I don’t understand myself.

I don’t know what is wrong with me. I’m serious. Is there a mental-health (or lack thereof) term for making everything in the world AS DIFFICULT AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE??? If there is, I have it.

As you may recall from my last freak-out around Halloween, I somehow managed to volunteer myself to be a room mom for both Kate’s and Sam’s classes. The only responsibilities are to plan the holiday parties. I say “only” like it’s no big deal. And it probably isn’t, for normal people. People who, unlike me, don’t complicate things just for fun.

For starters, both the parties are at the exact same time. So that’s helpful. Fortunately Andy’s school day ends right before the parties start, so he’s taking one and I’m taking the other. Which is great. But the planning? All me.

I’ve managed to keep Kate’s party pretty simple, actually. It’s all games, no crafts. Fourth graders can do things like toss marshmallows into Dixie cups and other highly-skilled activities that kindergartners can’t. Which, now that I think about it, means I have done this all EXACTLY BACKWARDS. It would have made more sense to have that party be the complicated one, and keep the kindergarten one simple.

But no.

Sam’s teacher suggested I plan four stations and have the kids rotate between them. They’ve got a table for putting icing and sprinkles on sugar cookies, one for making hand-print Valentines (because kindergartners and painted hands is a GREAT IDEA), one for making heart-shaped suncatchers out of construction/tissue/contact paper, and one for making necklaces out of hearts, straws, beads, and yarn. I have no idea how long any of this is going to take, and I don’t know how many parent helpers I’m going to have. I predict this will not end well. And I blame pinterest.

So, I’ve been busy stuffing goody bags, buying supplies, and cutting crap out of construction paper. I have spreadsheets and Word documents and spray adhesive and hole punches coming out the wazoo. All in preparation for what is likely to be a complete disaster.

Next time, someone remind me to feed the kids chocolate and let them play duck duck goose until the bus comes to pick them up.

Let me also say that my hat is off to preschool and elementary school teachers, because planning these things has nearly been the death of me. I call them “parties” and consider them “special occasions.” The teachers call it “Friday.” Appreciation for the prep work that they do each and every day is not lost on me. It’s a good thing they get paid so much. Oh, wait.

So, um, anyway… Happy Valentine’s Day. And don’t forget to never volunteer to be a room mom.

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  1. I think you might just be a *little* self-destructive. Maybe.

  2. Be thankful that your kids get the fun of a Valentine’s party. My children’s school does not allow classroom parties anymore for various reasons (religions, healthy good initiative, lack of parent participation, etc). Your kids and the other kids and their classes are going to have a blast whether or not things go exactly according to plan. Relax and enjoy it. As PTO President at my kids school I often feel I spend too much time stressing about the execution of an event that I am not able to enjoy just being there with my kids and enjoying them.

  3. The kiddos will love it! The teachers will love someone else doing the planning for a change. Sounds like lots of fun for those little heart-stealers.

  4. I would have thought you had learned your lesson last time!

  5. My Mother being a room mom is one of the best memories I have. I was so proud of her and what she did. They’ll thank you for it later. And maybe pay for the therapy!

  6. Wow, your parties sound deluxe. My kids’ school parties are mostly “here’s a plate of food from everything the parents sent in, and if you can look up long enough to play Valentine (Halloween) (Christmas) bingo, then we’re set.” Maybe a parent reads a holiday book, and then it’s off to the school bus.

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