Thursday, February 11, 2010

Box Full of Valentines

Yesterday, Richie needed to make a Valentine box.

Here's something I'm not good at: art. And here's something else: crafts. But here's something I'm great at: having a lot of boxes in our basement. So we had that going for us.

We have them in every shape and size because we go to a really ritzy, classy grocery store where you have to pay for your own bags. Instead of paying, everybody grabs the empty boxes of food on the shelf to put their groceries in.

I brought up an orange juice box from the basement. I'd bought some construction paper, so we were on a roll.

I said, "So, I was thinking you could glue red and pink construction paper all over the box."

"But that would look dumb," Richie said, holding the paper up to the box in wierd ways.

"Well, don't glue it on all katty-wompas and criss-cross," I said.

"It's not going to work," he said.

"Yeah, but you don't want your box to say, 'orange juice,' on it," I argued.

He nodded. "I know what to do."

He started cutting and gluing paper and before I knew it, he brought it over to me.

"I covered up orange juice," he said.

He had covered the words "Orange Juice" with a thin strip of red construction paper, on which he had written "My Valentines" in yellow crayon. But the box still said orange juicy things like, "from concentrate," and "nature," and "Florida." Then he glued a heart on the back and called it a day.

Shew. Glad we got that over with.

Johnny, meanwhile, was signing and folding his cards, in a frantic manner that I know he got from me. "Where's the roster?! How do you fold these?! I need a box, too!" he exclaimed.

Richie was exclaiming, "Where's the glue?! Who has the glue?"

J.J. was asking, "What happened to my scizzors?!"

I love when our whole family gathers around the dining room table and yells.

Johnny was looking for the roster to make sure he had spelled everybody's name right. I said, "Oh, you're only supposed to sign your name, not address them."

But Johnny happens to be in a fight with his friend right now. He said he wanted to read off the names and hand everybody a card and then, when he got to his friend, he would say, "Oh, I'm sorry. I left yours at home."

I didn't think that was very nice, but apparently, this is the level they have stooped to. To be honest, it's stressing me out.

Here's something I'm trying to teach Johnny: In fights, you don't win by thinking up mean things to do. No. The kid with the best poker face wins. If you let the other kid get to over. So act like you don't care...But it's your friend and you do care, so unless you're a robot or an actual poker player, good luck with that advice.

Later That Night...

Richie's class put on a poetry reading. They sang "All You Need Is Love" and put the Beatles to shame. Then they each read a poem: either rhyming, nonrhyming, something I'd never heard of, or Haiku.

Richie read Haiku. He got up there, looking very worried--like he would cry(his teacher said he'd been nervous aboout this all week).

He said:

Once a loud scream
It was the referee's whistle at a football game.

It was the most beautiful poem I've ever heard in my life.


Johnny came home from school today and asked if he could have his friend spend the night. He said the friend had been nice to him today, so he was nice, too.

J.J. came home with a bag full of Valentine's. He picked one up with a mouse on it.

"Who's this one from?" he asked.

"Your girl friend Elise," I said.

"What's it say?"

I read, "You're a mice valentine." Then I added, "And you're my boyfriend and I love you."

He smiled ear to ear.

So much love...and it's not even Valentine's Day yet. I'll be happy when it is, though. Justin announced a week ago at the dinner table that he was planning a Valentine's Day surprise for me and would take care of everything--the babysitter, the dinner, everything...

Wait, that doesn't sound right. I'm usually the planner of special events in our house. Now I remember. I announced at the dinner table that Justin was planning a Valentine's Day surprise for me and was taking care of everything--from the babysitter to the dinner.

"What do you have planned, dad?" Johnny asked.

"I, um, can't say," Justin said.

Once he gets things figured out, it should be a night to remember...thanks to my conniving and trickery.

Happy Valentine's Day one and all!