2020 has been such an odd year. It started with massive wildfires in Australia. Doesn’t that seem like years ago? Good news: fire season is over. Then footage appeared from China of people falling down like they were put out by a hypnotist while walking down the street. It all seemed so far away, until it wasn’t. Covid-19 appeared in the GTA from a couple who had just returned from recent travels and soon after, practically everything shut down. Social distancing is now a common term and mandated practice.
My mom called me early February and warned me to go out and get toilet paper, not understanding why though, since diarrhea didn’t seem to make the list of Covid symptoms. I thought, I’m pretty low so I’ll buy some and get an extra pack. Little did I know there would be a full out war on toilet paper a month later. The lesson that keeps on giving: Always listen to your mother. She just knows stuff. Also – Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there. Yes, it’s this weekend!
I started quarantining myself the week before schools closed (March 13th). My main worry was to protect my parents and inlaws from getting sick. I felt like if I got it, it wouldn’t be the end of the world but I was going to hunker down and keep my germs to myself. I am definitely grateful to have a job where I can work from home if I choose, while friends and family have not been so lucky. From my privileged lens, this has been an opportunity to slow things down and enjoy my family’s company. The first few weeks were fun. We did Lego, puzzles, watched movies, planted seeds for a veggie garden and cuddled our dog, who was probably so confused as to why all the hoomans were home all the time.
But it all feels like groundhog day. Every day is the same. I walk to work in my PJ’s. After avoiding video calls with my team (because PJs), I grab a giant coffee and set my kids up for the morning. Homeschooling while working f’ing sucks. I suffer from mom guilt that I can’t give my kids more time and by the time I’m done work, it’s dinner. Then I’m exhausted. Online videos are teaching them how to do fractions, read, write, exercise and everything in between. There is no interaction with people except between my work calls when I have 5-20 minutes to help explain things they don’t understand. I’m sad that my kids are missing their teachers and friends. Google Classroom isn’t engaging and I need the peer pressure of 20 other little classmates to light a fire under their butts. This is only temporary right? The bright side is that my kids have each other and they get along so well. They’re creating a bond that will (hopefully!) last their entire life.
My husband decided today that the kids (aged 9 and 7) could make banana muffins by themselves and he would come back when it was ready to bake. I came downstairs from my office to find the kitchen covered in flour and my daughter stirring batter with a potato masher. Something didn’t look quite right though and this is where fractions matter. She read 1 1/4 cups as 11 cups. I don’t think she knew what to do with the other /4, so she just ignored it. More math practice required! After I recovered from my initial, “WTF!” reaction, we tried to save it by adding more liquidy stuff like eggs, oil, milk and yeasty water. We popped it in the oven and held our breath for 30 minutes. It didn’t turn out bad. My Covid-15 lbs says, “Thank you. More please!”
My daughter is currently in her Acro class in my living room, via Zoom. My son is playing a video game called Prodigy to help him with his math (he just wants to collect all the gems). I’m going to log off for the weekend and check into my 3rd job of being a short order cook. Then, we’re going to watch The Rise of Skywalker, since I’m super behind all all things pop culture. I’m also going to help myself to a strong drink. Groundhog day could be worse.
I always remind myself when I have a particularly hard day – I’m doing the best I can. No one has the answers on when this will be over. Find things to be grateful for and get off my ass and get outside, even if it’s cold because it’s good for my mental health. Funny how “working out” never really makes the list though…oops.
Stay safe wherever you may be.