All of Us

All of Us

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Traditions I Have Created

That would more appropriately read "foolishly created." One of those traditions is that store bought valentines are no good, and we need to make our own for them to be truly special. This year I didn't have any clever new ideas and no time to research any. J. found an idea online, and I. thought up her own idea. The kids' idea of a good valentine is one that contains candy. We went to the drugstore where they normally have a fairly good selection of craft supplies. The kids had been bugging me to go every day this week, but this was the first day we had time when everyone who wanted to go was available, and even now it was 6pm after religious education.

The outing started out on a sour note when I wouldn't allow T to bring her blankie in the store. The rule has been that it must stay in the car for several months, but lately she's been backsliding. We approached the door with T wailing loudly, so I instructed the others to go on in and I'd follow when she calmed down. She quieted down right away, but I got sidetracked by 75"% off Christmas decorations in the doorway (I bought a Santa cookie jar for $5.00). Now L. is complaining that he doesn't have an idea and that he has to go to the bathroom. The store doesn't have the pipe cleaners I. needs, or several items that J. needs.

K., who should have stayed home with D., who is too old in 7th grade to make valentines, had been mistakenly dressed and brought along by his siblings. I didn't have the heart to make him stay once he thought he was going, but had admonished J. that she must keep an eye on him in the store.

After several minutes in the store, T. finds herself so exhausted that she must drape herself over the top of the shopping cart, making it difficult to push. A. has begun to fuss and cry, and K. is busily deshelving as fast as he can.

I convince T. and I. that store bought valentines are OK, and we find some cute ones that aren't adorned with TV characters and contain suckers for $1.29 for a box of 22, which is all either of them need. This is WAY cheaper than we usually spend on craft supplies to create our own, and perfect for T., who would have needed a lot of assistance to create something and then sign her name on it. Just signing her name should keep her busy till Monday.

After L. uses the bathroom, we decide that we will recycle an old idea, which is to create small airplanes using a Smartie as the body, gum as the wings and lifesavers as wheels, with a rubberband holding it all together. You can write your name on the gum wrapper.

I approached the counter to pay. Everyone had been begging for candy, and I allowed them to get a box of Tictacs, generous woman that I am. Unfortunately they were too strong for T., who cried loudly that they were "too minty." I. magnanimously held out her hand for T. to spit in. The clerk looked revolted at this display, and pointed us to a garbage can. Unfortunately the store is designed so there is a bottleneck at the door, and we were now preventing people who'd paid in the rear from exiting, as well as holding up a line of people waiting to pay at this register. A. was now wailing loudly, and J. had disappeared.

I struggle out the door, another customer holding it open for me, only to find J., my primary helper and the one who most wanted to go to the store, standing outside because she was embarrassed by the mint spitting episode. Several customers had pushed past us in the meantime, muttering "Ex CUUSE me!" loudly.

I was mortified. They usually are so well behaved. L. and I. were embarrassed also. Then we came home, ate frozen mini pizzas for dinner at 7pm. Then they began eating "making valentines" which really meant eating some candy and making a big mess. Luckily they have a few more days to complete the project, since I made them clean up an go to bed.

1 comment:

thicket dweller said...

I've so been there. On my blog, you can read about the tradition I created, taking my daughter shopping for her birthday, that has recently blown up in my face.

I empathize. Especially since we do the homemade valentines, too. ;-)

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Mother to 10 fabulous kids, ages 4 to 21 years! Married for 26 years to my best friend.

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