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Modern Dad

Modern Dad: February: So many holidays, but no real fun

When I was a kid, I would wake up the morning after Thanksgiving and make one of those construction paper chain link things to count down the days until Christmas. Each morning I’d jump out of bed, rip off a link, and then count exactly how much longer I had to wait until I could bound down the stairs and tear open presents.

Now, as an adult, I do the same thing in my mind when I wake up the morning after the Super Bowl. Six weeks until spring. Eight weeks until it’s warm enough to swim in the lake. Ten weeks until the leaves grow back on the trees. Twelve weeks until the neighborhood pool opens.

I don’t like February. If February was a cookie it would be oatmeal. Bland. Boring. Uneventful. Devoid of happiness. Why is an oatmeal cookie even a thing? Why is February even a month?

February kicks off with Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil. Phil climbs out of his hole and predicts an early spring or long winter based on whether or not he sees his shadow. He’s right 39 percent of the time. Just a terrible success rate, but it’s still better than the percentage of time my family thinks I’m right – which currently hovers around 9 percent.

There aren’t any good sports to watch in February. Yes, the Super Bowl is awesome but it’s only one night. We’re in the doldrums of the college basketball season and a month away from watching any game that really matters. We’re still months away from the NBA and NHL playoffs. The Great American Race? I just can’t get excited about watching 30 cars turn left for 200 laps. Maybe the last 10.

It’s too cold to go wakeboarding in February. The sunrise shore fishing doesn’t seem to be as good or consistent as the winter months. Future Man gets tired of trolling the lake with me and catching the undersized spotted bass that seem to plague our February Friday fishing trips. It warms up enough some days to go for cruises in the pontoon, which is nice, but it’s still too cold to go fast. Which is exciting for like no seconds.

The kids don’t have any organized activities in February. Basketball season is over for Future Man and spring lacrosse won’t start up until the end of the month. There are still another few weeks until I start coaching the Blonde Bomber’s soccer team. So the kids wander around the neighborhood and annoy the empty nesters by drawing on everything with sidewalk chalk.

The only notable thing that happens in February is Valentine’s Day. Ugh. I cook dinner for my wife every night of the year except Thanksgiving. Go out to eat off some overpriced set menu? No thanks. I guess she could cook Valentine’s Day dinner, but the last time she did that we ate tilapia and pineapple on plastic plates while sitting on a blanket on the floor of her apartment surrounded by tabletop tiki torches. I think it was a tropical theme meant to break us out of the February funk. She did wear a grass skirt, so that was cool.

What about Presidents’ Day, you ask? Or is it President’s Day. Or Presidents Day. I see it written all three ways and I’m too much of an apostrophe snob to like a holiday that has no widely accepted rule for where to put its sky comma.

I do love snow days. I prep for impending snow days with a vigor typically only seen by bridezillas planning their June nuptials. I cook a big pot of something delicious, load up on hot chocolate, amass enough wood to burn the world’s longest bonfire, whittle sticks and purchase a variety of things to cook over said fire.

Alas, I was out of town during the January snow storm. Do you know what the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting for weather this February? Week 1: Rain, then sunny, very cold. Week 2: Sunny, cool. Week 3: Rain, then sunny, cool. Week 4: Rainy periods, mild.

The lack of activities in February has nothing to do with my lack of effort in trying to find something to do. I just Googled “Things to do in Charlotte in February” and clicked on the first link. It brought up a listing of concerts including Papa Roach, Weezer, Big Head Todd and the Barenaked Ladies. Apparently musical acts from my college sophomore year CD collection are highly sought after in February. Makes sense.

What about the movies, you ask? I love going to the movies with my kids, but they only release very, very, very awful kid movies in February because it’s the dead time between the Golden Globes and the Oscars. This February we’ll be treated to Peter Rabbit, which looks even worse than last year’s offering – Rock Dog. Rock Dog scored this impressive review from a critic: “An excruciating, unendurable stinker from first frame to last.”

Sounds like February.

I wish I could time warp through the next four weeks and wake up the morning after the Oscars, which is the perfect event to put a coda on February. It’s boring, lasts too long and requires numerous naps to survive. At the end you’re just glad it’s over.

See you in March. If you need me I’ll be in the garage or the attic. Organizing something.

Modern Dad is Jon Show’s take on life in Cornelius. This 40-something dad lives in Robbins Park with his wife and their two kids: Future Man, their 9-year-old son, and The Blonde Bomber, their 5-year-old daughter.