If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: I never set out to be a stay-at-home mom. But with the kids’ school closed until at least the end of May, I’m staring down the barrel of another few weeks sheltering in place with my kids. Not every mom is muttering “FML” under her breath at least 100 times a day, though. On the contrary, I find my newsfeed stuffed to the gills with pictures of smiling kids, captioned with sugary quips about how great it is that the kids are home. It burns my eyes. Stop telling me to have fun in quarantine. It ain’t gonna happen.
It’s not that every single second of quarantine has been dreadful. It’s just that most of them have. It doesn’t help that the skies over Northern Illinois didn’t get the memo that IT’S MAY. One day I’m dressing my kids in short sleeves and helping them dig for worms, and the next I’m bundling them up in their winter coats and watching them dig for worms from inside the house.
I Don’t Do Crafts in Quarantine (or Ever)
Sure, my kids have a craft bin – I’m not a total monster! It’s full of everything I assume they need to foster creativity: washable paint, washable markers, washable crayons (notice a trend here?), paper, and scissors. That’s what we had back in my day, and I turned out just fine. I figure if they can’t express themselves with what’s in the box, it’s time to move on to another activity.
Besides, crafts usually involve following directions. If memory serves, getting my kids to follow instructions is as impossible as herding a litter of feral cats. Best not to even try.
I Don’t Like Legos
Legos seem innocuous at first. They’re just colorful plastic squares and rectangles that attach to one another. Like most parents, however, I also know they’re landmines. Chances are good that one of those little pieces will blend into the rug, unnoticed. Unnoticed, that is, until one shivs you in the heel when you unwittingly step on it later.
Legos are also irritating because there are so. many. pieces. And I get it: having lots of pieces is the whole point of Legos. My kids have the attention span of a common housefly though, so their idea of playing with Legos is dumping them all out onto the floor, playing with them for 5 minutes, then abandoning the pile for 4 hours until I scream at them to pick up their mess.
Kids Are Bad at Helping
Earlier today, I asked my 3-year old to help cut up lettuce for the salad we were about to eat for lunch. I gave him a cutting board and one of his little kid knives and let him to go town. He sawed away at the leaves while I fetched the toppings and set the table. Things went smoothly for a few minutes, but then I heard him call my name.
“Mom, don’t step over here.”
“In the kitchen.” He motions to the area below his step stool.
I peer over the counter to find half of my kitchen floor covered in hacked-up lettuce.
Are you kidding me?