Crafts and Pinterest. Those are two things that just do not do it for me. I mean, I just don’t Pinterest. (Is that how you even use it in a sentence?) I made an account years ago but decided there was simply no point in looking at things that I not only have no time to do but would totally be awful at doing. So, you can only imagine how much I dread Valentine’s Day boxes.
I mean why?! What is the point of them? Can’t we all just bring in treats and place them in grocery bags? I promise I will spend some extra time on the treats if it gets me out of doing a box.
Heck, last year we didn’t even have a shoe box. I mean, who doesn’t have a shoe box? It wasn’t like we hadn’t bought any shoes. I searched my house and then pulled the Cheerios bag out of the cereal box and we decorated that with construction paper. Mom for the win.
This year, I saved a box especially for this occasion. I was not going to be the cereal box mom again. Of course, the day I went to find the box I had saved — you know, the one I hid in a great spot — I couldn’t remember where I put it. Thankfully, this Mama may not be a Pinterest Mama, but she is an Amazon Mama. So Amazon box to the rescue.
My Little Pony was the theme picked by Miss Maylie this year. That same Amazon box covered in construction paper carried some My Little Pony stamps, stickers and punch-out pictures to color — perfect for a 4 year old to complete her own Valentine’s Day box.
I mean, let’s get real, parents. We know your second grader didn’t put together that top-notch Pokémon box or awesome LOL Surprise Doll box (which Maylie would have loved, so please do not let her see it). But see, some of us Mamas do not have a crafty bone in our body. So your over-the-top amazing Valentine’s Day box just makes us feel inadequate. I promise I am still a great mom even if I don’t know how to Pinterest.
As a kid, I remember doing these stupid Valentine’s Day boxes. I didn’t like them then, either. I am pretty sure I did little heart people with the accordion legs and arms on every side — you know, when you flip the construction paper one way then the other and back again. We didn’t do over-the-top cartoon characters. We did our own. And so, my kids will as well.
Ok, I helped. You see, Maylie started coloring the punch-out card of one of her favorites ponies and I started thinking I could be crafty. Ha! I decided the stamps I ordered could totally be used as actual characters on the box. But I didn’t think glue would hold them, so I went from the inside of the box and pushed them up through the box. Then I could tape them from the bottom. Genius, right? Until there were pieces of gnawed up box at the bottom of each character.
Great, this looks awful. Ugh. But, they are stamps, which means they came with ink, and we do have cotton balls. Aren’t these ponies from the clouds? Maybe that’s Care Bears but, honestly, who really knows that? Together, Maylie and I added some colorful clouds around our stamp people. Take that, Pinterest.
Once she finished coloring her masterpiece, we found the perfect spot for it on the box. And with some glue and a bottle of Tums to hold it in place (hey, we improvise around here), it was all set. However, Maylie was a bit concerned that she would have to keep the bottle of Tums on the box when she took it in. No worries, I advised it was just to help hold it in place while it dried (and while Mommy figured out a different plan).
We were almost finished. At least, I had reached the end of my craft rope. I handed her a bunch of stickers and told her to go to town. She picked about seven stickers to put on the box. That was all she wanted. Great. Just great.
She declared it was finished and smiled from ear to ear. It didn’t matter to her that it was just a thrown-together box with some stamps, glue, stickers, cotton balls and cut outs. It was ours. We did it together.
Maybe it will never compare to her classmate’s parent-made project, but it was perfect to her. And I will take that pride any day over anything pinned on Pinterest.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.