February is by all accounts both the shortest, and longest, month on the calendar. By this point in the season, your coats all need a good dry-cleaning, a decent piece of fruit is impossible to find, and your will to make your kids eat anything leafy and green may as well never have existed. Nary a person is at their fighting weight, everyone’s skin is sallow and dry, and a good "pick me up" shoe sale or televised game is virtually impossible to find. It’s the grind. It’s the month when half the people you know have given up drinking, and the other half have taken up day-drinking.
It’s also about this time of year that my kids declare they are DONE. Done with homework – done with wearing their retainers – done with just about every activity they arduously campaigned to take back in the fall. And lemme tell ya, it’s tough to keep your kid going when you feel like you’re slogging through the mud right beside them. Sure, there are people who seem to get a real rush out of making soup and just “throwing everything in a pot”, but alas, for most people, hibernation just breeds more fatigue, not pasta fagioli.
And hence, I’ve compiled a list of things you are allowed to do– for this month only. Get going. When the sun starts to set back around dinnertime, not right after lunch, you’ll be itching to get back on the wagon of propriety. But, for now…
It’s okay to barter reading time for TV time. Reading pages = TV minutes.
It’s okay to denote grape flavored Tylenol a fruit group.
It’s okay to binge-watch The Goldbergs and count it as quality family time.
It’s okay to let the kids have Tik-Tok. China has got problems – and your daughter’s lip-synching questionably NC-17 lyrics ain’t one of them. Let her spastically dab her way to a restful night’s sleep.
It’s okay to publicly threaten to unfollow everyone who annoys you. (But then, really, don’t - I mean, it’s something to gripe about other than the weather and the election season.)
It’s okay to feign a toe injury to avoid going ice-skating with your kids.
It’s okay to feign a back injury to avoid taking your kids to the ice-skating rink.
It’s okay to feign innocence when your kids “happen upon” an article about how most professional figure skaters now host D-list reality TV.
It’s okay to think a bright color on your nails will enliven your mood.
It’s okay to bask in the glory of planning lots of fun nights out, only to cancel at the slightest hint of a tickle in your throat or moisture in the air.
It’s okay to marvel at, and silently curse, the many, many people who remember to wear sunglasses on the first sunny, albeit still frigid, day in months.
It’s okay to be freezing your butt off but still be craving something on the rocks.
It’s okay to ask your pediatrician to look in your throat and give you a flu test too, because you're pretty sure you are coming down with something…
It’s okay to not hold your kid’s hand on the street so that yours can remain deep within your coat pockets.
It’s okay to pretend to be mid conversation on your air-pods to avoid stopping and saying hi on the street.
It’s okay to reattach the hood on your child’s puffer and refuse to ever, ever buy another damn hat.
It’s okay to keep buying new make-up in the hopes that THIS is the blush that will make you look you didn’t just accidentally soak your face in formaldehyde.
It’s okay; it’s all okay. This is the time of year you need to be resourceful, to dig deep. Pretty sure if you dig deep enough, you just might find enough red-foiled Hershey kisses leftover from the class Valentine’s project to get you through to the end of the month. Be mine!!