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Chocolate and Cookies and Cards, Oh MY!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and school classes around the country are gearing up for the festivities.  Both Laylee and Magoo’s teachers have spent the past several class days focusing on love and friendship and these discussions will culminate with parties on Monday.  They are stoked.

Every year they love the time we spend together cutting and gluing and writing out cards.  Valentine’s Day is one of our favorite “greeting card” holidays because it’s all focused on love and caring.  Now in our cases the love and caring are regulated.  If you give a card to one kid in the class, you give a card to all kids, no exceptions.  Thus the teachers have set forth the rules and thusly shall we follow them.  I like this.

Being a kid is tough enough without having to deal with wondering if anyone will slip an Iron Man-emblazoned piece of cardboard into your Valentine folder.  You should get a whole folder full of Iron Man-emblazoned pieces of cardboard, even though you’re not allowed to see the movie yet, and when you get home, you can harvest them for candy and read through the notes to see which girls have crushes on you based on whether they wrote “love” or “from” on the card.

There will be plenty of chocolate to go around.  In Laylee’s class, I’m pretty sure I read something about liquid chocolate into which fruit will be dipped.  Some call it fondue because they like French words. 

I've spent time this week talking about childhood obesity how we should make school lunches more nutritious and I stand by that.  I've heard that many schools are asking parents not to send sweets into the classroom in order to support a more healthy lifestyle.  However, I support the liquid chocolate because it’s a rare treat on a special day and chocolate is delicious and above all, Laylee’s teacher has done more to encourage her to eat fruits and vegetables in five months than I’ve done in eight years.  Even the chocolate is a way to trick the kids into trying new fruits. 

As we prepare for this day of days, where life is a joy and a liquid chocolate dream, I wonder what a Tiger Mother would think about all of this.  Are we wasting valuable time that should be spent learning, learning and learning some more?  Or do these fun activities make school enjoyable and encourage kids to connect and buckle down more when the pressure’s back on?

If you're still working on your kids' cards, have a look at this list of printable Valentines from around the web. It's guaranteed to save you a lot of time and possibly a few paper doilies.

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Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler, and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.