We should've named her Jo

My daughter is attending a Valentine's Day party at her 4K class tomorrow. I knew about this little shindig in advance and picked up two sets of Valentine cards: X-Men for the boys and Princess Tiana (of Princess and the Frog fame) for the girls (don't bust my chops over the gender stereotypes - it seemed like a good idea at that time). I pulled out the class list and wrote the name of a recipient (twenty children in all) on each card. Some of the spellings seem a little wacky to me, but what do I know? There were a few student names that were iffy enough that I had to check with my daughter to confirm which ones have a penis and which do not.

I sat the kid on a stool at the kitchen counter and instructed her to start writing her name on each card. Instead of blasting through them as I'd hoped, she signed her name to one card. Then she applied a foam heart sticker to it. Then she layered a slightly smaller heart sticker on top of that one. And then added a third. She then folded the card in half and sealed it with a small paper sticker. Finally, she flipped it over and proceeded to use a marker to fill in all of the closed letters in her name. Then she waxed poetic about how much she likes that particular classmate.

Here's the detail I left out: my daughter's name contains eight letters. It is not the sort of name you can shorten into a nickname, which is one of the reasons I chose it. I could see that this process was going to be beyond excruciating. She completed three cards and then stated (and I quote), "I'm too tired to go on."

Then, things got a little worse. Her Kindercare teacher sent home a note announcing a "friendship party." The note instructed parents to send in twenty-two Valentines, and specified that each child should try to write their own name on each card. Fortunately, I had enough Valentines left over to cover the second set.

Okay, if you are doing the math, here's where we are: 42 valentines x 8 letters = 336 letters. = Hell. What should have been a fun little project has turned into: "WOULD YOU PLEASE SIGN YOUR NAME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD?!?!?" To make matters worse, she has about a 10% failure rate when writing her name. Occasionally she transposes a couple of letters. Then she wigs out and insists on replacing that particular card.

At the outset of the project, I handed her a marker for signing her name and warned her to be very careful with it. Apparently, when I was out of the room, she somehow made a 10-inch streak across the counter. Instead of telling me about it so that I could clean it up right away, she got a piece of paper and carefully taped it over the streak. Because, you know, I'd never think to move it or look under it.

We're down to the wire now, with about ten cards to go and half an hour before bedtime. Her dad yells "Sign your name!" periodically from the living room, but it's clear that the Valentine project is chiefly my problem (somehow, possession of ovaries = responsibility for everything).

So, Happy &%*$ing Valentine's Day to one and all.