While everyone around the world is bragging about their organized closets, my toddler is ransacking every closet in our home. My husband, Scott, and I have both been working from home without child care for several weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s one word to describe our status: bananas. Our life is B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
Thankfully, my husband and I are both still employed, at least as of the day I write this. Not everyone is so lucky. And, our offices are understanding of the flexibility needed to care for our daughter, Charlotte. The days are long, but we’ve managed to get into a routine. Here is a small window into our lives these days.
It’s Friday. My husband wakes at 6:00am and begins working immediately. Pulling my tired, pregnant body takes me an extra 20 minutes. (Side note, in addition to the many unknowns related to COVID-19 and pregnancy, being pregnant during a pandemic with a toilet paper shortage when you need to pee all the time and not being able to drink alcohol feels like a cruel joke.)
Anyway, back to 6:25am. My daughter is stirring, and I rush to make myself look somewhat human for upcoming video conference calls. My husband manages to get Charlotte from her pajama pants into normal pants, but she won’t part with her pajama top. She wins this battle but won’t win the war. Charlotte eats more of my breakfast than her own — look at her stealing from her little sibling already — and milk spills on the floor in three-minute increments.
Next, I get the first two-hour block to work, while Scott is on Charlotte duty. Few coworkers have started their days, and I get through a significant amount of my to-do list. Charlotte does make a brief cameo during my first video conference call but otherwise behaves well for Scott.
My quality time with Charlotte follows, so after changing her pajama top, I take her outside to burn off some of that toddler energy. I’m a quarter of the way done drawing Minnie Mouse with chalk when I realize Charlotte is 50 yards ahead of me. I make a mental note to sign her up for track in a few years and chase after her.
Back inside, it’s down to the basement. I try my luck at giving Charlotte crayons and hope that she keeps them on her construction paper instead of coloring her toys this time. I open my laptop. Before the quarantine, we used to say, “Charlotte plays well independently while being watched closely.” Thankfully, this has improved, otherwise we’d work until 10:00pm each night. Early last week, she entertained herself by taking her shirt off and placing a bucket on her head while riding her rocking horse. A mother’s pride and joy.
Lunchtime is when things went off the rails. My daughter wasn’t eating her lunch like I hoped, and she accidentally bumped her head on the kitchen table. Naturally, a terrible-two meltdown followed. We moved to the couch and watched her beloved “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” and she soon calmed down.
Scott was making his signature BLTs for lunch when hot bacon grease accidentally spilled onto his fingers, leading to excruciating pain. While I was googling what to do for burns and on hold with Urgent Care, Charlotte was walking around with the butter knife. She also managed to lock the bathroom door, thankfully, not with her behind it. The hinges would later need to be removed to unlock the door. Insisting on sitting in a regular chair, Charlotte fell and had her second meltdown in 10 minutes.
After his Urgent Care visit, Scott learned that he had first- and second-degree burns. He took pain meds and went to rest. Charlotte took a nap. I somehow managed to get some more work done after the traumatic lunch.
Later that night after dragging myself into bed, I reflected on the “bananas” day. Under normal circumstances, this would be considered an awful day. However, we now have the perspective to appreciate what we have in light of the ongoing global pandemic. So many people are battling things much more serious. After weeks of quarantine, I’ve finally recalibrated about what’s most important in life. It boils down to the health of my loved ones. Scott’s hand is already feeling better and Charlotte’s boo-boos from the day are long forgotten. My life is bananas, but I love it.