Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Why You Might Not Want Your Preschooler to Make Her Valentines Out of Mexican Bingo Cards

Why not, right? I mean, they're so beautiful and also hip--perfect for every occasion. Which ones will she choose? you might wonder: the beautful green pear? A juicy slice of watermelon? A bird or tree or the "Sirena" mermaid? No. Give her some blank cards and a glue stick, and she will think romantically of hearts:




Happy Valentine's Day, fellow three-year-old! Enjoy these antique buttons and blibs and blobs of glue, and also this picture of my bulging and veiny corazon stuck through with an arrow like something you might get as a shish kebob at a Brazilian barbeque restaurant. I especially like her elegant touch of trimming the heart with fancy scissors. Or:


Sweet Valentine! You're so cute you make me think of the cutest little frog EVER! Also, oddly, of a pioneer bonnet. Oh--and of el Diablo, chipped apart with a pair of scissors into tiny, devilish, decapitated pieces. I love you! And you! I love you so much that

I thought immediately of Death! La Muerte, arriving with his romantic and murderous sickle! With also some scrippy scraps of paper, a die, and a wedge of doily. Happy Valentine's Day, my dear, doomed one.

40 comments:

  1. Hi-larious.

    It seems your Birdy shares my fascination with el muerte.

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  2. Oops...according to the card it's la muerte. Oh well, that's what i get for pretending to know Spanish.

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  3. Catherine,
    Your kids are awesome. Yes, I know it's not a new comment, but so often something you right about Ben or Birdy just makes my day.

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  4. You know I meant "write" right?! :-)

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  5. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Birdy can send me a valentine anytime! Thanks for sharing with us.

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  6. That last one...
    Best. Valentine. Ever.
    Death and his sickle of love!!

    Have a great Valentine's Day.

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  7. Having spent quite a bit of time in Mexico and even having played "La Loteria" a time or two, I can tell you that Birdy is right in tune with Mexican culture. Any self respecting Mexicana would have chosen those three cards as well - they cannot get enough of El Corazon, El Diablo y La Muerte. If only there were a Virgen de Guadelupe in the deck for her to choose, she would have been nominated for Mexican citizenship based soley on her artistic choices!

    - LT Garcia

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  8. How well I remember Fridays in junior high Spanish class. Fridays were Loteria! days...Mexican Bingo which was designed to help us learn our nouns. I still remember El Borracho and La Campana. I loved the mermaid, too.

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  9. Tina G5:52 PM

    I actually think Birdy is a up-and-coming avant garde artist- and you guys should be thinking about the School of Visual Arts in NYC asap. ;^) Cool stuff!

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  10. Anonymous6:15 PM

    The pioneer bonnet was a nice touch. It kind of tempered the other theme a bit. -Jess

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  11. Those are my most favorite Valentines ever.

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  12. Anonymous6:33 PM

    HA! And for some reason the commentary reminded me of those Weight Watcher cards...I can't stop snickering now!

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  13. Katie6:48 PM

    I just finished reading your new entries and loved the part where Birdy refers to Ben as Benny. My brother is also a Ben and when he was little we also called him Benny. It's a great name. :)

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  14. I LOVE these. You can't let her give them to friends, you have to make her make more so that you can secretly keep these.

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  15. That last one is priceless! Is it Valentine's Day or creepy Halloween? Too funny!

    Happy Hearts day to you and those two cutie pies....Michael too of course!

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  16. I really hope that Birdy's comrades appreciated her subversion/deconstruction of the holiday. ;) That devil thing was so, SO cool!

    Certain poet friends of mine would, by the way, love to receive a card emblazoned with the words "happy Valentine's day, my dear, doomed one." I wish I'd thought of it.

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  17. I NEEDED THAT LAUGH!!!
    That was so great. That first card sent me into deep spasms of laughter, and it only got better.

    What a perfect way to end the day.

    Thank you. :0)

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  18. This cracked me up!!

    Oh--and of el Diablo, chipped apart with a pair of scissors into tiny, devilish, decapitated pieces. I love you! And you! I love you so much that

    And I loved "Dear doomed one..."

    This is the best thing I've read all day. It made my Valentine's!

    thanks!

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  19. I love these Valentines. They tell a story. In Valentine #1, a tiny, off-kilter heart searches the (button) galaxy, to find a kindred spirit, "el corazon" - already wounded by the arrow of heartache. Will they find each other? Yes. In Valentine #2 - our star-crossed lovers, the Frog Prince and the Pioneering ("pioneering" because she can see past outward appearances i.e Frog to the beauty beneath i.e. Prince) young lady (symbolized by a bonnet) fall for one another. Their love is so strong that it can crush anything that stands in its way - even el Diablo himself. Yet tragically, in Valentine #3, we see that fanning the flames of love (with a doily) is a roll of the dice - sometimes, you win, and sometimes...well, el Muerte says it all.

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  20. Don't give these away!!! Oh, Valentine's day is over, I guess you already did. But you took pictures. Those are pretty much the best Valentine's day cards I've ever seen. And they're better together.

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  21. I have those same bingo cards!!!!!!!!!!!! Well...mine arent cut up. :)

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  22. Vanessa is brilliant and clearly understands the deeply romantic artiste in Birdy.

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  23. Anonymous9:44 AM

    OHMYGOSH! Those are the GREATEST valentines EVER! You have to forgive all the capitalization - but oh my goodness - that Birdy is a little love bird! I'm just cracking up - Happy Valentine's Day to you all. And I don't want to be anonymous, but it seems that is my only option...

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  24. That is just the cutest thing i have ever seen.

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  25. This is my "Crafty" post - on ACID!

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  26. OMG, did you know everyone was going to get all hand-wringy over your cartoon post? Because OMG. What would they say if they knew my toddler watches (and LOVES) Sense and Sensibility? Or that, at 17 months, if I don't start it quickly enough, he grabs his remote control and waves it at the TV? Oy. The judgements. Lawdy.

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  27. Priceless. Absolutely priceless.

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  28. So glad to see you here in blogland, Catherine! Your book (Waiting for Birdy) is still my number one, "Hey! You're pregnant!" gift. My buddy and I observed a moment of silence when you stopped writing over at Babycenter. This is the best news I've had all February. February, as you may well know, being the Suckiest Month. Birdy seems to understand.

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  29. Forget Art School, I'm sure there is a gallery that would show these immediately. Besides, the art world prefers its superstars be young.

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  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing. I laughed out loud and made my 3-year old wonder what was wrong with me? Too funny! I am so unhip, I knew nothing about Mexican postcards. We were hip enough to have Brenna's big 3-year old B followed by my renna on the 4 cards that I managed to get her to do. The other 20-something cards? All me. Hmmm...

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  31. How gorgeous are those?? My 14 year old son would love those Valentines- he has such a beautifully twisted sensibility!

    She's a deep, dark beauty that Birdy!

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  32. i love their fabulous sense of body and death at this age. and how it's appropriate for all things!

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  33. I thought that Valentines in our house were funny...mostly snippets of construction paper hearts taped together with thick yellow lab tape....I need those cards....they would have been perfect!!!

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  34. What's especially moving about the bottom card is the doily cut in the shape of a fan, which one imagines as beckoningly fetchingly at Senor Muerte. Ah, grim flirtation, grim fandango! But then, the die... inauspiciously rolled to one... Fortune decrees no love match here? For better or for worse?

    Brilliant.

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  35. These are keepers!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Happy belated v-day.

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  36. I would love to be inside that Birdy's brain for a day or two! She should design her own line of cards for Hallmark: "Death on your mind? Enjoy these Valentine's cards for the moody, morose emo rocker teen in all of us!"

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  37. Oh my! Thank you so much for sharing Birdy's valentines! Your commentaries had me laughing so hard I was crying and I had to call my husband over needless to say he loved them and was soon laughing as well!

    I would love it if my sons had brought home such a nice and thoughtful valentine rather then the generic candy filled ones they recieved.

    Thank you!

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  38. My daughter has that same bingo set! I love to beat her at bingo, so I wouldn't have let her cut them up even if she'd asked. But I almost wish I had.

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  39. alison10:39 PM

    Oh my lord. My husband is officially worried about me, I have been sitting here SHRIEKING I've been laughing so hard. I hope Birdy's buddies hold on to the valentines, those are frame-worthy. Did you send along your commentary for their parents' enjoyment I hope?

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  40. So good for a hard, hard laugh. Ah, I needed that!

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