts to the office. I personally feel that ironing is on par with toilet cleaning in the “fun department”, and I have 4 sons…. so I think you know how I feel about cleaning toilets. Really, ironing is a 1950's throwback activity, best done while wearing an apron, sipping a dry martini and watching soap operas. While I have embraced many other aspects of modern-day housekeeping (cooking, cleaning, blah, blah blah)… ironing isn't one of them.
What exactly are these patches for, you ask?
Well, there are patches for achievements (typically known as badges)… and patches earned for having fun (which we like to call “fun patches”). My daughter recently brought home an information sheet at cookie sales time that outlined her personal goal to sell 20 boxes of cookies so that she could earn her “cookie fun patch”. I don't WANT her to earn the damn patch. ‘Cuz I'm the one who is going to have to iron it on! (Not to mention we KNOW who's going to consume the better part of those 20 boxes of cookies, now don't we?)
So what's the big deal with ironing on these patches?
So they hand out these iron-on patches…. but they don't have the sticky stuff on the back that should “activate” with a hot iron. They are just.. patches. So you start spending your free time on Google looking for an “easy product” to use to create the sticky backing….and find that there is actually a product called “Badge Magic”… and the magic must lie in the fact that you need to chant certain words when you use it, because it only works part of the time, generally when I am cursing under my breath.
And just when you think you've got the whole “iron-on” thing figured out, your daughter comes home from her troop meeting with a memo that explains that you've been putting them in all the wrong places! Whaaaat?
Now you have to figure out how you are going to get the damn things back off!
Oh, and don't allow your daughter to actually eat her troop snack while wearing the vest… because Lord knows if it gets dirty and you have to wash it- all of the damn patches will be floating around in your washing machine….. shrunken and once-again, unattached!
So Moms, you've been warned
You have to decide if all of the joy and fun and friendship-building for your daughter is worth your commitment to actually iron on a slightly-more-than-annual basis. As you can tell…. I made the sacrifice. But you, you still have time to save yourself.
Disclaimer: My daughter adores being a Brownie and would be mortified if she knew her mother has taken to her blog to bash the very institution that brings her so much joy. So let's just keep this between us, shall we? And perhaps not share it with her troop leaders who work far too hard for these girls to have their efforts squashed by this ungrateful Mom who hates to iron…..