Quarantine Week #1: Denial

March 18th, 2020

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Everyone’s quarantine situation is unique. Mine looks a little bit like this.

Optional 20 minutes of yoga in the morning. I lay out the mats and invite the girls. Phoebe is not interested, which is fine. Eliza joins me but demands to know why we aren’t using the iPad.

I wasn’t using my YogaGlo subscription and awkwardly unsubscribed from it a cool month ago to save money. Good one! Anyway, I was a yoga teacher for like 10+ years. I don’t really need an app to do yoga, do I?

I assign squat. Eliza does cobra. I sit in lotus but call it “criss-cross applesauce.” Eliza does it. For a moment. Then she does a tricky pose we call bow-while-balancing-on-two-cork-blocks. I do happy baby. Eliza, bored, gets off her mat, squats between my legs (there’s that squat), and starts punching me as hard as she can in the vagina.

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Revisiting our morning routine for the second time this week (it’s Wednesday). The first day, I planned it like this:

  1. Outdoor time

  2. Circle

  3. Work session

Outdoor time went great. Phoebe collected sticks in the woods. In circle, she complained her ear hurt. I looked closely… a tick was burrowing into her ear. I tried to get it out but couldn’t because it was the very sensitive part of the ear, where it folds over on itself. We ended up at the pediatrician. Circle didn’t happen until 11. 

My mom, my savior, is here watching the girls so I can keep working. Weirdly, work is busier than ever. I cannot afford to drop the ball. She takes over with improv homeschool lessons and baseline supervising. I head up to my computer. 

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It would be very easy to never go outside myself. I can barely stay on top of the housework. There are piles of cats and also laundry in my room, and the girls want to know where their “Tuesday socks” are. We can’t wear any other socks on Tuesday! Guys, never buy your kids socks with the weekdays printed on them.

But I suggest we go for a family walk before dinner. We set off down the road. My vision of this is a half-mile stroll to the mailbox and back. The reality of it is quite different. Have you ever tried to go for a walk with two feral raccoons?

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A bit later, we’re deep in the woods. Eliza is teetering across a slippery, mossy log about five feet off the ground. Phoebe is stomping through a muddy swamp. No one is listening, and visions of more ticks swim through my head as I yell THIS IS NOT WHAT I HAD IN MIND!! THIS IS NOT FUN!!

Pouting, I throw the “walking stick” away Eliza has been insisting I hold for her while she crawls up a vertical wall of wet moss. She returns, despondent at the loss of the walking stick. Instead of angrily storming away from my family, which is what I really want to do, I am forced to spend the next 20 minutes searching for a replacement walking stick in a forest full of sticks, none of which will do.

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The next day, back to yoga. My friend Vanessa recently suggested I check out Yoga with Adriene, and that’s been a lucky break. Following Adriene on Instagram, I see she’s posted a 17-minute sesh called Rainbow Yoga Yoga For All Ages! I try it out. It’s very rainbow-focused, but in an adult way? If that makes sense? My kids have zero interest. I do the practice myself and love it. Toward the end, they come over and peer at the screen curiously. I’m convinced if I keep doing rainbow yoga they’ll eventually join me. Maybe tomorrow.

Later, while trying to have therapy on the phone (Not that I need it or anything — just trying to keep my therapist employed. Just kidding! I need it!) and simultaneously fold all that laundry, I discover what looks like blood all over my daughter’s bed. Nonchalantly, I go down to where she’s having lunch and ask her if she’s bleeding. She denies it. I ask her if she was dabbling in jam or perhaps paint? Negative. She points me to the dog and says he probably did it. The dog is old and blind and can’t walk up the stairs. I strip the bed and do another load of laundry. 

. . . . . . . . .

Check-in

Obviously most of my reading and information gathering is about coronavirus right now, and like you, I am totally overwhelmed with all the information. I could spend all day every day just looking for lesson materials and yoga classes. The problem is not the ability to find materials; it’s trying to sort through everything.

Here I give you just a few things that have come out the other end of the filter and actually worked for me. 

What I’m reading:

A novel that has nothing to do with anything: The Incendiaries

While I fully appreciate the New York Times headline Just Give Them the Screens (for Now), it was sort of a NO DUH for me. I guess I’m not as much of a diehard Montessori mom as I thought because my attitude is, watch all the TV! Live it up! The Times article, by the way, goes on to suggest some wholesome PBS fare your kids can watch. I downloaded Disney+. Again, fuck it all right now.

For a good empathetic laugh on my beloved McSweens: EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: WE ARE CLOSING OUR HOMESCHOOL 

What I’m watching:

Mo Williams lunchtime doodle — you can watch this on the site or join at 1EST for a daily doodle with the kids. 

What I am not watching: Netflix. Who has the energy to be a work-at-home-homeschooling mom and still stay up and watch TV?

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7 Responses to “Quarantine Week #1: Denial”

  1. Your voice is extraordinary! And very welcome in our current state of “lock-down” Marin. Thank you, Joslyn.

  2. Thomas says:

    The part after happy baby was delightfully unexpected.

  3. robin lucas says:

    miss you, joslyn! for some reason, after all this time, i’m just now reading your blog again. your girls are priceless… and you bring back memories of mine when my kids were young.

    oh, now i remember. i saw a post that reminded me of me if this were now the past (and maybe you now).

    [Homeschooling is going well. Two student suspended for fighting and one teacher fired for drinking on the job.]

    Hang in there. your life is awesome :)
    -robin

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