Just Write: The Februarys

February 26, 2013


I wake up with a case of the Februarys. The light sneaking through the window is so murky that I don’t think it even qualifies for light. Even though the house is sealed tight, instinct kicks in–I smell snow. I flop down under the covers, reluctant to venture into the raucous world of “I’m hungry” and “Did you sign my planner” and “No! I don’t need my hair brushed today.”

I should be happy under those covers because February is almost over, but I’m also afflicted with the Marches, so I’m stuck in winter’s gray talons for quite a while still.

Then, in my etherized state, I realize that it isn’t Monday; it’s Sunday. My birthday was the day before and now I’m certain I’m getting Alzheimer’s. What kind of addled brain loses track of days?

I close my eyes again, conjuring sleep, but my stomach has other ideas. Rumble and growl. Dangit. Why can’t I wake up without any appetite, like my sister? I’d be able to squeeze in at least another half hour in bed that way; alas, I am a Grizzly.

I clench my teeth and commit, throwing my legs over the side of the bed and try to lurch quietly out of the bedroom.

I have company.

The Rooster (aka: Miss M.) is sitting outside of our bedroom door, raccoon-eyes wide. She breaks into a gap-toothed smile at the sight of me and then furrows her brow. “I can’t walk, Mommy,” she whispers.

I crouch down. “What do you mean, you can’t walk, BunnyBunny?”

“Look, she says,” and falters as she stands. I steady her with my arms and ask her to walk. Sure enough, her right leg is so painful to walk on that she hobbles like a one-legged chicken. A grimacing one-legged chicken.

She’s almost too heavy for me to carry, this growing girl, but I scoop her up and settle her in on the couch, swaddled in a blanket. She whimpers for hot chocolate.

And then I remember. Miss D. did the same thing around that age. Since D. was our first-born and I’m a neurotic freak, I rushed her in for x-rays, convinced she had polio or some other awful affliction. The verdict? Growing pains.

And then I really remember. I had them, too. How many nights did I wake Mama up in the middle of the night, howling for mercy and clutching my legs? Mama tried warm baths, tried Absorbine Jr., tried aspirin. I remember huddling in my nightgown, wailing because nothing worked. It’s horrible, to be useless to help your child.

Thank you, genetics, for dishing this up to me. I fumble for the Aleve. Still, it takes a good hour before Miss M. can hobble with any modicum of balance, and it’s still pretty clumsy business.

Wide-eyed, she points at the sliding glass window. “Snow and wind! Big snow…what about Evelyn?” Miss M. has a playdate with her friend Evelyn today, and M. doesn’t make friends easily. This is big stuff for her, and she’s been excited for days.

“But if she doesn’t come, we can’t make ebelskiver! And I reallyreallywanted to show Evelyn about ebelskiver. Stupid snow!” Her eyes spill over and I want to shake my fist at the Februarys. Why do the Februarys ruin everything?

I crawl next to her on the couch and wipe her tears and runny nose with my sleeve, unwilling to get up for a proper tissue. She’s growing so fast that her bones are like a fledgling fawn, delicate and shaky.

“Just because snow happens, doesn’t mean ebelskiver can’t happen,” I say. “Let’s make some now, and then if the snow stops and Evelyn can come over, we’ll make them again.”

“Two in one day?” she says.

“Yup, if we can. Get up, gimpy. What do you want in the middle, jam or Nutella?”

She hits me with spherical, watery eyes. “Chocolate chips?”

I look out at the snow and the wind that’s blowing so hard that it’s almost a whiteout. February.

“Chocolate chips, I can do.”


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Ami February 26, 2013 at 6:16 am

I hate the Februaries- and they seem to be going around so much lately. Here in Indiana the weather warms up for a few days just to get your hopes up and then SLAMS you with freezing temperatures and snow.
But chocolate chips just might be the answer. Thank you for sharing.


TKW February 26, 2013 at 7:43 am


That’s Colorado, too. We’ll have a day where you barely need a light jacket and then BAM! It’s cruel!


Jane February 26, 2013 at 7:17 am

That’s what I need! Chocolate chips! (What a great mom you are! Hugs, hugs and a fast forward button to April.)


Abby February 26, 2013 at 7:17 am

It’s ironic that “I’m hungry” and “No! I don’t need my hair brushed today” are often the first things I think in the morning as well. At any rate, I am in a serious funk myself–horrible weather aside–but yet you are able to articulate it in such a beautiful way. Perhaps I just need some ebelskiver.


TKW February 26, 2013 at 7:41 am


You should see the struggle we go through with the hair every morning. I always threaten to cut it all off. And ebelskiver helps anything.


Katybeth February 26, 2013 at 9:12 am

February, my least favorite Month. Big snow is expected in Chicago, but the weathermen have been so wrong this year we are ignoring them on principle. Growing pains, so glad those skipped Cole. Chocolate chips are on my top 5 list for curing what ails you. Hope the playdate happened. Those disappointments are so crushing (for mother and child) especially on a long Sunday.


Barbara February 26, 2013 at 9:54 am

Take heart, spring isn’t far off….this, hopefully, will be the last snow hurrah.
Trust me when I say, I’m so glad I don’t have to go through that anymore. The snowy weather, the thinking up ways to entertain on rainy or snowy days. I don’t miss it a bit. :) At my age, now the KIDS come up with ways to entertain me. I love it.
You are a good mommy.


Tiffany February 26, 2013 at 10:42 am

My friend calls January “Vajanuary”…appropriate, no? We need a simiarl name for February. I need some sun…or my mom to make me something with chocolate chips in it! :)


TKW February 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm


“Vajanuary” cracked me up. How about “Fuckebruary?” *swear jar*


denise February 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Dude. The Februarys indeed. Bleh. Meh. (But I got a virtual chocolate chip sliver visiting here and knowing that you’re in it with me.) Oh, and xoxoxo


ayala February 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

aww so sweet…Daniel gets growing pain in his legs like that…:( well February is almost over….


Jennifer February 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I want to be little enough that chocolate chips solves my problems. Who am I kidding? Chocolate chips still fix my problems.


TKW February 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm


Fritos do it for me.


Arnebya February 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm

The Februarys. And the Decembers, the Januarys, and half the goddamn UGH SHUT UP, SWEAR JAR, Marches! I am so done with it all. Normally I don’t complain much in winter because it’s just…winter: comes every year and is an asshole that lingers, convincing us that rodents know when it’ll leave. What I am glad for, though, is these moments when we can tend to our children in ways they don’t necessarily expect. How nice it was for you to be able to say yes to chocolate chips because sometimes when winter tries to tell you know it’s nice to have a mom who says fuck that, we’re having choclate. YOU ARE SO GONNA BE RICH OFF OF MY SWEAR JAR COINS!


TKW February 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm


Between the two of us, we can go to fucking *swear jar* Rome this summer!


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me February 26, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Growing pains are horrible – poor Miss M. I can remember having some really awful ones. Hope hers are few and far between.

My tear-off desk calendar said “February is not an easy month” on Feburary 1. No kidding. Most mornings I groan and just want to stay in bed until it’s above 50 degrees. I am coping with the early shipment of Cadbury caramel eggs.


Privilege of Parenting February 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I hear you, I feel you. Odd when the Februaries hit you in LA with mild lovely weather on the outside and all that midwestern freezing dreary blah on the inside. As for growing pains, I so had those for years as a kid, exacerbated by some oddly curving spine, or so said the creepy doctor who insisted I wear very uncool shoes and almost chased me around his office with a back brace before I rebelled entirely. But if those pains come again as we age, are they now shrinking pains?


TKW March 3, 2013 at 10:43 am


I’m scoliotic, too. And yes, I have the shrinking pains–or the stress pains, or the toilet is clogged again pains….


Jamie February 26, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Move to Santa Barbara! There are no “winters” here :) We could go to Happy Hours together, which is a totally legitimate reason to uproot your family, no?


TKW March 3, 2013 at 10:43 am


Don’t tempt me.


SuziCate February 27, 2013 at 6:45 am

Those growing pains are the pits, but a good mommy like you make everything better!


elizabetth February 27, 2013 at 7:52 am

I prefer the Douchebag Jar myself (not censoring myself as that is a term the Minxes will need to know sooner rather than later): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AYImHkCQNU Schmidt from New Girl never fails to entertain.

Ugh. February sucks. March sucks. Maybe that’s why April is the cruelest month–we’re still not fully out of the woods for spring? At least we’ve had decent citrus this time around–blood oranges are still available near us, after all. But it’s rainy and miserable out today and I just want to drink tea and sit on my couch and watch movies.


TKW March 3, 2013 at 10:45 am


At least you want to drink tea instead of grain alcohol… :)


Lara February 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Ugh, growing pains and the Februaries? Double downer.

“Since D. was our first-born and I’m a neurotic freak, I rushed her in for x-rays, convinced she had polio or some other awful affliction.”

Confession: I just did this last week. My toddler started walking like he had a peg leg and sometimes he would wobble like a drunk until he caught his balance. I thought either he’s a closet pirate or he has polio, and I figured at least an x-ray might shed some light on a polio situation. The x-rays came back normal. He’s fine now, though sometimes he still does a little hobble which makes me think he’s hoarding rum around here somewhere.

And how have I not heard of ebelskiver before? Thanks for sharing!


TKW March 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm


I grew up in North Dakota, where Swedes and Norwegians rule the roost. Thus, ebelskiver. But pssst: little secret. Williams-Sonoma sells a pre-made mix. I’m such a cheater!


Sam March 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

Stupid snow indeed…

If it’s the lovely Sunday snow storm I’m thinking of, it but the kibosh on our planned tea party as well. My little darling was in tears most of the afternoon when I told her we would have to reschedule. Stupid snow.

Now if we have another freak blizzard this Sunday, Mother Nature is going to have to contend with the Mother….(swear jar).


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