When I was little, Valentine's Day was pretty kick-ass. I'd work on my box for days, trying to be the most original. I'd painstakingly pick out the coolest valentines and spend a great deal of time matching the right card to the right classmate. After all, some cards said "You're the coolest friend!" and some cards said "Be my valentine." We couldn't very well give a "Be my valentine" card to some random boy. He might get the wrong idea. If I included conversation hearts in the cards, they, too, would be selected carefully. I couldn't have Matt Olson know my true feelings from a conversation heart that read "U R cute."
So Valentine's was approaching, and I took Norah to Target to pick out cards for her preschool buddies. She picked out Phineus and Ferb cards that came with little tattoos. Perfect!
However, from last year, I knew that the moms from Norah's school had a little too much time on their hands. Last year, Norah got goodie bags from each kid, filled with handmade cards, candy, pretzels, Goldfish, stickers, tattoos, and the like. I told Norah to pick out some other stuff. She chose chocolate SpongeBob hearts and tiny bubble containers. That'll do.
Last night we began our assembly. Armed with our valentine supplies and a class list from Norah's teacher, we set up at the kitchen table.
It was a little different than I imagined. And yes, I imagined it. I imagined Norah and I working together, folding little cards, placing heart stickers on them, giggling, her trying to write her name on the From field. But here's what actually happened.
|"The tattoos are ready!"|
Yeah, I know. She's three.
Then I tried to attach the bubble containers on each card.
"THOSE ARE MINE," Norah screeched, as she entered the kitchen, meaning to ask me to play Smurfs with her.
"Baby, these are for your friends. There's one for you, though," I said, giving her one.
"NO! THOSE ARE ALL MINE!"
She started to cry, and swept her arms across the table, trying to gather all the tiny containers in her arms. They fell everywhere. I tried to reason with her, which was futile. Finally, I let it go, and decided to just do it after bedtime. She'd forget about it in the morning. Hopefully.
After that activity, Norah and I were talking in the bathroom, as she was doing her business.
"Are you excited for your Valentine's party?"
"YES!" she squealed.
"Do you think we should get a valentine for Daddy?"
"Yes," she whispered, with a grin.
"Oh, Jesus," I heard from the living room. "Do I have to go shopping now?" Oh, Ryan, you romantic bastard.
"No," I answered, with a glare.
Then later that night, as we cuddled down for stories before bedtime, I told her when I was little, my mom, her Nana, used to give us heart-shaped boxes with chocolate in them.
"Can I have one of those?" she asked, amazed.
"We'll see..." I smiled.
Then she wrapped her arms around me. "I love you, Mommy."
So, I still don't hate Valentine's Day.