It would be wrong to say we aren't happy. Everett and Imogen are adorable and hilarious as often (or more) as they are frustrating and exhausting. At the same time, this isn't what we want for them - we want them to interact, to experience.
At the beginning, we figured keep our heads down and just get through it. Give them love and support, get work done, don't let the stress make things worse. Now after 6+ weeks of shelter-in-place and at least 5 to go... it's starting to feel like we may need to reassess the routine.
Do we need to carve out time for more preschool activities? More 1:1 time? More video play dates? All of that will push our 9-to-5 work later to the bedtime-to-midnight hours, sapping our energy for the following days. It's a tricky calculation trying to figure out what is best for them, best for us, and best for our family as a whole.
All this mental (and often physical) juggling makes the days extremely long. The weather barely changes. No celebrations, no performances, no parties, no museums, no zoos. It's starting to feel like Groundhog Day to us. Does it feel like an endless loop to them? Is it any different from how they normally feel?
|A lot of physical contact is happening - April 4, 2020|
We have tried to mark special days - Easter, our anniversary, Immy's half-birthday - but it's tough. It feels reduced to sweets and presents. Even that is starting to bleed together.
|Easter outfits - April 12, 2020|
Oh yeah, our girl is two-and-a-half! SHe can do monkey jumps, eats everything, and has at least as many words as Everett did at this age (which was a mountain). Her imaginative play is a sight to behold - whether she's Oliver crawling around on all fours, a princess searching for her crown, or simply riding a flying Dumbo in our living room. It's abundantly clear that having a role model in the house impacted her development in the best way and it is fascinating to watch them play together.
|This clown is 2.5!|
We can't even type that last sentence without firing up that familiar twinge of guilt. Everett was learning and growing so much in his preschool environment. He vocalizes missing it, his teachers, and his friends.
It's always toughest trudging through the middle of a situation - when the ending is undefined and elusive. Someday we will look back at this time as an anomaly. We will joke about how crazy hectic it was and reminisce about how much time we spent together.
|Stevens Creek County Park - April 15, 2020|
We're also starting to wonder about the post-quarantine era. What will it look like? Will the kids be eager for the transition or confused, frustrated, and acting out? What will it feel like for our little family to not be together every hour of every day? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, we'll have cake sometimes, exchange gifts sometimes, make crafts sometimes, and snuggle all the time. Maybe add some more dance parties. We know we have it pretty good all things considered. At the same time, we are doing our best to parent our kids - minimizing stress and trauma, offering them chances to grow. Now... exactly what do we do?