For February, we’re focusing on parent burnout! I’m not sure why, actually. It’s about one year into the Pandemic, and honestly, I’m feeling fine. Having had my kids with me 24/7 for the last 350 days with few social outlets disrupted work and life routines, and remote schooling is a bowl of cherries! Peaches and cream! It’s even easy peasy, lemon squeezy. That’s us, a bunch of squeezed lemons!
I mean, just this morning at school time I told one kid to log in and was met with unbridled enthusiasm. “ALREADY?!” she wailed. Wailing is so magical in the morning, don’t you think? Their eyes welled up, they were so excited.
I fed both children a carefully considered homemade breakfast of whatever comes out of a cereal box or can be warmed up in the microwave because I love my children and nutrition is very important. I lovingly tossed it onto the table in front of them without a backward glance. My other child had a new virtual meeting this morning, one apparently requiring repeating things with an empty mouth. We are very good at following rules and expectations here so I signed them in with breakfast. We call this “practicing multitasking,” and not to brag, but my kids are advanced multitaskers. Don’t be too jealous when you see them chomping away at this pandemic and remote learning one semi-open mouthful of Rice Krispies at a time.
As you can see, remote learning is really going well. The older one has figured out how to keep the camera off just long enough to do anything but schoolwork and not get in trouble. Playdough toenails! Kitchen creations! Lying on the floor crying! So creative! The younger prefers a more direct approach of either shutting the Chromebook (with or without tossing it across the room) or battling it with foam Minecraft swords while shouting, “No school! No school!” Isn’t it neat to see how siblings can develop such distinct personalities and problem-solving skills? I love how the Pandemic brings that out. In fact, I love everything about this Pandemic, including delaying career goals and the ways that remote learning creates friction in our days and makes my kids hate school.
Wait—did I say it makes them hate school? They say that from time to time, since last March. They’re such jokesters. Such senses of humor. Humor is a high-level coping mechanism, by the way. Everyone keeps saying how this experience will make kids resilient. And it’s true—SO resilient. I mean, just a while ago my older came up the stairs spouting a litany of all my failures as a parent because I had spent so much time helping our sword-slinging class evader onto Zooms this morning. Man, this Pandemi