Saturday, February 8, 2014


February is not my favorite month. I don't hate it with a grueling passion, but there are some serious drawbacks to this time of year.

Everywhere we have lived it has always been ridiculously cold and snowy for most of those 28 (or 29) short days. (Turns out I have low coping skills when the thermometer creeps below 0' Fahrenheit and I have to be out in it digging my car out of the snowdrift that was a parking lot for the forth time that day.)

And the kids.... People raising children in climates that don't get frostbite cold and dump snow regularly have no idea how good they have it to not be dealing with things like the sheer hassle of getting them into 12 articles of winter clothing before they are allowed to leave the house in the morning. Not to mention the problems when things like snow boots get left at school (it's ok, it only snowed like another 8 inches overnight, your sneakers are totally fine) or how they will come off the bus carrying their coats instead of wearing them (no seriously, it is single digits out here, WHY ARE YOU NOT WEARING YOUR NICE EXPENSIVE WINTER JACKET THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE KEEPING YOU WARM??).

At least mine are old enough that they can (sorta) get their own snow pants on when I tell them to, and (maybe) old enough to deal with their choices of not putting on their coats making them cold. Small babies and the cold are just a terrible combination. You don't want to leave the baby alone in the house while you go pre-heat the car, but then you certainly don't want to make the baby sit in her carseat in the sub-zero temperatures while you attempt to scrap off the windshield as the car slowly creaks to life. You are absolutely terrified of her being too cold, and try desperately to keep her covered in blankets while simultaneously not accidentally smothering her. All the time.

Even when you don't have to take the baby out, those little tiny hands are always frigid. She won't leave baby mittens on, or immediately chews on them turning them into a soggy wet mess that is doing no favors for keeping her warm. You go to nurse, and she puts them on your nice warm bosom, making you jump and squirm from the cold and feel racking guilt for having let her hands get so cold. But you can't keep the house any warmer, it only heats so efficiently and propane prices are spiking again, and every time you have the space heater on she crawls right over and tries to stick her fingers in it. 

Yes, the part where now I can just holler at mine to put on a sweatshirt (or like, maybe just not run around the house completely naked?) is a wonderful improvement over their baby years.

And then there's the holidays. Extra days off school, classroom Valentine's parties, over commercialized fake romance.... Sigh. 

Kristina is supposed to bring 34 cards in, and the biggest pack Target sells is 32. And we haven't gotten them yet, so it'll be a grueling sweatshop atmosphere to get her to write her classmates' names on all of them in the day or two before the party. I'm even so morally opposed to buying multiple sets of Valentine cards I've been considering requiring her to make them out of construction paper (which is truly a terrible idea, since she's really not a craftily inclined child in any capacity beyond glitter glue, and my personal motivation for doing crafty projects promptly dried up the day she was born).

I haven't even gotten Adrianna's list yet, but since there's two preschools I'm pretty confident it's going to be every bit as inconveniently ugly. And I really do love sending the kids in with chocolates for their teachers (what can I say, I was a preschool teacher once who was given a box of hugs&kisses and never forgot it), but then I start counting how many teachers they have between the two of them, and get sticker shock on how much that kindness will cost. Then there's lots of moral dilemma about whether I can send these people small and crappy inferior chocolate, and the kids are like, lets get these super big giant hearts filled with truffles over here!!

Oh, and of course there are the classroom parties themselves, so start baking it up, mom (who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?). And Kristina wants to bring in brownies for her half birthday, which is conveniently located the day after Valentine's day just to make sure the kids don't have to go too long between sugar rushes.

Let's not forget the special school-wide Valentine's Carnival school fundraiser happening the 13th as well, because it really is a magical experience to hand your child money so they can buy tickets to give to their teachers to play ring toss for a temporary tattoo prize. Did I mention these things are held in the gym with hordes of screaming children echoing off the walls? Best way to spend the dinner hour ever!

Oh, and there's supposed to be something romantic happening on Valentine's day itself too. Does sitting on the couch and not falling asleep until at least the half-way mark of the movie count? Because I'm pretty sure that's about all I'll really want to do at that point. But don't you worry, I'll make tostinos pizza rolls and pour wine too, and if you're really lucky there might be some only slightly smashed classroom party cookies left in the bottom of a backpack. Romance at it's finest.

In conclusion, I'm totally happy for March (or even April) to get here soon. 

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