Mama, what’s the time?” I asked my eight-year-old, who stared again at her math worksheet, but this time was not interested. She was learning online how to read the time. It was jarring to say that time and days are irrelevant. My clock was already ticking 11 weeks ago when I discovered that home schooling wasn’t just in Victorian novels. The modern-day online twist meant that I would be more than a patient governess. I would also be an instructor in PE, music, art, and other subjects.
There are three types of mothers these days: the realist, the huggers and the resigned. There is an extra dedication for those in the corner and struggling with online classes. We are not defined because these classes are like spinach. They may be better than going to school physically, but we don’t have to like them.
However, it is important to re-examine teacher salaries as soon as possible. In fact, they may need to be essential services for future emergencies.
Drama is another option. Although emotions and dumbbells seem to be in high demand, I’m not referring to our daily lives. The child is excited to remind you that science, history, and science are not the only things you need. “There are bonus points mama, if you lip-sync and dance along to me to a song in today’s activity.” This has been a new meaning for the three months.
Although I was one of the original WFM members, my lunch table now looks like an invasion by my husband and two tweens. I’m trying to find a safe place to write or hide while they take over the entire room. People posting pictures of strange animal activity outside their windows exaggerate or photoshop. All I see is a blank. It will take some time to regain my lunch table and soul.
These parents (category 2-huggers) insist on bedtime stories even if the day is a long, fictionalized and exaggerated tale. Are they parents? Recently, a parenting expert wrote that this is our chance to bond. He suggested that we should hug more and spend more time with the kids. This advice does not work for older people. Eleven weeks later, the expert has either no restless children or online classes.
My children are now climbing Mt Everest or have reached base camp where they can take a break. It is time to stop. The lessons begin at 8am. This could end in disaster because no one has yet asked mothers how safe it is to stay inside their homes.
My children thought they were being subtle, but they’re still young and don’t know that this is their forte. As they clutched a note in each hand, part forlorn, and more angry-at the mother, the song “rotten to their core” blared from their room. The tooth fairy announced that delivery would be delayed as her services weren’t essential. I would have brought Santa Claus if I had known they were so smart.
They get upset and go back to their cooking. This is an online class that also offers weekly school classes. There is chocolate on everyone’s faces, lots of flour on the table and no baking powder. Every other day, a cake gets baked. The week goes by slowly. The Master chefs can make perfect French fries, but they will need to pay for their haircuts if all else fails. As if online classes weren’t enough, everyone now wants to fill out survey forms as if this were a pandemic. They all want your opinion, from schools to neighboring art classes. You don’t want to start something you don’t like.
An echo chamber, where one person echoes blindly the other’s words- ‘five minutes more’ is where any mother who wanted to get her child to do something immediately before the pandemic hit was stuck. These aren’t normal times. They can take fifteen minutes to watch the television, zoom calls, or stare at the ceiling. There is also invisible signage that says “mama this” Children would not do this if they were screaming with a real kick or imaginary prick, and they pass the father every time.
Just when you think that wine o’clock or whiskey on the rocks is within reach, you find yourself almost at home looking for space between the dolls on the couch. Then, the slip between your lip and the cup comes. They announce, “I am hungry” with a quick flounce and flourish as bedtime finally arrived. They are acting as if they just discovered something and seem to be eating as if they haven’t eaten since the lockdown. There’s more.
span data–amp-original-style=” font–weight: 400 ;”>’ Can I have a stay-over?” was the next googly, still holding onto that last apple. You wonder what you’re missing – bushy eyebrows and bedraggled hair? Tracks that can be worn day or night. In the past few weeks, the only places where you have had sleepovers are in the bedroom and the living room. Even the scented candles are losing their charm and have been thrown out with a whimper.