First of all, thank goodness I am a high-functioning caffeineoholic. Without a steaming cup of coffee in my hand from 7am – 2pm I would fall the F apart during “all this craziness” as my daughter has now taken to saying. In context “maybe we can have a play date with Ryan after all this craziness is over.”
Second: This is not a scientific analysis. This is a “I went from a working mom to a SAHM, Pre-K teacher, and homemaker overnight” analysis.
Assumption: I’m going to save so much money on food since I won’t be going out for lunch or getting Starbucks every morning. This is going to be great.
Actuality: WE. EAT. THREE. MEALS. A. DAY. AT. HOME. NOW. AND. GO. THROUGH. AT. LEAST. A. POT. OF. COFFEE. A. DAY. And the dishes. Oh Mylanta the dishes. Gone are the days where leftovers from a large dinner last for another three or four dinners. Here are the days where I’m honestly experiencing serious trepidation over ordering delivery or carry out, so I’m cooking most nights.
Assumption: Shit I’m going to have to cook two meals each evening. One Rob and I will eat, one Eva will eat (she’s thus far lived on a steady stream of chicken nuggets and other processed quick and dirty dinner items, including of the drive-thru variety). She almost never ate a truly balanced meal. Protein, dairy, and fruit are her main food groups. Let me paint a picture: We have a large table and her little toddler table in our dining area. She was too small for the big table for a few years so we had gotten used to her sitting at her small table for meals, with one of us sitting with her, usually Rob. She eats, a parent vultures her leftovers, then maybe once a month Rob and I have a meal together. Usually I eat in the kitchen while I’m microwaving chicken nuggets, and Rob eats when he gets home from work or after Eva goes to bed. I’m gonna lose my mind.
Actuality: I cook one meal. We all eat it together. I’ve heard “Mommy I really like this” more often than not. Mind.Blown. I am absolutely shocked that we reprogrammed this dinnertime behavior with such minimal resistance from the small child. She has helped my cook some of these meals, which she takes great pride in, and even named one of the recipe’s after herself. I almost fell off my chair when she tried salad, green beans, Mongolian beef, chicken tikka masala, and roasted broccoli. She didn’t like any of them but the fact that she tried and didn’t clap her hands over her mouth and shake her head violently is massive. She also is chewing with her mouth closed (mostly) and not talking with her mouth full as much. To be fair, she cries every time she gets “potato-ed” (our fun little game to try and break this family’s habit of talking with their mouth full. If you catch someone doing it you scream potato) so I’m sure that has something to do with it.
Assumption: I totally printed off enough lessons from the internet to keep Eva engaged and occupied while her school is closed (at the time I did that they said school would be closed for two weeks).
Actuality: LOL IT HAS BEEN THREE WEEKS AND THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT.
Edit: Massachusetts just closed schools and daycare through the end of June, and I have just burst into tears. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled content after this brief complete and utter breakdown. Don’t worry, Eva is napping and isn’t sitting here watching me cry with my head down on the table.
Assumption: I’ll totally be patient.
Actuality: Patience? Yeah. I hear myself say “no, you’re not writing that letter correctly, it is slanted and off the line. Erase it and start over.” And “are you thinking or guessing? If you’re guessing we’re going to keep going until you start doing it properly. You know to figure this out so please slow down and focus.” And “stop procrastinating. The more you mess around the longer it will take you.” Then I reign it in and remember that I am talking to a FOUR AND A HALF YEAR OLD. What melts my heart, is in the middle of a lesson she will say “huggie?” and we have a quick cuddle to re-set and then she does pretty well.
Assumption: Being at home will make me less angry and on-edge.
Actuality: For the most part this is true. I avoid the news, but I am active on Instagram and see the messages and memes on peoples’ stories. Yesterday I rage-cleaned my living room, including deep clean vacuuming my carpet on my hands and knees with the upholstery attachment.
Assumption: That I’d be craving contact with humans other than Rob and Eva.
Actuality: Not really. It would be nice to see my family and meet up with friends but I’m not crawling out of my skin about it. What is extremely difficult is watching Eva. She understands that there is a virus, she understands that we need to social distance because a vaccine has not been developed, she understands that other people can get sick even if you yourself don’t feel sick. She’s perfectly happy to play with mom and dad, to a point. She’s extremely imaginative and creative. She has been doing alright for the most part. But the attitude is elevated, and meltdowns are more extreme. There are things her brain is having a hard time fully processing, like how she gets an emotional high from face timing her friends and family, but then crashes when reality sets in that we can’t see them any time soon.
For example: The other night we had a DEFCON 1 meltdown after a series of calls where she was hysterically crying and hyperventilating saying “THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL MAKE ME HAPPYYYY” which is funny but also devastating. On one hand you’re rolling your eyes because she’s dramatically saying the fucking magic school bus is the only thing that will ever make her happy, and on the other you’re trying to get her to calm her body, slow down her breathing, stop her crying so hard she’s drooling, just trying to fix everything. I can’t fix everything. But I can calm her down enough to cooperate with bedtime, and then tomorrow is a new day.
I think I need to take a break… Noticing a real shift in mood on this one and I want to be sure I’m also including positive and humorous actualities. The announcement about schools closed through June put me in a negative spot and I need to regroup. I do have a steaming cup of coffee, but am not coping with the situation at hand very well right this second. I may need to rethink that strategy. Part two on this will come eventually… Maybe it’ll become a running feature. Dunno.