You Can’t Escape the Atelier

I need to write and run today.  Littleb has big plans for me. The other day, as we were leaving his after school enrichment program, we noticed a book fair going on in the Atelier. Littleb has been enrolled in this school since he was 6-months-old and during that entire time, I’ve intended to look up the word “atelier” but I still haven’t done it.  As far as I know, an atelier is a room where educational institutions trap unsuspecting parents and make them buy things to raise money for said institution with the remaining two bucks they have in their wallet after paying tuition each month; the two bucks they were saving towards a weekend macchiato.   An atelier is a lot like a spider’s web-you can’t easily extract yourself from it and before you know what’s happening, you’ve been sucked dry.  And what’s especially heartbreaking about the atelier is its location right next to the one exit in the building that’s not alarmed.

No, there’s no escaping the atelier.  Just try it sometime.  Here you come, swooping around the corner, nearly homefree, when you see the brightly colored posters and all the books, and you curse to yourself because you were so close you could nearly smell the flame-broiled burgers from the Burger King across the street.  But not close enough, because now your kid is in the atelier eating free crackers and looking for the Captain Underpants section.  Free crackers.  That’s how they they entice the kids who aren’t moved by piles of things that need purchasing, like Littleb.  
Every once in a while, you’ll see a parent trying to wrestle their kid past the atelier.  It’s always the rookies.  You have to have a little sympathy for the rookies.  They’ll soon realize that it’s easier to wrestle a salmon from the teeth of a rabid grizzly than it is to maneuver an over-tired 3-year-old past the atelier during book fair week.  I know you really wanted that macchiato, friend, but get in here and fork over all your money like the rest of us.  Welcome to the Atelier.  Here’s the list of books that the toddler class needs.  That’s right.  Not only are you buying books for your kid, you’re also buying books for the school.  It’s quite a racket they’re running in the atelier.  Entirely voluntary, though.  Here.  Have another free cracker.  

Littleb couldn’t find any Captain Underpants books but he did find a kid’s cook book which fired every creative neuron in his twitching, over active little boy body.  And that’s what he has in mind for me today.  He’s got a grocery list a mile long and plans to recreate such juvenile delicacies as ice cream bon bons and cheesy bacon popovers.  I’m no rookie.  You can bet your sweet patootie that I tried to buy that book for the class so that they’d have to cook with my kid and buy the 600 necessary ingredients, but they were too clever for me.  It wasn’t on the list.  
So, if you need me, I’ll be spending my 401K at the grocery store and spending the rest of the day explaining the difference between folding and mixing.  As if I know.  I don’t even know what an atelier is. 
Chicken out

  16 comments for “You Can’t Escape the Atelier

  1. April 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I guess putting blinders on a kid, reducing their field of vision is out of the question…..


  2. April 6, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Whoa – that ice cream looks VERY bon bon to me. It may not be a macchiato but it'll give you a similar boost of energy.

    Entirely voluntary. Mm-hmm. But you gotta love when your kid wants books.


  3. April 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Good sign that the kid reads.
    Now all you need to do is buy the right books that will feed his mind.


  4. April 6, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I thought that an atelier was limited to photography supplies. I guess we can use any term for anything now eh?


  5. April 6, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Ah … well played, Chicken. A super fine bit of writing. I am sure you know what an Atelier is, but I didn't, so here: ” workshop or studio, especially of an artist, artisan, or designer.” But I don't supply it to show that I am a browner but to say that I can simply highlight a word in Firefox and get a definition. I can't remember if it's part of Firefox itself or an extension, but it's pretty sweet.


  6. April 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I'm so glad I had the foresight to breed quite early in life. Dead-broke, self-indulgent and, really, quite a twit, I was immune to that sort of thing; and the boy was forced to read my old “Pippi”s and the school to buy their own damn books.




  7. April 8, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    They should sell blinders in the Atelier!


  8. April 8, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    We do love our books. I think my lack of will power is more at fault than the atelier, truth be told:-)


  9. April 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Hi Carlos,
    Yes, you are right!


  10. April 8, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    I think this atelier is used as more of a project space, usually. I guess it's a broad definition:-)


  11. April 8, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks AC and thanks for looking it up for me. I should try that Firefox trick:-)


  12. April 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Me too, Pearl, me too. But I still was a sucker for those scholastic reader flyers they would send home when my girls were little. They still send them home but I ignore them now in favor of the library. When the books are right in front of me, though, well I can't seem to resist.


  13. dbs
    April 11, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Captain Underpants makes the world a better place.


  14. April 11, 2014 at 3:09 am

    I love him. He's a hero I can get behind. Not too close, mind you.


  15. April 12, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I would have been right there with ya. My kid was a sucker for any book about little critters with big bug eyes.


  16. April 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Hahaha…so true. As one of the rookies, I have been stopped more than a few times while picking up my 3 year old grandson from his school. This is especially tricky because as a grandma, you can't really use any of the most available excuses why you aren't going to buy books. Because everyone knows that grandma is good for buying stuff. That's part of their job description.


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