Shoot Me a Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Like it’s a real holiday or something. Unbeknownst to me, it’s a thing for school children to decorate their own Valentine boxes for the class competition. By school children I mean “parents” and by decorate I mean “design, cement, frame out, weld, plumb, paint, and polyurethane” and by box I mean “any object on earth that looks nothing like a box with an added receptacle for cards.”

Luckily for us unsuspecting kindergarten parents, there are trillions of Pinterest posts available for perusal – just give your child a free scroll on the app and they will go berserk choosing exactly which “Valentine box” they want [you] to build.  Tip: check out Pinterest before February 12 if you live an hour from the nearest craft store and you don’t keep a lot of boxes around.

February is a busy time for us because my first three kids were born this time of year, as planned by me God, so I’m busy collecting Dollar Spot décor for birthdays, and Valentine’s just isn’t that important anymore.  Or so I wanted to think.  After glancing online Saturday night, I gave three options for Trevor’s special box, based on how easy construction seemed.  Being absolutely obsessed with whatever sport is in season, he was adamant on making a basketball court box, just like some kid named Nate had on Pinterest.  Only problem is, Nate’s mom is crafty. And Nate’s mom plans ahead.  And Nate’s mom has neater handwriting than us.  And a better camera.

After spending an hour in the attic and storage room looking for a decent box for our court, I finally found it on top of my dresser in the bedroom.  When starting projects like this on Sunday afternoons, keep the “alternative cuss words” printout handy, from which I will glean for you today.  Because where in the ShuckyDarnFiddlesticks are the pipecleaners?!?  As a recovering neat freak, disorganization kills me.  Therefore, 4 kids…

Anyway, we almost found what we needed, and luckily Grandmom had a couple extra popsicle sticks.  By that point I was over the whole deal, so we decided to “finish it up” Monday.  Which was yesterday.  And V-Day and the box contest was today.  Whatever, I don’t function after 8 pm anymore plus Brock is going through some heinous sleep regression growth spurt so I really don’t function before 8 pm either.

Since I like to make up rules for any new parent/child projects that I see might be long term because I’ll have kids in school for the next 18 years, I decided Trevor had to do 90% of the construction of his box by himself.  Which he did gladly but which I think might be a fight when it’s Claire’s turn.  I do admit to using Google and the printer when he asked me to draw a Greyhound, I mean, he’s a just a kid asking for a decent illustration.

We painted, we glued, we taped (a lot of tape, kindergarteners love the tape), we tied tiny pieces of string for the nets, and we debated the score of the pretend game for our pretend scoreboard.  We had a couple of heated arguments during which I threatened homeschool, but overall, Matt says it was a great bonding experience for Trevor and me.  With the toddlers eating into the attention-giving matter in my brain, there’s not a lot left for big brother after school each day. So, thanks, teachers, for giving us a fun, low-stress project to work on together.  Now I will go to Hobby Lobby and buy one of everything so we won’t waste a day looking for crud muffin craft items, dadgummit!

Side Note:  remember the good ole days of shoe boxes with some construction paper hearts glued on?  Those days are over.

When we finished our masterpiece, Trevor took all the Valentines for his classmates and started shoving them in his box.  “No, Trev, put those in your backpack!” I exclaimed.  He was thoroughly confused.  “Then what is my box for, Mom??  Isn’t it for my Valentines?”   Maybe next time I will also explain the purpose of said craft project before we start.

img_5116Couple of things:  1. We know he needs a haircut.  You gonna load all four kids up after school and take him???  If so, private message me.  2. He said the judges didn’t show up for the contest today so we will just say he won but that his classmate’s army tank was “EFIC!”  3.  Please appreciate the master paint mixing for the gym floor color.  4.  Even though Trevor is obsessed with basketball right now, it became apparent last night during the Tech-Baylor game that he thinks the opposite of man defense is “woman defense.”

We’ve had a great Valentine’s Day baking cookies and attempting other crafty things, which Kate ruined by sneaking back to the kitchen, unZiplocking the paint/brush, and globbing over the cute handprints.  This is just not the year for homemade, ok?  Sorry, grandparents.

I did yell at the girls for a second when Claire was refusing to let me paint her hand, then I realized, this is a day of love.  And the last thing we need is to ruin it with sleep-deprived frustration at high decibels.  So we ate some chocolate muffins, watched a movie, and enjoyed this rainy February day.  Then Matt came in for lunch and surveyed the pink paint spill, chocolate muffin crumb explosion, and crazy look in my eye.  He immediately took the girls to Grandmom Brown’s for their nap and left me to catch up on my sleep and sanity because he is truly the BEST Valentine ever.

img_5119There is no possible way to keep this taste-tester out of anything. Shredded muffins are all we know these days.

img_5093Baby B is six months old and I could eat him with a spoon!  Now go to sleep, kid.

Hope you had a great Valentine’s, full of fancy chocolate, red roses, stuffed animals, jewelry, indoor voices, and maybe some baby snuggles if you’re realllllly lucky.  If not, most of those things will be half price at Walmart tomorrow.  Hey, grab me some pipecleaners while you’re there, for the love of Bob Saget.  



9 thoughts on “Shoot Me a Valentine

  1. Love it! I always kept a box of extra craft supplies. Wait until you find out about some school project at about 10 o’clock the nite before. Note when you pick up pipe cleaners get some poster board and maybe one of those tri fold boards to keep on hand.

  2. So funny!!!!!! Teachers just “love” to assign those Valentines Day boxes! I remember one year a student made one that looked like a Pepsi vending machine!! Kids and parents are so creative!!! Enjoy!!!!

  3. Sometimes when I’m cleaning the bathroom with a baby wipe or giving the kids Goldfish for breakfast, I apologize to my younger, clean-freak, health-conscious self. I was really proud of our Clayton’s kindergarten teacher for not assigning this ridiculously over-the-top project (he brought his Valentines home in a plastic bag, like the other deprived military kids) but then she sent home a giant poster board. This weekend, we are painting and glueing 100 Cheerios onto a huge cereal bowl for the 100th day of school celebration. That, or 100 chocolate chips onto a giant painted cookie, we haven’t decided. Should be Fuuuun!!!!

  4. Thank you for sharing your wonderful (wink) V Day prepping experience with Trevor. I certainly took notes on stock piling on art materials especially pipe cleaners. I honestly had no idea that Valentine boxes have gotten that elaborate now. I can only stay ahead by thinking of some creative themed boxes so all the girls with cooties can adore my son Alec.
    Thanks again for taking the time to type this. Appreciate you sharing! Happy belated Valentines Day!


      1. Closing my eyes to picture the inventory there is much harder than I thought. However, thinking about all the good times I had there comes easy; seems like yesterday. Good times!!!

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