Monday, February 16, 2015

How To Be An Idiot For Valentine's Day




Next year we need to remember to communicate before Valentine's Day. In the past, I've shirked the duties of this holiday onto my sweet husband by playing the you're-the-man-so-you-do-the-chivalry-and-romance-thing card and thus have insisted that he, not I, provide the girls with the requisite heart-shaped box of Russell Stover's chocolates. I'm still just recovering from being the matriarch at Christmastime, see? This is the least he can do.

He hadn't said anything this year, so when Friday the 13th rolled around I assumed Justin had done nothing to prepare. But did I complain? No. I headed out that evening to take care of business. It turns out that both of us ended up shopping for Valentine's Day...we just didn't realize it.

So on the morning of the 14th, I woke up to a Starbucks on my nightstand {just a drink, not the store itself...he may be sweet but he's no Casanova} and found the kids at the table tucking into pink cake pops. So he hadn't forgotten...

Then I served them the donuts I'd bought the night before, because I didn't want them to be a waste. Justin had bought them chocolate...I had also bought them chocolate. He also bought us ladies flowers, but they turned out not to be edible. {As I'm writing this, I even recall my forgotten plans to make them pink strawberry milk for Valentine's Day. Because that's something one of those Pinterest-Perfect mothers would do. Pink strawberry milk, heart-shaped pancakes, marzipan rolled into the shape of Cupid's derrière or something like that.}

Justin went to work and I flipped out at the mess our house had so quickly turned into. In a total effort to avoid confronting the mess, I decided to pile the sugar-drugged children in the Volvo and drove over to Q-Doba to get Justin lunch, as when I dropped him off earlier I asked him if he had a lunch and he answered, "Yes...a bag of microwave popcorn." Right.

I did an awesome job parallel parking {it's a special talent of mine, don't be jealous} and dragging three little ones into the long lunch line where they were merciful to me and behaved themselves. I ordered, paid, and felt like a rockstar as I got three kids, two drinks, and a bag of lunches back to the car off a busy street...

Where Violet almost got hit by a car. In what was probably a sugar-induced moment of incredible speed and energy, she decided to depart from the safe side where I was seeing Eisley and Paxton from sidewalk into car, and she decided to go around--to the other side where cars were speeding past our car. I screamed her name and had a heart attack at the same time, and by some miracle {St. Valentine himself, perchance?} at the last minute, before darting into traffic on the other side of the car, she turned and came back toward me. Whew. {The very night before, a little boy was hit about 1 mile up the very same busy street, he has since passed away.}It took me several minutes to recover from that fright. You have to be a mother to fully understand how you can want to KILL someone for almost getting themselves killed.

Violet, on the other hand, promptly passed out in her car seat. Sugar crash! Until we got to Justin's work 10 minutes later and she woke up recharged.

Then, because I feared being alone with three sugar-high children all day, I decided to go visit torture my parents {we brought them more chocolate, for good measure} and there my dad offered them all kinds of sweets that they keep in the back of the cupboards for just such moments, because it's his grandfatherly love-language*. Wouldn't you just know it--the only kid-friendly drink they had on hand for our surprise visit was chocolate milk? Mom basically insisted I allow my kids to kill the bottle because it was about to expire and she hates to see things go to waste. {Not that I'd know anything about that. :::cough cough--finish your donuts!--cough cough:::}

*To his credit, dad always asks if it is okay before he doles out treats. But while it is so easy to say no to my kids--all I have to do is think of the nefarious things they've done while under the influence of sugar and suddenly I have the willpower of a god--it is much harder to say no to the hopeful look on dad's mustachioed face. Also--and I totally blame my mother, whose love language is gift-giving and obviously influenced me--holidays bring out the spoiler in me. {"Of course you can tattoo your sister's face, honey. It's Christmas!!"}

Valentine's Day 2015 was an absolute sugar-coated disaster and the kids went to bed over an hour early. We were happy to resume normalcy the next day. I didn't even give them the boxes of conversation hearts that I probably bought as a homeschooling mother's way of overcompensating for what I perceive them to be "missing out on" since they don't go to what--as I've been told by people who haven't done much homeschool research but seem to think themselves well-versed in the topic--is known as a "real school". You know, the place where kids can get a real education and learn how to line up and sit at a desk, which I'm told are crucially important skills for adult life.

Am I being sarcastic? Of course not! It took me years to learn how a desk works. So naturally, I worry about Violet on her first day of her job, when she points to her cubicle and asks, "What foreign furniture is this and how does it work?" THAT is how homeschooled kids get labeled "socially awkward". What are we thinking by "putting our children through this?" as a family member once put it. Educating at home... Please don't call CPS on us. We promise to practice with desks and maybe even lining up, though the idea of teaching this concept intimidates me.

All this for a psychotic Hallmark Holiday. See what you've done? Now I've digressed into homeschool-hater ranting and that is a big giant queso-covered chip on my shoulder. So much for romance.

Next year, since Justin and I did double the treats this year, I say we just "forget" this silly holiday, yes? There's another perk of homeschooling, with no teacher or classmates to spread the holiday excitement...they'll never even know.

And that, friends, is how to be an idiot parent on Valentine's Day! Give them too many sweets, but NOT conversation hearts. We don't want them learning to read or anything. Remember, this is a holiday that represents true love. TRUE, marital, romantic love. Don't bother communicating, throw sugar at your offspring, and enjoy the consumerism.


Kiss Noise,
Heather

3 comments:

  1. LOL! Girl, my youngest has only had one day of school this week due to ice and snow.He has been wild this week, running in and out of the house.I even caught him trying to skateboard on the ice.I don't know how you homeschooling moms do it. You all should have tiaras or angel wings to wear so we can distinguish you from the rest of us parents.
    The only good thing about Valentine's Day is the day after when all the chocolate goes on sale,lol.

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  2. Yikes! That was a close call, indeed. It's a relief that things didn't go further beyond that, and that Violet was pulled out of a potential predicament with that near car crash. In any case, that should be a fitting reminder to watch out for any eventuality, and uphold our rights and well-being while at it. Thanks for sharing that, Heather! All the best!

    Modesto Culbertson @ D & Z Law Group

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