When I was a kid, my mother bought 20 generic valentines and wrote my name on each one. End of story. Done and Done.
My job was to take them to school and give one to each kid. And so I did. Like a boss.
Today the holiday of love has turned into a competition of sorts. You better bring your A game.
First, you have to make a valentine container. This can be from a shoe box, a paper bag or a cereal box. Your child will use the finished product to collect all of his friends’ valentines. Don’t even think of sending in a plain container though. Do not be that guy.
You will need wrapping paper, stickers, construction paper, puff paint, tiny pom-poms, crayons, glue, scissors, a wire coat hanger and a pair of pantyhose.
Those last two I learned from watching MacGyver.
It will take multiple trips to the craft store before you have everything that you need. You must decorate the container until it is aesthetically pleasing and sure to wow the crowds.
It is always smart to have a theme. Great examples are an animal, robot, mailbox, bug or even an alien. The more authentic the better. Say, if your box is a leopard, get online and see if you can locate some authentic leopard hair. You will never regret that purchase.
Keep in mind that your kid will get out of YOUR car carrying this creation. You want everyone staring and for all of the right reasons.
Even though you will do most of the work yourself (have you seen the sloppy work of a seven-year old?) just remember to give all the credit to your little creative genius.
Next you must MAKE valentines. That’s right, I said make them. DO NOT find yourself in the holiday section at Target looking through the various Spiderman and Barbie valentines. Those are for amateurs.
You need to make cards complete with decorations and witty sayings. The larger the card and the more stuff that you can glue or stick on there, the better. Try attaching something to the card like a pencil, eraser or a sucker. Kids love that stuff.
This is the part that will actually go home to all of the other mothers and you better believe that they are going to inspect that card from top to bottom. Be the envy of the PTO.
Now it is time to include your sweetie in on the project .
Please write this down so you do not forget. You must NEVER write your child’s name on the card. All of the other mothers will think he is an idiot. I don’t care if your child is two and in preschool you put that pencil in his hand and lovingly guide him.
With older kids and especially boys, this could be a challenge because most do not want to sit and write their names over and over. Best case you planned for this day when you named your child. No one wants to write BARTHOLOMEW 20 times and writing Bart looks like an attempt at a desperate shortcut.
You sit there with your love and threaten or bribe, whatever it takes, to get this completed. And please work on letter placement and sizing before you actually put a pencil on that card. No one wants the last three letters of the name going up the side of the card.
Last but not least, you must prepare a holiday treat to send in to the class. Always check with the room mom first because you do NOT want to step on those toes. Insist that it is no trouble because your love for baking has left you with dozens of red-velvet, heart-shaped, cream cheese-filled cookies, just sitting around, going to waste.
Be sure and place the baked goods into a holiday appropriate container and walk them into the school yourself. You need to make sure everyone sees you. Draw attention to yourself if necessary by calling names, smiling and waving.
For those out of ear shot, be sure to mouth words like “hot, fresh cookies” and shrug your shoulders as if to say, “It was nothing.” The other moms will be so envious.
I hope these tips are helpful. I have personally witnessed other supermoms in action.
I must confess though, I don’t do any of that. I have three kids who will exchange valentines this year. I bought three boxes of Star Wars cards. My kids are going to write their own names (I don’t even care if it looks like hoofed farm animals wrote it) and then attach the included Light Saber to each one.
Then I will present them with the Star Wars GIFT BAGS that I purchased for them to collect their goodies at the parties. I will do the bare minimum.
And yet they will still be functioning members of society one day.
Bravo to the creative parents of the world. I applaud you. To the rest of us, here’s to surviving. We nailed it again.
Happy love day!