Humorous Quick Reads About Families With Kids

Beginning Our Quarantine with Kids – Day 1

Published March 19, 2020 in Quarantine with Kids - 2 Comments
hand washing while singing

In the beginning of our quarantine-with-kids adventure we jumped in with both feet and heard a distinct thud. Actually, it was more like a thud and a “Wheeeee!” My teenage grandson (15 yo) came in with an attitude. “Why do I have to be in quarantine? I’m not sick.” In contrast, the three-year-old grandson (3 yo) came in with “You have crafts planned for the next two weeks? Let’s do them all today!”

Setting and Upsetting Expectations

daily activity schedule

I started the day by sharing my new schedule with the boys. The 15 yo was apathetic. I think he saw his situation as temporary. Surely his parents would correct their oversight and let him stay home to play video games on future days. So, what did it matter what was on the schedule?

The 3 yo on the other hand, saw the art palette next to three o’clock and thought that meant he should start painting now. I’m working on teaching him how to tell time on an analog clock, but we aren’t there yet.

So, I got the water colors and paper out for the little one. And Pa Paw had a talk with the big one about staying away from crowds because HE might infect other people who might die (like old grandparents). The 3 yo was totally occupied for about 30 minutes and the 15 yo conceded he might need to restrict his movements. So far, so good.

Hand Washing Can Be Fun, For Awhile

hand washing while singing

High on the list of new activities was frequent, vigorous hand washing. So, 3 yo, 15 yo, and I crammed into the bathroom and lathered up. Evidently, either of the ABCs or the Happy Birthday songs are the proper length for hand scrubbing. We chose the ABCs. I set a timer for 20 seconds, as a backup. Almost on the nose, we finished the song and the timer dinged.

Just to reinforce the new habit, I washed hands with the boys the next few times we came in from outside. The 3 yo decided he preferred to sing “Happy Birthday to Nobody.” So, we crooned well wishes to an anonymous person as we soaped up.

Later in the day, after about a half dozen washes, as I started to warble, 3 yo hung his head and said, “I don’t want to sing.” So, we lathered on in silence.

Hardships Can Surprise You

One of the reasons the 15 yo wanted to stay at his house, is because Grammy limits his phone time. I think it’s fine for kids to have phones, I just don’t think their use should be for an unlimited time. Since I was setting a precedent for the next few weeks (months?) I told him he could only have his phone for an hour a day. (I know. I’m so mean.) For info about the effects of extended screen time on kids, see A Silent Tragedy In How We Are Raising Our Children.

This phone policy made me very unpopular with the teen, but he surprised me in a couple of ways. First, he volunteered to make lunch while I took 3 yo to drop off books at the library. (Yea for a grandson who cooks! See my post Adulting 101 – Who Knew It Included Baking Cookies?)

His next challenge was because his brother took a two hour nap, he had to find another quiet activity besides phone time. He surprised me by choosing to make homemade play dough for little brother while he slept. His maturity pleased me.

Beginning a Quarantine is Inconvenient!

We had an additional activity in our morning. The 15 yo is in the marching band and like most students, left his instrument at the school over Spring Break. Since parents and teachers are encouraging kids to continue school work and practice at home, we had to go fetch his tuba. Usually, the leader would open the band hall doors and the kids would have a free for all as they milled around, visited with friends, went to the bathroom, and finally picked up their instruments.

Not so in the middle of a world wide pandemic. In order to limit the possible contact between students, each different instrument group was given a 15 minute window to arrive at the school. Students were then allowed to enter the band hall, one at a time, not veering from their destination and avoiding contact with hard surfaces.

Fortunately, there was not a long line when we arrived at school. The main challenge was cramming a tuba in the back of my Prius. Moments after relocating 3 yo’s car seat (I hate moving car seats!) and lowering half of the back seat, mission accomplished!

Library closed at beginning of quarantineThe final shock to our usual routine was when we went to return our books to the library. Not only were we not allowed inside to browse around for books (that we could read while we were home during quarantine), we couldn’t even return our borrowed books. They wouldn’t take them back! Well, I’m sure the library is doing their part to keep us safe. I just never thought I would see the day when the library asked me not to return a book.

Well, that is the beginning of our quarantine. More updates soon.

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