Not your typical Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day has come and gone in the Patterson household this year.
I admit I felt a little extra love around the house this time.
My husband Jason surprised me with two lamps that I had been eyeing at a local store over the last few weeks.
Our daughter Elsie celebrated her first Valentine’s Day.
And our son James was the most excited one in the house with his gifts, candy and cards.
But there were a few moments in between there that worried me for a minute.
When we picked James up from daycare that afternoon, he had a bag filled with candy, cards, stickers, cups and toys. The bag was even tied together with a heart balloon.
His eyes were the size of baseballs as he explained to me all the gifts he received during their class party. He even had an orange ring around his mouth - the telltale sign that he’s been eating Cheetohs.
Baby Elsie was even given a soft tiger with her own helium-filled balloon.
The sight I saw when we got into the house was unbelievable. Within seconds, James was on the kitchen floor with his bag.
Ripping into it like a pinata, he began to pull out an assortment of peanut butter cups, gummy lips, chocolate hearts, pastel hard candy and other sugar -filled sweets.
I quickly grabbed the bag and placed it on top of the kitchen counter. I explained to James that he was not about to eat candy for supper.
A few minutes later, I presented James with his gift from me. I had found a heart shaped box of candy with Spongebob Squarepants on it.
I told him he could have one piece before supper, but that was all.
James settled for that and headed off to his room to play with his dinosaurs.
Giving Elsie her bath, Jason set up the two lamps that I had been wishing for in the living room. I was so surprised when I saw them. In other words, he did good.
Then I was pushed out of the kitchen. Jason said he was going to cook me a special supper for Valentine’s Day.
Settling into my recliner and starting a movie I had wanted to watch, the evening was going perfect.
Until James came running into the living room with a halfway eaten candy bar in his hand.
“This is delicious,” he said, shoving the candy into his mouth.
“Who gave you that,” I asked. “I told you no more candy until later.”
James turned around and ran off into the kitchen. I rolled my eyes and pulled off my shoes so that I could continue relaxing.
Then I noticed a cloud of smoke coming into the living room. It wasn’t a burnt smell. But it was that smell of something cooking pretty hard in a cast iron skillet.
James came running back into the living room, this time with a pack of Skittles.
“There’s a lot of heat in there,” he said, smiling.
I made my way into the kitchen, but I had to swat the smoke away with a dish rag.
The entire house was filled with smoke. Jason was in the dining room, raising up windows. James was in a corner, hidden by the smoke, shoving Gummy Worms into his mouth. And Elsie was in her stroller, surrounded by smoke, rubbing her eyes and eating a sock at the same time.
“What is happening in here,” I asked.
“The recipe wasn’t lying,” Jason said. “It said it would make a lot of smoke. I had to sear the steaks on each side before I shoved them in the oven.”
By this time, James was running through the house with a couple of powder-filled Pixie Sticks. The protective smoke screen had allowed him to get back into the candy bag undetected.
After putting baby Elsie down to sleep and airing out the house, I had a wonderful plate of steak, broiled tomatoes and crisp salad waiting on me.
Jason even told me he would handle the kids that night. With a good book and a closed door, I went to sleep with no problem.
The next day, Jason looked really tired. James didn’t even want to get out of bed.
Apparently, the two were up half the night because James had a sugar high that would not quit.
“He is to never get c-a-n-d-y,” Jason spelled. “He just can’t handle it. He was up all night. He finally crashed.”
So, my Valentine’s Day this year was different than most others. But it was still a wonderful time with my family.
Some girls got an evening at a fancy restaurant, a dozen roses, gourmet chocolate or a piece of fine jewelry.
I got two lamps, a nice supper, a smoke-filled house, a teething baby and a hyped up four year old.
And I loved it.