Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! Or, There's Something Seriously Wrong with Me

The Season of Love was recently upon us, and with it is my daughter's first experience in a school-type setting. Nope, she's not in preschool just yet... only a community-sponsored "parent-and-me" activity, one day a week, at the community center, and she attends with her dad. (My husband SWEARS he wants to go... I'm taking him at his word.)

Because she's in this class, I am not-so-suddenly realizing how ever-present my own parental-issues are. Fortunately for me, they are presenting themselves in the form of a craft activity my kid enjoyed. Unfortunately for me, I got to finish the craft activity as I realized the reason why I had begun it in the first place.

It all began last Monday when my husband ended up being relieved later than normal, he works at a fire station and isn't allowed to leave until the next guy clocks in. And, since my husband works about ninety minutes from our home, this meant he wasn't going to make it home until after 10am; thus, after the start of the class.

So, I dragged the kid and myself through a (not) short run/jog and then over to the community center. My time management has only sucked even worse since my daughter was born, so not only were we late, but I was still in running clothes.

Upon arriving we saw a friend (yay!) and finally settled in after figuring out what was going on. And, things were going just fine-- in fact, they were fine the entire time I was there. My husband eventually arrived in time for me to get home and change for work and even get to work a tad early. However, before the husband arrived the "teacher" let everyone know that we were/are welcome to bring Valentine's, of the paper variety, to the proceeding class.

Come Sunday, the evening before class, and the wheels in my head are turning. After dedicating plenty of nights to Pinterest, I knew exactly what we would do to make sure my kid wouldn't be the only one left out of the Valentine exchange... and that's when I got all metacognitive on myself. But, I maintained and headed upstairs to grab some card-stock.

I then fished some cardboard tubes out of the trash-- this is full-blown SAHM status in my book-- and I proceeded to make a heart shaped stamp. I also grabbed some of the finger paint I had picked up at the dollar store the other day and gave my 18mo old a lesson about how to stamp hearts on the card stock. She, being quite the little crafter herself, caught on quite quickly and I only had to write "Happy Valentine's!" sixteen times before we were all done.

It was when I found myself writing the same phrase sixteen times over that I finally came to the realization that:

a) I did this so my kid wouldn't feel left out, like I did so many times.

b) My daughter isn't going to feel left out for multiple reasons including (but not limited to): her dad will make sure she doesn't feel left out (he's the BEST at that!), she's NOT me (and doesn't have my hang-ups-- I hope), and last of all: she's not developmentally ready to feel left out by something so arbitrary (and really kind of stupid).

So, this Valentine's Day I am thankful for my two VIVs (very important valentines) because they give me the opportunity to remember that not every kid is like me, and my husband and I are not necessarily going to make the same decisions our parents did-- we get the opportunity to screw our kid up in an entirely new and exciting way!

Happy Valentine's to you and yours, sixteen times over!

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