Humorous Quick Reads About Families With Kids

Is Quarantine The New Normal? – QWK Week 6

Published April 27, 2020 in Quarantine with Kids - 2 Comments
Teen eats chocolate cake at grandparents house - Is quarantine the new normal?

Is quarantine the new normal? My life previously consisted of babysitting a toddler five days a week. We read stories, bought groceries, and visited the library. Anytime boredom set in, we could walk in the park or meet up with friends.

Now that the quarantine has closed the schools, the toddler is joined by his teenage brother. Everyday brings a new list of class assignments to be completed at home. That’s the key phrase: at home. All of our activities occur at home. No library, no restaurant playgrounds, and no meetings with friends. Is this the new normal?

What’s Different in the New Normal?

The first difference is two boys at my house all day instead of one. Brothers together all day create a mixed blessing. See Brotherly Love Wins Out – QWK Week 5.

The second difference is school work. Big brother must complete his list of assignments each week. Therefore, Grammy becomes a stand-in teacher and advocate (sometimes disciplinarian). Big brother struggles with organizing his time and focusing on multiple goals. So, I step in and help him break down the steps and prioritize the assignments.

Teen eats chocolate cake at grandparents house - Is quarantine the new normal?The third difference is cooking, a lot of cooking! Our household has chosen to minimize risks by eating only food prepared at home. This coupled with a teenage boy appetite means Grammy spends many hours in the kitchen each day.

The fourth difference is related to the third difference. All of those meals at home, means that we have more time to talk to each other. Before the quarantine, meals with the teen were eaten in silence. Our questions designed to draw him out were met with “I don’t know.”

Now a lack of friends to talk to combined with daily meals together has lead to a greater camaraderie. Big brother especially relates to Pa Paw. I am not proud to tell you that many lunch conversations center on burping and flatulence, but at least they are talking.

Also, Grammy erred in judgement by slicing big brother a large piece of chocolate cake. (I thought I was saving time by not cutting a bunch of small pieces.) The teen took this not as generosity, but a challenge to his manhood. He felt obligated to finish the cake. Even though it required a short rest on the floor, he choked, I mean ate it all down.

What’s the Same in the New Normal?

The first thing that’s the same is that boys grow up fast. After just a few weeks, we can tell the teen is getting taller. (Maybe it has something to do with all that food he’s eating.) Little brother is growing too. His spare shoes at Grammy’s house don’t fit anymore.

The second thing that’s the same is that grandparents have influence. More time together heightens the impact that we have on our grandchildren. But it is true even if we don’t spend a lot of time with them.

Our job is not complete responsibility like the parents. We are more like advisers or consultants. Grandparents offer guidance and support in a more hands off way than parents.

Boy shares craft with his cousin on the phone - Is quarantine the new normal?The third thing that’s the same is this job is for a short time. Because boys (and girls) grow up fast, we must make the most of the time we have with them. All too soon, children grow up and our influence diminishes. We need to take the time to talk and play with them while we can.

The last thing that’s the same is family is important. The family we get to see every day or every week prioritizes our days. But the family members we see less often, deserve our attention too. We make a point to reach out to extended family each week to stay connected.

Little brother and his favorite girl cousin shared a craft this week over the phone. They each made a unicorn from a toilet paper tube. After completing the craft, they Face-timed to compare their projects. For details on the paper tube unicorn, see: Michael’s 100 Fun Projects.

Whether we are living through an unusual time like this quarantine from the corona virus or just a normal day, grandparents are important. We must remember to be there for our grand kids because they always need us.

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June Bergeron Reply

Thanks for sharing your perspective. These brothers are blessed beyond measure by y’all. Great job!

    Nikki Reply

    Thank you! They are a blessing to us too.

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