Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Romance (Parent-Style)

Trevor and I always pretend we're not interested in Valentine's Day, in the interest of saving money and by telling ourselves that we're so darn in love that every day is like Valentine's Day. (Please imagine the look I'm shooting you via the computer right now.)

Helpfully, I don't like to get flowers. I don't like spending money on a gift that dies after a few days, but mostly I don't like receiving something that DIES. Every time I see cut flowers I think of how they were recently growing in the soft, dirty dirt and basking in the warmth of the sun (or at least of a balmy greenhouse) and then SNAP! They're cut, rolled up in dry paper and put on display for all to witness their withering death. (Good for roses, with their prickly thorns. They should at least impart a little pain for their suffering.) Trevor likes this aversion to cut flowers, because he doesn't have to fork out the cash for them at every minor holiday. 

But flowers do not a holiday make, and when the big day rolls around with all of its love and fluff and commercialism, neither Trevor nor I can help wanting a tiny, little treat from the other one. This year we've decided to go out for brunch after church today (that he and Berit are attending, because Marta is sleeping and I am hand-washing the floor, as we are out of Swiffer wet cloths and oddly enough, we no longer own a mop). But I thought I would give you an idea of the past two days of Valentine celebrations for a laugh, because truly, it's just life.

Friday, February 13 (Pretend Valentine's Day, because we don't need two days of sugar for the kids, and we have a party this day)
5:30 a.m.: Marta wakes. I preheat the oven and start making heart-shaped cupcakes.
6:30 a.m.: Berit and Trevor wake. Everyone wants cupcakes for breakfast. I let them eat the ones that crumble out of the heart-shaped molds.
10:30 a.m.: Valentine's Day party at Emma and Andrew's house. Bargain with Berit to eat her lunch, because there are sweets everywhere. Several runny noses attached to hand-holding, toy-sharing children run around the house. Babies share cups. Moms groan and laugh. Why not? We're tired. We made cupcakes at a-quarter-to-six this morning.
3:30 p.m.: Trevor watches the girls while I go to my orthodontist's office for a quick wire-snipping. Suddenly I remember that I have no valentine for Trevor. Quick stop at bookstore turns into long, Valentine's Day gift spending spree.
5:30 p.m.: Dinner is over; girls each open a foil-wrapped chocolate heart. They each get books. Trevor gets a card (more funny than romantic), beer brittle and Tom's Natural Licorice (more for me than him). Berit gets an Izzy and Trevor a grape Crush. Marta gets thin, crackery breadsticks. Trevor receives a valentine from Berit that reads, "To Prince Charming, Love Cinderella." I made it, even the very detailed renderings of Cinderella and Prince Charming on the front. Berit scribbled two lines on it, but was more interested in telling me how many birds needed to be perched on Cinderella's hands than actually making it for her father.
9 p.m.: Trevor goes into the bedroom to shower. I pick up the various pieces of dirty laundry strewn about the house and take them into the room to put in the hamper. As I walk into the bedroom (no, no sexy rose petals or soft music playing, don't worry), Trevor, in his underwear, says "STOP!" He's writing my card. I go into the living room, and he brings it out. For once, it's not funny. It's not really romantic, either. I get the feeling it's the first one on the shelf (unlike him, but possibly because he was in a hurry to get home so I could leave for my ortho appointment). We smile, goofily. Heh. Valentine's Day cards.

Saturday, February 14 (actual Valentine's Day)
8 a.m.: I go spinning. Since it's Valentine's Day and I did not receive any treats from my husband or cards from my children, I take myself out to breakfast afterward. (Technically I run into the coffee shop, order a coffee and egg wrap to go, and eat it in the car on the way home.) 
3:30 p.m.: We take the kids to the waterpark, which is packed with bullies and wicked children who try to shoot waterguns at our tiny baby and dump huge buckets of water from high jungle gyms onto our sensitive toddler's head.
4:30 p.m.: We leave the waterpark. Nothing like changing the whole family into swimsuits and out of swimsuits in one hour's time. 
5 p.m.: We go out for dinner at.... Big Boy. The place is filled with people who feel that Big Boy is the place to go on Valentine's Day. (Parents with children. The very old. High school sophomores.) As Marta throws her food on the floor and Berit is too cold/too hot/too cold/too hot and needs her coat put on/taken off/put on/taken off, I look at Trevor over my "cheesey spinach soup" (Velveeta and minute specks of previously frozen spinach) and his "lumberjack potato pancakes" (insanely delicious, of course) and say, "Happy Valentine's Day." And we laugh so hard that we choke, and the girls stop misbehaving and laugh, too. 

Oh, the... love. It's just... never-ending. It's as if every day is Valentine's Day, isn't it? 


Liza said...

too funny! Glad your holiday was minus sick girls!

Kate said...

It is the best kind of love, I think, when you can laugh at exactly the right moment. That is, of course, to say the moment that you realize you are eating at Big Boy with your kids on Valentines Day. :)

My hubby was out of town-- not that we celebrate anyway-- but I did manage to guilt my boys into cleaning their rooms as my "present."