Christina M. Currie: Midnight valentines
People generally are accused of getting old when they can’t find their car keys, spend time searching for sunglasses that are perched on their heads and find the milk in the cupboard.
Those may be symptoms of aging, but they are also telltale signs of another factor that wreaks havoc on the brain: children.
I went in search of my vegetable steamer, which is not something I’m in the habit of losing. But, there I was with a bag of mixed vegetables and nowhere to put them.
Twenty minutes later, I returned the fresh vegetables to the freezer and opted for canned.
It didn’t really matter when I looked at the big picture; the chances of the girls eating them in either case were slim.
After dinner, I found the vegetable steamer. It was in the bathtub (Can you believe that I didn’t think to look there?). I also found the turkey baster (which had a Care Bear Band-Aid on it) and the whisk.
I can see the appeal that kitchen utensils have. I mean, the vegetable steamer opens and closes. And, the miracle of an invention that sucks up water and spits it out is unparalleled — oh, except for the zillion water toys available at just about any store where I’ve spent God knows how much money only to have the toys take up space at the bottom of the toy box.
That was a 52-word sentence, something that’s frowned upon by editors, but when you’re on a rampage, periods just interrupt the flow.
Anyway, back to my point: Children don’t subscribe to the “there’s-a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place,” theory.
Which is why (this is my story, and I’m sticking to it) I didn’t find the school’s memo about Valentine’s Day until Sunday. By the time I had access to Katie’s kindergarten folder, its contents weren’t arranged the way I presume they were when she left school.
Evidently (and it’s explain–ed to me very simply and slowly every time I complain) Valentine’s Day falls on the same day every year. You can tell it’s coming by the displays in grocery and discount stores. There was even an article in the Craig Daily Press written by me about how children celebrate the holiday.
Given the facts at hand, I had no excuse for being at the grocery store at 10 p.m. Monday looking for anything that resembled a Valentine’s Day card.
The closest I came was a bag of candy with spaces for “To” and “From” on each piece’s wrapper.
Have you ever tried writing a child’s name on the metallic wrapper of a Twix bar?
So, at 11 p.m. Monday, I became one of those mothers I’m baffled by.
I made homemade valentines.
Thirty-two of them.
I carefully cut hearts out of colored cardstock, taped on a piece of candy and neatly printed “Happy Valentine’s Day” on each of them. Writer though I may be, I didn’t have the time or energy to think of something clever like “You’ve got my heart Valentine,” or “Here’s a Twix for the best of the mix,” or “I’ve got Snickers for all you nose pickers.”
You know, like you’d see on those store-bought cards.
Short and simple is the motto at midnight.
And, as all procrastinators do, I made a new motto the next morning when the alarm interrupted too few hours of sleep: I’ll never put (fill in the blank) off again.
It’s a lie. I know it. You know it. But, as long as I have children to blame, I can carry on the charade.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or email@example.com
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