I won’t sugarcoat it. Valentine’s Day is not my thing.
It is a shmoopy memorial brought into being by the greeting card industry. A Hallmark holiday celebrated via a weaponized fat toddler (who would realistically kill the romance in any relationship with the pungent aroma of a full diaper if you weren’t first snipered by fallen pieces from a shattered Lego arrow). All while honoring a saint who was ultimately beheaded, via the grand gesture of murdered foliage most symbolized for its thorny exterior – evolved by nature to stab you should you look at it wrong.
I know this will sound surprising, but I’m not a bitter, lonely person. I just don’t care. Come talk to me about birthdays – one’s own personal holiday, merely meant to rejoice your continued existence.
(Plus it’s far more cost effective to just celebrate Jon’s birthday, which is the week before. And really, I’m well aware he’s a canonization candidate simply for his ability to put up with me.)
That said, I am not a killjoy of childhood innocence and enjoyment.
So it was with great enthusiasm that I picked up Search and Destroy from preschool on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 12, and discovered a photocopied handout in each of their respective folders. “My Valentines” followed by a list of the names for 22 students and three teachers who comprise the class.
The party was Friday. I had one night to sort out the Valentine’s Day distribution. Also, the Streams were slated to provide chocolate sauce for the class shindig.
The extent of my Pinterest crafty abilities extends only to clicking the “Pin It” button on the craftastic website.
So with knowledge of friends, who were home hand-making Super Sweet Super Hero felt masks for an entire elementary school (all while fighting a fever of 103) or building a balsa wood kissing booth payable in lollipops, I causally asked the muppets about making Valentines.
“I’m going to make pink hearts for all my friends,” announced Search. “With SPARKLES!”
“Yeah!” Destroy enthusiastically agreed. “And I’m gonna make blue squares for my friends who are not mean.”
This was brilliant. Shapes and colors are educational! And I could pretend to be focused on really letting the kids make their own project instead of an overachieving parental one-upmanship competition. (There’s time aplenty for that once my dear sons face science-fair-project season amid the brethren of Silicon Valley engineerlings.)
Who said Mickey Mouse Clubhouse wasn’t worthwhile? Thank you episode “A Sweet Surprise for Minnie.” Mickey made a loving pink sparkly heart for his Minnie, while Donald forgot and then lost a blue square he’d frantically asked the Mouseketool to help out with.
Such ingenuity was soon found flawed. Search made one pink heart. Destroy cut out one blue square before scampering off and shouting back instructions for me to make the rest of them. There was zero possibility of 25 scissored and signed shapes happening in the short hours between dinner and bedtime.
TO THE TARGET!
Actually, I rethought that plan after realizing I’d be at the checkout stand on the eve of St. Valentine’s with nary but a container of Hershey’s syrup and a container of glitter, likely next to the 50 Shades of Gray pop-up aisle stand.
Jon was sent to CVS in search of pre-printed Valentines instead.
“Slim pickings. The choices are cats that turn into purses or Transformers.”
In a continued bid for Mother of the Year, I abandoned plans to inscribe each Transformer holograph with a class member’s name, simply wrote Destroy on half the stack and Search on the remainder. Then I scotch taped a Hershey’s Kiss to the back of all of them.
Done and done.
The following afternoon the boys rushed to show me their loot. Piled alongside the 1×2 Transformer card was a hand-crafted robot of treats.
We made it precisely three steps out of the classroom before Destroy dropped his goodie bag, unable to bear its sugary weight.
Innards of applesauce brains exploded everywhere.
The survivor? A Hershey’s Kiss cocooned in scotch tape and barricaded by the plastic of an Optimus Prime illusion.