Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be Mine...Wait...Never Mind.

I’m not even sure how it happened. Or what happened.

Two days ago, Lily (4) came to me with the Usborne I Can Draw book. “Can you draw me a ballerina princess?” she asked.

“Sure,” I answered. I carefully followed the directions and ended up with something that remotely resembled their drawing. “Do you want me to get the crayons for you, so you can color it?” I asked her.

“Well, Mommy, can you color it?” She meticulously chose each crayon and dictated exactly where I was to color. When I finished, she grabbed the paper and said, “This is your valentine. But I’m not going to give it to you until the holiday. It’s a surprise.”

I forgot about my “surprise” until yesterday, when she came crying up to me. “All right, Mom. I’m NOT giving you a surprise for Valentine’s Day.”

Thinking she was probably acting in retaliation to what she perceived as some injustice I had put upon her, I said, “Well, that’s OK.”

“I WAS going to give it to you, but I hid it and now it fell behind your dresser and you’re never going to have a surprise for the holiday.”

I explained that I could help her retrieve it and went upstairs to look.

She waited until after I had shined the light behind the dresser, after I had cleared the top of the dresser, and after I had moved the dresser out of the way to say, “Not that dresser, the other one.”

Dresser back. Top rearranged. Flashlight moved.

The whole procedure was repeated on the OTHER dresser, revealing several dust bunnies and the long-missing cat brush, but no surprise valentine. Lily was now furious with me, sure that it was my fault the valentine was not behind the dresser. Exasperated, I shoved the dresser back harshly and my eye fell on a small, triangular shaped piece of paper that tumbled around the top of the dresser. It was taped securely with about ten pieces of Scotch tape. “Is THIS it?” I asked her.

“Oh, YES! Mommy! You found it!!! I think I’ll give it to the Muchler girls. Won’t that be nice?”

I don’t even know what to say. I guess I can’t think of a more selfless valentine I have never received. She couldn’t have put less of herself into that if she…well, didn’t try.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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