Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Day we Made the Valentine Box

Ian had to make a box for Valentine's day at school. It was due Friday. Thursday was the last day to get it done! First, I make sure we have supplies to make a box that is cute, yet not too feminine:

old shoe box...check
wrapping paper...check, we've got some red wrapping paper left over from Christmas
tape...check, three rolls!
decorations...we have tons of foam shapes, including hearts!

I do a little celebration dance inside my head for NOT having to go to the store.
"As soon as daddy gets home we will make your box, Ian," I say to my son. He has been bugging me for a week. He hasn't figured out that I am procrastinator yet. I have to wait until the husband gets home so he can take care of Kate. She's in that "seek and destroy" stage.
Husband calls at about 5:53pm.
"Umh, I have a lot to do at work with my project being due and I didn't get it all done...blah...bu-blah...blah...I'm not coming home until later."
I HATE these calls.
"How much later?" I ask.
"Probably after bed time." (The KIDS' bed time...this means I have to get them ready for bed and put them down by myself.)
I start formulating a plan for the BOX. We have to get it done...TONIGHT. Kate had a late nap because we went to Disneyland so she's in no way ready to go to sleep. In fact, she is in SUPER seek and destroy mode.
"Okay," I think, "If I put a show on for Kate, she'll just sit and watch that (Jacob, too) and Ian and I can get started on the box."
I get out the tape, the box, and run upstairs to get the paper and scissors.
I come back and the tape looks like this:

Thank you Kate! Now go and watch your show. However, she's no longer interested in Elmo.
I tell Jacob to play with Kate and keep her out of our way. I go to get more tape. I come back and the boys have unrolled paper across the room AND smashed it up! It's unusable. I trash it.

My blood pressure goes up. I remind myself it's just a Valentine's box. No need to get upset. Exhale... Luckily it's a long roll of paper. We get started on covering the box. We discover the shoe box has a FLIP lid. I failed to notice this little detail while giddily checking off my list of supplies. We don't have another box. I refuse to go to the store to get another box!!! I try numerous configurations before coming up with something that will work. By this point, I'm not letting Ian anywhere near the paper or the box. I put him in charge of the tape. Jacob wants to help with the tape. Jacob pulls off a gigantic piece of tape and of course, he scrunches it. The bright side: we're not out of tape yet tape and Kate is back into Elmo.
We get the thing wrapped, cut a slit in the top without too much ado. It's a pretty ugly box. Martha would cringe at my wrapping job. We begin to decorate. I'm actually letting Ian do it, too! We are glueing foam shapes on the box and monster baby comes back and wants to help.
"Heeya go, heeya go..." (she says things over and over until she gets what she wants) ...she's handing us shapes at an alarming rate. She's smashing them on the box. I try to put her down, she's kicking and screaming and the entire *huge* edition container of foam shapes falls on the floor. I let her play with them because it is keeping her out of my way. She sticks one in her nose. (Wish I had a picture, but I was BUSY!) The shapes are all over the house in a matter of seconds. How do things get messed up so fast! We found these after cleaning up.

In the end, we did it. It was a stressful hour or so...looking back, I could have planned it better, done it differently, but I'm glad to say it's over. The box is not great but it will do! Mission accomplished.


Audra Bollard said...

I've already heard about this box and this post still made me laugh out loud. Glad I got a visual now!

rubberbandgirl said...

I'm chuckling. Needed it too! Thanks!
Honestly, I think the box is really cute and you let Ian help decorate so you have done your mom duty.

D&E said...

I could totally relate with the "How late?"/have to put the kids down myself when I do the math/BLAH phone calls.

Read the ABCs. Amen on the pink lady apples! Absolutely the best.

LAHansen said...

I love the box...and I love those mommy moments...I think we'll look back on them with fond affection...some day.

Matt said...

Hilarious post! I could totally visualize the whole hour. I thought all things considered the box looks great!

By the way, I do that same little celebration dance in my head when I'm at a restaurant and I see the food coming.

Mike & Shelby said...

I think it's one of the most beautiful Valentine's Boxes I've ever seen (and in my career...that's a lot!) Glad you got it done...without injury.

Great post.

Jessica said...

YOU could never make an ugly anything. Kid-influenced Valentine box included.

Me & My BOYS said...

Oh, the seek and destroy mode is totally my life.

And I'm with you on the husband being late... I die every time.

The box is perfect. Next time, don't procrastinate!

Amy & Mark said...

Oh, I can so relate to your experience with Kate (audible groan here). This is hilarious and Ian has a box to be proud of! You're such a good writer!

Matt said...

CONGRATULATIONS! This entry has won this week's Bloggie from the "The Digital Architect."

Found out why by going to my blog.

You now have bragging rights for a week and the knowledge that one soul in the universe appreciates you.

mindy said...

fabulous account of a stressful situation. I think that these types of experiences are made better by knowing you can share them on your blog.

We had the kids exchange valentines with our homeschool group, and everyone made a box. I had big plans of cooler boxes, but in the end we ran out of time and used 1/2 cereal box for each kid and stuck paper hearts on. And amazingly, they didn't care. Some of the kids just had paper bags. It was obvious the stuff that went inside that counted!

Amy said...

This is a great post! So well written and so funny with the pictures and everything.