Since she was only about six months old last year, this year was Ada’s first experience exchanging Valentines with friends. While she is much more aware of all the festivities this year, she’s still only a year and a half old, so most of the fanfare is for our benefit rather than hers.
Still, we had a lot of fun making the celebration fun for her and Ada really seemed to enjoy it.
For her Valentines, we went with a similar technique as Xavier’s, but I personalized the cards with each friend’s name on the computer and used the same font to address red envelopes for Ada’s playschool Valentine exchange.
Each child in the playschool class was tasked with bringing in a homemade mailbox or envelope to collect their Valentines and while I had big hopes of elaborate shoebox art, I wound up finding a great pink and white polka dot cardboard mini suitcase from a craft kit I bought a long time ago for Xavier and decided it was perfect. My mother sewed Ada a couple of toddler-sized messenger bags for Christmas and she loves stuffing them with little toys and carrying them around the house, so I figured this would be a nice addition to her collection.
I saved the task of decorating the suitcase for the night before the exchange and of course by then Ada was too pooped to be of any help. My procrastination turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the boys had a great time picking out stickers and covering Ada’s Valentine suitcase with sparkly Valentine fabulousness after she went to bed. It was wonderful to see them take such care with where each sticker would go, carefully pressing each one down out of worry that Ada might try to peel them off, and deciding to cover not just the outside of the box, but the inside, too. Those guys really do love their little sister and absolutely spoil her with affection and attention.
They were excited to send her off in the morning with her new accessory (which she happily posed with–notice the classic “Cheeeese!” pose in the top left photo in the collage below). The playschool kids had more fun than I would have imagined receiving their Valentines. The one containing a little mini flute and the message “You blow me away!” was a particularly big hit.
All in all, it was a fun celebration for all of us and a great reminder (for me and the boys) of just how fulfilling acts of kindness for others can be.