Late Monday afternoon found me sitting in my car outside a drugstore with scissors, hole punch, a tape runner, and a bunch of Tootsie Pops. Ever try cutting and taping tiny bits of paper while in the drivers seat of a car? The steering wheel does make a pretty good desk top. I finally had to stop what I was doing and just laugh, what was I thinking!
Our family could be in the Adirondacks right now on a ski trip with friends. Unfortunately work, school, and money did not make it possible this year. So sad! Instead I got to deal with Valentines Day; as in school valentine exchanges! I have to say, I was proud of myself because I remembered on Sunday that we needed to have valentine cards for three of our kid’s classes. That’s two whole days in advance, not the day before- I am good! So I asked my kids what they wanted to do. My 5th grader did not want to give any out, my 3rd grader wanted to make her own cards but only for the girls in her class, my preschooler wanted to know if he would get candy at his party, and my 3 year old wanted to make a card for “my best friend Ty” who is a good friend of my 5th graders! Okay.
I managed to convince my 5th grader into handing out “cards” because they now have the best valentine invention for ten year old boys, candy that is disguised as a card. Fill out the “to” and “from” on a bag of candy and you have a card. He was in and all I had to do was buy a bag on Monday! One down. My girls wanted to make their own, perfect! Out came the paper, crayons, and paint and they got to work. (The 3rd grade boys would also be receiving candy disguised as cards.) Two and three down. That just left my preschooler.
I really don’t know what came over me. I am not the type of mom that feels that I need to make homemade items to prove I am a good mom; I gave up on trying to prove that one a long time ago! But, as I was helping my 3rd grade daughter find some ideas for cards, I saw a real cute valentine idea and decided to go for it. This brought me to Monday afternoon sitting in the car after work assembling these cards because I did not have any other time that day.
Laughing and asking myself why, I think I came up with the answer. He is the classic middle child! He can’t do what the older kids do, yet he is not my baby, he is the only one for whom I do not have a baby book completed, and the room he shares with his older brother contains all of his brother’s things and not his. This also applies to his Preschool. My older two did not attend this preschool so the teachers have no history with us. No history back when I was on top of the whole preschool thing. I really don’t know what his teachers think of my parenting skills; I’m scared to know! I never remember to send the money in for the field trips, I sent peanut candy in once for a snack, I’ve only volunteered once in the class, he can’t read yet because I believe there is no reason to read in preschool, and last week he went to school without a coat. I did not realize this until he was getting out of the car at school. His reason, he was “hot” when he was getting into the car at home so he didn’t grab his coat.
So, maybe that was my reason for creating the homemade valentines, to show that I really am an okay mom. But, I doubt it did much good! After peanuts, not teaching my kid to read, and allowing him to freeze at recess, I doubt there’s much hope for me! Besides, next year those same preschool teachers get child number four and they will not know what hit them with her. All hopes of “decent mom” award will be gone. I better start working on her valentine cards right now!