As I sat down last night with my son to do the Valentines that we'd procrastinated on all weekend, I reminisced about the thought and careful review conducted when I made purchase.
Rewind to two Sundays ago standing in the Valentine aisle at our Walmart.
Saying that this is not my favorite place is an understatement, but I opted to pick up groceries there specifically so I could choose from a wider selection of Valentine's crap.
I was almost by myself (I had the little one with me who doesn't say much) and in 1.2 seconds I spotted some Mickey and Minnie Valentines with lollipops. My kid is a Disney fanatic to the point of obsession. I toyed afterward with the idea of picking up a box of something sprinkled with a little more testosterone like Transformers, but I know my kid - this was a slam dunk. His male classmates will think these are lame.
I flipped the box over:
32 Cards in the Box
4 varieties of cards (and this is important): "You're Neat," "Friends Forever," You're Cute," "Teacher You're the Best"
I did a little computing. Mathmatically, assuming that there are equal numbers of each variety of card in the box, there will be enough "You're Neat" and "Friends Forever"cards in the box to avoid the dreaded "You're Cute" card because NO FIRST GRADER WANTS TO BE TELL ANYONE THAT THEY ARE CUTE. EVER!
I'm such a conscientious parent. A few bad experiences of my childhood helped me help him dodge that bullet. I think I once had to tell someone via Valentine that they are "cool" and they weren't. Gasp!
So last night we open up the box: "Friends Forever," "You're Cute" and ......."2 Cute." What happened to the safe "You're Neat"?
Mayday Mayday! The math doesn't work out and somebody is going to have to be CUTE. Gross!
And worse, they used that annoying number-instead-of-letter thing. Who do they think they are, Prince? Damn Walmart and their bad product labeling. Stupid Prince!
So I sprung to action and provided the following strategy: The "Friends Forever" ones have to be for the boys because you can't tell them they're cute. There will be some of those left over for the girls and I actually counted them out for him.
Two girls were going to have to be cute. Ewwww!
So since I've been cajoling him for weeks to just finally admit that he likes Katherine P., I ask him in a very soothing voice. "So, if you have no choice but to give one of these kinds of cards to two girls, do you know who you'd want to give them to? Maybe Katherine???"
At this point, he gives me the dork look where his eyes roll back in his head, looks up to the ceiling, blinks his eyes and tries not to smile. "Don't even GO there," he says and actually hits me.
Then the impossible happens. Rather than caving to his mother and admitting that he likes Katherine by giving her one of two Cute-related store-bought Valentines, my son, always the diplomat gave every single girl in his class a "Cute" card.
I was disappointed that there was no clear Katherine revelation today and that every girl would be cute (even the ugly ones), but a bit proud to see what he was willing to do to keep his love a secret. How Shakespearean of him.
Doesn't matter, he's going to get in the car after school and he's going to tell me he ate with Sam and Katherine today. AND I'm going to throw in a question about how he might like her, and he's going to make the dork look that I see in my rear view mirror every afternoon.
What's important is that Katherine got a "Cute" card.
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