Monday 13 February 2012

A relaxing weekend and what I don't get...

We had one of those rare weekends where we weren't rushing round like a bunch of loons. Ebi-kun had football Saturday morning and on the way home we stopped at a Chinese place for lunch which is always busy so we figured it must be good. It wasn't until we sat down that we realised that it was a ramen shop. Me and ramen don't get on, it is years since I last ate it, I do like it but it doesn't like me. As predicted about 30 minutes after I had eaten I started to feel queasy, we stopped at the supermarket on the way home and I just made it to the toilet to regurgitate the ramen - urgh. never again.

Daddy-ebi is of that Star Wars obsessed generation and he can't wait until the 3D film comes out next month. Ebi-kun hasn't watched any of the films so that is what we did in the afternoon and now he wants to be a Jedi Knight (of course). He can't just watch a film, he has to analyse it and ask a million and one questions so hopefully he has got that out of his system and we will be able to watch the 3D one in peace! That was pretty much Saturday done and dusted, then yesterday we had some friends round for lunch, the boys all played together nicely and us grown ups got to relax, I think all weekends should be like this!

And what don't I get?.....the whole Valentines thing, OK, I get giving your 'loved one' something special. What I don't understand is giving something to everyone in the class and even more so, parents having to make little gifts for each class member. I know there is the argument that it's 'not fair' otherwise because the good looking/popular kids get lots of Valentines and the not so cute/popular might not get any but isn't that just life? Shouldn't it be viewed as a life lesson? I fell in the second category and it didn't leave any mental scars on me! Making everything so fair and safe, it all seems to be be going too far. This week I heard that some Montessori schools in America (can't remember the state now) but they are going to be banned from having glass/breakables in the class and already they are not allowed things like the smallest blocks in the pink tower because it is a potential chocking hazard! How will children ever learn how to handle things properly if they wrapped in bubble wrap the whole time (metaphorically speaking of course, bubble wrap is a suffocation hazard!)

And giving the same thing to every child doesn't it all lose it's meaning? In Japan on Feb 14th, girls give boys chocolates then on March 14th boys give girls marshmallows, luckily for us the yochien sent out a notice last year banning it all. Bah humbug some may say but to be honest, I would rather have it this way. If Ebi-kun really wants to give his 'girl' some marshmallows then he is going to have to come up with a sneaky way to get them to her.

So, what do you think? I have lost the plot or do you agree? Is Valentines celebrated where you are, if so, what is the usual way to celebrate?


  1. No Valentine's Day in Russia, so this is all new to me! I have NO idea what I am doing!
    My son is 4y3m and he is having a Valentine's party tomorrow at his preschool. He needs to bring a Valentine for everyone in his class (11 kids+2 teachers). I went to Target and got some Skittles candies with stickers, pink play dough and Lenticular Valentine cards by Rachel Hale (all from the Valentine's aisle).
    So, this is what he is taking to school tomorrow:
    By the way, my son went to a Montessori school last year and they did not have a Valentine's Day celebration. No Valentines or gifts were allowed.
    I don't really have an opinion about Valentine's celebrations at the moment. Ask me again in 3-4 years from now :)
    I love reading about your life in Japan!

    1. I hope your gifts went down well!
      I am beginning to suspect the candy companies and dentists are behind it all!

  2. I love reading about your life in Japan, too. I'm all for kids learning life lessons. If you coddle them too much, they grow up with unrealistic expectations and are surprised when bad things happen or even when people expect them to act responsibly, etc.

    However, as a retired teacher, I think if a school celebrates Valentine's Day, and if a child is giving out Valentines, he/she should give one toeach classmate. A holiday is no time for a kid to feel unpopular.

    And goofy though Valentines seem, I remember sitting and studying every one during our class Valentine parties when I was a kid and being delighted by the whole thing!

    My husband (of 37 years!!!) and I don't exchange Valentines, or any other gifts, for that matter. Well, okay, I throw a shirt or jammies his way at Christmas or his birthday, but no big deal, and he certainly doesn't buy me presents. But you know what? He's a wonderful husband every single day, and that's the only gift I'll ever need ;)

    1. I quite like the idea of kids making a card themselves to give to their classmates, it is the whole bags of candy packaged together by the moms for the kids to give out that I don't get, I really can't see the point and it makes me wonder what the children are getting out of it all. Valentines = getting a big bag of candy?

  3. It feels good to have a relaxed weekend!! I understand what you mean as far as Valentines, and I feel this way about a lot of "holidays". What I am having the kiddos do here are making our friends cards at school and they can pass them out. It keeps the kids involved because most of the time the cards made at home the parents are doing them. No fun for the kids or the parents it makes this a win-win situation. Also I supply a special snack, and life just continues. As far as the restrictions of materials being used in the classroom I think it about how well they are being introduced to handling the materials, and supervision. Nevertheless depending on the age I am aware of a lot of things that Child care licensing bands from approved facilities of Day Cares/Preschool. But I bet if you were verbal enough and could explain the importance they may waive the restrictions. I am glad I am not the only one not getting things lately:) Thank you for sharing.

    1. I like your way of doing it and that is how it should be as far as I am concerned. I recently saw a report on poverty and children at school, made me wonder what those kids whose parents don't have enough money to put dinner on the table do.

      The restrictions thing I saw on one of the Montessori forums, I don't know what can be done, the whole thing seems ridiculous. maybe I just getting old lol.

  4. In Australia, I have never seen or heard of a valentine's day party or any children giving valentines to every child in their class. When I was at school, kids never really bothered with valentine's day and if they did, they only gave something to a boy or girl they liked and it had nothing to do with school. I don't think it should have anything to do with school and no child should be expected to buy/make presents for their whole class. Adults and teens in a relationship often celebrate valentine's day by buying chocolates, jewellery, going out for dinner etc. but it's not promoted to children here. Honestly, while I quite like a lot of the valentine's day crafts that I see on the internet, I don't really get the point of most of them. They don't really fit into celebrating valentine's day in least from what I've seen anyway. :-)

    1. Growing up it was pretty much the same as you. Here the chocolate companies push it a lot and it has gotten more popular in recent years, this year they seem to be pushing for girls to give to their female friends, probably because a female friend will give in return and hence spend more money on chocolate!


  5. Hi Jo
    I discovered the whole valentine marketing parade when I lived in the UK. It was a bit strange to me to see people getting cards, Teddy bear etc. In France we dont celebrate valentine as such. I got used to it though but i did nor expect boyfriends to celebrate it. Though my husband did buy expensive bouquet for quite a while I said that I did not want him to spend $$$ on a special occasion. Silly me now I don't get any ... After 14 years of living together . I buy my own flowers;)
    Again I was shocked to see that it was celebrated it here in Canada. Same nonsense ... At school they ask kids ti wear pink or red and we've been doing homemade cards since preschool! But as the years go by Manob us able to write something herself. We tend to go with a heart chocolate for each kid. Some parents are into this no candy policy which I totally agree with. Manon among the crap candy that are already in the rubbish bin got pencil, eraser with hearts or even small notepads or stickers. I guess next year we will go with something similar. I'm not fond of special day as a teacher( pj day, halloween and such). The only one that I totally agree on is special Jean day for charity and anti bullying day when everyone is wearing pink( even boys) that make more sense to me.
    On another hand my husband as a restaurant director see lots of silly things on valentine day. People do naff things on valentine day!

    1. and here I was thinking that the French were big on romance, maybe every day is Valentines day in France ;o)
      I have to agree that a lot of it is daft, a friend posted a picture of her kids and the candy they bought home from school, it filled the table! At least the candy companies and dentists are making money hey?


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