Valentine's Day (observed): what's in your child's valentine box?
What was Valentine's Day like when you were a kid? In my kindergarten at Sunnyside School, I distinctly recall a special paper bag we made for Valentine's Day and taped to our desks; every kid would circle the room dropping off the little cards in the bags. Later, I remember a shoebox I decorated with hearts and in which I invested so many hopes and dreams: for candy, for childhood true love.
This year, after a few messy hours pouring paint and glitter glue onto paper at CHAP with some of the awesome urbanMamas and children, we spent several days at home cutting out hearts, gluing, and for Everett, writing silly jokes in pencil all over construction paper (interspersed with hearts of course). His favorite: a sappy saying, which he finds hilarious, from a puppy valentine book we got from last year's Valentine's Day, or perhaps a re-telling of 'Jingle Bells,' complete with toilet humor. For Truman, I ended up making little Cupid's arrows from one of his great sponge paintings brought home from preschool. He wrote his name in the "from" section. Everett had to finish Truman's task: "it's too much work!" said he, although he painted one enormous valentine for his favorite friend, from scratch.
All but one of the valentines that came home in Truman's bag from preschool were storebought, and most of them had candy attached; it didn't surprise me, as this year I read a few blog posts and Twitter statuses that seemed to indicate a backlash to the craft-drudgery of creating valentines for kids (not that I've seen, in either of my boys' schools or even my own dining room table, a Martha Stewart-worthy alternative). So I was curious: how much work did you do this year? Did you do it all and resent it? Does your school opt out of Valentine's Day? Did your kids make their own and love every minute? Or were you (like me, to hear Truman's cries yesterday morning) a wicked taskmaster bent on forcing her child to write his name a good dozen-and-a-half times? Or did you feel that siren call of the Spiderman valentines and do the store-bought thing?