This morning's grand exit was extra-cacophonous around here, complicated by all manners of Valentine paraphernalia.
There were the 70-some-odd Valentine cards, paintstakingly written and folded and sealed with tiny sparkly stickers... Little foil-covered chocolates attached, and pencils-and-decorative-erasers for the older, "cooler" crowd. There were the treats, in the form of trays of freshly baked cupcakes, adorned with sticky icing and a confetti of coloured sprinkles.
To top it off, I was in the classroom again today, and was dragging my own bag full of supplies, including a hastily assembled arsenal of Valentine-themed story books. (Quite honestly, I don't know WHAT I was thinking at ten o'clock last night when I pulled them all off the shelves... Little brains and bodies hopped up on **SUGAR!!** cannot be calmed by even the most brilliant and entertaining authors, as it turns out...)
Contrary to the theme of the day, there was a considerable amount of shouting and screeching and name-calling as the females of the household attempted to bolt out our back door in time for the bell. Such was the stress of the moment. But somehow, we managed to get all the right stuff in all the right backpacks, and everyone dressed in the full winter uniform of coats-boots-hats-mitts-and-YES-you-HAVE-to-wear-your-scarf...
I was about to pull the door shut when my husband caught me by the arm, and waggled his eyebrows.
Him: Have a good VALENTINE'S DAY! I'll see you tonight!
Me: (fretting, and in a hurry) Yep. If I live that long...
Him: You'd better. I'll be waiting for you!
Me: (eyeing him suspiciously) Hah. You're just afraid I'll leave you alone with three kids to look after...
Him: No, seriously. It's Valentine's weekend!
Me: (rolling eyes and sighing) Dear man, we've been THROUGH THIS. There's a recession going on! And we've been manacled together for nearly twenty years, now, in a bond so tight we couldn't escape one another if we TRIED. We agreed! Low-key Valentines this year. No shopping!! NO SPENDING.
Him: (gleefully) Oh... come on! I never agreed to that.
Me: Yes, you did, as a matter of fact. And you'd better stick to it. I haven't done anything for you except buy you a card, and if you do any more, you'll make me feel guilty.
Him: (swaggering off) Babe, THAT'S what Valentine's Day is all about.
I wonder if it's too late to start knitting...