Monday, February 15, 2010

The Melting Of The Ice Queen

I'm not really that into Valentine's Day.  At least not the supermarket hooplah of chocolates and flowers and pink frilly things.  I think I enjoy the general sentiment of the day, but what makes me feel so ambivalent about it all is seeing Valentine's Day merchandise out in the stores THE DAY AFTER Christmas.  It drives me bonkers.

Inara doesn't see it that way.  For her, Valentine's Day is like the most amazingest thing ever.  Take one day, add some chocolate, a dash of stuffed animals, a pinch of candy, cover liberally with sprinkles and glitter and wrap it all up in a huge pink bow and my girlie girl is in pure heaven (much to my chagrin).

About a week before V-Day, Inara was all over me to make some Valentines.  She told me she wanted to make "great BIG hearts with our names on them!"  Sigh.  I honestly didn't want to get into starting a Valentine's Day tradition because I feel like the holiday can be materialistic and overrated, and I worry that when she gets to school the whole thing just becomes one huge popularity contest - so I didn't want it to have any importance here at home.  But how can you argue with a 3 year-old?  Correction:  How can anyone argue with MY three year-old? 

I was able to put it off until the actual day.  But on Valentine's Day morning she bounded into our room - her hair it's usual morning bird's nest, her eyes wide with anticipation: "Mama!  Daddy!  Is it VALENTINE'S DAY YET?!?"  I have no idea how she knew, it's not like the kid can read a calendar, or even tell time for that matter.  Somehow, SHE JUST KNEW (shudder).

"Yes, Inara.  It's Valentine's Day." I replied.
"Well, what are we going to DO?"
"I dunno.  Have breakfast?"
"Ugh. We can't JUST have breakfast!  We have to do THINGS.  Valentine's Day things!"

And so it continued.  Before and after breakfast and beyond.  Around every corner, there she was - waiting to pounce on me with her hopeful pleading to "pleasepleaseplease make some Valentines with me, Mama!"

I finally gave up.  It just wasn't worth the effort anymore.

Here's how all it went down:

Me:  Okay, Inara.  Let's make some Valentines.  But just so you know, this does NOT mean that we are celebrating Valentine's Day.
Inara:  Sure we are, Mama!  We're celebrating RIGHT NOW.  What does "celebrating" mean?
Me:  "Celebrating" is when you keep asking me to make Valentines, and eventually I do what you ask.
Inara:  I LOVE celebrating!  Okay.  This is what we're gonna do first.
Me:  You mean there's more than one part?
Inara:  (Exasperated) Mama!  Can you make some Great Big Hearts?
Me:  Yes.  I can do that.
snip, snip...cutting out some heart shapes...
Me:  All done.  Happy Valentine's Day.
Inara:  No wait!  We're not done YET!  We have to put our names on them!
Me:  Really?  Can't we just pick which one we like the best?  Or vote, maybe?  I like voting.  I could teach you about democracy.  Wanna learn about politics?
Inara:  We should cut out the letters and stick them on.
Me: about just writing our names on with markers?
Inara:  How about you cut some letters?
Me:  Fine.
more cutting...lots of grumbling...
Inara (as she's sticking the letters onto the hearts):  Oh, Mama.  These are so beautiful!  You are a great cutter!
Me:  Really?  That's sweet of you to say, hon.
Inara:   Now do you know what we have to do?
Me:  No. Why don't you tell me?
Inara:  Okay. Now we have to write a poem on the back of the hearts.
Me:  WHAT?  A Poem?  Are you sure?
Inara: Yes.  A Poem.
Me:  Inara, do you know that a poem means lots of words?  You know, words that need to rhyme and....stuff?  Poems, huh?  (Sighing) Fine...we'll do poems.  Maybe we can learn about rhyming words.
Inara:  You go first, mama.
Me: want ME to go first?
Inara:  Yes.  You can make a poem on my heart.
Me:  (Thinking) Okay.  How about: "I love Inara because...."
Inara: Because I make you laugh!  Write that, Mama!
Me: All right. (Writing) Now what rhymes with laugh...shmaff, baff, staff....
Inara:  Nope.  That's it.
Me:  What's it?  That's the end of the poem?  "I love Inara because she makes me laugh?"
Inara:  That's a GREAT poem, Mama!  You are a good poemer, too!
Me:  Hmmm.  I guess I am.
Inara:  Now let's do the rest!  I'll tell you what to write.

And this is what my sweet girl came up with, all on her own.  Somehow, amidst all the commercialism and all the displays of cards and stuffed critters and boxes of chocolate bonbons, my little girl decided to turn Valentine's Day into a celebration of the people she loved the most. All by herself.


Here's the one I did for her:

And the ones she told me to write for Yousuf and Nissa:


And this one is my most favorite one of all.  She thought about this all on her own:

Sniffle. I flipping love Valentine's Day.
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