Getting out of the House

It’s amazing what getting out of the house can do–even for a brief period.

Yesterday morning, I volunteered on the COVID-19 information hotline at the Loudoun County Health department.

It was my first volunteering stint in a while, and just the fact of being out of the house and doing something other than childcare from 8:30am to 1pm was amazingly restorative.

A Mad Rush

Luckily I woke up to pee at about 3:30am, because that’s when I realized that I had entirely neglected to set my alarm for the morning. Bad habit I’ve slipped into the last few months…

I set the alarm, and went back to sleep, only to have weird dreams about odd deadlines.

I woke in a cold sweat at 6:00am, and my first thought was: I have to make the boys’ lunch before I leave!

Before I knew it, I was dressed, had put on some make-up (it HAD been a while!), dressed a child, and was in the kitchen with three pots on the stove. Between feeding the boys and getting their pasta salad lunch ready (why couldn’t I just give them PB&J? What’s WRONG with me??), I nearly forgot to feed myself.

Thankfully, I remembered to eat AND have a much-needed cup of tea before stuffing a hunk of cheese in my bag and rushing out the door.

On Duty

Once I arrived at the call center (this was my first shift there), it was all business.

The stress of the morning melted away, and my focus shifted entirely. I read through the FAQ materials, made a note of some important information I was likely to need, and met my fellow volunteers.

By the time the phone lines opened, I was ready.

For the next four hours, I was in the zone. My focus was entirely on the callers, on answering their questions, figuring out where they could find the information they needed.

By the time the shift ended, I felt like I’d been productive and helpful, like my energies had been expended usefully.

Return Home

I came home with a spring in my step, renewed energy and recharged batteries. When I opened the door and heard, “Mama!!” and was walloped in the abdomen with a hug from an enthusiastic 5.5-year-old, I smiled down into his face and felt excited to spend the afternoon together.

For the rest of the day, when the Bear woke up from his nap, I was game. I felt like I could take anything they threw at me.

Instead of feeling like I needed to get some alone time ASAP, I felt like I had more of myself to give. We played, we laughed, and it felt really good.

Unlike the Previous Day…

The contrast with the previous day was too marked to pass unnoticed.

On a typical, socially-isolated, distance-learning day, by the time 4pm comes along, I keep glancing at the clock. I’m exhausted, spent and ready for a break.

At 5pm I start to make dinner, and that’s when the boys are allowed to watch TV. I always feel a stab of guilt about it, especially because the Bug spends so much time on the computer for school. But it doesn’t stop me from letting them.

I pop something on PBS Kids, Amazon Prime or Disney+ and retreat to the kitchen, quietly closing the door at the top of the basement stairs behind me.

There in the kitchen, I can listen to my audiobook or some podcasts, or even sneak over to practice on the piano a bit before I get dinner going. It’s a little time to do something for me.

More Days Like Yesterday

I want more days like yesterday. Whether it’s volunteering or working, I want to have something that takes me out of the home context for at least part of the day.

Using my brainpower, energy and focus for something else gives me more of all of those for my kids.

It makes coming home to my little princes so much sweeter.

Monday! You Nearly Won!

MONDAAAAAAY! CURSE YOU, MONDAY!!

You started off strong. A bad night’s sleep and an early wake-up. Not a good sign.

Then I gained the upper hand with a good workout, a delicious breakfast and (crucially!) a cup of tea.

Despite rearing your ugly head from time to time throughout the day, I managed to keep you mostly at bay. We got some books from the library (though you tried to throw out my back with the weight of them!). We took a walk and threw random stuff off a bridge into a creek. We had an outdoor get-together with some friends this afternoon!

It really seemed like I had taken the field and Monday wasn’t going to be a thing this week.

Then Came Monday Evening

When you have a picky eater, mealtimes are always fraught. Rather than enjoying your own meal, you’re having to negotiate each bite into a 3-year-old’s mouth.

We have a “one bite of everything” rule, and you’d think that would be doable, right?

Noooooooo… There’s a lot of whining involved.

Then, said 3-year-old decides he needs to use the toilet. He complains about needing help (he doesn’t need help). He goes into the bathroom and closes the door.

Soon, a little squeaky voice says, “Oh Mama! There’s peepee on the floor!”

Turns out, because it’s Monday, he decided to pee standing up. With the toilet seat down. And his toilet seat insert on.

Of course there’s peepee on the floor! The hole is now so small, not even the most experienced peer could pee into that without at least sprinkling!

So now there’s pee on the toilet. On his clothes. On his slippers. On the floor. On the rug.

Bathtime.

As we’re negotiating getting the (naked) boys upstairs, we hear a mysterious crash from the laundry room. “It’s probably the mop that’s fallen–I just stuck it back in there quickly after mopping up the bathroom.” No further thought given.

Bath. Bed. Stories. Only one brief meltdown.

Back downstairs. Open the laundry room…

HUSBAND NEARLY KILLS HIMSELF SLIPPING IN VISCOUS GOO!

The vibrations from the laundry machine sent the new, full, ENORMOUS vat of laundry detergent crashing to the floor. First it ricocheted off the top of the washer, knocking the cap off and cracking it.

So while we were putting the boys to bed, its contents were slowly leaking out onto the laundry room floor.

(Pro tip: use a dustpan to scoop up the bulk of the goo and then wipe the rest up with towels before mopping the floor.)

Surrender

That’s it. I was about to surrender. Monday, it seemed, had won.

But then I remembered!

I remembered the West Cork Irish Whiskey in the fake liquor cabinet! I remembered the lemon in the crisper drawer! I found the honey pot! And I made…

HOT TODDIES!!!

Take THAT, Monday! You thought you could beat me?! Not when I have the ingredients for hot toddies!

(And one of those nice microwavable warming cushions to drape around my neck.)

Sláinte!

I Thought of Taking the Night Off

From the computer that is.

This career development program I wrote about last time has taken up a lot of my evenings.

It’s strange sitting in front of the computer for long stretches again. I haven’t done that in… Years!

But then I figured I owed the blog an article. (As if you were all DYING to read something from me!)

Cooped Up

What with all the computer-sitting-at, and the staying-at-home, and the onset of darker, gloomier weather, I decided that the boys and I needed to be able to go outside whenever.

And I really mean WHENEVER.

In German, there’s a saying that a girlfriend reminded me of today.

Es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, es gibt nur falsche Kleidung.

That roughly translates to: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.”

When it poured rain on Monday, I realized that the boys had either destroyed or outgrown all their rain pants. So I hopped on to zappos.com and ordered them each a pair of these Columbia kids’ rain pants.

They’re not fancy, they’re not cute, but they do the trick!

Their rain jackets are a hand-me-down (the yellow one on the Bear) and from Target (on the Bug). They’ve been soaked through a couple of times, so I need to re-waterproof them. I usually do this with the same kind of spray I use for shoes and boots, though I’m sure there’s a better product I should be using.

(I find that having them wear lovingly hand knit sweaters under their rain jackets improves the waterproofness. It’s true. Wool is a wonder fiber.)

Their boots are snow boots (on the Bug–didn’t hold up to serious puddle jumping) and an Amazon purchase of Thomas the Tank Engine rain boots for the Bear.

Like I said, nothing fancy. But we all had the gear we needed to spend an hour outside today. (I was decked out in my mom’s old LLBean rain pants, Costco rain boots I picked up the last time I was there, and my Helly Hansen rain jacket I’ve had for years–also needs to be re-waterproofed…)

Next Up…

I’ll need to make sure we have all the necessary gear for really cold weather outdooring!

Not that it really gets that cold here in Virginia, but on the days it does snow, we want to be ready!

Gotta be ready for more exploring in the rain!

We’re Doing Just Fine

You can’t make me believe in “terrible twos.” Nope. Impossible.

To us, terrible two doesn’t exist.

Our boys were absolute DOLLS at the age of two. They were sweet, loving, caring, fun and funny. We can’t remember any huge behavioral issues at age two, and even tantrums (few and far between) weren’t a big thing.

They both potty trained at two or shortly after. They had big changes in their third years (a baby brother for the big guy, and moving to another country for the little guy). They exploded with language and really started speaking in both English and Spanish at or before age two.

It was wonderful. A dream!

That was two.

Fast Forward to Three

I once heard someone use the term threenager.

That’s a mash-up of “three” and “teenager.” It means emotions are BIG. They’re OVERWHELMING. They’re OVER THE TOP.

Attitudes are big, too. Eyes roll, tempers flare. Transitions become nearly impossible.

For example, when it’s time to leave the playground: Meltdown.

When it’s time to stop playing and come set the table: Meltdown.

When it’s time to get ready for bed: EPIC MELTDOWN.

We try to mitigate the meltdown by giving ten-minute warnings for transitions. “Ten minutes until we have to leave, boys! Ten minutes!” Five minutes later, we’ll give the five-minute warning. Then, if things look like they’ll be rough, a two-minute warning.

The warning system has helped to get our kids used to the idea that a transition is coming. It doesn’t always cut off the tantrum, but it often helps.

It’s Relentless

Because of this threenager behavior, we need to keep a couple steps ahead of the game in an effort to help manage these enormous feelings.

But we don’t always do it right. Sometimes, we’re tired. Sometimes, we don’t have the time to think about how an upcoming event (even if it literally happens at the SAME TIME EVERY DAY) is going to break upon the beach of our three-year-old’s mind.

Doing this dance all day, every day, is very tiring. Despite having adopted better eating and exercise habits, cutting out sugar and other unhealthy foods…

I am still exhausted.

It Has Its Moments

It’s also unpredictable. Sometimes, it’s a battle. Other times, he hops-to and does whatever we ask him. He keeps us on our toes! It’s always a guessing game!

At times like these, we try to praise enthusiastically and effusively. It may sound corny, but it works.

And truly, despite the exhaustion, despite the relentlessness and the overwhelming emotions of our three-year-old, he is still our sunshine.

He’s sweet. He is so over-the-top in a very funny way, and he often has us in stitches.

Every morning, he rises and truly shines along with his brother. Each day when that happens, it’s like someone has hit the reset button, and I feel nothing but delight and joy.

Some days that lasts longer than others.

We’re going to be fine.

Home Together Again

It’s official.

We have withdrawn the Bear from daycare and we’re now all home together.

Everything Was Fine

Over the summer, both boys went to daycare. The Bug was in pre-K and the Bear in daycare. Once fall rolled around, the Bug started kindergarten in the public school (distance learning), and the Bear moved up to preschool.

It wasn’t always easy to get the Bear out of the house in the morning. He’s no fool! He knew his big brother was staying home!

Also, he was wary of the transition from daycare to preschool, and he missed his old classmates from the twos classroom.

He loved his new teacher, though, and eventually all was going swimmingly, until a child in his class tested positive for Covid.

Until It Wasn’t

As I wrote at the time, this frightened us a bit. To me, it felt like a reality check that YES THE CORONAVIRUS IS STILL AROUND, and YES WE CAN GET IT!

The school reported the case to the health department, which I was very glad about. I got a call from a contact tracer, and answered all the necessary questions about symptoms, contacts, activities, etc.

Since then, we’ve received daily texts asking us to report on the Bear’s symptoms. It’s easy to do, and so far we’ve had nothing to report.

So really, not that scary.

And yet, today, with two days left to go in our quarantine period and nary a sign of a symptom, we decided to withdraw the Bear from school.

Family Priorities

Talking it over together, the Chico and I agreed that with the onset of the cold weather, these instances of either infection or scares are likely to increase.

Whether anyone gets Covid or not, the kids will all be getting seasonal colds, coughs and sniffles. And each time that happens, we will either have to quarantine until the symptoms pass, or we will have to get tested for Covid.

We decided that though it’s not ideal for either of the boys to be out of school, under the circumstances, we’d rather keep them home.

As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, we want to be able to spend time indoors with our friends and family. With the Bear in daycare, we wouldn’t feel as comfortable doing that.

However, if we know that our exposure has been limited, then we won’t be so worried about potentially infecting others.

Really it’s a question of controlling our environment as best we can.

Send Help (and/or Wine)

This is not going to be easy. It’s going to take a lot of willpower to keep from resorting to chocolate or wine on particularly relentless days.

The advantage we have now over lockdown in the spring is that the Bug has a schedule. Even though he’s at home, his days are structured, and that helps to set the rhythm for the rest of us.

Morning time is reading/school time (coloring, educational play, stories), we all have a lunch and break together, then afternoon nap for the Bear while the Bug has his afternoon classes.

The afternoons are all about exercise and playing. The boys “help” me with my Pilates (hilarity ensues–laughing burns calories, right?), and they do their Cosmic Kids yoga sessions.

If we can stick to a rhythm, I think we’ll make it through this.

But still, feel free to send wine. It won’t go to waste.

Never Trampolining Again

Earlier this week, I wrote about a beautiful moment my son and I shared on our trampoline.

It was a very sweet moment. It was a fun moment! We were doing something active together, and laughing like crazy.

However…

NEVER EVER, EVER AGAIN.

That was Tuesday. On Wednesday, I couldn’t walk.

First off, bouncing on a trampoline after you’ve had two children is NOT a comfortable experience.

(I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say that I am no slouch with doing my Kegel exercises, and they didn’t help.)

Secondly, if you’ve ever had back problems, issues with your sciatic nerve, or anything of that sort, trampoline bouncing is a BAD IDEA.

Trust me.

Stiff as a Board, NOT Light as a Feather

I woke up Wednesday morning with pain shooting down my left buttock (*giggle*) and into my leg.

As a result, my whole lower back seized up as if to protect the discs and nerves, but of course that only made it worse. I was stiff as could be, and walked around standing bolt upright in a rather unnatural fashion.

Wednesday was therefore a day of ibuprofen, hot and cold packs, and a lovely massage from my Chico in the evening.

We’ll Have Other Moments

Bouncing on the trampoline with the Bug is a memory I will always cherish.

But I’m sure there are other ways to create cherished memories without causing myself grievous bodily harm.

No. More. Trampoline.

Trying to Go With the Flow

We’re into week 3 of distance learning, and I think we’ve hit a good rhythm.

The Bug is very independent, and gets himself connected on his own in the morning. He only really needs supervision towards the end of class period and for keeping an eye on the time.

Disjointed Feeling

Though he’s independent, as everyone knows who’s navigating distance learning at home, it requires at least part of your attention at all times.

This makes it very hard to sit down and focus on something.

(I’ve had three interruptions just since starting this article.)

Fighting It

At first, I resented this. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to get anything done.

In October, I’m sitting the Praxis exam to qualify to teach English as a second language in public schools. So far, I have been able to do very little studying.

(You may well ask why I’m taking the time to write instead of studying, and that’s a fair point! It’s just that it’s easier for me to leave off and get interrupted from writing than from studying. Whereas I can write in short bursts, to study, I really need to focus.)

I resented feeling tethered to the room next door to my kindergartener, and feeling limited to only being able to get things done in the short stretches he’s doing face-to-face schooling.

(I can’t even imagine what it’s like for those who are doing this AND working from home. AND being single parents. You’re heroes.)

Pros Starting to Outweigh the Cons

Sure, I may fail my Praxis exam. But there’s always another chance to sit it, and even if I fail the exam, it’s good practice.

But over the last couple of weeks, I’ve gradually come to appreciate some advantages this situation offers.

He’s the priority

First off, because I’m having to dedicate my time to my son’s learning, this has become the priority. That means that I am giving myself permission to set aside other things that I thought were priorities.

Watching him learn

Also, it’s such a pleasure and a privilege to see how much he loves to learn. Being this involved is very special–I would never know this much about his activities and his days if he were at school.

I have had the opportunity to see how he learns, what he enjoys most and what he doesn’t like so much. It’s a joy to see his curiosity and his desire to learn grow.

Quality time together

Another benefit is that I get to spend more time with him. And the time we spend alone together during the day is centered around his learning.

It’s something that the two of us are sharing, and since I do not have the stress of having to prepare the materials or teach them myself, I can participate in the fun of discovery and practice. In fact, I’m getting to enjoy story time almost as much as the Bug does!

Shameless indulgence

When I’m not able to study, I am giving myself permission to simply do something that I enjoy while I listen in on the Bug’s classes.

I’ll pick up my book, which I can easily set aside when I need to be paying attention. I’ll write these articles, or do some knitting. And I won’t feel guilty about it because what else am I gonna do??

Go With the Flow

This is how I’m feeling right now. It might change tomorrow. I could feel differently next week.

But for now, I’m trying to enjoy this magical time and just go with the flow.

It helps that the weather is changing, there’s an autumnal nip in the air, and the Bug and I have shared some pretty charmed moments in these last few days.

A Precious Moment

Earlier today, after taking a bounce break on our trampoline, we lay on our backs, looking up at the sky. Our heads were next to each other, and I could feel his hair tickling my cheek. He was telling me about hammerhead sharks (he really likes sharks) and how octopuses are the most intelligent animals without a skeleton.

Though there are many things I feel like I should be doing (studying, job hunting, figuring out what to do with my life), I didn’t want to be anywhere else in that moment.

This is such a short time, and it will pass. Perhaps too quickly, after all.

Teachers Are People, Too

I don’t participate in a lot of groups on Facebook.

I think I may still be a member of a couple of Facebook parenting groups, but those are holdovers from when the Bug was younger.

So I’ve missed a lot of the crazy s**t that’s apparently been going down on some of these groups.

Attacking Schools

Earlier in the summer, when our county was offering the choice between hybrid and 100% distance learning options, some parents were unhappy.

There were angry outbursts from all quarters. Those who thought all kids should go back to school.

Those who thought sending children back to school was tantamount to reckless endangerment.

Attacking Teachers

But the ugliest comments that surfaced were directed at teachers themselves.

In the midst of a pandemic, a lot of teachers were (understandably) concerned for their personal safety, and the safety of their students, and by extension their families.

Some teachers wanted to get back into the classroom, while others with preexisting conditions or family members with underlying health issues wanted to stay home.

Cue the outrage.

A Sense of Entitlement

Apparently, some of these parents felt entitled to have their children in school because they pay their taxes.

Others attacked teachers, calling them lazy and saying their unions were too strong and that they were just out to protect themselves.

(Well, yeah, because no one else is, apparently.)

The vitriol these people spewed was ugly and hurtful, and a lot of it just plain wrong.

How Do Teachers Feel?

I can’t speak to my son’s teacher, but I know how my neighbor feels.

One of our neighbors is a teaching assistant for special needs children in the public schools. The challenges she and her colleagues face are enormous.

Yesterday, she expressed to me just how hurtful and saddening many of the comments she saw hurled at her and her colleagues were.

She told me that all these teachers who are now teaching remotely are doing so with limited support and resources.

Also, due to budget cuts, they are not getting any pay raise, not even the normal adjustment for inflation and cost of living.

So the people who are responsible for our children’s education are working under circumstances that many of us would deem unacceptable and intolerable.

Give the Teachers In Your Life Some Love

So let’s counteract the hate! Let’s push back against the vitriol!

But instead of engaging in a shouting match over social media with the entitled, angry parents, let’s give things a positive spin.

Write to your kid’s teachers and tell them what you think they’re doing well. Give them a pat on the back, and thank them.

Our son’s teacher is not only teaching kindergarteners online (a huge challenge already), but she also has her own elementary school-aged kids at home!

In my books, this woman is as saintly as they come.

Encourage A Teacher Day!

Since it can’t be “Hug a Teacher” day, let’s have it be “Encourage a Teacher” day.

And not just teachers! School counsellors! Administrators! Your school’s IT person could probably use a virtual pat on the back right now.

Let’s give them some extra love and appreciation! Because as hard as it is for us parents, it’s gotta be just as hard for the teachers (and harder for teachers who also happen to be parents).

God bless them, every one.

First Week Roundup

We survived our first week of distance learning! Now on to our second!

Our Bug is still alive and well. I’m still alive and well and (relatively) sane. Chico is alive and well and still has a job. The Bear is also alive and well, though I have to admit that I nearly forgot to go pick him up from preschool a couple of times. (Don’t judge me, I was in the middle of facilitating online learning for the Bug!)

Here Are a Few Thoughts:

It’s a lot of screen time.

The Bug logs on at 8:00 and has 30 minutes of synchronous morning meeting.

They all get a 15 minute break, and then they’re back on, doing different subjects and activities.

Their teacher gives them plenty of breaks in between activities, so they’re not sitting in front of the screen the whole time. But they’re connected on and off from 8am to 10:30, and then again from 11:30 until 1pm.

This second week, they’ll have to be on even longer. It may get more difficult to keep him interested and focused.

Our Bug has incredible focus.

The kiddo listens, pays attention, and participates. He also is very independent and can get the materials, folders and pages he needs (as long as he knows where they are).

This is a great relief to his parents, so that while we still have to be listening in with one ear, we can be working in the next room and only checking in when needed.

Facilitating is NOT the same as home schooling.

Several families I know have withdrawn their kindergarteners from the public schools to do home schooling instead.

I can totally understand this choice: this much screen time is NOT ideal, and for kids with less capacity for focus and paying attention, it is not sustainable.

Also, children with attention deficit problems or those who simply aren’t used to screens will not enjoy this format.

However, as long as our Bug is managing and we can help to keep him engaged, we’ll stick with it, for two reasons:

  1. His teacher is AMAZING. Have I sung her praises loudly enough? Because she’s awesome.
  2. The fact that someone else is preparing all the materials and I am simply facilitating is A HUGE HELP.

Though I am a teacher, I have only ever taught English to adults. That is NOT the same as teaching kindergarten.

I am no expert in developing age-appropriate content, and it is not what I enjoy or am good at.

I’m good at reading with our Bug, which has already proved helpful in those break times. But preparing or designing activities in math, motor skills, etc., is simply not my forte.

Despite being connected, it’s still a bit isolating.

While the teachers are doing a lot of presenting, and they make an effort to engage the kids, there is no interaction between the students.

Though the Bug can see his classmates, and he’s getting familiar with their faces, the children are not getting to know each other at all.

So Far, So Good

Hopefully this is temporary, but as long as it goes pretty much as well as the first week, we’ll be alright.

I know the novelty will wear off for the Bug and we may struggle to get him engaged, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

For any other parents facilitating distance learning out there, we’re in this together! We’re doing great, and we will get past this.

Have a good second week!

Change of Plans

We’re on Day 3 of distance learning of kindergarten, and I have realized several things:

  1. Our son has incredible focus and does amazingly well participating in class over the computer.
  2. We are EXTREMELY LUCKY that this is the case, because man! This is not easy.
  3. Despite his patience and being engaged, an out-of-home distance learning program is NOT for us.

Now Don’t be Judging

Yes, we had originally planned to put the Bug into a distance learning program.

He and the Bear have actually been back at their preschool since July. We decided that after months of being at home, that they were simply too miserable.

They’ve been going half days, and it’s been like night and day. They are so happy, energized and glad to be surrounded by their peers.

Their groups have been small, and their teachers are all masked. We’ve been very happy with their school’s policies and its cleanliness.

Seeing how happy they were to be with peers, we thought it would be best to enrol the Bug in a distance learning program.

That way, while he was doing school online, at least he would be surrounded by peers and would be able to interact with other kids.

Turns out that’s not really how distance learning support programs work.

Why They’re a Life Saver

First off I should say that these distance learning programs offered by community centers, daycare centers, churches and sports centers are definitely a life saver for working parents.

We know many households of two working parents, and the expectations for distance learning, even for kindergarteners, are quite high.

For kids to be in a place where they are safe, taken care of, and monitors are helping them is very important.

However, we found some issues with the out-of-home distance learning program we tried.

Why It Wasn’t For Us

The Bug was to go to our local sports center, which is part of our homeowner’s association. He knows the place, though the people were new to him.

I had every confidence that the director and monitors would do their very best. Their normal job is to run after school programs, so while facilitating distance learning is new for them, they’re seasoned professionals when it comes to working with kids.

The main issue we encountered was one that I don’t know any distance learning program could solve.

There were eleven children of all elementary school ages in the program. Our Bug was one of only two kindergarteners. The other kindergartener is doing DL from a different school. So while their schedules were similar, they were not the same.

Each kid was plugged into their computer with headphones, joining into their DL classes. I think there were only two kids who were in the same DL class.

The issue is, that even though the monitors and facilitators have the kids’ schedules, within the class periods on their schedule, the teachers have the kids take short breaks.

Especially for kindergarten kids, they’re only doing face-to-face blocks of about 15-20 minutes. Then they get a 15 or 20 minute break before coming back. But if the kids are on their headphones, how are the monitors to know it’s break time? How are they to know what instructions the teachers have given the kids?

Our Bug is a smart cookie, but he couldn’t always remember exactly what his teacher said about what he had to do next.

The result was that he ended up spending most of the day sitting in front of his screen with his headphones on. When he did have an official break in his schedule, he looked around to find that he was the only kid on break right then.

So essentially, while surrounded by other people and kids, he was still alone. It was very isolating for him.

(I should note that had we decided to keep him there, he would have been just fine. But my gut told me that he wouldn’t thrive.)

And So We’re Home

I’m set up in the next room, writing or studying, and I have one ear trained on what’s going on in the Bug’s class.

Whenever it’s break time, he knows how to turn off his camera and either plays happily in his room, or comes to find me and we have a break together.

Because I’ve heard his teacher’s instructions, I know when to get him settled and ready to start class again.

It’s going to be hard. I’m going to feel like I can’t get anything done, and there will be ups and downs.

We may also have to find another outlet for him to interact with other kids. Perhaps soccer, tennis, or something like that.

For now, though, we’ll take one day at a time.

As For the Other One…

The Bear is still going to preschool every week day. He’s completely mad for his teacher and doesn’t want to leave school when I go pick him up.

As I said, we’re taking one day at a time, and if for any reason we don’t feel comfortable, we’ll keep both boys at home and somehow make it work.

For all those who are at home with their kids and are juggling work, my hat is off to you. You are superheroes. Remember:

This, too, shall pass.

Won’t it?