Image credit luigi diamanti via freedigitalphotos.net Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a holiday. But when you have school aged kids, especially preschoolers, look out. It’s enough to put this mom over the edge.
It’s kind of like the feeling I have when we make Christmas cut out cookies. The flour, the sprinkles, the licking of fingers and spreading of the frosting. It’s chaos. It’s messy. It makes you want to freak out. And then it’s over with and you think, that wasn’t so bad? I’m sure it’ll be fun again next year…
Here’s how Valentine’s Day preparations go in my house:
Mom: Who wants to do valentines?
Child One: Groan. (He has grown wise.)
Child Two & Three: Yea! (Ah to be young and innocent again.)
Mom: Okay, let me see your teacher’s instructions. Is the cereal box supposed to be decorated or not? When is the cereal box supposed to be delivered? Tomorrow? Next week? (Muttering to self- each class has a different party schedule, different delivery day and different instructions. Awesome.)
Child Three: I don’t have a cereal box!
Mom: Consider yourself lucky.
Mom: Let’s see if we can find any leftover valentines from last year. Anyone want to use up these from last year? No?
Child Two decides it’s okay.
Insert trip to store.
Child Three picks out new valentines in 3 seconds. Child One debates and picks the least worst choice. Child Two needs a few more and wants to go to another store to look. Mom says no. Child Two picks the same as Child One after 20 minutes of deliberation.
Next they choose the candy for the valentines. Child Two picks out snack sized candy bars in 3 seconds. Child Three doesn’t even know half of what the candy options are. Mom encourages her to go for the Ring Pops. She loves Ring Pops; doesn’t she want to bring Ring Pops? Mom knows that after they exit the store Child Three will inevitably want Ring Pops no matter what she chooses now. Child One deliberates for 20 minutes and finally chooses Fun Dip. Mom runs through her head how much the other moms are going to appreciate their child coming home with the messy powdery Fun Dip.
Home for assembly.
Mom: Holy cow. This is crazy. (Does Child Two know how to run the tape dispenser?) Do you need help using the tape?
Child Two breaks the tape dispenser.
Mom: (How does one break a tape dispenser?!!)
Child One: (In best whiney voice) I don’t know where the construction paper is to cover my cereal box! How come Child Two’s teacher gave him some?
Child Two: I’m writing my own class list.
Mom: (Let’s hope there isn’t a classmate left off of it.)
Child Two’s interest is starting to fade.
Child Three is writing her name on 17 valentines. She is in preschool and it takes her five minutes a card.
Mom: (We could be here when it’s dark.)
Child Two is still taping.
Mom: (How much tape does one cereal box need?)
Mom: Oh no, one box of valentines turns into a mask and comes with a string for it. Be sure to include a string for each kid.
Child Two has last year’s valentines that aren’t enough for each kid. Child Two borrows valentines from another box.
Mom: Please don’t open the last new box of valentines if we don’t have to.
Child Three can’t tear her valentines on the perforated line. Requests scissors.
Mom: (Preschooler and scissors. Here we go.)
Child Three is still writing her name and randomly applying the small heart stickers that come with the valentines. She may the only one who is still excited.
Child Two is still using tape.
Mom: Here’s a plastic bag for each of you. Please keep your valentines separate from your brother or sister’s. Child Two please put yours in your backpack to be delivered tomorrow.
She marks on calendar when the others are supposed to be delivered to school. Gets two of the dates wrong.
Thank goodness for snow days or we’d never be ready for Valentine’s Day. I applaud you moms that a) make your own homemade valentines and b) make your own treats for said valentines. I can barely make it through the boughten ones. This is not a holiday for the faint of heart mom.