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For young couples and newlyweds, Valentine’s Day means pulling out all the stops and showing that special someone how much they mean to you.  It’s an outward display of affection, highlighted by flowers, chocolates, giant teddy bears, and sappy cards.

Men spend time, money, and much of their sanity in order to properly woo their ladies; while ladies spend time and money picking the perfect outfit to be wooed in.  V-Day requires weeks, if not months, of prep time, and if all goes according to plan, it can be a memory that never fades away.

For parents of young children, Valentine’s Day means it’s Tuesday.

Yep, things change when you go from wooing your baby to wiping your baby’s backside.  Those months of preparation you used to give to this holiday seem like a lifetime ago when the only giant teddy bears are the ones lining your daughter’s crib.  You used to decorate your bedroom with rose pedals and candles and those little colored hearts that tasted more like chalk than, well…chalk.  Today, the only candles being lit are on your daughter’s Justin Bieber face cake.

I recently asked my best friend what he and his wife had planned for the big day.

We’ll probably grab some Chinese or Indian food and once the little guy goes to bed, open a bottle of wine, and sing along to Comcast Cable Karaoke.” Was his response.

20-year-old me might have responded with a laugh and a snarky comment about being lame.  30-year-old me responded with, “Man, that sounds…awesome!”

Yep…things change.

This year however, the wife and I had a really exciting evening planned.  We had been hearing for weeks about a movie coming to television on February 13th, and while it wasn’t technically Valentine’s Day, it was the perfect opportunity to make the night special.  Last night, I arrived home from work in a state of excitement and anticipation.  It had been awhile since Jen and I had planned a date so far in advance, and the idea of watching a film while cuddling on the couch with my wife seemed too good to be true.  Quiet evenings like that are few and far between these days with Iz and The Jakester constantly cramping our style.

So upon my arrival, I quickly prepared dinner for us and the kids and while the rugrats yelled infant slang at one another while throwing 92% of their dinner on the floor, Jen and I exchanged loving glances from across the table.  After dinner and cleanup, it was time to get the kids dressed for bed.  We were on a schedule here and despite their best efforts to delay the nighttime routine, we were not about to let these munchkins ruin our Valentine’s Day Eve plans.

With pajamas on and teeth brushed, we knew we had made it.  The timing was perfect and our special night was going to go off without a hitch.  We looked at each other lovingly and felt the world melt away around us.  Then we picked up our  children and softly carried them to…

…the couch.

It was 7 o’clock and time for the Disney Channel Exclusive Premiere of “Jake and The  Neverland Pirates: Peter Pan Returns”.  After weeks of waiting in palpable anticipation, the time had finally come.  We sat back, Izzy with Jen and Jake with me, and settled in for our special movie night.  Isn’t love great?!

Yep…things change.

Happy Valentine's Day Sweetheart...now is 8:45pm too early to go to bed?

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