No water after 8pm | The Great Corona Quarantine of 2020
March 17, 2020
There’s is no thirstier person than the person who has been told they cannot have water after a certain time. I might not have drank a single drop of water all day, not felt a bit of thirst, but the moment you say “YOU CANNOT HAVE IT.” It suddenly rises up the urge to need it more than anything in the world.
That’s a little bit how I felt about my first moments succumbing to the self-quarantine.
I work from home everyday. I have an occasional daily meeting, but my one outing consists of some form of exercise for about an hour, and that’s it. We’ve been staying home much, much more on the weekends. And truthfully, during the Winter months, I go into a self-proclaimed hibernation mode. I can’t stand the cold, so I’ll pick staying in 100% of the time.
I am rarely bothered by this work-from-home, have-a-toddler life. I don’t get cabin fever. And I like my daily routine.
Maybe it’s that last line that did me wrong. Or maybe it’s because allllll February I look forward to it clicking over to March because the hibernation season is officially over in my mind. Or maybe it’s because I was told “You cannot go outside your house.”
But, I lost it.
Sunday night I was in a bad place of knowing what the right thing to do was, and 100% fighting it. I didn’t want to give up my one hour of the gym. I didn’t want to be told what to do. And I did not want my routine getting screwed up.
But who does, really?
As I began to veer towards the correct direction, I continued to be grumpy about it. I was grumpy about freezing my Orange Theory membership. I was grumpy about having 10 milllllllllion things in our fridge, freezer, and cabinets. And I was grumpy that I now had to find a way to work with a toddler 24/7. I am still grumpy when I see people out living their normal lives while I feel a bit trapped in my house.
BUT, I have friends, TWO, to be exact that have had to reschedule their weddings. I have a friend who got a notice that someone at their daycare was exposed. Almost daily a new Redstone Arsenal case comes up. And as a true Enneagram 1, I am a rule follower. I don’t want to make it worse, certainly.
So, again, Type A, schedule lover… I needed a chart to (no pun intended) chart these muddy waters, and give us SOME sense of normal. I made a joke a few days ago to my husband, that I felt like this virus was a stealthy silent protest from teachers in order to increase their pay. Because we all know about 1 hour in that we are NOT cut from the same cloth. God bless them.
I wanted to share our chart. We’ve tested it about two days now, and set timers for each of the activities which really helps keep the day moving. I’ll put it below so I can chat about a couple of things, and then I’ll put the full download link at the bottom! The truth is, I could have worked on this for many, many more days, but it wouldn’t have been helpful then! So, the sooner the better!
Gemma does awesome with the little pictures. I used them on her monthly calendar at the end of last year, and the symbols really tell her what’s happening when I’m reading about what’s next. After each task, or a few tasks if we forget, I get her to put stickers on the box we just did.
I’m sure the first thing you said was, “Yea, but my kid wakes up at XXXX time…” SO, I also provided a blank one where you can fill in the times!
Second, we don’t do a lot of snacks here, but if you do… even better to fill in where the time gaps are happening! I really try to not start new time blocks early. By nap time you run out of things to do!
Next, notice I said “make & eat” on the meals. Definitely getting Gemma involved in making the meal 1. makes it take longer to do the activity and 2. makes her pumped to eat it.
We do a fair amount TV around here… but, I know we need major limits for times like these. Sunday Gemma’s eyes were practically bugging out of her head from all the movies we watched. I knew we couldn’t survive three weeks like that. That’s why I added a no TV block. Sometimes it’s just extra noise, which my brain definitely doesn’t need.
Move time… obviously our weather in Alabama mostly SUCKS right now. Like it rains, and rains, and rains… making it super hard to get outside. The last two days we have just “walked” on the road and found some treasures each day. Any activity is better than none. We also broke out some 80s Mousekersize on Sunday, but Gemma was not too impressed. Going to try some kids Yoga next! I try to remember what the Danish say about this, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”
FaceTiming our family has been a big bust so far, but I think it’s our best bet for connecting during these times apart. Hopefully she will get more into that one!
For us, a clean house is a happy house. It’s not an unusual thing for me to make Gemma clean up a set of toys (be it blocks, characters, stuffed animals, etc.) if I see her moving on to something else. If you haven’t been doing this, I highly recommend it during this time in order to keep your sanity in tact! And, make sure that you are at least doing the cleaning together if your kid is unwilling/able to do it by themselves. No one wants to add “maid” to their resume during this time. So, between each of these items on the chart I would get Gemma to clean up the previous activity before moving on.
If your kiddo isn’t great at playing by themselves, I suggest setting some mini-timers. Set one for 5 minutes and play with them first. Then say… I’m going to set the timer for 10 minutes and I’ll come back. And then stretch it longer and longer each time. Gemma is very good at entertaining herself most days, but I try to take the last 5-15 minutes of each activity to participate in too.
Lastly, if G is happily playing by herself with one activity, I would 100% NOT just move on to the next for the sake of moving on. Yesterday there was a little confusion and push-back since I didn’t have our chart printed out yet. Today, we’ve only battled asking to watch PJ Masks once. 😉 I am positive this won’t work everyday, but at least we have a little cadre to rely on for the time being. Maybe by the time it wears off, the sun will finally come out for a bit and we can just go out in the yard!
I alllllssooo, made a little “Mom” version of how MY day goes, and what I try to accomplish. With about 4 hours of total work a day (normally I’m around 6-7 hours), I’m trying to set my bar pretty low. Because I feel most accomplished on days that I get a lot of my tasks done, this is a hard lesson to re-learn since Gemma has been going to school. Before those days, lots of feelings of failure for me on days that didn’t go so well with Baby G. I also made a blank one if you can’t think about getting up at 5am. No judgement here. I’m usually asleep before 9:30… 10 was a stretch.
These are some really strange days. But I am pleading with you, if you haven’t changed your life to be distanced, you’re keeping all of us mamas with wired toddlers locked up for longer than necessary. 🙂 I don’t want to be in my house for three weeks, but I certainly don’t want to be here any longer—let’s do what we have to do and be done with it!
I hope a look at our daily crazy chart 1. helps you feel more sane2. helps you make your own schedule to adhere to for the next little stint. Little people always seem to thrive on routine. Maybe something I never grew out of!
P.S. We watched Frozen 2 as our movie last night and this scene really hit home. Ya feel me?