From being a cool ice-cube to having a nervous breakdown (if you’re curious, I broke down in the middle of the road on a friend’s shoulder), a lot has happened lately. I guess it’s the combination of having kids+ covid which is a new kind of challenge. For someone like me, who thought that just being with little kids is hard, throw in a virus like covid, and I found myself going bonkers in late March. I still held my head high, as I got used to seeing the faces of my husband and children all the time. No really, when do we get to miss each other?
Image source - alamy.com
So, I juggled between a babyhood and toddlerhood as I told myself that this is the hardest year ever. I complained and fretted to friends and family. Well, the upside is that most people are going through similar problems – all are facing the new normal so we usually have the same complaints. And also, the upside is that everybody is at home so I am not envious of people who usually go on vacations.
Still, by late July, I pretended things would change and I’d finally say goodbye to my husband and son that would give me a few hours to myself. Duh, should have known that 2020 is bound to be called the family year. The year when we’d spend time with each other the longest so much that we’ll have way too many memories.
Wait for it, the best part is yet to come. So here I am, struggling to keep myself intact as I survive living with the kids (which seems nothing for most people but hey, do you know what’s a cycle of food and bathroom trips in a day every 15 mins?), I am told to homeschool my son. I had never really thought I’d have to be the teacher plus parent. Yes, 2020 also means – let’s make parents go nuts because they are usually sane and happy otherwise.
What’s our usual homeschool routine for our kindergartner -
One of us, the husband or I, will hold our breath as we go through the attendance for our son. Mind you, those are a few thrilling minutes as we try to keep our son glued to his chair with the baby jumping beside, with the TV blasting as we strain to hear his name so we can confirm his presence for the class. And this attendance is done three or more times through the day.
We breathe a sigh of relief as the husband goes to his desk leaving me to deal with the rest. There are a few minutes of peace when the baby will go bonkers and will demand the iPad be given to her. And the son will give it to her happily so he can play with his trucks. So, I will struggle to get the iPad from her after arguing that it’s for her brother while she screams and makes more demands. We’ll finally settle in when the baby will poop or the son will announce he is hungry.
I do think that the teachers all around the world are doing wonderful to reach out to students in these hard times. I also think that parents like me whose kids are little who will refuse to sit for prolonged screen time (apparently, screen time is now attributed to attending school), should simply breathe and let it pass.
And then, sometimes, in a midday class, me and the baby and the son are listening to the teacher talk about a story – the three little kittens. Once we all go back to being normal, we’ll probably remember that we went to school together once upon a time.