Friday, February 11, 2011

Love Shooting Out Of Her Eyeballs.

I don't get all the hooplah surrounding Valentine's Day. To tell you the truth, Yousuf is the one who drives the romantic half of our relationship - and I fully realize how lucky I am to have him. Inara, like her Daddy, is a hopeless romantic. The child loves to love, and she believes in the idea of Valentine's Day - beyond the commercialism and candy - down to the very essence of her being.

What inevitably ends up happening is that I get drawn into Valentine's Day, albeit reluctantly, but with no regrets. Between Inara and Yousuf and all the love that comes shooting out of their eyeballs around this time of year, even my cold, icy heart can't help but defrost just the tiniest bit.

For instance, we just happened to be given some Valentine's Decorations for our windows and I tried so hard to misplace them, but I was thwarted. Inara found them, hidden amongst the cardboard boxes that were to go out to the curb and beat me down with a million requests of, "Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleeeeaaaaaassssse can we put these up, Mama? Pleasepleasepleaseplease??????". She basically wore me down and so I relented, scowling the entire time while she hummed and pranced around me, smiling at thin air like a lovestruck teenager.

In the end, our front window proclaimed, for all the world to see, that we were down with V-Day:

Ew. But Inara and Yousuf held hands and twirled around the living room, while Nissa clapped with delight. It was a scene right out of a cheesy greeting card, and then Inara broke out into song:

I swear I saw rainbows and glittery hearts come shooting out of her eyeballs. Didn't you?

The following day, she began her annual hounding to make Valentine's Day cards. Her reasoning is always sound, but no less irritating to a person that has no feelings. She says that she wants to tell the people she loves how much they mean to her. She never mentions anything about receiving gifts or cards...hers is a purely selfless mission. She says this every year, and every year I have to remind myself not to ruin her innocent world view with my curmudgeonly ways.

It just so happened that on that particular morning, I was suffering from an excruciating case of Super Bowl Monday. And say what you will about Valentine's Day being nothing but a commercial ploy, but if it involves doing something that keeps my kids occupied happily with minimal input from me, then show me the dotted line and sign me up. I'm all for it.

I found an online tutorial for how to make Valentine's Day pop-up cards, and it was just what we needed to fill some time while I recuperated from my late night junk food binge. Instant happiness ensued for my budding Cupids, and I have to admit that it was pretty cute to watch them being so thoughtful. I have no idea who they inherited it from.

I cut up the two pieces of the card separately, and let the girls decorate them using our standard tools of the love-spreading trade, including crayons, markers, stamps, stickers, and of course lots and lots of glitter. Even Nissa, who is 21 months old (waaah!) was able to take part with minimal mess making.

As Nissa finished her scribble, she'd pass it down the table to her big sister, who ooohed and aaaahed at Nissa's fine penmanship and then covered it all up with great big heart-shaped stickers (While wearing a hat, of course. One must always be concerned with style, even when crafting):

Nissa has just learned how to draw circles, and she was very intent on practicing them:

Which inspired Inara to make circles of her own. But they had to be bigger and fancier. Of course.

After the decorating, Inara helped me fold the two card pieces (while she regaled me with more love songs), and I glued them together. Our finished product looked like this:

I think they're actually kind of darling. But don't tell anyone I said that. 

And surprisingly, the pop-up portion of the card works very well. 

My girls were so unbelievably happy at the end of this little project. Inara in particular had a blissful expression on her face as she gazed lovingly at the pile of cards laying before her. 

What I loved is that it really wasn't hard to make my girls happy. What's harder will be having to deal with all the doe-eyed stares and happy sighs for the rest of the weekend. Blech. Perhaps I'll just get my kids to make some more crafts so that I don't have to deal with it. Valentine's Day can't come soon enough!

I hope that regardless of your inclination towards or against Valentine's Day, you'll be able to spend some time with your loved ones this holiday, and make some lovely memories together. Have a wonderful weekend...and beware of all that love shooting out of people's eyeballs!
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