It began earlier than planned on that very wet Friday morning with some fort building - which is harder than it looks. You see these things on Pinterest and they look completely reasonable and not time consuming whatsoever, but there you are 2 hours later with your whole living room rearranged and a bewildered toddler judging your lack of survival skills and coordination. Eventually I made a pretty cute fort with a fabulous interior design and Reubs made it a little more manly with a dinosaur door guard. After a while I was banished because ALL of the dinosaurs and ALL of the toys needed to be inside out of the rain. Every so often I'd hear a holler from Reuben asking me what I wanted for dinner and he'd prepare it in his 'kitchen' (a bowl of chocolate buttons and a spoon). Fat Friday was also held in the fort that evening and we made an executive decision (by that I mean I asked a question and he didn't say no for once) to name it Fort Friday.
After he konked out in a sea of dinosaurs, I cleaned the whole house, blew up 20 heart shaped balloons, and covered the living room in heart shaped sweets. I completed the look with a little box of diggers wrapped up heart shaped wrapping paper. You would think I have time on my hands. I don't. I really don't. But when I do something, I don't do it by halves. And if that means staying up until 2am googling how to make heart shaped pancakes - then that's what I'll do.
Naturally I was so tired the next morning, I didn't even hear Reubs get up. He came into my room and stroked my cheek whispering 'Mummieeeeee... Beccaaaaaaa.. Mummieeeee.. I got bawoons an I got sweeties'. He then hit me across the head with a balloon and I decided I only had myself to blame for that. We went all out for breakfast and Reuben constructed a haribo and baked bean omelette - every toddler's dream. We sat there talking about dalmatians, the moon, and overindulging in bacon and marshmallows. I couldn't help but think that I would be horrified if I had a boyfriend/husband who interrupted my valentine's with Reubs and I couldn't spend the day doing all those activities that we love. That stubbornness is probably something I should work on in the future if God ever brings a guy into my life (which we will have talked about for a loonnggggg time before He does) - but for now my 2 year old guy is my perfect valentine. Even if I've been picking marshmallows and jellybeans off my furniture and clothes for a week.
Before heading out I gave him the present that he somehow hadn't noticed yet, the hearts probably camouflaged it with the rest of the room. As his face lit up at the little box of diggers and tractors, I reminded him that his girlfriend at creche wouldn't do this for him. I'm forever dreaming of the day he brings a girl home and she is sweating with nerves because she knows I am the most important woman in his life.
We spent our afternoon at the glorious Helen's Bay near Bangor where I planned to have a romantic, leisurely stroll… and instead I learnt some valuable lessons. 1. Reuben doesn't do leisurely 2. Reverse psychology doesn't work. I got very impatient with Reuben running riot and stalking families with dogs. I also found it too painful to watch his grey jeans repeatedly roll around in dirt. So I pretended to walk the other way and made sure not to look back (the first rule of reverse psychology). Eventually I gave in and realised I could no longer see my son. I ran for what seemed like 74895 years until I found the stubborn little monkey sitting on the sand with his hat, shoes, socks, coat, and almost jeans off, and he had gathered a mountain of stones, ready to chuck them at passersby/me. Every ounce of my being wanted to pick up a stone and throw it at Reuben himself, but I would never do such a thing/there were too many people around.
After scrubbing his jeans until they were sparkling and gorging on some pre-dinner marshmallows, we headed to Cafe Renoir on Botanic for our dinner date. I'm only calling it a dinner date because every other table had couples who were on dates and I refuse to think that we were any different. Whilst Reuben threw cutlery at the next table and screamed 'BOY COME HERE' at the waitor when he was ready for his ice cream, I told myself several times 'It's okay... no one has noticed... we are no different than them...' Thankfully, embarrassment isn't a feeling I often experience any more and I held my head high as I exited the restaurant with Reuben under my arms and sat on the ground with him outside as he tantrum-ed himself out.
We went home and bathed before watching Beauty and the Beast. Unfortunately we didn't spend Valentine's completely alone as the Asda delivery guy delivered my groceries... whilst I was mid-shower. I answered the door towel-clad in a panic and the man graciously allowed me to finish my shower and get dressed before he brought my groceries in. That will teach me not to get so hyped up about Valentine's, forgetting to buy groceries and have to get a delivery. We ended our day with a fabulous night's sleep before church the next day where I was in charge of the kids. I recreated the Valentine's decór and told them all about Reuben's mischief the day before, but assured them that I loved him despite it all. I assured them that I know how to love Reubs because God loved me first. And I'm pretty down with celebrating that kind of love on Valentine's too.
If you have read my blog before you will know that Reuben and I are serial daters. However, heart shaped foods are just too attractive not to make this a tradition. And I fully intend on following through with this tradition for as long as I can. Yes - I will be that mother in law. Although, next year he better pay for dinner.