COVID-IARIES Day 12/13: Hitting The Wall

We hit the wall yesterday. Anyone else?

I'm sitting here stress-eating Cheez Doodles, trying to sort through the poopstorm of emotions I've experienced these last two days. I'm trying to name them. Naming things helps, right? Let's see... there was mid-morning Fluster-Rage. Lunchtime saw a bout of Tearful Confessional Grief With Some F-Bombs Thrown In, and by early evening, I was What Is Wrong With Me Why Am I So Mad melting into Dinner Needs To Get Made, Everyone Out Of The House, There I Feel A Little Better, Tomorrow's A New Day, We'll Start Over And It'll Be Fine.

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COVID-IARIES, Days 8-11: The Sads Cometh

I picked a fight with an old family friend last night. It was shitty of me, and I have had this ball of tension sitting in the pit of my stomach all night and day because of it.

I have been spending an inordinate amount of time online, after the kids go to bed, trying to keep myself abreast of the ever-changing news about the virus. I read article after interview after article, I look at graphs, I read through comments on my neighborhood community page about what local businesses are still operating and if the supermarkets have any Lysol back in stock yet (they don't). I feel like I am trying to prepare for an impending war without knowing who the enemy will be. Will the enemy be food shortages? Medical supply shortages? Doctor shortages? The sudden and un-memorialized (because of the quarantine) death of a family member? I am trying to prepare for a catastrophe while playing nurse, emotional load bearer, grocery shopper, cook, and teacher. I'm doing this while watching the timer on the dryer and planning around naptimes. I'm trying to glean everything I can from sources I don't have time to vet, then worrying that information is outdated, or patently false to begin with. This, after 12+ hours of trying to teach my kid, keep the teacher advised of her progress, dab at the pee-soaked carpet with towels that I will then have to wash with bleach when there's a bleach shortage, cook food in order of expiration so as to limit our trips to the store and to keep the whining of picky eaters down to a half-a-Xanex roar, keep the house tidy, wash the pee-soaked pants, get us outside for fresh air and exercise when one kid wants me to give her roller skating lessons and the other wants to be pushed on a trike at the same time, put the house back together now that the sewer repair and bedroom remodel are done, make sure the goddamned Beta fish is fed, and check in on my neighbors and friends. It's exhausting. AND WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES.

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COVID-IARIES, Day 7: Gratitude With Attitude

The thing about writing during a pandemic is that when you do it late at night, after you've sung John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt to the kids eight hundred times (yup, my kids fall asleep to a beer hall song), and after you've cleaned the kitchen, and wiped down the table and countertops, and emptied out the potty, and after you've tidied the living room/classroom, and maybe attempted your daily diastasis recti exercises.... after all that, you're too tired to write. But you know - I know- you have to empty out your head, because if you don't, there'll be a ten-car pileup in there before breakfast. You'll have taken all the news of the day and smooshed it together with all the news that breaks before the triangle that signals the start of school is rung, and you'll be a big ball of All The Ways We'll Surely Die during the flag song. One cannot feign enthusiasm for addition and subtraction and finding digraphs at 9 am if one's head has not been properly emptied out of all apocalyptic thinking the night before.

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COVID-IARIES, Days 5 & 6: HomeFooling

What day is this? Monday? Right. We had spaghetti for dinner. That's the only way I'm keeping track of things right now: via what we ate for dinner. Every monday we have pasta. Tomorrow is Taco Tuesday. Tomorrow is also Day 6 of Distance Learning, which is the very official and studious sounding name to what amounts to a few hours of begging Bobo to complete a worksheet bookended by SpongeBob Squarepants episodes.

Today she wore a fancy dress to "school" (read: our living room), complete with gold colored purse and matching cardigan. I was about to protest, give her a few reasons why we should keep our clothes glue- and marker-free, maybe save the dresses for fancy occasions, and then I was like: You know what? Who cares? Who cares about ANYthing right now? You wanna wear a dress? Go right ahead. The fanciest dress you own? Rock it. Want a clown wig and firefighter's helmet to go with it? Knock yourself out. You know what absolutely doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things? This dress. Specifically, whether or not you'll stain it bad enough (you will) that you'll never be able to wear it again (you won't). Wear ALL the dresses, kid, EVERY DAMNED DAY.

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COVID-IARIES Days 3 & 4: The Blurring

It was me, you guys. I'm the one who made the parks department wrap the monkey bars in caution tape. That was my family flouting the social distancing mandate the day before yesterday. We thought we were safe in the park. Apparently not. I've now lowered humanity's lowest common denominator. Me. My family. Somewhere out there on social media, there's an old white guy spewing misspelled, poorly punctuated rage about how we can't have nice things because of that negligent woman who brought her kids to the park.

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