It only took a week for our daily routine to completely change. Monday we were up at 8 am, fully dressed, fed, and out the door for the school run. I had several hours to do all the chores, run errands, and work from home. Next would be school pick up, homework before dinner, then the bedtime routine. By Thursday, the government had officially shut the country down.
A slide show of horror flashed through my mind, revolving around being locked in the house, with 3 kids, and nowhere to go. Even worse I was now in charge of home-schooling. I feel victorious when they clean their rooms or eat dinner without complaint.
Internally I tried to comfort myself: “It won’t last long, heck maybe it will be fun!” While everyone was out panic buying toilet paper, I was grabbing notebooks, pencils, and pens. Armed with my new positivity I set up a “school area” and created a “schedule.” It was so detailed it even included daily exercise and creative time. Oh, what a sweet fool I was.
My Mary Poppins enthusiasm and “schedule” lasted for about 2 weeks. Three months in and most days no one is up before 10 am, and breakfast is really more of a brunch. Getting everyone to change out of their pajamas for 1 hour of exercise, is more of a workout than the walk itself. “Mom” has become a trigger word for what I can only describe as some sort of lockdown PTSD. If I hear it enough times in quick succession, I instantly want to flee to the nearest dark cupboard until bedtime.
At some point in the day, I have to coax the older 2 into doing school work. Originally I tried to homeschool them both at the same time, so I could do other things later in the day. That just about fried all the nerves I have left so I have settled for focusing on 1 kid at a time. They fight over who has to go first.
My 4 year old really seems to enjoy all the one to one time with me. He likes to follow me into the bathroom and sit in the little space behind my back and chair. Trying to balance hot pans from the oven is apparently the best time to show me his latest dance moves. He is always enthusiastically trying to play with his older brother and sister but they rarely comply.
‘‘After this match,” is my middle son’s new favorite reply to anything I ask him to do. I may have cheated the system when I created a chore chart allowing him to earn in game money. Now that boy has a worth ethic you wouldn’t believe. He sweeps the floor, cleans the counters, and attempts hoovering like he is auditioning for Broadway. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t implement that sooner.
The eldest is probably having the hardest time adjusting, though I can’t tell if it is lockdown or if she is just turning into a pre-teen. She rarely wants to leave the house and becomes a nervous wreck if we have to go grocery shopping. We revamped her bedroom so she has a nice place to “escape from her brothers.” So far it hasn’t worked.
Overall we are all still alive, managing to do most of the school work, and the house is still standing. Everyone is still laughing and hugging, so I consider that a win.