Valentine’s Day, Etc.

***Author’s note: this took me a while to get finished. So I apologize for the fact that its subjects are old news.

Before we go any further, lets get one thing straight. It’s Valentine’s day. V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E. No “m” in sight. When people use the word “Valentime’s”, it leads me to believe that he or she is a couple sandwiches short of a picnic. Have you never read a book, been to a Walmart or received an actual Valentine? Cause if you had, you’d know that the letter “m” is nowhere to be found.

On to the next subject. Pinterest.

Wait…please hold on while I get my blood pressure in check.

Okay…Pinterest. In my humble, slacker mom opinion, Pinterest is ruining the world. And Valentine’s day is the perfect time to point it out.

Let me start by addressing fancy homemade Valentine cards for the class. Ladies, here’s a thinker: if you knew, FOR 100% SURE, that your first grade child’s classmate is going to take one cursory glance at your elaborate and clever homemade Valentine, remove anything edible for further inspection and then take it directly to the trash can without showing his or her mom, would you still be spending your valuable time making said homemade Valentines? Be honest.

If you said yes, I challenge you to a lie detector a la Maury Povich (you are NOT the father). Because we all know that the Pinterest inspired fancy Valentines constructed at your craft table in your Candy Spelling craft room are merely a thinly veiled disguise for a rather large badge of honor you’d like to wear on your shirt with the message, “Hey, slacker! I’m better than you! I am more creative, I have lots more time, I have beaucoup money to throw away at Michael’s and my homemade Valentines are better than your Target ones!! Nanny nanny boo boo!”

Special homemade Valentines are not for the kids. Who do you think you’re fooling? They are for the benefit of your perfect first grade mom street cred. Their purpose is to make you feel superior with your mad Pinterest skills. (Not included in this rant regarding homemade Valentines are the once actually rudimentarily constructed with love by the kid himself).

Look, we do enough tearing each other down. Why does there need to be a website to not so kindly point out how very painfully uncreative some of us are? I don’t need a reminder that my snacks aren’t always considered up to snuff by 100 Days of Real Food, my Valentines are store bought, and I don’t have elaborate center pieces on my table to demonstrate the theme of the week (the year round theme of my table is napkins, salt and pepper).

To me, Pinterest is a total Debbie Downer. It only exists to remind me that my recipes are stale, I can’t craft, my photo books are lame, I can’t tell a joke and my kids have no homemade clothes. It’s basic purpose is to give me a massive inferiority complex. It’s a constant reminder that I am not enough. That I don’t DO enough.

In my rational mind, I know that having the best homemade cupcakes in school has no bearing on what kind of job I do teaching my children not to be or tolerate bullies. In my rational mind, I know that the fact that there are store bought granola bars in their snack bags has no bearing on how well my children grasp the concept of gratitude. I know in my rational mind that just because I bought Tinkerbell Valentines at the grocery has no bearing on how well I impress generosity, kindness and empathy upon my children.

So why do I let Pinterest allow me to feel so inadequate as a mother??

That’s on me I suppose. But dude…can we just lay off the one upping game? You can win. I don’t care. (Okay well obviously I care or I wouldn’t have written this. I am super jealous. I wish I was a Pinterest goddess. It just isn’t in the cards for me).

As if this wasn’t long enough, I will now give you the highlights of the Valentine’s Day party.

We had a lovely set up of stations and when I showed up to offer my services, I was given the choice of what station I wanted to run (early bird gets the worm!) You can bet your bottom dollar I went straight for the cookie decorating station.

Seems like something I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, you say? You’re right…kind of. But I quickly caught on to the fact that I could do germ damage control and reduce the amount of licking, touching and spreading germs instead of standing by and watching helplessly as those grimy kids licked their appendages and then carried on touching everything in sight as though they weren’t spreading the first grade plague.

So when they walked up to my station I told them we had two rules: no eating (teacher’s rule) and no licking (my rule).

I even scrounged up enough plastic knives so that everyone could have their own clean, fresh knife. No one was going to get sick on my watch. I got out my trusty wipes for any icing mishaps.

They actually treated it sort of as a game. I will admit that not licking frosting off your hands is difficult for even the most disciplined adult. But most of them got a kick out of being policed for licking and praised for wiping instead. At the end, I let them lick their knives before throwing them away. (I’m not totally heartless. I’m just terrified of Noro Virus).

Anyway, almost all of them complied. All but one, that is. The class bully, a big boy I will call Tom.

I caught a glimpse of Tom (who routinely makes fun of other kids in the class) lick his finger. When I confronted him, he totally lied. But you know what’s awesome about being in charge of the cookie decorating table?


I told Big Tom that now his knife and hands were dirty so his cookie was finished. I don’t like bullies. And I REALLY don’t like liars. Even kid ones. So I will admit to taking a little pleasure in calling this kid out. Mature of me, I know. But I assure you I was nothing but polite as far as he could tell. I’m usually not a bitch…to kids that is. Grown ups are debatable.

The moral of the story here: if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself. And, as a result, I actually was able to let my sweet girl eat her cookie without having a total freakout because I knew it wasn’t contaminated.

Three cheers for licking patrol. Room 9 moms, you’re welcome.