The Quarantimes Week 8: Contrary

May 8th, 2020

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I have no free time. And it’s not because I’m busy homeschooling (have pretty much given up on that) or am working full-time (without enough childcare I’m working maybe half-time right now) or learning a new language or how to knit or bake sourdough bread.

I don’t know what I am doing all the time. Except — everyday laundry, and cooking, and gardening, and disinfecting the doorknobs, and being a pet butler, and attending to the pollywog family living in the yard. And arguing with my daughters about anything and everything.

Eliza, drinking water out of both a sippy cup and a metal thermos, asks if she can have a third cup of water for her Lego giraffe, who is very thirsty. I say no. She storms past me and attempts to climb up on the counter to get it herself. I physically block her. 

She pivots to take her pile of Legos to the top of the stairs and starts to hurl them down, piece by piece. I already shut this particular activity down hours ago, and now I shut it down again. 

“Fine,” she says, “then I’ll jump off the dresser onto my bed.” I have also shut this activity down today, and every time she has attempted in the past. “Nope,” I reply. 

Exasperated, she says, “Well what CAN I do that you don’t want me to do?” 

“That’s the point entirely,” I say. “Nothing.” 

She screams and slams her bedroom door. She does not stay in there, though. She comes out to sit on my lap, sobbing, for a good 25 minutes. Randomly, she begs me to make ice cream from scratch. It’s 4:05pm and I was supposed to be on a call 5 minutes ago, but Jon is not home from work yet. Behind Eliza’s back, I Slack my client that I can’t make our standing weekly meeting.

It’s intense right now. For me, for my kids, for my mom, for my nurse husband. For my friends, my neighbors, for you. For everyone.

“How are we all doing this?” is a question I ask myself every single day. Also, “Was Michelle Obama like this as a child?” It is hard to picture headstrong little Michelle throwing a tantrum of the magnitude my kids do, although every time one of my friends says “Don’t worry, they’ll grow up to be warriors,” I think of Michelle and feel better. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What I’m listening to:

Yo Yo Ma,that cello God, playing live on Instagram 

What I’m watching:

Don Lemon’s extended clip on CNN that’s been going around Twitter labeled “zero fucks to give” is a real balm for the soul in these times. If you haven’t watched it, do. 

I Mom So Hard gets it.

What I’m eating:

These ramps on pizza tonight I hope!


What I’m working on:

For Helpshift: How the Pandemic Exposes the Limitations of Live Chat


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