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The thing about Valentine’s Day is that it’s not for the kids. Yeah, they’ll get to make cards at school, but chances are they’ll be blocking half of the recipients from their Facebook accounts 20 years from now. But there should be none of this sending cards to parents nonsense, it’s just not right. My daughter made us both cards and whilst I know that to her it is just another occasion that gives her an excuse to make a card, it still felt a little inappropriate.
No, Valentine’s Day is all about couples, not family. The trouble is, of course, any couple with a young family will have something of a different Valentine’s to those without. Long gone are the days when you could prepare a lavish three-course meal, sprawl out together in the lounge sharing a box of chocolates and then onto the bedroom, happily leaving the washing-up until morning.
Half term didn’t help. By evening, the kids were still unnaturally hyper and because I’d been looking after them all day, I still hadn’t sorted the car insurance renewal which needed sorting by midnight.
You can see where this is going.
The wife had cooked a wonderful steak dinner which we had enjoyed in relative peace while the kids watched television in the other room. Then as we were enjoying our luxuriously chocolate dessert, two heads popped around the door to the dining room. I hurriedly finished my dessert.
Needless to say, we ended up on the sofa with the chocolates, but with my daughter feverishly poring over the list of varieties before reluctantly letting her mum and dad choose first. Then we found a romantic film buried in the TV schedules – it was called Valentine’s Day and pretty dreadful but, hey, occasion-appropriate. Not that there was a chance for me to watch it. Still wide awake, my boy was ultra-keen to build his Lego Knight Bus and needed help. I ended up being the one to follow instructions while both kids built things with the pieces I hadn’t used yet.
Now I know what you’re probably shouting out by now. Why didn’t you send them to bed? Or let them play on their own? Well, yes, it did cross my mind but do you know what, sitting there and building Lego with them felt like an all too rare moment to give up. A few Valentine’s Days down the line and they will happily give us space, they won’t want to know. Besides the wife was engrossed in this terrible film, wasn’t she?
Eventually the kids fell asleep and I carried them up to bed, by which time Pretty Woman had come on. A much, much better film which the wife never fails to watch.
And I was about to join her when I remembered…
‘Oh cripes,’ I said, ‘the car insurance…’
I’d got this great quote and I knew it would only take ten minutes to buy. But the website wouldn’t retrieve my details and, well…
An hour later I decided to give up and sort it in the morning. It was 11pm by now and at least Pretty Woman was still going.
Alas, my wife wasn’t. She was fast asleep.
Me? I went and did the washing up.
The next day I did finally manage to save over 200 pounds on my car insurance. Now I’m feeling EPIC.