Every year, our homeschool group hosts a Valentines party for all of our children. And every year, the mere thought of it strikes fear and dread in my heart.
Not just because I’ll be faced with temptations that are heart shaped and come in the form of cupcakes and cookies. With assorted icing and attractive sprinkles. Not to mention the carb assortment calling me over to them, disguised as “natural” and “oven baked, not deep fried.”
Although those are very good reasons to avoid the Annual Valentine Diet Massacre, they are not the real reason I pray for inclement weather on Valentines Day.
The reason is my 3rd born. Jensen. The small boy that provides me with endless blog fodder and heart palpitations.
In years past, I’ve been able to wrangle him into his stroller, and spend the entire Valentine Party keeping him entertained with brought from home inferior party snacks.
For the last two years, I’ve managed to get through the entire party without having to release him.
Because, I feared, setting him free would bring the entire party to a complete an abrupt halt. And could possibly result in the dispatchment of fire engines and emergency medical personnel. And more than a few judgmental stares.
I will tell you that keeping that particular child entertained in a confined area for 2 or 3 hours was something of a miracle. A miracle which left me exhausted and disheveled for days after.
I knew the year would come. Where the stroller would be of no use to me. In fact the stroller could be a serious detriment. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, he can not only escape from it, but he can also fold it up and fashion it into a weapon.
I put off purchasing all the necessary Valentines Party accessories until Friday, the day of the event. You know, in case Jesus were to come back thusly canceling the party.
When it became apparent that I was indeed going to have to attend, I packed up the children and headed to the grocery store to purchase Valentines cards and pre-baked treats to be shared. Plus a bag of Lays Original Potato Chips just to relieve my stress.
And perhaps a bottle of Midol to counteract the water retention from all the salt intake.
We discussed the type of Valentines cards to purchase. Cailey inserted that her choice would be a card that featured butterflies. Because she loves butterflies and fairies.
Jensen decidedly said NO to the butterflies and fairies. And let me know that his cards should display vacuums and toilets. Because he loves vacuums and toilets most of all.
Thankfully, there was only one box of cards left in the entire store. And there wasn’t a single butterfly, vacuum, or toilet to be found.
I entered the party with my entourage. We found a table and I ordered my children to plant themselves there while I scouted the food table. I returned with small plates filled with requested snacks, fully expecting Jensen to be gone.
But he wasn’t. He sat there like any ordinary boy, and ate his treats. In fact, he stayed with me through the entire party. He even sat quietly while the church pastor gave us a rather long winded recitation on the joys of homeschooling.
There was not one incident. Not even when we passed the fire alarms.
Okay, I had one tense moment when he displayed his fingers to me, announcing loudly, “LOOK MAMA! POOPOO!” as he quickly licked the chocolate off of them before I could gasp.
And. Well. We did have a little trouble in the bathroom when he wanted to get acquainted with each and every stall. And when he discovered TWO FREE STANDING TOILETS RIGHT THERE IN THE OPEN. I could offer him no explanation whatsoever for that decorating choice, but I had to drag him out of that bathroom physically.
He would still be there if I hadn’t been taking my vitamins regularly.
Later I marveled at this small boy who has grown so much in these last few months. I watched him as he navigated his way on the church playground with his sisters and all the other children. He’s come so far.
He’ll be turning 4 in a few weeks. I’ll be looking for a vacuum shaped cake pan to be sure.
And then I’m certain to be designing party invitations which feature a toilet.
Who wouldn’t want to attend a potty party like that? If you can think of any party ideas to complement my theme, please let me know. I haven’t found a thing in my copy of “Better Children’s Parties and Celebrations.”
Happy Valentines Day, my friends!