March 23, 2020.
That date, almost exactly 2 months ago, was the first day of our new normal.
This new normal is me working from home full time. It is my daughter staying at home full time, no longer in day care with her friends and teachers. It is video chats with friends and family. It is going for walks along the same (mostly deserted) neighborhood streets.
It is spending way too much time in my house and finding all of the home projects that I have been meaning to do when I have free time. It is realizing that I now have less free time because I am working and chasing a toddler around.
It is watching live music over Facebook. It is realizing that I can watch live music over Facebook without needing to wear a bra. It is high-fiving myself when I realize that the last time I work a bra was March 14. (Not that I am counting.)
It is doing more yoga and discovering that, like my daughter, I can also eat my feet. It is discovering that I am in desperate need of a pedicure.
It is realizing, oh $#*!, what was that first point again? I need to figure out how to work from home and entertain my child at the same time?
New world routine
We are still under “safer at home” orders and we are not really leaving the house anyway. This means that a typical (week)day in our house looks something like this:
Alexa alarm goes off and the lights in my bedroom automatically turn on.
I try to remember the word for “snooze”. It usually comes out something like “slooooze”. Alexa calls it close enough.
I realize that it is 7:00am and start thinking about getting up.
I hear my kiddo playing in her room. Crap. I actually get up this time.
Workout, praying the entire time that no catastrophe happens upstairs (i.e. a poop explosion), so I can finish my workout.
Get the kiddo ready for the day. This usually involves saying hello to all of her stuffed animals, reading several books and, eventually, changing her diaper and getting her dressed.
Breakfast. Finally. Seriously, how is she not hungry until now? Books before food? I mean, I have zero complaints about her love of books, but c’mon. Breakfast!
If the weather is nice, we go for a walk around the neighborhood, which usually involves picking up sticks, stealing rocks from my neighbors’ yards, and sitting on everyone’s front steps except our own.
If the weather is less than stellar (or, if I’m feeling particularly hermitish), we do “Circle Time”, which involves singing hello, saying our alphabet, and reading “Pout Pout Fish” for the 348th time.
I remember that I actually have a job, so I bribe the kiddo with Sesame Street by saying “Elmo?” and watching her jump onto the couch with the remote. Works every time. I log on and start my day.
Meeting time for me! We go to the basement, which is basically the kiddo’s play room now. She makes me pretend coffee (because I don’t drink the real stuff), draws on everything with crayons, bribes me with Play-Doh (my guilty play-room pleasure), and generally runs around. I sit on Zoom, sipping my imaginary coffee.
Lunch time! Perfect timing. The Play-Doh pizza just didn’t cut it for either one of us.
Attempt to convince the kiddo that naps are awesome. This usually involves a bit of pretending to nap. Just pretending. Pinky swear.
OMG, the house is quiet!! I can get some work done!
The kiddo is up. Maybe she can play in her room for a little while while I finish up a few things.
I really should get her out of her room. Maybe just one more….
Do I smell poop? Crap.
All clean. Snack time!
Play? Work? Play? Work? Play? Work? Play? Work? Play? Work? Play? Work?
Right, we have to eat dinner at some point. Attempt to bribe the kiddo with more Sesame Street while I cook because, trust me, her in the kitchen only results in her screaming for food while I’m still cooking it. (No sweetie. You can’t have any chicken now. It’s still raw. Just trust me on this one.)
Dinner time! We made it.
After-dinner play time. This usually involves the vacuum, because she loves the vacuum, unless it is the 3rd Tuesday after a full moon on a day when it is snowing in Canada and someone, somewhere, is eating a banana. Then, forget it. Get that vacuum out of here!
Start convincing the kiddo that it is time for a bath.
She is still not convinced.
Bribe the kiddo with Elmo during tooth-brushing time because that is literally the only way to (a) get her upstairs and (b) get her to brush her teeth.
Mommy is drenched.
Everyone (almost) is dry. Time for a bedtime book!
Kiddo is close to asleep. Night-night sweetie!!
That wasn’t even close to a full work day. I should get some work done. Let me get my laptop out again.
Waking up and realizing the house is so quiet. Bed? Code? Bed? Code? Code! Just for a little while, at least. Since I can.