Each day I wake up and tell myself that it's going to be a better day. Some days it works and some days it doesn't. Lately, it has been working less and less. I am not sure what happened to the progress I was making on the imaginary learning curve I claimed to be on, with this homeschooling/quarantine thing, but it seems to be in a breakneck decline.
It is the first week in June and we are in the home stretch with school. Yet I am more burned out with each passing day. The constant tedium and chaos of homeschooling wears on me, enormously. The mess everywhere, no matter how much I try to clean up, drives my neat-nick self crazy. The noise level of four kids on zoom meetings and engaging in random arguments makes me feel like I'm going deaf. The unfortunate job of being the Minecraft Police with Garin is mind-numbing ("What assignment are doing now, Garin?" "I need to see your screen Garin." "Why did Catherine just come and tell me she saw you on Minecraft, Garin?"). I wonder if this what losing your mind feels like? I'm quite sure it must.
I have stopped gardening altogether and am getting no pleasure out of cooking anymore, both of which were bringing some measure of joy just a few weeks ago. My already short-fuse is now almost non-existent. What started as Ground Hog Day in March and April now feels like a terrible dream I never awaken from.
Some of what I am feeling I can probably attribute to the pure monotony and relentlessness of this pandemic existence. Eighty-five days, locked in a house with four kids, with absolutely no break or time to myself. I presume that would drive any person to the brink of madness.
I can also trace some of my irritability and depression to Miles and Garin, specifically. Finding out that Garin wasn't doing most of his work was a devastating blow. This was a straight-A student who plummeted to two F's and I still don't know what his other grades are going to be. One thing I do know is that there will not be a single A or probably even a B appearing on his report card. We are working tirelessly to pull the grades up, by meeting tomorrow's deadlines for some of his classes and Monday for the ones with a later deadline. It is an exhausting marathon, from which we are both burned out. I am still trying to figure out how things went this wrong, but I will do a post-mortem after we finish the work and get it turned in.
Miles is also becoming unhinged. He is so bored and frustrated that he has turned into a regular Dennis-the-Menace. Every time I turn around he is doing something he is not supposed to be doing that is often very dangerous. This is the way he behaved three and a half years ago when I decided to send him to preschool, full-time, promptly on his 2nd birthday. At the time, it was an absolute necessity for his safety and my sanity. Fast forward to 2020. My five-year-old has reverted to his Na'er-do-well two-year-old self, and I no longer have the option of sending him to school to save us both.
I am hoping that this is just a slump I am in and that things will look up soon. I don't have a choice but to Keep Calm and Carry On, as The Queen so aptly does when she faces her many challenges. I wonder if she'd pick up the phone at Windsor Castle, where she is quarantining if I were to call and seek her advice. You know, from one mum to another......
Miles watering the hardscape, which is always helpful in a drought.
He prepared his own very sugary late-morning snack. That's a frozen blueberry waffle with loads of whipped cream on top.
I got him to add a few strawberries for good measure.
Not helping, but just watching Graham do the dishes, while laying on the counter.
Imbibing before lunch.
Confiscating the bars I had taken great care to hide from him, due to a prior binging problem.
Destroying the couch.
Hanging from the mantle.
I don't even know what he was doing here.
About to sit in a stockpot filled with hose water. He stole the stockpot from the kitchen cabinet.
What remains of a huge Dove chocolate Bunny that Miles stole from the cabinet and secretly snacked on all day, no doubt contributing to his delinquent behavior.
A single moment of peace and compliance. It didn't last.
Garin taking his integers exam.
This was a welcome sight in my mailbox tonight and the icing on the cake. Just another huge perk of living in this area. In addition, of course, to the triple digit summer temperatures. I'm so grateful for the education on how to decipher a venomous snake from one that is not. That information will come in handy the next time I take out the trash and step on rattlesnake while I'm out there.