The preschool students worked together to make these cards for the elementary students and teachers. They did most of the work while I was off teaching cyclamen Valentine art in the lunchroom, or helping the nappers settle down, so I was amazed at the results. The lead teacher came up with the idea from a picture of stick figures circling the globe, and from the discovery of a box of "worry dolls".
The children exchanged Valentines this morning. There were more handmade cards than I can ever recall, either made by the child or by the child with a parent. Another fun card was printed on photo paper with two snapshots of the student. That one will be a keeper.
There weren't many Disney princess or Barbie cards this year, although I still work in a severely magenta sequin ballet tutu environment. Outfits that just a few years ago would have been worn on Halloween, as a flower girl in a wedding, or for dress-up playtime at home are now considered appropriate everyday school attire. Those get-ups don't scare me nearly as much as pants that proclaim "SWEET" or "JUICY" across the rear (although frequently worn backwards by preschoolers). I can't imagine ever sending my sons off to Mothers-Day-Out or kindergarten in shorts with words on the rear or fly, let alone pants that announced "STUD" or "HUNK". I was just praying the boys would get to the restroom in time and then remember to flush, zip, and wash their hands!
I'm looking forward to reading Peggy Orenstein's book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Line of the New Girlie Girl Culture, having read the NYTimes and ALA Booklist reviews. Fifty years ago we played dress-up princesses in our mothers' old peignoirs and petticoats, although some girl always had to be the stepmother in a terrycloth bathrobe or the queen in a creepy fox stole. On a good afternoon it might be your turn to be the princess and meet Prince Charming. Girls now seem to feel entitled to be The Princess all day everyday.
Now it just ain't right to take photos of total strangers in public places, especially if those strangers are children. If only I could have! Lunching at Corner Bakery, I watched a four year old girl enter with her father. She was dressed in an eye-popper brown jumper with gigantic aqua polka dots. She had matching brown eyeglasses with tiny aqua dots and no lenses. Her hair was rubberbanded in some carrot sprout asymmetrical ponytails. In her right hand she dangled a tango Barbie by the ankles. In her left hand she dangled an upside-down Ken wearing nothing but a smile. Let's allow kids to be oblivious for a few more years.
Happy Valentines Day!
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder