I Think Valentine's Day Is Ridiculous for ToddlersBeth Anne Ballance
I should put in a disclaimer that I have always had a bone to pick with Valentine’s Day. First, it sucked being the only gal without a boyfriend; I couldn’t cart around flowers and balloons through the middle and high school hallways. Then I started working at a retirement community where a red rose symbolized the death of a resident, so red roses are pretty much the anti-romantic gesture in my book.
Then Pinterest came along with its insanely cute and over-the-top ideas. Valentine’s crafts, Valentine’s decorations, Valentine’s outfits. Mommas better be making heart-shaped pancakes with strawberries and pink sprinkles on February 14th, is all Pinterest is saying. I love me some Pinterest, but I have to say that when the holidays swing around, I always feel absolute panic looking over my Pinterest feed. You may see a cute string of hearts with a proud toddler, but all I can see is a trip to the ER with first-degree burns from my toddler grabbing the glue gun.
But that’s cool. You do it in your own home on your own time and don’t drag me into it, and we’re going to be gravy.
Because honestly, my child has no idea what Valentine’s Day is. He has no concept of letters and love or even Brach’s jelly hearts — and until he can properly respect the jelly hearts, there is no point.
Then I had two different momma friends talk about Valentine’s Day requirements at daycares and preschools and I nearly fainted — homemade Valentines for two-year-olds? YOU MUST BE JOKING.
One momma had already purchased Valentines for her five-year-old to take to kindergarten, only to receive a note that all Valentines (yes, they were required) must be handmade. I fail to understand this. If it’s for “quality time” with the parent, then I’m pretty sure the teachers don’t quite understand the hell that is getting a small kid to sit still long enough to address, much less make, 20+ Valentine’s cards. They can’t do glue guns and they aren’t great at writing yet, so it’s pretty much a mandatory craft for the parent. Is it the price issue? Because I’m pretty sure you can buy a pack of Edward & Bella for less than $10.00 at Target, while construction paper + envelopes + stickers + markers + glue will beat that cost.
(Not to mention the panic that sends parents back to Pinterest to find the. best. homemade. Valentine. ever. lest Little Johnny’s momma pass judgment. Oh, wait. That’s just me that does that? Okay.)
I had barely gotten over shaking my head for my friend having to make Valentines for her kindergarten class when another momma told me that she has to bring Valentines for her six-month-old’s daycare class. She is a better person than I am because she had an ADORABLE idea of monkeys and banana puree in jars, but I would have ripped up that note in 2.5 seconds and instead of bringing treats for the kiddos, brought
airplane bottles little chocolates for the other parents.
I swear, I’m not a grinch. I’m a BIG fan of holidays, but I’m also a big fan of being sensible, and, to me, requiring a momma to make Valentines for five-year-olds or bring in goodies for infants crosses the line.
So sorry, Harrison’s buddies. You’re not getting sacks of treats from Harry that have a cute picture of him or a lollipop or anything Pinterest-y. Maybe when he’s in first grade and can sign his own name, but until then, we’ll stick to him getting lucky if his momma manages to cut his pancake into a heart.