What are we in? Week 11? Week 12? I don’t know anymore. But I do know it has felt longer than that. I feel like a kid on a road trip “Are we there yet? Are we at the end yet? Have we reached our final destination? DO WE EVEN KNOW WHERE WE ARE GOING?!?” – and we haven’t even pulled out of the driveway.
I don’t know about you all, but when I first found out that my children would be home 24/7 and I’d be their educational facilitator for the foreseeable future – all I wanted to do was take a shot of fireball and considered taking up smoking just so I could have an excuse for personal space. “Sorry kids, Mom is having a dart, you need to be far away from me.” I did neither and just ended up pouring myself another cup of coffee and decided we needed a puppy.
To the parents who are still keeping their kids on track with their studies – kudos to you! I don’t know how you do it. To the ones that are hoping for the best, knowing the education system can’t fail your child – I see you. We tried. You are my people.
I had the best of intentions (as I’m sure most of you did as well) to keep my kids on track with their distance education. Waking them up, getting them going and learning by 10:00. Following the lesson plans outlined by the teachers. Submitting assignments on time. We were going to do this!! PLUS we were going to learn new things as a family – play games, go on nature walks, and complete all of the Pinterest ideas I’ve been saving for “when we have time.” And then by week 4, maybe 5, it all fell apart.
We hit the proverbial wall. We all were stressed, frustrated, depressed, annoyed, and just done. Learning at home is not the same as learning at school. Life in a pandemic is not the same as life without one. So, I decided that I would pick my battles, and this is what happened.
My youngest has become a grade 3 dropout to pursue his true passion – farming. He gets up at the crack of dawn and heads out with his dad. He knows how every piece of machinery works and runs. He is better at giving directions to fields than most farmers. He remembers what we planted last year and what the crop rotation is this year. So unless his math is dealing with the amount of fertilizer we are putting down with the seed – he’s not doing it. If his spelling words are not from the John Deere/Bourgault manuals and include words such as – clutch, shovels, intake manifold, monitors, gasket, tow strap – it won’t be happening. Judge me if you want but this kid is going to be so farm smart by the end of this. And if there is a way we can use these hours for work placement credits when he’s older let me know. He is the ONLY ONE who is happy about this situation and is living his best life.
Middle child – misses friends, misses routine, misses everything about life before covid. Even as a homebody – she is done with all of this. Really, who isn’t. Moods are compounded due to isolation and having two brothers that just seem to be “ugh sooooo annoying”. School is a necessary evil that is completed begrudgingly. Frustration comes easily. Her happy place in all of this is in the kitchen. She has considered starting her own YouTube cooking/baking channel. Maybe going live on Instagram while making something that’s ridiculously good. My summer clothes would appreciate it if she found some healthier recipes to try. And my grocery list has grown exponentially, and so has her personal recipe book. She loves to find and try new recipes. And hey, if she wants to make homemade peanut butter cups – I’m cool with that.
The oldest. I honestly don’t even know where he is. I think in the Bat Cave….. errr basement. He only ventures out after noon, preferably when it’s not too bright out. His nutrition consists of Corn Pops, KD, granola bars and chocolate milk. We see him only when he comes out of his cocoon to do his school work. Which he promptly finishes, grabs a snack and heads back downstairs. He has solved his Rubik’s cube, completed 3 Sudoku books and has a list of novels I’m supposed to order for him. He stays connected with his gaming buddies, the perfect social interaction for the introvert. Talking to them while playing a video game in the comfort of the Bat Cave. We will play the occasional cribbage game, nothing too social. He’s starting to be ok being himself.
So chances are I’m not winning any Best Mother of the Pandemic awards. But I’m ok with that. I’ll just pour another cup of coffee, and put on a good playlist. We’ll be alright. The kids will be alright.