Do you know who the Yo-Yo man is?
I do because I heard all about it this morning on the way to Kat's ortho appointment and then all the way back home and into the school's front office.
"I love you. Have a good day. Make good decisions and you're not to spend your money on a yo-yo", was the last thing I said to Kat this morning.
Every once in awhile, the school brings in the Yo-Yo man during PE and tries to sell really expensive yo-yos to small, naive children. I went through this same scenario with Trent during his first few years at elementary school. I gave in and bought him a yo-yo. He was bored and frustrated with it in less than two days. I guess the school hasn't had Yo-Yo man around the last couple of years because I haven't heard about him again until today.
I've never actually seen the Yo-Yo man but I can't help but picture him as a really nice, personable young man wearing a baseball cap and polo shirt. He stands atop a stage while behind him are boxes of brightly colored yo-yos stacked like Coke boxes at Walmart. Two bright spotlights shine down on Yo-Yo man and small children sit on the floor cross-legged, wide eyed with their mouths agape as he "Walks the Dog". He does all the tricks with grace and ease and the children exclaim, "oooooohhh!" or "ahhhhhhh" or even "woooooow".
He's quite the salesman.
Kat: Mom, can I have a yo-yo? They're only $15.00.
Me: No. I don't think so.
Kat: I have my own money. How about one for $10.00?
Me: That's kind of a lot of money for a yo-yo. What do they do with the money? Does it get donated or something?
Kat: Yeah, it's donated to some group.
Me: Who is it donated to? Rebel militia groups in Africa?
Kat: Ummm, no. It's donated to kids. MOM! WATCH OUT FOR THAT SCHOOL BUS!! hahahaha
Me: Thank you, Kat. I see the school bus. What children get the money? Homeless children? Children in America?
Kat: (trying another route)Do you know what a boomerang yo-yo is?
Me: Of course I do. It's a yo-yo on the floor that I step on too many times because you've become bored and frustrated with the yo-yo and now it's broken because I've stepped on it. I have to pick it up and throw it away. The next day it shows up on the floor in a different part of the house and I step on it again. That's a boomerang yo-yo.
Kat: No, Mom. (trying another route) You can buy replacement parts for the yo-yo.
Me: Oh, really? And just how much would that cost? Are they made in the USA or China?
Kat: USA. I really want a yo-yo. (still trying another route) It comes with a really good message. NED...(N)ever give up....(E)ncourage others....(D)o your best.
Me: You said nothing of a yo-yo last week. Last week it was Kidz Bop 23. Now it's a yo-yo. Maybe you should sleep on it or show me some paperwork about it.
Kat: (this time with sadness in her voice) Mackayla is going to get a yo-yo and brag about it.
Me: Great! Make sure you congratulate Mackayla on her purchase and encourage her to keep learning new tricks. Just like the NED message. That is a really good message.
This was only a couple minutes of our conversation. Believe me, it went on for what seemed like forever.
Just for shits and giggles, I looked up the NED yo-yos on line. There is nothing that I could find about donating money to anyone or any organization. So, I'm sure that was just a line Kat used to try to encourage me (just like she was taught in the NED yo-yo show) to let her purchase one.
After looking at the site for just a few more minutes, I can't really figure out exactly what they do. I did pull out this quote:
The NED Show motivates…encourages…INSPIRES your kids to become Champions at school and in life.
Ok, that's nice. I still don't get why yo-yos? Expensive yo-yos. Oh, there's a section on that. It says,
We incorporate yo-yos in our show, along with magic tricks and
dramatic speech, to deliver a VISUAL lesson that sticks with students.
It’s unique, it’s unusual and best of all, it's absolutely
After the assembly, we offer items for purchase that prominently feature the NED Champion message, so that students have their own learning tools to reinforce the program. The message of our assembly literally becomes a hands-on object lesson that exceeds a 45-minute show.
Nope. Not buying it. If someone knows something more about this program, I'd love to know. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. Usually. To me, this seems like a circus side show selling miracle drugs. After the circus leaves, it's forgotten about and stepped on and thrown away.
"Get your yo-yos here! This one cures syphilis!! This blue one cures
herpes!! But for only $15.00, this one will make you POPULAR and
I have an acronym, too....
Stop Trying To Sell My Kids Overpriced Yo-Yos
DISCLAIMER: Kat has had plenty of yo-yos in her life so I'm not the mean mom that
won't let her get a stupid yo-yo. In fact, there is one on the shelf
behind her bed. As soon as I pick her from school, I'm going to Do my best to Encourage her to play with her existing yo-yo and Never give up practicing.
and because I always say that pictures are important, here is an image of Abe Lincoln that the kids made with coins. This is from 2008 but better late than never.