Monday, February 18, 2013

44 Valentines Later....

I think if America altered the way school children celebrated Valentines Day then we might be halfway towards solving this global warming problem. Nothing says no to that third child more than the idea of crafting 66 + valentines instead of a paltry 44. And nothing says waste of resources more than throwing away 44 handcrafted valentines within minutes of them being strip-mined for candy by your children. Because of course 'no child left behind' really means that every kid has to get a valentine. If you haven't started on your 2014 valentines yet, then you are way behind.

At first I was aiming to get all 'Pinterest Mum' with these deceptively simple treats:



After all, even I've discovered the proper way to melt a bit of chocolate (here's the wrong way) and learned that 'cocktail sticks' are called 'party picks' in American grocery stores. This would be something a little bit different. Fun.

Well, I started off with Lucy, because even though she has fewer children in her preschool, some of them have quite pretentious ambitious names and it's hard work sitting with a 4 year old while she painstakingly prints 'To Aloysius Love Lucy' and then cries 'Momma I'm done with my Valumtimes' and you have to coerce 'just another seventeen to go, my dove!' Plus, quick as a flash while I escaped the Valentines gulag to print off Anna's second grade class list - this happened:



Lucy had taped all her completed Valentines to a piece of paper and then taped them all to the wall. Why??? And when Lucy tapes something, she doesn't do it by halves. Those hearts were on that wall in perpetuity. Redoing them, slapping them on a cocktail stick, putting the cocktail stick in a marshmallow, dipping the marshmallow in chocolate and then dipping the chocolate in sprinkles, and then repeating for Anna's class was just more than I could bear.

So for the first time I bought ready-made cards (you're Dino-mite friend!!), and even though we lost some to Lucy suddenly writing in cyrillic, we got through it. Of course the girls had brilliant fun, they want to do it all again, right now. Plus, they did get some genuinely sweet cards like this one received by Anna that gives me hope that she's not the marginalized nerd misunderstood bookworm her mother was.





As a result, I have to know America - at what point does the whole-class valentine routine end? I can't imagine they still do it in High School. I know a lot of stuff goes on in our local High School (most of the detritus of which washes up in our back garden), but I doubt they are sending fishbowl shaped 'so glad you are in my school!' cards aged 16. Middle School? 4th Grade? Is there an end in sight?

11 comments:

MsCaroline said...

You'll be done with the bulk classroom Valentines at the end of elementary school, although (since you have girls) they may want to distribute some in Middle School to their friends (not entire classes, thank God) (I always had a few girls who brought goodies for friends and favorite teachers.) However, in Middle School and High School, you have to navigate the hurdle of fundraiser-y things that the various clubs and teams sell to make money. I've taught at (and parented at) quite a few middle and high schools in several parts of the US, and there is almost always a group selling Valentine's candy or flowers of some sort to be purchased and delivered to your friend's/paramour's/secret crush's homeroom on The Day. Girls tend to buy these for all their friends and/or favorite teachers, but there is usually a little bit of romantic drama going on as well with secret admirers/boyfriends/ and Guys You Wish Hadn't Sent You One At All or the heartbroken young person who sends one to a crush and is Cruelly Spurned. And then, there are quite a few schools and districts that have Sweetheart Dances or other Valentiney activities. Ah, my dear, you have YEARS of Valentine's Fun ahead of you! ; )

thegrumpygirl said...

I bet now, after reading MsCaroline's comment, Ali will be *really* happy to stick to those 44 Valentines for a couple more years ;)

Kristina said...

My son is in 4th grade and his teacher said that Valentines were optional (but if you do bring them, you have to bring them for everyone). He was adamant that NOBODY was doing Valentines, mom. You got it, he came home on v-day and everybody had done Valentines except for him. I think it was quite brilliant as he reaped the rewards, and didn't have to write a single one.

Laura said...

I only knocked out a paltry 42 Valentines for my 3-year-old twins (21 for each), and they're in the same class! I taped fun-sized packs of M&Ms to mass-produced Princess sticker valentines, and signed their respective names. Then I was admonished by the teacher for the M&Ms, because they are not nut-free! Huh?? They were plain M&Ms, not peanut M&Ms! But in teeny-tiny font on the M&M bags, it says, "May contain peanuts." Dang it! Now, there aren't actually ANY children in Room 4 who are allergic to peanuts, but we here in SoCal are Politically Correct and Totally Crazy! I was also told that "healthy" snacks are encouraged, and non-edibles are even more encouraged. Sigh. So I guess I'm just destined to be "that mom." I loved Anna's valentine from her little friend; that's what a valentine SHOULD be!

Riza J said...

My son goes to a Catholic school and is in middle school. And they are still doing it.

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