Apparently I mis-counted. Yesterday was really Day 1 and today is Day 2. Don’t worry, I’ll keep the numbers straight from here on out (says the woman who truly couldn’t remember what day of the week it was today).
Days isolated: 2
Steri-strips used: 6
Gauze pads used: 4
Home-baked snacks made: Equivalent to a box of Wheat Thins
Home-baked snacks eaten: All of them.
Family members wearing pants at least 60% of the time: 5 out of 6
- I neglected to share the recipe for the Nutella 3-ingredient cookies. Here it is.
- I wrote my heart out yesterday and yet it seems the biggest takeaway was that my kids do their own laundry. How that happened is a very simple story: Our nanny usually does the laundry but she had been sick for a week. When the kids came to me complaining that they had no clean clothes, I pointed them to the laundry room, gave some basic instructions, and wished them luck. Amazingly, it’s actually something they like to do.
Infrastructure that is keeping us sane (or, as sane as we usually are. Which is to say, not particularly sane but not having a breakdown either):
I have put colourful rubber bands around drinking glasses and mugs (one of each for each of us) and assigned each person a colour. Glasses get used for the full day, (with a quick rinse if needed.)
When I felt the first twinges of stress about this isolation, I went downstairs and got just a tad crafty: I took a plain picture frame and put coloured paper inside it, behind the glass. This was supposed to be a marker board, but it has ended up as the posting spot for our meal plan: I wrote a bunch of different meal ideas on individual post-it notes and then told the kids they could choose what we would have each day.
Then Mr. December one-upped me spectacularly. He added post-it notes with descriptors like “Stuffed With”, “Sprinkled With”, “Surprise”, “A la”… and so on. So now I’m sitting here trying to decide whether or not to take on the challenge of creating a dish called “Gnocchi a la breakfast crumble sprinkled with corn”. It’s like “Iron Chef: Isolation Edition.”
I had spent my last day of relative freedom (Friday) setting up a “schoolroom” in our little-used basement playroom. I’m amazed at the effect a well-organized room can have on my kids. N worked on a design for his book report diorama that was assigned a week ago, and R decided to create a book report diorama just for the fun of it. E worked diligently to build a drop tower out of magna tiles, complete with an opening at the top and a little hatch at the bottom to retrieve whatever she dropped.
By lunch I was feeling pretty great about the day. We had soup and a salad bar, everyone sat together and chatted, and R was on kitchen cleanup duty – she always does an amazing job of it.
I kept meaning to go outside. But first we waited for R to finish her job. Then E and I had a doctor’s appointment by phone. Then I realized if I want fresh fruit anytime soon, I’d have to order it online. So I did, during which time R sat down with some math workbooks and immersed herself in multiplication and division questions for a while. By then it was snack time.
No, she doesn’t wear glasses. When I asked why she was wearing these costume glasses, she shrugged sheepishly and took them off.
Here’s the best parenting tip I can offer today: make everything you do with the kids take as much time as possible. Don’t just open a box of crackers if you can help it. That takes what, three seconds? Another thirty seconds to hand the kid a bowl? You can really stretch it out and turn snack into an activity by making it from scratch with the kids.
We used this recipe from Oh She Glows to make our own Wheat Thins crackers. It took us about an hour to make the equivalent of one box of crackers. So that’s one hour down, and it counts as time spent with the kids because we were baking together. That’s what I call a win-win.
After all that calm and competence, R livened things up by somehow slicing her thumb open while crafting. I grabbed a cloth, applied pressure, and sent kids off running for the first aid kit and Mr. December. Eventually I managed to rinse the cut out, close it up with some steri-strips, and bandage it with gauze. Crisis over – except that her injury put R out of commission for her cleanup job. Guess who picked up that slack?
We had a bit of fun with karaoke tracks to “Hamilton”. Apparently nobody had as much fun as I did, since they wandered off long before I got sick of it. I’m still trying to convince them to rehearse and then film our family performing “The Schuyler Sisters” scene.
And then dinner – vegetarian tacos. And cleanup. And then Mr. December suggested we take a walk for some fresh air and to see how deserted the neighbourhood really looked. It was a lovely walk if you don’t count the part where E flipped over her scooter and landed on her hands and knees and cried loudly for the next three blocks. Oh, and there was the poor decision to walk past our local ice cream store (which was open) when we couldn’t go inside and order. We won’t be doing that again.
By the time we got home I was finished. I had maybe fifteen minutes of time to myself all day. Every time I sat down at my computer N would come and drape himself over my shoulders and comment on whatever I was reading or looking at. I tried to keep my cool, but really? Every. Single. Time. !!! And of course I’d had to calm R while tending to her cut, and talk E down from her tantrum when she fell off her scooter. I just couldn’t take any more people-ing today.
So here I sit at the kitchen table, having made myself some Vanilla tea spiked with Amaretto. Children are at the top of the stairs asking when I’m coming up to tuck them in. I answer that I’m not; Nice Mommy is off shift, and Mean Mommy thinks that one parental tuck-in (thanks, husband o’ mine!) is enough. I can’t anymore. The next twenty minutes are just for me, until I slip into blissful sleep and wake up to do the whole thing again tomorrow, hopefully with less blood shed.