I hate Valentine’s Day. Always have. Why do you need a specific day of the year to show someone how much you love them? I much prefer to show my appreciation every day of the year. Matt and I haven’t celebrated Valentine’s Day in years. The kids on the other hand, well that’s another story.
I remember being in elementary school and getting to spend time in class making a Valentine’s box or bag. Nowadays this is not the case. Rather than waste precious learning time, the kids have to make their boxes at home. I can no longer remember what I did with Brendan when he was in Kindergarten, but I’m sure it was boring and blah. But in first grade I tried to make his box “unique” by making it out of an old formula can, so he’d have the only round can in the class. We traced silhouettes of the Phineas and Ferb characters and pasted them onto the box as well. I was quite proud of our accomplishment and Brendan was thrilled with his box.
But then I went to school for the Valentine’s class party and figured out that our box was neither unique, nor very interesting. The boxes these kids and their parents made were incredible. There was a robot, a pirate ship, a monster, all sorts of things. And from that moment the ante was really upped for my performance as a Valentine’s Day box maker. I felt I did a much better job in second grade. Brendan was really into Despicable Me that year and I turned a shoe box into a minion. It took me hours to get everything just right, but the delight on Brendan’s face once I finished with the box made all that work well worth it.
This year he’s been bugging me since Wednesday to make his box for this year. With all we’ve had going on this week, I was not about to work on this during the week. I wanted to wait until the weekend where we could spend more time on the box without interruption. It seemed like the perfect plan…until today. Today I went and picked up Cameron from pre-school and noticed many of the moms were walking out of the classroom carrying shoe boxes. I walked in to the room and sure enough she handed me one too and let me know that we needed to create a Valentine’s box for Cameron by next Wednesday for their classroom party. Ugh. So now I have two boxes to make over the weekend with my boys. (and 36 Valentine’s cards to write out and affix candy to, and I need 26 frosted sugar cookies for Brendan’s class party (which parents are not invited to by the way) and I need 10 juice boxes for Cameron’s party…have I mentioned that I hate this holiday???)
Having seen Brendan’s past boxes, Cameron has the expectation already that his box be just as spectacular as his older brothers. He knew exactly what he wanted and thankfully I think I can get his put together with minimal effort. Cameron is really into the iPad game Cut the Rope, he just loves the little character from the game Om Nom.
If you’ve never played the game, the premise of the game is that a box arrives on your porch with Om Nom inside of it. The goal of the game is to feed Om Nom candy by cutting ropes and using other different things in order to get the candy from the starting point into his mouth. We had a lump of Model Magic clay which I shaped into an Om Nom shape and painted on a face. Then I’m going to turn most of the box into a diorama that looks like a level from the game with a real candy hanging inside and a small space to store the Valentine’s he receives. I think it will end up being very cute.
Brendan, on the other hand, is still very much into The Avengers. He told me he wants an Avenger themed box, but hasn’t been more specific than that. I was struggling to come up with an idea earlier today, but thanks to some brainstorming with Matt I may have found a solution. We’ve got a small cardboard box about the size and shape of the head of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. (It is really sad and pathetic that I know the name of the hammer.) If Brendan likes the idea I figured we could cover the box in foil to look like a metallic hammer head and attach an empty paper towel roll for the handle. All i need to do now is figure out how to make one side of it open like a mailbox and we’ll be set.
This years designs are actually much simpler than they have been in the past, but I think the boys will be happy with how they turn out. The one thing I’m thankful for is that I shouldn’t ever have to do a box for all three kids at once. Kaylee won’t be in pre-school until the year that Brendan starts middle school, and if I remember correctly the whole Valentine’s Day box and party stops around the time you hit middle school. Sadly, because she’ll be in fifth grade the same year Brendan graduates from high school I have many many more years of making Valentine’s boxes.