Life in the Times of Coronavirus: Day 1

Saturday, March 14, 2020. Not the first day of COVID-19, obviously. But in many ways, it was the first day I felt the true consequences of what all this social distancing is going to do to our life. I need more craft supplies, was my first thought. Yes, I feel slightly uncomfortable admitting to that fact.

8:30am Asha woke up with one less tooth in her mouth. I had missed her first one on account of being on a trip, so it was very exciting to be part of this. It made me think of This American Life’s Kid Logic episode from 2001. Do you know what I am talking about? If yes, I hope we are already friends.

The rituals of the Tooth Fairy is not yet established in our household. Asha knows she isn’t real, but is happy to pretend if it means that she can get some money out of it. Arjun stepped up and decided to draw an illustration of the Tooth Fairy visiting Asha and I made a contribution of a crisp dollar bill. The plan was to put it under her pillow at night.

9:15am We played in the backyard painting rocks and making pine-cone garlands. I am too short to hang them high enough. Devang turned around from doing some yard work a few times and almost got tangled in them. His expression was that of exasperation instead of delightful whimsy.

11:30am Boys took a nap. Asha and I took a walk to the playground nearby. She picked up a few dandelions from other people’s yards and made many wishes. I was too smitten to tell her that doing so will only make more weeds in the neighbors’ yards. There were two boys and a dad at the playground. We all kept our distance from each other. Then we walked back home.

1:00pm Asha and I ate lunch and did some reading and math activities from a book. I know she is my daughter so my view about this is subject, but she is so smart. Which is when a quiet thought runs through my head – is she smart enough to be okay that her upcoming 7th birthday party is most likely going to be cancelled.

4:00pm I vacuum the upstairs carpet which kids are playing in the yard.

4:15pm Ajay and Arjun are having a disagreement in the yard. Arjun throws a rock at Ajay. No blood but the injury is there.

5:00pm While watching a nature documentary, Asha comes running in the kitchen with tears in her eyes – mama, the baby elephant died. My usual Circle of Life explanation doesn’t apply. I don’t know what to say. I give her a hug and hold her close for a few minutes. Forgetting that I am hugging her with a Costco-sized pouch of cheese tortellini in my other hand the whole time.

5:25pm All three kids want to help with dinner but I don’t have enough tasks for them. I tell Asha and Arjun to set the table. Asha adds table cloth to make it special. Arjun grabs sparking water. We sit and eat together and the conversation starts around what is pasta.

In the name of research, I pull out my phone and go straight to the videos for PASTA GRANNIES. They are mesmerized. So am I.

The evening continues with equal amount of everyone annoying each other and loving each other. The email comes through that public school is off for the next 2-weeks. We cancelled our spring-break trip to Chicago officially. The new normal is in effect. And I tell myself it will be okay.

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