Here's the Norman Rockwell version of Valentine's Day joviality in my house:
We take a trip as a family to choose the cards to be shared among friends in Lena's classroom. A small (but thoughtful) gift chosen to present to the teachers. The task of addressing and signing the cards is completed, stickers applied and everything is prepared in plenty of time to turn into school before the big event.
And...then there's our version:
We went to the store to pick out the cards. Of course, the cards Lena wanted for "the girls" (Monster High) only had 15 cards in the $3.99 pack. There are more than 15 girls. So we were going to get another pack - which they were out of. So after knocking over an entire ginormous display of Valentines lingerie in our attempt to find one more pack - we had to haul ass and run away from the wave of red lacy undergarments that had taken over the aisle. We happened to find another display - but still no more Monster High cards. Plus, we still had to buy "boy cards" because Heaven forbid we give a boy a "girl card". After tears, whining and complaining, Lena settled on Phineas and Ferb Valentine's because "Perry the Platypus is wicked cute". Emmeline has discovered a Russell Stover's display and is testing out all the contents of a giant heart shaped box.
Now, the pure joy of that moment is we have tree nut allergies in this family. I have NO idea what she has shoved in her face during the nanosecond that she inhaled the verboten confections. I now have to try to tick-and-tie the missing and half masticated sweets with the key to see if she has eaten anything with walnuts, cashews, or brazil nuts. This is all going on while I am holding my wiggly two year old like a football. And, Lena is crying because it's not fair that Emmeline gets to eat chocolate and she doesn't. I have to figure out where the pharmacy aisle is in case I need to shove a fistful of Benadryl down her gullet before we rush her to the emergency room.
Thankfully she chose wisely in her selections (all the caramel filled ones, dammit). I dragged the two cherubs out crying and tossed them into the car where Emmeline proceeded to wipe her face on the back of the passengers seat.
After a few days I was finally ready to get Lena started on signing them. She has been able to write her name since she was 2 years old. Apparently cards are her kryptonite. I have NO idea whose name she was scribing - but it was not L-E-N-A. After wasting most of the Monster High cards and several meltdowns, and me yelling "What are you writing? Write your NAME!!!!! YOUR NAME!!! What IS THAT??? That's not your name! What are the other moms going to think when their kids bring home this card????" the cards were set aside for another day. My husband had to get involved because the damn things were giving me a panic attack.
Now the cards are due at school tomorrow to start preparation for the big party. So, we still have to write the names of the recipients on the stupid cards. I finally sit down and spell out EVERY SINGLE LETTER of the kids names. C-a-m...no... C-a...a...what's taking you so long? Oh, my God. JUST WRITE IT!!!!!
Ok, throw that one out. Start over at the "To:" not in the middle because you won't have enough room to....WHY DID YOU START IN THE MIDDLE????? YOU WON'T HAVE ROOM TO WRITE "ABAGAIL!" Ok, just leave the capital A in the middle and we'll just write the A and B before it.
30 names, 2 teachers, 2 teacher's aides later and seven thousand million hours later....we finished.
Now, I'm not saying the St. Valentine's Day Massacre was started after someone snapped as a result of having their child sign the cards. I'm also not saying it wasn't. Regardless...Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!