A Chicago mom’s (real) April to-do list

Oh, Chicago April. Sometimes you have the temperament of someone freshly in love, and sometimes you act like you were just dumped via Post-it note. I got to thinking while my son and I were visiting an indoor playspace for the (seemingly) 4,000th time this year due to the 30-degree weather: What are my yearly April to-dos in this city? What rituals do I unknowingly have in the month of April? It turns out, these five:

Delete all other locations in your phone’s weather app

Oh, it’s Cherry Blossom season in DC? Not in my phone, it’s not! Patio and rosé weather in New York? Wouldn’t know about it. Consider me the three little weather monkeys: see no other weather, hear no other weather, do no other thing than pour wine while staring into the April snow showers.

Stop wearing a winter hat

It doesn’t matter if it’s still 30 degrees out. It doesn’t matter if it’s snowing out. In April. Again. Snow in April is our yearly Chicago destiny, even if it’s the mildest winter on record. There comes a point every year when every Chicagoan decides enough is enough and just stops wearing their winter hats. Your children will still be appropriately snuggled up in their warmest gear, but you? You’ve thrown your knitted hair-ruiner off like Mary Tyler Moore and you’re proud of it. Cold, but proud. Stupid, but proud.

File your taxes

Try to refrain from referring to all your children as “deductions” instead of calling them by their actual names throughout the month of April. This might prove to be impossible. Also make your best effort to not enthusiastically repeat, “c’mon, big money, big money, big money” as you (and/or your tax professional of choice) finish up the final fields of your tax filing forms.

Friendly reminder: If you haven’t done your taxes already, stop reading this and go file your taxes immediately.

Reload your weather app 23 times in a row when you see a “warming trend” on its way

Is this a ruse? What does that yellow orb symbol mean? Surely I’ve not seen that before. “Sun?” What is this “sun” thing you speak of, weatherperson? I must be looking at the right location seeing as I deleted all my other locations weeks ago (see above). Oh my goodness. It’s happening. It’s really happening. Look out, world! Break out the shades because my Chicago winter skin is about to blind you all when it makes its appearance.

Fall back in love with the city when the “warming trend” actually comes to fruition

Walks along the lakefront? Check. Playground visits without 30 minutes of bundling before and de-bundling after? Patio dining? No more wanting to track down and do something terrible to the genius who decided to make the heat lamps on the El platforms only go until March 31? Let’s not get carried away; I’ve had many a blissful fantasy about that particular encounter. But the rest is real.

There is a reason residents of Chicago live here and it’s called “warm weather season.” So let’s all celebrate together. Open those windows and take a deep, deep breath. Summer is coming, and these days in April when it gives a sneak preview are magnificent. Next stop: splash pads.

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