The whole thing where kids take valentines to school for their classmates isn't my friend. I used to be really on top of my game and personalize things for each kid, and hand make all sorts of super fun things. I send those to school with Micah (because the other kids never wanted those kind of "embarrassing" things) and I thought I was Pinterest Mom. It was a good feeling. That feeling lasted for about 3 years, and then I realized that the parties I was getting notices for were involving his mainstream homeroom class, which had approximately 4x the amount of kids in it than his Life Skills class does, which I'd sent the fun things in for. So in reality, I was sending nothing instead of fabulous things.
That was probably the beginning of my inferiority complex when it comes to things like school parties.
Now I'm never sure if parties are for his Life Skills class or for his mainstream class, and notes to teachers never prove helpful in getting answers. I pretend that I know what I'm doing, but in reality am never sure of much of anything. How many kids am I sending for? Is just one class having a party, or just the other? Or both, perhaps? For this reason, personalization is out of the question.
So are home baked goods. They're out of the question. That started way back, decades ago, when kids got home baked treats for Halloween with razor blades in them. After that, anything home baked is taboo. Anything home baked is also taboo because it could have have nuts in it, or gluten, or anything else that kids are allergic to and you don't know they are.
So that leaves me with the dilemma of what to give kids as treats at school parties. I always end up with wrapped chocolates, and always have a bit of a complex while giving it because of all the parents that are all, "SUGAR IS OF THE DEVIL AND MY PRESHUS WEE CHILD CAN'T EVER HAVE ANY EVER." So now I'm giving those kids contraband, knowing they'll either scarf it down so fast their parents will never know they got it, or it'll get tossed in the trash. The alternative to chocolate (or candy, really) is a juice box or an applesauce cup or fruit snacks. (Although there are those that will argue that fruit snacks are just as sugary and evil as chocolate and how dare you give my kid those awful, cavity-inducing things?) If I send parent-happy juice boxes or applesauce cups, the kids have just labeled Micah as the lamest kid ever.
And this is where I have more of a conundrum than most other parents. Micah has a strike against him already, because of that DS he was born with. I struggle with things like how he's dressed or the constant food residue around his mouth, or his unruly hair. Kids judge each other harshly, and being the "different" kid already isn't an easy thing to overcome. The fact that he does dress oddly (sweat pants every day? Why yes!) and have constant food residue around his mouth despite constant wiping just makes him even more different. And sometimes, to kids, different isn't good. We've been so fortunate in that Micah has been readily accepted everywhere he's been, but the day is coming when he won't be. I'm not delusional, just biding my time and enjoying the moment. So I don't want him to be the kid that gives THAT for school parties. I want him to be the kid that everyone loves to get things from. I choose to send chocolate to make the kids happy rather than applesauce to make the moms happy. It's the kids he interacts with, therefore they're more important to please.
This year, however, I just realized that it was Valentine's week about Wednesday. You know, when the note came home in Micah's folder that the class was having a party. (As a bonus, it was signed by the teacher, so I knew which class was partying!) (Also, don't judge me for living in a bubble.) This gave me almost zero time to plan, so I just bought a box of cards for Micah to sign his name to. After I got home I realized that I should have bought chocolates, too. I didn't. So now I'm debating between EVIL TABOO home baked cookies or SUPER LAME straws with cut-out mustaches on them. Either way, Micah is screwed and it's all my fault. Again. Of course.
The school has saved me from my own demise this year. I got the call that there will be a 2 hour delay in the morning. While I don't have plans to run to town to get the missing chocolates, I do expect the delay to turn into a cancellation because the weather is only to get worse and not better through the early morning hours. Should this not pan out, perhaps Micah will be too sick to go to school tomorrow. Sick of school. That's legit, right?