Why The Brownie Leader Hates My Guts

kids craftsby K A B L O O E Y

The Mooch and I stare down at a table full of glitter-bombed dreck.  Brenda, my daughter’s Brownie troop leader, points to a green lump with glued-on googly eyes and orange tinsel hair.

“This is Moochie’s St. Patrick’s Day project. She didn’t finish it, then said it didn’t matter because mom always throws them out anyway.”

Crap.  I shoot a horrified glance at my informant daughter, mutter “Oh, Fredo, you broke my heart” and start furious verbal backpedaling.

“Oh, no; she’s confused.  We throw away some of the school papers, the worksheets and whatnot, but not her Brownie projects.” 

In truth, she’s lucky if they make the car. Every week there is another holiday themed, dollar bin at Michael’s craft project to transport home.  Invariably, they are covered in wet Elmer’s glue, so you have to hold them gingerly, as if they are made of Dresden china. It’s like transporting baby chicks with brittle bone disease.

Once the foam monstrosities are in the house, they stay on the dining room table, shedding pipe cleaners, until my daughter forgets about them.  Then I collect a pile and dispose of them under cover of night, like a serial killer burying the bodies.

“We even gave away one, remember mom?  Because you said we didn’t celebrate Christmas?

She might as well have said we have a baby Jesus dartboard.  Brenda the Brownie boss glares at me with laser beam eyes, trying to get my head to explode.  Or implode, whichever is more painful.

“We brought that beautiful ornament you made in Brownies to our friend’s house on Christmas Day, remember?  He picked you up so you could put it on their tree?  Mooch?  Tell the nice lady we didn’t kill the baby Jesus.” 

I admit, I’m not holding up well under questioning.

Brenda pushes the homuncular leprechaun towards me with her perfectly French-tipped finger and said, “When Moochie said you threw them away, she hurt my feelings.”

She didn’t say I hurt her feelings by throwing them away; the clear implication is that my daughter is in the wrong for piping up about it.  A grown woman is actually trying to guilt-trip my kindergartener about construction paper and yarn, and this is too much to bear.

I really, really want to tell her what she can do with her glue stick, but I know my kid plans to stay in the troop until it goes camping in five years, so I take the high road.  I scoop up the dismembered leprechaun and take my daughter’s hand.

“C’mon, Moochie.  Let’s take this little guy home and glue on his arms and legs.  Say goodbye and thank you to the storm troop…uh… troop leader.”

Brenda bends down, says goodbye to my daughter and reminds her to make sure to finish her craft.

Moochie pipes up, “Excuse me…”

Ah, my polite kid is back. I relax and start to daydream about the cup of coffee I left in the car, which is close… so close.

“Excuse me,” she continues, “When you were just talking to me, you spit in my eye.”

Sigh. That’s not going to earn her any merit badges.

When I was Mooch’s age, I lasted exactly one Brownie meeting, so I ‘m preparing for the inevitable.  When we get bounced out of the scouts, I’m going to nuke up some s’mores, pull out the sofa bed, throw open the doors and call it camping.


K A B L O O E Y is a 47 year old non-practicing filmmaker who lives with Phineas at an undisclosed suburban location. Their three kids are Moochie (6), Lonzie (20) and The Big Puppy (22). She (who am I kidding, I’m writing this myself) tweets @kblooey and has two goals: 1) To make creative work a central part of my life, and 2) To keep my family from needing the services of the Supernanny.


  1. Ugh, crafts. They’re the worst. I still have a bottle cap locket yarn necklace the girl made for me in Brownies. It’s so many kinds of awful, but it’s got her picture in it . . . so I’m stuck with it.

    Or am I?

  2. Oh how funny!

    I throw all that crap out too.

    Boo if it hurts her feelings.

  3. Very funny. :o )

  4. I love you for this, Kablooey.

    This is me.

    Just being realistic, that’s what it is.

    While others stand by and watch it all in horror.

    LOVEd this, and love seeing you here.

  5. “It’s like transporting baby chicks with brittle bone disease.” THAT made me laugh out loud. I hate craft projects. They’re either ugly or fall apart or both. And I totally throw everything out. Some drawings or paintings get saved if they express personality of the artist in some memorable way (like Eleanor’s anatomically correct “boy”) or if they mark an important developmental milestone (Oliver’s first “face”). But in general most of the stuff I keep is 2 dimensional and easy to pack away. I have of yet to save anything sculpture-related.

    AND – that troop leader is nuts. I read another post (a more serious one) about something very similar today. Weird. I’ll e-mail you the link.

  6. @ Suniverse: I’ve saved a lot of stuff with her picture on it too, but most of it is, as Kate mentioned, one-dimensional. (Literally and figuratively)
    @ Connie: At first I thought you meant Mooch’s feelings, but I know she’s fine because I save plenty and get her OK for anything she might remember I tossed. But you were referring to the leader. You know, I was just thinking about if the roles were reversed and I was spending my hours for no money with 14 sugar-infused little girls, trying to make crafts. I might be pissed too, but then, I wouldn’t be mad at the kid.
    @ Aussiescribbler: why, thank you
    @ My Fair Empress: we’ve been through this, but, THANK YOU.
    @ KCH: I’ll look for the link. I actually like crafts if I do them. Thanks for telling me you liked brittle bone disease line. And you know what I left out? That was the day we got our cookie selling marching orders and I told them there was no WAY we were going to be able to sell the suggested minimum. Then the spitting incident took place. A fun few minutes it was.

  7. Oh my! Laughing so hard at the description of the crafts and method of transport. I was a brownie leader for four years and I swear to you, I took all of those such things into consideration. We were a glitter free troop (I could be allergic), and never sent home wet glue (for fear girls would cry if their creations fell apart). What a delusional leader to think that her crafty prowess would earn a place in the china cabinet!

    Here’s spit in your eye! Oh. my.

  8. Too funny! This is a woman who’s self esteem is held together with rubber cement if she cares what the girls do with the crafts.

    I’m a registered volunteer for with our local Girl Scout council and we’ve been blessed with some great leaders, sadly this one needs a reality check.

    Oh and on the cookie sale front?? AMEN!!

  9. i think i love you. i quite girl scouts in the 4th grade because i was angry that they kept making me do things that were too “girlie” (cooking, dancing, taking care of babies) & joined my brother’s boy scout troop unofficially.

    you go, glenn coco. your kid is awesome.

  10. How did I miss this? (Outing myself, I miss a lot) Pain Is Funny. Sorry you had to go through it. As far as crafts projects, arriving weekly, I’d be with you.

    But actually, I was a Brownie and even a Girl Scout and LOVED the badges. LOVED them…sewing them onto some shoulder to hip banner you wore back then, or the sleeves, it’s all a little fuzzy. The icons on your site were a sweet reminder of simpler times. But I don’t remember making craft projects every week. Wonder just what we did do…EVERY week…? Hope to God it wasn’t crafts projects as there were five of us girls. My poor mother.

  11. As a Daisy Scout leader (because my daughter is a new Daisy) I hear you. We don’t do that many projects. I’d lose my mind, no doubt, if I did. :>

    Found you on BlogHer VOTY and love this.


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