Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Three Weeks In

That first, productive, week off of school, during our actual spring break, was a bit of a fluke. Once I was back to working, albeit from home, things were slightly less peaceful. The first week I was back at work the children still did not have school work. This was fine for Harper, who has been fairly content to binge watch and check in with her friends, but was less fine for Michael. While Michael is also a fan of electronic diversions, he is not as skilled at self-entertaining and spent a week being really bothered by the fact that no one was able to pay much attention to him during the day.

Last week, when there was actual school work for the children do to, was marginally better. However, as is expected, we're all getting on each others' nerves a bit. I know how fortunate we are, given these circumstances. There's plenty of space in our home, plenty to do, plenty to eat. Still, we're all feeling the sting of the things that we aren't able to do, the people we aren't able to be with, etc.

We're under "stay at home" orders until May 1st; however, I can't imagine that it won't extend beyond that. What kind of amazes me is how quickly my mindset has shifted. At first, it seemed kind of wild that our spring break was going to turn into two weeks of online learning. Now we're almost certainly not going back to school this school year. I find myself mentally working through scenarios in which none of our summer plans are happening, and accepting that there's a possibility we might not return to school on time in August. (That has not been stated as a possibility by our district or by our state leadership.) Basically I'm not taking for granted anything that was supposed to happen within the next six months. The idea that it may be months before we are "back to normal" is both horrible and fine. We're getting by. Is there any other way to take this than to get through one day at a time?

I'm also trying to keep in mind what a privilege it is to be able to stay at home to this degree. No one living in our home has to leave home to work. We have the technology to meet our work/school/entertainment needs. We have the access and means to keep our pantry/freezer/fridge stocked with minimal interactions with the outside world. We have a safe neighborhood for walking in. We are even able to worship with our church online. It is not lost on me how absolutely fortunate we are.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

One Week In

So! In our part of Ohio we've basically been on relative lock down for ten days. The children and I were on spring break this past week so things have been very loosey-goosey at home, in a way that is probably not sustainable if we want to hold on to any shred of normalcy. I "go back to work" tomorrow, as we prepare for the students to begin e-learning the following week. Of course every teacher I know has been preparing already, but it is still nice that there is a cushion of time before everything has to be rolled out.

I'm trying to figure out how to do some recording of this time, without just making a list of what we've done to keep from going insane.

Something that has helped me has been getting up, showering, making the bed, and putting on pants without an elastic waistband. I have not forced this onto my children, but I can see the slippery slope that ends with me staying in bed until noon every day. And really, that wouldn't hurt anything, but it's also not how I want to spend the next however many weeks.

I have tried to do something productive every day. Early last week I washed some sheets and then, reader, I ironed them. I think about ironing the sheets every time I take them out of the wash, but there's normally not time for that nonsense so I fold them and hope for the best. Here's some photographic/video evidence of my deeds:

For the record, it takes a very, VERY long time to iron a king size sheet when working it inch by inch along a standard sized ironing board.

This is a time-lapse video of ironing a pillowcase. Yes, it has come to this.

The other satisfying thing that happened this week is that Michael, with minimal assistance from me, cleaned out and organized his room. Here are the after pictures:

He seems pleased with the end result, which I (likely, foolishly) hope will help keep him motivated to maintain its current state. Time will tell.

Harper has mostly retreated to her room with her phone and computer. I did force her to wash her sheets. Michael is loving the family time this situation has left us with, Harper, not so much. We'll just keep taking it one day at a time.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Well Hello There

I started this blog when I was a stay-at-home mom in the fall of 2005. At the time it was a way to remain connected to the "outside world" when I was home with baby Harper. I was looking for an outlet and, ultimately, a form of social connection. It was a way to flex a creative muscle and feel less isolated.

Our governor just issued an order to close schools for the next three weeks and most of my children's activities have been indefinitely suspended or cancelled outright. It's too early to know whether I'll need to report to my school when our week of official spring break is over so we'll just take it one day at a time.

I know some of you have been blogging all along. Others of you who used to be part of the blog world have let if fall off a bit (or completely) as I have now that my kids are older. Perhaps social distancing measures will bring about a blogging renaissance? If so, let me know where you're writing so I can follow along.

I'm aware that it's a poor idea to start writing without a purpose. I suppose my purpose is just to wave into the void a bit. Hello.