For the uninitiated I must first explain smencils; they are, in effect, smelly pencils. I am not sure exactly what kind of voodoo exists around them, but they are pencils wrapped in scented paper and they come in a variety of scents. The band at our girls’ school sells them as a fundraiser for a dollar a piece and they are all the rage for the sub-five foot set (which the girls won’t be for long…).
Big sister might have used her own money to buy one or two. Little Sister acquired five as soon as she gathered the courage to purchase them. After the first five dollars spent (on PENCILS! which we have 84,000 of and counting in this house!!!)I reigned in the spender and asked her to pace herself somewhat. But mysteriously her collection still grew. Until the end of that very week when I counted six additions.
When I asked her about them, she sweetly replied that she hadn’t bought any more pencils and that they had been a gift from her pal in class (who happens to a boy that told her loves her and wants to be her best friend forever). We had the talk about how his parents might be paying for and wondering about the pencils and that there should be a cap on what is given to her and what she can accept. She offered the pencils back to him but he declined. She said that she went as far as handing them to him but she didn’t think he wanted them back. I figured we would leave it at that but had $6.00 earmarked in case his parents ever asked for reimbursement.
Just before winter break, Little Sister came home to say the boy’s Mom wanted to smell the pencils he bought (which I am pretty sure was a totally legitimate way of saying, hey, lady, I spent six bucks on some sticks that my kid will actually write with that happen to smell like root beer and popcorn, so hand them over). But we couldn’t find the ziplock bag they were in. The smencils had disappeared.
Over break we went through literally every item in both girls’ rooms. We searched my car (the black hole of things) and the craft cabinet and garage and everywhere in between. No smencils were found. Christmas came (and stuff came along with it) and I forgot about the pencils. But once school resumed Little Sister explained that her pal wanted scented markers (smarkers?) to cover the smencils that had gone missing. Smarkers were $1.50. No problem, I figured. We lost the smencils; we would have to pony up for smarkers.
Today Little Sister got to school early to buy him one (she had asked what scent he preferred, to which he allegedly suggested she buy them all – because he wasn’t picky). But a funny thing happened. When she went to give it to him he made an alarming declaration that she SHOULDN’T PUT IT IN THE FRONT POCKET OF HIS BACKPACK!!!!! She handed it over, but her spark of intuition couldn’t let that go. I imagine that her inner Dateline NBC Chris Hansen was voice-overing “What WAS in THAT back PACK”?(Yes, the capitalization is purposeful to mimic the odd emphasis he does).
She asked why she couldn’t have put it there and he told her BECAUSE YOU JUST CAN’T SEE IT. See what? she asked. That’s when he broke and showed her that she had in fact returned the smencils already but he had wanted her to buy him the smarkers too. (Cut to commercial).
The retelling of this story was given no justice here, as I assure you the solemn face and holding-her-breath-for-effect reenactment was priceless. It all worked out in the end (because I didn’t lose something! Hooray! And the kids cleaned their rooms – double hooray!). She learned a valuable lesson that only cost us $1.50 and he gained a smarker and in the end I would like to think two families helped buy at least a reed for a woodwind instrument or a ream of copy paper for sheet music. Mystery solved.