Saturday, February 13, 2010
Spongebob luvs ya!
Here, If you are under the age of say, 12, you could care less that Hallmark, florists and the chocolate companies are competeing for the dollars of the guilty, the hopeful and the desperate. Like that other American super holiday Halloween, the context is important to appreciating the fun aspect of the celebration. If you were trapped indoors in an endless cold and grey world with little children, I'm willing to bet there's a good chance you will be making heart shaped sandwiches with the best of them. The thing is that here in the NE it makes an otherwise dreary month pass by with a little bit of colour and most importantly CANDY. Religous celebrations here are "difficult" but there is nothing religous about Valentines Day...unless you count the almighty ring of the cash register. So the schools here are free to embrace all the symbols of love in the name of friendship and it appears in the form of craft and treats. And glitter...lots of glitter. They have the kids construct something in which to collect their cards in (a mailbox, a bag) and they have a little lesson in mail.
Valentines Day comes a few days earlier when you are at school because the exchanges need to occur during the school week. The exchange of cards between 4 year olds who are clueless is funny. Stores here are full of cards designed to facilitate the giving of a Valentine to each of your classmates with an attached treat- candy, sticker or tattoo. They usually featuring a licenced character designed to appeal mostly to the giver rather than the recipient. So Boo and Yum Yum have messages of friendship from Spiderman, a Yellow Spiderman and a Green Spiderman (their interpretation- I think it was the Hulk ). Many messages from Spongebob and assorted Mattel and Disney megastars.There was even a Harley Davidson one. I wonder what the boys think of recieving a Barbie, Tinkerbell or Princess Tiana card. Do the other mothers of girls buy a different Valentine to give to boys? Since I didn't grow up with these types of Valentines I couldn't bring myself to buy these time saving kits. They whispered "lazy" and " wrong" to me. Since transplanting here I usually like to make the cards with Bear, but 5 years of hovering over her to write her name and assemble them...well it gets a little old and I couldn't muster the energy to be doing this with Boo and Yum Yum in PRESCHOOL. Unlike their gifted counterparts, they haven't yet learnt how to write their names. So I used a bunch of cute old fashioned Valentines I already had (bought on sale last year- pat on back), added a sticker and wrote in the cards myself. Job done in 15 minutes instead of 15 hours. There were a handful of homemade Valentines the girls recieved, well done to their mothers!
So this year I kind of dropped the ball... N&T recieved many more Valentines than we gave out... result of a slightly complicated set of circumstances wherein I did not get the memos. Lucky for me Boo and Yum Yum remain clueless that they committed any social faux pa. But all they know is that there was a lollipop fest at our house yesterday. And they are happy they have a lot of classmates.
I let Bear handle her Valentines Day on her own, she had wanted to distribute fortune cookies since it is also Chinese New Year but we didn't get to THAT particular store last week.
Here at home our Valentines Chinese New Year celebration is going to be a bit of a non event. The other parental unit (ie the guilty) has already made good on the roses and chocolate ( a 1 kg bar of English Cadbury thanks) but he is leaving tomorrow morning with Bear to ski/snowboard for several days. He returned late last night from a week long business trip. Boo and Yum Yum have been counting the sleeps until Daddy came home..and just one sleep later he'll be leaving again. There were tears shed and pitiful cries of "Daddy don't go away again" this morning over our pancakes. Ugh ...I'm being left to console the abandoned children. Hopefully chocolate will make us all feel better. Happy Valentines Day to all.