Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Some people get up early on Valentine's Day to decorate the kitchen or make heart-shaped pancakes or shower their kids with Valentine related trinkets.  We are not those people.

I have nothing against Valentine's Day but both of my children were over the moon about their school celebrations and I really don't see any reason to raise the bar when they are happy with the status quo. Although, I should note that Michael told me sadly that they didn't have circle time today, but they will have it tomorrow.  He missed circle time.  I would also like to note that I made four batches of Rice Krispies treats last night so the morning and afternoon kindergarten classes would have a safe snack.

The first year Harper had a school Valentine party we bought a bunch of craft supplies and had her make the Valentine cards for her friends.  (Actually I ended up in the hospital on bed rest that Valentine's Day, so Matt or Nana helped her make her cards.)  That was fine, but here's the thing:  Valentines are not expensive.  It is great to make them if you're looking for a fun family activity.  But buying Valentines is not going to break the bank.  In fact, for the initial investment we made into Valentine making supplies, I'm sure I could have purchased enough pre-made Valentines to see Harper through elementary school.  I totally phoned it in this year and both kids went to school with store-bought cards.  I think it cost us about four dollars.

Harper did have to make a Valentine box to take to school.  I wrapped a cardboard box for her, cut a hole in the top, and let her go to town with stickers, crayons, etc. I'm fairly certain there isn't much of an artistic streak running through this branch of the family tree.  When you let six-year-olds decorate their own Valentine boxes, the results are uninspiring, but at least they are proud.  I think there's a good parenting lesson in there somewhere.  If you let the kids do their own work (whether it is decorating a box or making their beds) it never looks as good as it would with lots of help from you, but it's not your job.  And Harper actually said yesterday, "I'm so proud!  This is my first Valentine's box!"

I'm not sure what the point of this post is, maybe just to remind myself that it's okay that we don't knock ourselves out trying to make everything extra special for our kids all the time.  My children seem to enjoy life without a lot of intervention on my part!


Swistle said...

YES, I love this and I totally agree.

Also, totally off-topic, I thought of you the other day when I baked for a school bake sale and the coordinator told me that I should label it if there were nuts in it. She said it was so wrong that nut-allergic kids couldn't buy anything from the bake sale because nothing was labeled. I didn't quite know what to say: you've so increased my education/awareness level about nut allergies, I was sure that this step was futile (how could the parent of a child with nut allergies take someone's word for it, especially the word of someone who might not know how to check ingredients, or realize that she'd absentmindedly used the spatula she'd just used to make PB sandwiches?)---but on the other hand I didn't want to smack her down when it was good to see that such things were OCCURRING to people.

MamaK said...

I think I might frame your last line from this post! and I love Harper's box. Somehow it's easier for me to appreciate other kids' efforts more than my own... and he's still young yet :)

bluedaisy said...

I think she did a fantastic job- and it IS hard to put aside our adult ideas about how something should turn out. Kids see things through different eyes & you must be doing something right because Harper was happy with her own work. Self-confidence is a great gift :)

Courtney Price ~ Vintage Ginger Peaches said...

I just added you to my reader after reading your comments on Surrender Dorothy... I like finding new, fresh, GOOD blogs!

Emily said...

We had the same conversation about why raise the bar? A friend of mine asked me if I was getting Valentine stuff for the kids, and I said, Don't want that to be an annual expectation, right?

And at least you remembered to put Harper in her heart sweater. It didn't occur to me to send Katy in V-related clothing until she mentioned that all the girls in her class were wearing red or pink hearts. Oops.

Chris said...

So funny, Kelsey! I did get up and make pink pancakes...but I love doing that sort of stuff. And we made our Valentine's simply because it took a lot MORE time to do so. Aaron and the girls were busy for ages with them! You can see my ulterior motive there :)