crafty · DIY · family fun · Independence · Kids · parenting · The COVID files

Day 33: My living room is upside down

I had some fun with my plunge router today, creating a finger-pull on the underside of what will be our pull-out desk. Came up with some notes to self:

  1. Use the router outside. It generates waaaay more dust than the saws, and you’ve already banished those from inside the house.
  2. For heaven’s sake, if you’re doing a deep groove, do it in multiple shallow passes. If you try to rout a ¾” groove in solid oak, the router will protest and might even jump.
  3. Do more than 2 practice pieces. Or just take a day and use it to learn about your router and its bits.
  4. Whee! This is fun!

There’s a new life skill my kids need to learn: it’s called “Don’t talk to (or otherwise summon the attention of) someone while they are using a power tool” I had to reinforce this one a bunch of times today; some of it must have gotten through to R, because at one point she backed out of the room after I looked up, glaring, in response to her calling my name.


I also glued-up our shallow drawer for the violin bows. I had taken it apart and cut it down (to make room for the pull-out desk), so today I put it  back together. I’m so glad that I “borrowed” my uncle’s 4-foot and 2-foot bar clamps a few years back and added them to my stash of 16 smaller bar clamps. I use them all the time.

This morning I logged into N’s Google Classroom to see what work he’s supposed to be doing. Whaddya know, there’s plenty of work in there — and he said there “wasn’t much”. He has a diorama book report, three pages of writing (similes and metaphors) work, a French assignment, a small research assignment… and that’s where I stopped looking at it. I showed him everything and then spent the rest of the morning calling him out every five minutes for leaving his computer and watching E play reading games on hers.

R and E got a break from schoolwork today, so I gave them a different kind of assignment. I wrote down the (extremely simple) recipe for 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies and told them what to do. I’m proud to say that they made the cookies entirely by themselves from start to finish, and then shared with the rest of us. I’d post a picture of them, but fresh-baked cookies don’t last very long around here.

A lovely surprise today — one of R’s dearest friends stopped by for a driveway visit (everyone 8 feet apart at all times) with his mum and brothers. They don’t live near us, but they headed down here to pick up a produce order from a small family-run grocery near us (this place fills their orders by the next day at the latest, and their produce is outstanding.) It just so happened that my order was ready at the same time as hers, so she kindly picked it up for me (thanks again, L!). We probably chatted for twenty minutes in all and it was so nice to speak in person to someone I don’t live with. It made my afternoon.IMG_3209

I feel okay about the fact that my children have somehow had more than their allotted screen time (usually 1.5 hours each, not counting school work) because they also turned my living-room upside down to build an epic couch fort. Even K got involved as the structural safety inspector. According to my kids, they’re sleeping in the fort tonight. It doesn’t matter that they probably won’t last the night in there; I’m just so happy that they were able to work together to build something without descending into tears, slurs, and fisticuffs.

6:41 p.m. — The kids have devised a new game while I was on the phone with my dad. “Couch Parkour!” R yelled before charging across the top of the fort. “See?” I told dad, who was still on the phone, “kids don’t need toys. They just need permission to dig up your garden or turn your furniture upside down, and they can make their own fun!”


8:30 p.m. — Passover is well and truly over. Our kids scarfed down 20 slices of pizza in under 15 minutes and are now asking when we’ll be getting some bagels. Tomorrow, kids. Not tonight.

8:45 p.m. — R is doing the floss, and I finally slow down and figure out how it’s done. “Woo hoo! Look at meeee! I’m flossing!” I shout in elation when I’ve finally got it. Sixty seconds later I’ve morphed back into “Mean Eema”: “GO TO BED. NOW!!!!!”

9:00 p.m.– It’s like Lord of the Flies in here. The kids are screaming and calling “Abba! Abba! ABBA!” as Mr. December stands there and tells them bemusedly, “I don’t… I don’t even know what you want from me.” Then he disappears under the fort. He’d better come back out of there by tomorrow. There is absolutely NO way I want to parent these kids solo.

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