My girls are little. My oldest turned three just six weeks ago. Their worlds are small and yet complex. They are little sponges, soaking up everything they can from us, their parents. It is quite possibly the most exciting and the most frightening part about being a parent. I read a quote several months ago that basically said the only thing a toddler hates is nap time.
And it’s true. We teach them from a young age what we dis-like and what we like. Our responses shape their responses. This is why I am very careful to not refer to myself as fat around my daughters. And this is also why Thursday will come and go as a regular day to them. We aren’t making Valentines, I’m not painting canvases with little hearts made of toilet paper rolls, we won’t be consuming chocolate wrapped in pink and red foil all day. I don’t have any appropiately coloured paint, I have black and brown and gold and chalkboard but no red or pink or coral.
I feel the pressure. Red and pink hearts are everywhere and they are lovely. I am not anti-Valentine’s, not at all. I have hosted a Valentine’s tea party for as many years as I can remember. I love planning and going on special dates. And a bouquet of roses always makes me feel special.
It’s just that my girls are little. They don’t know about Valentine’s Day yet and for this year I’m going to keep it that way. I want them to remember this February 14th as a fun day with their mummy. We will probably have a tea party in their room because we have one almost every day. We will read books and finger paint or play with the rainbow rice. We will do something special because that is our weekly evening for our girls’ evening but it will probably involve popcorn and Madeline and nail polish rather then cinnamon hearts and construction paper.
I don’t even own any heart cookie cutters or stickers. I’ll be hitting up the sales to rectify that situation as soon as it becomes February 15th. I don’t have any appropiately coloured paint, I have black and brown and gold and chalkboard but no red or pink or coral. I think I should rectify that situation as well.
The celebration of Valentine’s Day is for me this year. A reminder to love my precious little girls. To be patient with them. To be gentle with them and gentle with myself when I get overwhelmed. I want my girls to remember a day filled with love and fun not a stressed out mum trying to be patient amidst the paint and the glitter and the toddler. I want my girls to know that I love them rather then having the perfect Love Day celebration.
It’s for me to anticipate my dinner date with their Daddy, after they are in bed. I already have my outfit planned and I’m not sure what I’m looking forward to the most: dinner out at a new restaurant or a chance to dress up. With heels. I will let them play with my pretty dress and I’ll ask them which shoes they think I should wear. I want them to see how much I love their Daddy. And that I don’t take him or the fact we can go out together for granted.
There will be other years to break out the tea cups and lace tablecloths and make cranberry scones for our tea party. There’ll be other years to make cards and mail them off with love. There’ll be other years to do a myriad of crafts and to create a Valentine’s mantel.
This year, I’ll be loving on my girls in all the ways that they hear it best. I’ll slow down and look into their big blue and brown eyes and just listen as they tell me stories. And I will love them by loving their daddy.
Do you celebrate Valentines’ Day? How old were your children when you started traditions? Do you plan your outfits for an evening out well in advance or is that just me?