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"Mama: Why can't I go to the petting zoo?"

Some schools or daycares just don't let up on the endless "optional" offerings: the pizza party for $7, the school tee for $10 or the petting zoo for $5.  Then, there are larger requests: yearbooks for elemtary kids for $30 or a mid-week family camping trip for $100 per adult (so, wait: I'm going to pay for daycare, then I will take days off from work, and then I will pay still for my kid to go camping then for me to camp with him? Holy wow).  I cannot keep up; these costs add up across multiple kidlets.

While this is the reality, it can be sad.  Tonight, my boy said: "Mama, why can't I go to the petting zoo?"  Well, we just don't have another $5 for you to pet the goats that they are bringing into the school yard tomorrow.  

Sad face.

What else are you going to do? 


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Honestly, I would have scraped up all the change in the house for the five bucks. These things matter to kids, so unless you are actually going into debt on some of this stuff... I say budget more money for these outings and less for something else.

That sounds like a high maintenance childcare. Some people want that. I was at my happily low maintenance one picking up my daughter and I heard a family interviewing who asked if their were lots of opportunities to take off work, schlepp around with the group and "have community". Wow. Definitely a different perspective than mine. If possible, and I realize what a pain in the butt it is to go looking, find a childcare that is more in line with your vision (I drop off, and go!) so they aren't always nickel and diming you for this crap. Are these people seriously going to let your child look on while everyone else gets to pet goats?! That childcare needs to get its head checked.

My kid has an amaaaazing memory. However, there's no way she remembers all of the activities & field trips she's been on, let alone the ones she missed for various reasons.
1) This can be the beginning of wonderful age appropriate conversations with our child(ren) about what things cost, how we have to make choices to do without A because we value B, C & D much more.
2) It might also be a good conversation with daycare/school about the number of these "extras" -- and how they impact working families without lots of extra cash. Sometimes, the people in charge just aren't thinking about the cumulative impact, and this could be an educational opportunity.

I agree completely with SusanOR, it's perfectly okay to tell your child "no" sometimes and include "we can't afford it". And have a conversation with either the daycare's director or the school's principal. Because I'm quite confident you aren't the only parent with these issued.

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