• Genevieve

Quarantine Day 21

We have been back just over 3 weeks since we took a rejuvenating trip to Victoria, B.C. Before we arrived in B.C., we didn’t quite realize how dire the COVID-19 situation would become, it was serious but not yet “shutting the borders” serious. Day-by-day we watched as the world turned upside down and we didn’t quite know what to expect upon our return to Toronto.

It’s been a struggle to say the least and it seems so mundane compared to what our frontline workers are going through. I know we are not the only ones feeling this way and thought it would be a great way to give you a snap-shot into our daily grind.

7:30 a.m.- Wake up. Peak my head outside to hear the birds sing. We live in the heart of the city so it’s rare to hear them so vividly. Make some coffee and hope to the heavens Liam is still sleeping. I like having that one hour to slowly wake up and have my coffee while reading or watching something to put me in a good mood.

8:30 a.m.- As I continue watching some online videos, I start to panic that no one is awake yet as we are all usually up at this point; but decide to remain composed for at least 30 minutes.

8:31 a.m.- I check in on Liam to find he is still sleeping, Keira too.

9 a.m.- I take Violet, our cockapoo out for a short stroll while everyone is still asleep.

9:35 a.m.- I start to worry with beads of sweat dripping from my face if I’m a good parent for letting them sleep in so late and not adhering to a proper schedule, so I look it up. Everything is fine. On a normal school day they would have been in class already.

10 a.m.- Liam scurries quietly to the bathroom and starts making his way downstairs as I quickly change Game of Thrones to something more child friendly. The button doesn’t seem to work so I dash for the T.V. blocking the screen as much as I can with my arms spread open wide, pretending to give it a hug. Liam likes this idea and hugs the T.V. too. I figured this wasn’t written in Parenting 101 so I will hug all the other educational objects and hope he does too; books, instruments, art supplies. Success! We settle in for our morning snuggle and I ask him what he wants for breakfast. His quick response is

oatmeal, then marshmallows instead. “Marshmallows are not a whole food” I say, he ignores me and continues sifting through his book. I make the oatmeal anyway, hoping he’d forget about it. He does, temporarily and eats his oatmeal wholeheartedly, then reminds me at lunch that he had asked for marshmallows.

We spend a good part of the morning going through various educational games online, do some reading and our first round of kindergarden homework from the e-mail sent from his wonderful teacher.

1 p.m.- Keira is still not awake but she’s been up late. So late in fact I do not wish to reveal the time. Every time I ask her to go to sleep she demands to know why. There’s no school, her friends are up late, so why can’t she stay up with them? After 2.5 weeks of asking her, I decided to take a different approach. I will stop asking and if she wakes up at 4pm so be it; as long as there are no arguments in the house. Some parents that read the Parenting 101 book might say that this is a poor choice. However, we are not living in our normal day-to-day grind, confined to our homes with the same people day in and day out so whatever works for us may not work for you. I do believe whole heartedly

that mental health and love is key to getting through this crazy time. I am happy to say that the new tactic is working and emotions are stabilizing around here. Liam and I

continue to do our crafty projects while enjoying a sandwich and coffee round 2.

2:30 p.m.- Keira wakes up as I pour my first ½ glass of wine. She comes down and asks me why I’m drinking wine so early. I shrug my shoulders and wonder if 2:30 is really that early. I said, "what time do you think it is?" She says 9:30, so I mentally pat myself on the back for adhering to wine drinking guidelines. Then I find supermodel Molly Sims on Instagram pouring wine into her cereal and know that I’m doing just fine.

Keira proceeds to find her own lunch as she talks to her friends through Facetime; ignoring our existence. Liam and I play some Clue Jr., although he’s interested for the first 20 minutes then goes off to find another activity to do.

4 p.m. We all take Violet out for a longer walk through our neighbourhood, minding the 2 meter social distancing rules from other people outside our immediate family. It feels so overwhelmingly unnatural to try to avoid others especially in supermarkets where I tend to keep my head down, avoid eye contact, move at least 5 meters away (I know it’s 2), keep my hands away from my sleeves, prevent my glasses from falling off my face so adjust them with said sleeve and try not to open my mouth in fear that either I will transmit this awful virus or receive it from the particles in the air. It’s a dance like no other.

5 p.m.- Dinner prep! Whoopie! No one wants the same foods so I end up making dinner in four various ways. Grilled Cheese for Liam, soup for Keira, pancit (filipino dish) for Simon and a vegan buddha bowl for me with a side of greens and love. Everyone eats their meals thankfully, then Simon pipes “Still hungry. Anyone want pizza?” Which of course they say yes because, you know… the smell.

7 p.m.- Liam takes his bath that he refused to go into then suddenly remembered how much fun he has in there so doesn’t want to come out until his skin looks like he’s aged quite substantially. I sit and wait patiently sifting through all the news I can on my phone until my neck can’t take it anymore.

After this the night consists of me researching and reading while Simon spends some

extra time with Liam after he’s finished working. They spend such a great time together that Liam stays up much later than would be deemed “normal” but I try not to fret because this is a transition for all of us.

Parenting is based primarily on love, guidelines, then hope, trial and error. If you made it this far, parents you are doing great! There is no rule book for self-isolation so do what feels best for you and your family through these challenging times. Think positively as much as you can, stay home, stay healthy, stay safe; and spread some love by picking up the phone, or Facetiming anyone that could be missing a familiar and friendly voice. We are all in this together.


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