Bittersweet

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  I’ll spare you all the rant this year about why I think it is such a worthless holiday, but if you’re interested you might want to go back and read Commercial Holiday.

The only things we do for Valentine’s Day have to do with the parties the kids have in their classrooms at school.  The past few years I’ve received notes in Brendan’s, and then later Cameron’s backpack saying that we needed to make their Valentine box at home.  I’ve always found it rather odd because I remember making mine during school hours.  But then again a lot of things have changed in the 20+ years since I was in elementary school.

Last year was a new experience for me because it was the first time I had to make two boxes, one for each of the boys.  I wasn’t expecting that Cameron would need to make one for pre-school, so I didn’t really budget enough time for the boxes and ended up scrambling just to get them finished.  I was a little more prepared this year knowing for sure that the boys would both need them for school and since Kaylee has the same pre-school teacher as Cameron that she would likely need one as well.

Cam BoxI started talking with the kids about their boxes in mid-January to understand what they wanted and to give me time to plan out what I would need to do to make those things happen.  Cameron was the easiest.  He wanted the same box he had last year, just covered in different construction paper to make a different Om-Nom box.  I figured that wouldn’t be too hard and began thinking of how I could incorporate more of the things I’d wanted to do last year.

Brendan’s wasn’t too hard either.  He wanted me to make him a tank.  I figured a shoe box for the main box, with a smaller box on top with a toilet paper roll for a turret and gun would take care of the majority of the project, which just left me scrambling to figure out how to make treads that would not fall apart.  He wanted to paint the tank himself so I’d have to add in some time to cover the entire thing in brown packing paper so he could.

Kaylee was way less specific in what she wanted.  All she asked for was a Hello Kitty box.  I could’ve gone the easy route and covered a shoe box in pink paper then slapped on a picture of Hello Kitty (of even more lazy just handed her the shoe box from her last pair of Hello Kitty shoes which is already pink with a picture of Hello Kitty on it) but I was trying to find ways that I could actually turn the box into Hello Kitty.

I knew it was all going to be a lot of work and as I hadn’t yet gone through the ridiculous number of hours to put the things together I was still quite excited at the prospect.  By the last week in January I had begun collecting supplies and was planning to start the boxes over the weekend and into the next week.  Well one thing led to another and between the flu and everything else nothing got done.  And a good thing too.  Because on Tuesday when I picked up Kaylee from pre-school she had a note in her box about the party and it said the kids would make bags during class.

Okay one less box than I was planning to make.  But that was okay because I still wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to do hers anyway.  Then Tuesday night Brendan came home with a note in his backpack.  It also said that they would be making their own boxes in class and merely requested any spare art supplies for the project.  Oh.  Well.  Guess that’s two boxes I don’t have to worry about.

Leaving just Cameron’s.  But I haven’t started on his box yet either because at the moment I haven’t received anything from school telling me what to expect.  I can’t even have him start on his valentine’s because I haven’t gotten the updated class list that the teachers all send home this time of year to ensure that each and every student gets a valentine from each and every other student.  Not really sure what’s up with that.  Normally I’d blame Cameron for not bringing the information home, but in Kindergarten the teacher pretty much saves all the paperwork until Friday’s and packs their folders for them.

I’m not really sure how to feel about not making the Valentine boxes this year.  I’m always excited to start a new creative project with the kids and we’ve come up with some really cute things in the past few years (sadly I wasn’t smart enough to take pictures of most of them).  But on the other hand I tend to get extremely frustrated when the vision in my head does not translate well into the Elmer’s glue and cardboard which are my tools of choice.  It’s also difficult not to get frustrated with the kids who want to help and end up making things take 50 times longer than they really need to.

By the end of the project I’m usually fed up and swear that I am never ever going to make another Valentine’s Day box for as long as I live.  It is nice to know that I don’t have to go through nearly as much anxiety as I have in years past…but still Valentine’s Day just won’t be the same.  Next thing you know I’m going to get all sappy and start celebrating Valentine’s Day with romantic dinners and long stem roses.  What is the world coming to?

 

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