I have a confession to make: school events tend to make me competitive.
On Valentine’s Day, E.’s school is having a Fancy Nancy party for the 3s and pre-K classes. Last week, the room mom (who, by the way, took over my room mom duties because I apparently wasn’t on top of things enough. Actually, I was glad to let that one go) sent out an email asking for parents to volunteer for the party. It falls over lunch, so I agreed to come to school and help for about 90 minutes with the party.
I could have just said that I couldn’t swing it, but that old working mom guilt kicked in and I didn’t want E’s mom to be the one mom who wasn’t there. I know that most of them probably won’t be there, but when I went back to work (almost) full-time, I vowed that I’d try to make every event possible as long as I didn’t have another big meeting or something scheduled. So I’m going.
We were in Durham, North Carolina, this past weekend for E’s big birthday celebration (more on that later), so I hadn’t really given E’s Valentine’s for her classmates much thought. We picked up a box of kitten and puppy cards last week (random, but she picked them out) and I was going to leave it at that. But then today, as I was on my way to school to pick E. up, I suddenly remembered that last year, all the other parents (it was probably moms, but I’m an equal opportunity envier) attached little candies and goodie bags. And I didn’t. I don’t know how I forgot this crucial piece of history.
It also didn’t help that I saw people tweeting all their Valentine’s cookies and crafts today that they’d prepared for classmates and teachers. Quit making me look bad here, people!
And sure enough, when I arrived at E’s school, I saw that one of the moms had already dropped off her daughter’s Valentine’s for tomorrow. Of course, I sneaked a peek. Yup, attached to each Valentine was a cellophane bag filled with candy and mini Play-Doh containers. Crap.
What was I going to come up with in the 11th hour? I rushed E. through pick-up and raced to a local cookie store in our neighborhood. I got there 5 minutes before they closed and shocker — they were cleaned out. They had two packages of Valentine’s cookies left and I needed 9. Crap.
In the bin next to the register, I found big fat non-holiday cookies. But at least they sounded good — peanut butter chocolate chip and triple chocolate. Done and done. Thank God they were all already individually wrapped in cellophane bags with pink ribbons attached.
After dinner, it was time for the painful process of E. filling out her cards. The teacher only has us sign them, not address them, so you’d think that would make the process go faster. It didn’t.
E. is battling tiredness and a head cold. It was not the idyllic childhood experience that she’ll remember for years to come. There were tears, snot-filled tissues, and Mommy telling her to hurry up because it was getting late. Ahhh, bonding.
And the card-makers really should make toddler-friendly cards. There was no way E. was going to be able to fit her whole name in the teeny tiny space they allow for the From. So hopefully her classmates realize that she’s E.
They better know they’re from her — I want credit for those stupid cookies, dammit.
Why do I care? Seriously? She’s 4. Why do I let myself get worked up about crap like this? Is it mommy guilt? Is it just keeping up with the Jones? Am I just mental?
Someone please tell me that I’m not alone. Are you motivated by your crafty Pinteresty self? Or, like me, are you just trying to not be the slacker mom?
Ugh, I just wish the other Moms just wouldn’t do that stuff! I’m with you, I don’t want to be the “bad mom” but I think some over-eager Moms are ruining it for the rest of us. It becomes too much effort, and can get costly too…
YES! Why must they make us look so bad! I WANT to do crafts and fabulous stuff. But frankly, I just don’t have the time, energy and money to do it all. I need a wife.
I am now the lazy mom. I bring stuff in if I NEED to and try to do something fun for their birthday but that’s it. Honestly, my kids don’t need ANY of that crap – they get enough at school as it is! At least that’s what I tell myself to feel better 🙂
I used to feel bad, and I used to want to be “that mom” until my friend talked some sense into to me. She told me to do what I could. Nobody was going to like me more and my kids weren’t going to care. She’s right – they don’t. They’d rather hang out with me and do stuff they want to do (and that involves stuffing plastic bags and buying cookies they can’t eat).
I need to have you, in turn, talk that same sense into me. I say I don’t care. I try to let it go, but then my competitiveness (aka insanity) takes hold and before I know it, I’m stuffing bags full of junk that kids don’t need. Then I become part of the vicious cycle. It’s the circle life.
Yeah, trying to explain to E. why she couldn’t have any of the cookies also contributed to the painfulness of last night. So cruel.
Any time 🙂 And honestly, it’s not that I’m against the Pinterest/crafty moms – especially if it’s a hobby – but I don’t get that kind of joy out of doing stuff like it and I’m OK with it! I DO feel like there’s some unspoken competition though. That needs to stop.
I actually unfollowed a blog the other day because she was making me feel like a slacker 😉
Ha! Good call. I think I need to start unfollowing some people on Twitter for the same reason. Clearly there should be a Slacker Mom filter where we don’t have to see all their craftiness on full display.
If it makes you feel better I envy your amazing blog and how you have captured so many memories of E and your family. So in a sense you are making me feel like a Slacker Mom since my kid will have to rely on my already poor memory for her childhood adventures! 🙂 Just kidding of course!!
Yes, but you’re giving your daughter a sibling and I’m not. So, E. will probably hate me for that. And clearly, she’s going to hate me for the blog in another few years. I’m going to have to figure out a way to preserve old posts but make them private. I can’t believe I’m already stressing over a future argument. But it’s inevitable, no?
Ok, I admit it. I’m a Pinterest mom.
I sent home baked cookies to daycare for all the kids. I just thought it would be nice for the kids to have. If I were a kid, I would love to receive something like that. I have no intentions of making other parents feel bad, although I know that it may:( Sorry if you saw any of my treat tweets.
To be honest, this whole valentines things is new to me. Like you I was only going to give out cards too. In fact, I wasn’t even going to do cards but then all the parents at daycare was sent home with class lists. My husband and I was wondering if this was mandatory now. It kind of feels that way. Then there are the gifts and treats. This was news to me. When I was young, we only gave cards and only to a few of our close friends. Anyway, now that I’m a parent of a child in daycare, I guess I should be joining in and doing what is expected of me. My husband thinks it’s all stupid and that Valentines is a fake holiday. Maybe but the kids are so happy though.
I just don’t understand why there’s not a rules book. It’s so hard to know when you’re doing too much or not enough. I know that all of this is self-inflicted. If I got those gorgeous Spiderman cookies, I’d just think that they’re awesome. But I guarantee if I made them, I’d probably feel like the other moms who did nothing or did my lame attempt at baked goods would judge me. When, in fact, they’re probably not. Clearly I just have issues.
And it’s not just the holidays — E. has already started harassing me that her friends always have better lunches than she does. And she’s 4. It never ends.
But keep baking! And yes, I do accept shipments. 🙂
Jocelyn | ScooterMarie says
Oh girl, I am right there with you! We had to get valentines to send to D’s DAYCARE class. Yeah, what do a group of 18-24 month olds even know about Valentine’s Day? Nothing. So I just took the little ones like E’s – they were puppies and kitties that were kind of like holograms on the front. Simple little flat cards, no folding or anything. We had to take them last year too when she was a baby baby (!!) and I remember someone had sent big thick envelopes and I thought oh crap, I am so outdone here. Fortunately it was just a piece of candy in the envelopes that made them look huge, but still. And as for Pinterest – ha! I am so UNcrafty it is ridiculous. Poor D – hopefully one year her mommy won’t be *that* mommy bringing the crappy cards and box treats.
E. started daycare at 14 months, so we just missed Valentine’s Day. But by her second year, she was just over 2 and I remember thinking the same thing — really? Valentine’s cards? They barely even know their friends names. And candy?? Who’s giving candy to a 2-year-old. But that’s exactly what happened.
There’s nothing wrong with box treats! I (guilt-free) sent in grocery store-made cupcakes for E’s birthday this year. That was one thing I had no qualms about since theirs are way better than mine would ever be!
It’s all just such madness though, huh?