Because I love a list. Especially a random list.
1. Once again, The Kids brought store-bought Valentines to their friends at school. They cost $1 a box on sale at Walgreens. If The Kids are happy, I am too. We did splurge and buy Fun Dip to give out as well. The trend of handmade, Pinterest-inspired Valentines seems to be waning. We only got one this year. It was appreciated, but not anymore than the Transformers hologram or Hello Kitty tattoo.
2. When did Valentine’s Day start rivaling Halloween for highest amount of candy to pass through the door? Everyone at The Kids’ school was off-the-charts hyper. It felt like a Friday. Unfortunately for the teachers and staff, it was Thursday.
3. This year, Valentine’s Day came after Ash Wednesday. For anyone giving up sweets for Lent, this posed a new challenge. The Kids considered it. Once they realized they couldn’t eat any Fun Dip or Reese’s hearts, a new plan was in order. I promised to save it all until Easter. That wasn’t enough.
4. After a friend mentioned that she was giving up yelling during Lent, I thought that might be good for us. We don’t yell all the time, and it’s certainly not our only way of communicating with our kids, but it’s the most effective. Just the other day, everyone was taking their time eating breakfast before school. I hate the morning rush, but if we’re going to get to school on time, The Kids need a nudge. I asked, “Can y’all please hurry? You can still talk to each other, but make sure we’re in forward motion.” I used a friendly, patient tone. I repeated the same thing, in the same tone at least 10 times. Once I was ready to leave the house, they (of course) were not. I used a more, uh, forceful tone, and they finished almost immediately.
5. I wonder if I should just start off yelling and save my breath. The calm words aren’t well received or obeyed nearly as often.
6. We did decide to give up yelling for Lent. This includes, but is not limited to, fighting with your sister or brother. So far, we’ve only been mildly successful. I’m absolutely sure that giving up candy would’ve been easier.
7. Is it inappropriate if, in addition to recognizing the sacrifices made for us, we add a “Yelling Jar,” wherein a quarter must go if yelling occurs? Just a little extra push.
8. At the very least, we’ve been given plenty of opportunities to discuss why it’s important (and just nice!) to speak with patience and kindness. We’re all learning lessons. I might be learning the most.
9. The Boy turned nine last weekend. I know it sounds silly to say, “I can’t believe my kid is nine.” I mean, I can do the math. I know how much time has passed. Like all other parents who have paved my way, I’ll say it. “I can’t believe my kid is nine.” It’s cliché and silly, but the time passes too fast. I miss when he was a baby. I’m proud of the boy he’s become, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
10. When asked how it felt to be nine, he confidently said, “I definitely have more arm hair than I did yesterday.”
11. He chose Mexican for his birthday dinner. We didn’t complain. He wanted the free dessert. When he found out the servers must sing to him in order to get the birthday fried ice cream, he declined. Thinking he didn’t want the clanging of pots and pans and the loud, slightly embarrassing “Feliz Compleanos,” I told him we could just buy him dessert. A few minutes later, he admitted the real reason for not wanting to be a part of the spectacle. “I don’t want to wear the hat,” he said. Again, I get it. The kid loves performing, but he hates to be embarrassed. Don’t we all? Finally, though, we got to the root of it all. “I just don’t want to get lice.”
12. He got the fried ice cream. No sombrero.
13. My head is itching at the thought of it all.
14. Sorry if yours is, too.
15. On a lighter, less nasty note, the Groundhog didn’t see his shadow. I sure hope that means something. Maybe it just means it was a cloudy day. Was it? I’ll pretend it’s good news, even if it’s silly. I’m an optimist. Spring’s coming, y’all. Cheers! You Might Also Like: