If there’s one that that annoys me, it is boxes of character driven Valentines.

Okay, so in the grand scheme of things, that’s actually not so bad. Still, whenever I thought of my children handing out Valentine’s to their classmates, I pictured handmade cards or heart shaped cookies or little heart crayons. I pictured paper lace doilies and rubber stamped hearts. I pictured piles of pink construction paper and hours of crafting fun.

I did not picture Star Wars and Hello Kitty.

And I certainly did not picture punching out slits and inserting pencils into a holographic photo of Tinkerbelle.

Oddly enough, that’s exactly what I’m doing today.

A week ago, I found a few brilliant homemade Valentine ideas. And by “brilliant”, I mean easy, cheap, and cute.

I was not prepared for Joseph’s insistence that all the boys in his class want Star Wars Valentines and all the girls wanted Fairies or Princesses. No matter how I tried to bargain, to cajole, to hype him up, he wouldn’t budge.

Joseph came home from school with a list of 32 classmates, alphabetized but not categorized by gender. Which makes deciding if Adrian is a girl or a boy somewhat difficult. And asking Joseph results in a shrug and “I don’t know Adrian.” Which then makes me question his observation and social skills as well as the effectiveness of 32 children in the classroom.

I finally caved and found myself standing in the pink and red festooned aisle of Kmart and buying characters.

I have a feeling it won’t be the last time.