• Jana

Not Camp or Hawaii. Shaping up to be a Unique Summer. Coronavirus Update - Day 97 and Counting...

One of the deals I struck with the kids as school was coming to an end and we were discussing the summer, was that it couldn't be all about them anymore. What was supposed to be a two-week hiatus from school, turned out to be a three-month homeschooling nightmare for me. There was a lot of collateral damage in those three months. 


For those of you who followed along, I am sure I didn't mince words about what a personal struggle and sacrifice homeschooling was for me. Not only was a lousy teacher, but I didn't get any of my projects done. 


The ironic thing about those kinds of projects (cleaning, organizing, paperwork, etc.) is they just wait for you, for as long as it takes. No magic fairy ever comes in the middle of the night and does them while you peacefully sleeping and dreaming of a life without the Coronavirus. 


I had no choice but to push most things aside and let homeschooling consume my life. It's the kind of sacrifice that anyone would make, willingly or not. But all sacrifices eventually have expiration dates and mine was June 10th, the day school let out.


We are still trying to figure out the summer and how things will go. I am still recovering from the past three months of being a school teacher and find myself not quite ready to put my camp counselor hat on. In the meantime, I am starting to check off a few things on my list that have to get done. 


Since we didn't have any specific plans today, I decided it might be a good day to start with one of the smaller, but very overdue projects - changing all the linens on the beds. In our house, that is a huge job. We have five beds, four of which are daybeds and a nightmare to change. Had I known, I might have made different decisions for their rooms (although I love the way the daybeds look and also that they give the kids a lot of extra floor room to play). Since I am not buying all new beds I (we) am (are) stuck changing sheets on day beds for the foreseeable future. I think it rates below vacuuming and cleaning in all of our books. 


To make matter worse, I iron the pillowcases for the kids' beds because once again, they are daybeds and the pillowcases show. If I had purchased regular beds, I would not have to iron 8 pillowcases, in addition to everything else changing those pain-in-the-neck beds entails. 


Funny enough, as I was begrudgingly ironing the pillowcases this morning, the kids asked if I could teach them how to iron. I did think it was a bit of an odd request, but I agreed.


They thought it was the cat's meow. I had to watch them carefully, and offer quite a bit of assistance, but you have never seen such enthusiastic ironers. If only it were safe and their enthusiasm wouldn't wane (which I can all but guarantee it will, because who, in their right mind gets excited about ironing). I would happily relinquish ironing forever


As we changed the beds and ironed I tried to stave off my guilt that we weren't outside riding bikes or inside doing crafts. I felt guilty taking any time to do the things that I needed to get done, even though in this case, they were not for me, but rather for the kids specifically. As moms, we often feel that we shouldn't impose on our children in this way. I know that I do and have to fight that urge to feel bad not only for taking time to get the important and necessary household chores done but also for asking for my kids to help. 


I must say, however, that every time I do, I see something magical happen like I did today with the ironing. I see them having fun doing something that seems perfunctory to me, or learning a skill that I know will come in handy someday. I try to hang on to those moments and remind myself that especially during these challenging times, we are not living in the Brady house with Alice doing all our chores and preparing all our meals. If we don't do them as a family they simply won't get done. 




Ironing 101!



Miles was a natural.



Miles' version of helping change the sheets.



Graham folding sheets with me. He puts my folding skills to shame. Watch out Marie Kondo!



Graham and Catherine putting the finishing touches on their beds.



Miles eating his first almond butter and jelly sandwich. He is allergic to peanut butter and up until today, would not even try an alternative.



He loved it! Yay. He finally agreed to give up salami.



Miles watching snake videos after lunch.



He is not giving up on the notion of having his own as a pet. I am praying this passes.



This was my bright idea. I explained how snakes eat their food and thought if he caught sight of it, he would do an about-face. My experiment backfired miserably. He watch the entire disgusting video of the snake eating the mouse and never flinched. I couldn't watch at all (big surprise there) and even Garin and Graham were too freaked out to watch. We may have a snake in our future.



I carted him off to a bird store this afternoon, right after the snake videos, to try to change his mind, since just last week, before our slithering visitor yesterday, he was begging for a bird.



The kids were all admiring a feisty toucan at the bird store.



We also looked at bird feeders for our backyard, since we now have the doves who have moved in.



I think my plan worked. As soon as we returned from the bird store, Miles went upstairs, collected all his money, and asked if we could return to the bird store tomorrow to pick up his bird. The one he likes is $3500.00 so I may be in luck since he appears to be a bit short.



Dinner: Turkey Sloppy Joe Sliders and Pasta Salad with Feta, Yellow Peppers, Cucumbers and Black Olives.



Miles enjoying an after dinner (and bath) Beatles concert given by Garin.



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