Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Valentines Day….whoever created this ridiculous "holiday" obviously didn't have a boy in elementary. I find it to be as stressful as Christmas….except it is worse. Christmas is hectic, but at least I enjoy all of the crazy stuff with it. I don't enjoy Valentines Day. And those who say they enjoy it don't have a boy in elementary. I think I've whined about this day since he was in Kindergarten, when we had to start making boxes. I have a boy – Valentines Day is all hearts and flowers and pinkness. It is a bad combination. At least some of the pressure was off this year – Jay is in charge of box building in odd numbered grades.

We aren't even sure if/when they are having parties because we have not been in school since January 31. We could not convince Cade that there was no way he was having a party today. There hadn't been any notes sent home yet. Nothing can occur in elementary without a note! Or at the very least a list of the kids in the class. Back in the good ol' days (a/k/a the 80's) I did my own valentine's without a list…and without parental involvement. They bought the cards and got whatever food was necessary for the party. They did help with the Valentines boxes in the grades where we made our own – but we were girls. Totally different ballgame! I remember thinking about the layout of the classroom and I would mentally go up and down the rows and fill out my own cards. I also knew how many kids were in my class so I knew if I had them all. And, since we are talking about years and years ago – Sheldon still had combined classes. Not only would I have done cards for my class but also the class we were combined with – so if I was in the 3rd grade I would also have shared a room with the 4th graders. You all can pick yourself up off the floor from laughing now. Jay always makes fun of that aspect of my education.

Cade almost lost his mind yesterday about the party situation. Finally we told him we'd do the box and the cards and put them in Jay's truck. Jay would find out the party status and deliver them if they were needed. That caused us to make an emergency run to the story to purchase the cards. Then while Jay was at a church board meeting Cade and I worked on the cards. Let me tell you – lists are essential when filling out cards with a boy. I started him out by trying to get him to just write his name on the cards. I was in the middle of rolling out/baking sugar cookies and it was impossible for me to concentrate on both. Instead Cade randomly put down kids' names and his name on cards. He struggled for about 10 minutes trying to think of kids, completed 4 cards and said he needed a break. That was fine with me at that moment.

After I was done baking I took control of the cards. I didn't do myself any favors by having him work on them during America's Funniest Home Videos – one of his all time favorite shows. On a commercial I told him to think about the desk in front of Miss C's desk closest to the chalkboard (when I said that I knew I said the wrong thing but could not think of what they called them anymore). I asked him who sits there. He remembered that kid, but then couldn't remember who was next. That method was a disaster. Then I remembered I had taken a class photo at the Christmas party with my phone. I got that out and tried to name the kids. There was come crabbiness back and forth between us since I was interrupting him during his show for useless information. Finally I had a list together. On the next two commercials I made him fill out cards. That's when we developed problem #2. I didn't know how to spell some of their names and either did Cade. He has an Aaron in his class so I told him to spell it A-A-R-O-N. Cade told me that wasn't right. I told him to write it the way it should be, but he didn't know what that was. We left it with two A's. We have extra cards so we will be making corrections before the party (if it even occurs). Which a total of two or three commercial breaks is an improvement over the last few years. In Kindergarten it took us almost a week to get the cards done. With his attention span we could only do 4 or 5 a night. Huge Improvement!

By the time Jay got home from the church board meeting it was Cade's bedtime. We put him to bed and then Jay started in on the box. Cade told us what he wanted and then Jay made it happen. Yes, we are terrible parents who did the box themselves. Actually, Jay did it, I just helped with some taping. It is a cornmeal drum turned into a football. It looks pretty good for a thrown together sort of thing. To me it resembles a crayon with two ends, but I'm not complaining. It is done and it wasn't my problem.

Looking back I'm not sure Cade has ever helped with his boxes…K he was sick and asleep while I frantically put it together the night before, 1st was the rocket ship which was totally Jay, 2nd was the Indiana Jones that I finished up the day before we got the adoption call…Nope, I don't believe he has contributed much to the boxes. But that is ok. We took him to the doctor last week and he asked us about Cade and how much he contributes to the family unit. He went on to say that how we raise Cade is how Cade will raise his kids….so that means it will come full circle. Some day Cade will be sitting in the middle of the living room floor taping, cutting and pasting a box together while directing every letter written on every Valentines Card. He will get his turn eventually. I can't wait to sit back and laugh!

So far I've managed to save all of his boxes. If we have another one I think we will recycle them. There will be at least 9 years between them…no one will ever know!

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