Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What Guys Want On Valentines Day And Parental Valentine Preschool Pressure

What do the women want today? $80 Flowers (that normally go for $12 any other day, like tomorrow, but we buy anyway), romantic poems (thank God for the internet), expensive jewelry (that doesn't have ‘cubic’ in the name), flat-screen plasma TV in the bathroom (well, not really, that’s just a really cool idea...)
Men are easy. We just want the women to show up naked with food – preferably a bucket of KFC (the 'spicy' kind.)
I actually created something sentimental for my wife today, which took some time to make and I can't reveal just in case she reads this.

Today a co-worker came into work a few hours late looking like her car exploded with her in it. She’s a fellow parent with 2 kids, one about the same age as my daughter and a son who is 3 or 4.
When she took her son to preschool this morning one of the teachers had asked, “Where are his Valentines? All of the kids NEED to bring Valentines for everybody…”
Nobody said anything, no warning note, nothing (she skipped that chapter in the handbook, the one on "Valentines for preschoolers".) She then grabbed her son, got into the car and headed to the local Walgreens where the only Valentines left were Care-Bears and Dora (her son wanted Spider-Man and cried because they were out or they don't exist.) She then spent some time writing all the kids names on the cards (all 40-something) in the parking lot of the preschool. When she showed up with her crying son there were other parents walking in with fancy little hand-tied bags of candies and cookies with little homemade cards, along with fancy gifts (flowers, baskets, Versace bags, etc.) for the teachers and assistants.

When she was finished I said:
“When your kid is in prison at 17, it’s because of this.”
And then handed her a handmade goodie bag of truffles and filet mignon (...I wish.) I am not looking forward to 'the school' years.


Phil said...

My 5-year-old daughter spent hours carefully writing each of her fellow kindergartener's names on a card, along with a special message for most of them, like "You are my best friend" and "Have a fun day!"

Turns out all the other kids (or moms, most likely) taped little candies, or big candy bars in one case, to the cards. So my daughter's handiwork wasn't met with much enthusiasm because there wasn't something sugary attached.

Maria said...

Oh...good hell...that was such a great blog today. I sat there smiling and I can't tell you how much I needed to do that.

And I hate the whole Valentine's day dance at schools. My kid is in second grade and they were supposed to bring in a decorated shoe box and a valentine for all the kids. Fine...until I read the teacher's handwritten note on the notice:

Handmade goodies are BEST!!! :)

For who? Her? Personally, I could go for kit kats any day...or hey, yeah...KFC.

radioactive girl said...

I have three school aged kids. Can you guess what I have been working on all week...only to have a snow day today! They better have that party tomorrow, because I sure didn't make these treat bags for my sanity!

Tomorrow you will have to tell us what you made/got for your wife!

Em said...

You had me going there for a moment. A wife who wants a plasma screen TV in the bathroom...that is truly a gift from the gods. Alas, you made that part up.

But there is no faking the preschool Valentine's Day Exchange. There are many rules and expectations. And it doesn't end with preschool. Be prepared to endure this annual ritual for many years to come!

Pageant Mom said...

I got accused of trying to send hints to my husband for Valentines to buy me a diamond something or other by having my ringtone set to the Four Seasons (allegretto by Bond) call me clueless, but I just liked the ringtone ;o)

fortunately today is over and all the festivities for the kids are behind us now...

Mrs. Chicky said...

This post made me shudder. Hand made designer Valentine's for the preschool set? That's it, I'm moving to an isolated cabin in Montana for the duration of my kid's childhood.

MamaLee said...

Well that is the teacher's fault. Geez, is that teacher NOT a parent? I would guess not.

My son got a memo from school about 2 weeks prior to the big day. I had to send in a shoebox so that Pumpkin could decorate it, making it into a valentine mailbox. She also told us of the valentine exchange, and suggested that the kids write as much of them as possible. Nothing about what to buy, specifically.

Pumpkin was very excited about the whole deal, including buying chocolates for his teachers.

Again, I blame the teacher for this goof. But now you know what to expect EVERY BLASTED YEAR for a while...

Diana said...

I take it my kid's school was the only one who didn't ask us to do anything?
I asked THEM about two weeks ago if they were planning anything, just so I could be prepared and they said they were just having a little something, but since most of the kids are two and three they weren't doing much.
My son did come home with a beautifully scribbled Valentine for my husband and me, which I actually liked more than anything my hubby could have given me. (Except for a flat-screen plasma of course. Because yes, I want one of those!)

creative-type dad said...

radioactive girl - I made the wife a memory book/valentine (on Shutterfly) with pictures of us and our daughter. I wrote some funny stories in there and did design/illustration work so it looked unique. She liked it a lot.
And the flowers too...

Diana - I'm actually looking forward to the kid-made valentines. I thought that's all they did.

MetroDad said...

Fancy little hand-tied bags of candies and cookies with little homemade cards? Holy crap! Insanity run amok!

Love your V-Day present to the wife. Very romantic. And with your artistic talents, I'm sure it was awesome.

Becky said...

I dig nudity and food. I also like the handmade cards. But you gave me something new to think about ... that plasma TV sounds nifty.

Darren a/k/a Clare's Dad said...

Don't jump on that plasma TV for the bathroom too quick. Have you seen television mirrors? Google seura and tv. It's really cool.

jen said...

waitwaitwait.. we can't celebrate christmas in the schools anymore, but valentine's day cards are mandatory???? I thought you just had to have all or non, not required handmade treats! Ugh.

I'd send my kid naked with food... but that's just... wrong.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Holy Cow! Gee I know that V-Day is overrated, but never know it's to that crazy extent here! (I only went to collegue in America... thank goodness!) Someone was telling me that the #1 recipient of the Valentine's Day card is actually TEACHERS! That's so absurd!!! Why do teachers want to teach the kids about Valentine's Day at such an early age btw?

creative-type dad said...

The Real Mother Hen - Teachers? After hearing/speaking with other parents I wouldn't doubt it.

Maybe the Valentine's are stuffed with cash so the kids can get better grades? That's my only explanation

Darren a/k/a Clare's Dad - dude, I WANT one. I think my wife wants one too (or at least that's what I'm thinking...)

Pageant Mom - Bond? Aren't those the classical Spice Girls...?

JayMonster said...

I know this started out with one over-acheiving MOM (yes, it had to be a woman that started this insanity) that decided to do something a little "extra" and of course, then somebody else needed to top it, and so on and so it. It is just out of control!

wayabetty said...

Can we just stop the madness right now!! This is insane! I'm one of those moms who didn't figure out why the teacher sent home the class roster, but it finally dawned on me and the kids will get a V-day card and that's it. Nothing fancy smansy. that's just crazy!!

Sarah O. said...

Preschool Valentines truly separate the Perfect Parents from the Duds.

Dud parents do the Care Bear Valentines in the parking lot.

I am a Dud Parent.

Perfect parents do the lovely goodie bags. Most amazing is that their kids hand make and sign each and every Valentine themselves, even in preschool.

These kids also have perfect handwriting at age three. Seriously.

Eventually I did the lovely goodie bag thing and forged kid-like handwriting on the homemade (by me) Valentines.

Which made me a Slightly Below Average Parent.

Remember this before you have a Suburban full of kids. You'll be doing the Valentine thing annually for decades.

creative-type dad said...

Sarah O. - it's funny how we parents end up doing the work when its suppose to be the kids. When did this change...

JayMonster - I don't know if this is just moms. I know of a few dads around here who go crazy building fancy things for their kids science projects..

T. said...

I was that mom. The mom who forgot to pick up valentines for her 9 and 10 yr old kids. The mom who then remembered at 8 pm the night before and rushed to SIX different stores to find some damn cards.

Not a card to be found except for Caillou. I couldn't go there. I mean, it's one thing to be that MOM, but I couldn't be THAT MOM!

So instead, I bought a couple of bags of suckers and spent the night pasting kiddy names on them to appease my children. Who were royally pissed I didn't remember to buy cards so they could fill them out.

And yes, my kids did the walk of shame, being the only kids in class that didn't have real valentines to hand out.

Just add it to the list of why they will be on a therapist's couch one day. At least I didn't make them hand out the damn Caillou cards!

Maureen said...

Valentine's for preschoolers who can't even read the darn things!
The parents at my son's first preschool went way overboard -- one even buying cute little bags that had each child's name embroidered on them. I asked if her daughter had helped in making the bags and she said "I bought them and ordered the personalization!".
His new schools is much more low-key and so are the parents and that's what I love. Valentines were allowed, but no child's name was to be written for fear someone would be left out. Not all the kids gave out valentines and that was just fine. Come on, in preschool we know the valentines are coming from the parents, not the kids themselves.

creative-type dad said...

Maureen - ordered the personalized? That's crazy. When that happens, it's all about the parents and not the kids.

T. - Hmm, if the kids are acting up, you should tell them if they don't behave, you'll send them to school with Caillou valentines (and black licorice)

Mama's Moon said...

Awww, poor womanan! I lucked out (despite melting crayons into heart shapes the week before). No obligatory school valentines for us - just yet, anyway. Just you wait, my friend, it's gonna happen soon; and when it does it's gonna happen BIG!

Thanks for the laugh. It was so good I had to link it to my Monday Morning Munchies!

Oh, The Joys said...

Those pre-school teachers got me last year with the plastic candy filled eggs at Easter. Grrrrrrrr.

kittenpie said...

We actually get a nice little monthly calendar with days marked out for bringing in a book, etc., and Valentine's party was on there, along with a list of the names of all the kids in the class - nice! So we made valentines, but no little goodie bags for 16 kids!

junebee said...

What Jen said - fear is struck in the hearts of those who would celebrate a major holiday like Christmas in a public school, and Valentines Day at the preschool level? Actually in FL homemade treats are forbidden. Any food brought to school has to be store-bought.

Beta Mum said...

How bloody stupid - Valentine's Day isn't for little kids... unless they're so demented by the mini-adult clothes on offer that they think they're already teenagers.
It's the people who run the pre-schools who are duds, not the parents who fail to bring in cards and sweets.
My eight year old received his first ever Valentine card from a girl at school this year and was bemused by it.
He hadn't sent any, he's too busy playing at being a spy and climbing trees.
Long may it continue.