Life in the Times of Coronavirus: 3/19 – 3/26

Week two of quarantine brought a new perspective on life. Things that I thought would be hard for me, have proved to be not so bad after all. Even amidst all this loneliness, life goes on. The thought feels surprising and amazing at the same time.

Power ranger face painting done by Asha.

Our day starts around 8:00am when I get woken up by the boys. It’s almost 2-hours later than our usual wake-up time. (Devang leaves for work by 6:30am). After breakfast, the kids play around the house and the yard, while I do some housework, reading, whatever. Used to be that TV is all that they thought about as soon as they woke up. Now, the novelty has worn off I think. All three are getting better about self entertaining. Now they mostly only need me to break-up fights.

I discovered them this way when I went to check on what they were up to. Asha had decided to start a nail shop and she had three very happy customers by the end of it.
… I did insist on painting my own nails.

Planned homeschooling has been reduced to Letter-of-the-day. The rest I come up with depending on how the day is going. Being outside inevitably raises questions about nature and we look them up and watch videos once inside. They come up with the learning agenda, rather than me forcing something on them. There is less yelling on my part with this method. =)

Car wash. Kept him busy for almost 40 minutes.

After lunch, Asha works on some educational apps assigned by her teacher. Arjun plays a PBS game usually. Then the two watch some TV while I put Ajay to sleep (I have gotten better with this task thankfully). In that one hour while he naps, I usually catch up on blogging, answering emails, and doing all the things that are hard to do when three people are constantly asking for your attention.

Afternoon is filled with more outdoor time and lots of drawing and crafts (by kids choice, which makes me really happy too of course). I try to run a couple of miles in our big cul-de-sac while the kids are playing outside too. (If Devang is not working, each of us take some time off for a nice long solitary run). It is a little maddening going in circles in the cul-de-sac, but it is less maddening than not being able to run at all. Our free weights have been misplaced during the move but I hope I unearth them soon because now is a great time for me to work on some super toned arms; something I have been talking about since college. (add an eye-roll from Devang here). The other day, Asha showed me some work-out moves her PE coach taught her at school, and it was a legit ab workout that I felt the next day! Thanks Coach Lyons!

Afternoon is also when I start prepping dinner. The truth with dinner is that no one will be pleased no matter what I make. So I do whatever I want and there is nothing more to be said about that. Devang comes home between 7 and 8 usually and that’s when we all descend on him with stories from our day. I feel so much better to have greeted him with a smile this week, rather than being frazzled and lost like last week.

We usually watch a kid-movie after dinner. Kids are off to bed by 8:30. I stay up till midnight doing whatever I feel like it. Total freedom! I’ll watch Netflix, sketch, write, read in bed, or window shop online as I try and resist the tempting sales going on right now.

I keep putting off my French but that’s only because I was overwhelmed with our new normal last week. Now, in this second week, each day I am making more time for what I want to do. It’s amazing. I can’t wait to get back on the French learning wagon.

Things that I don’t miss too much:

  • Driving: I have used my mini-van a total of three times. I don’t miss it at all. Especially not the buckling-kids-in-the-car-seat part.
  • Work: It was really hard to wrestle with the reality that I lost 90% of my paid work in the first week of this crisis. It felt like everything I had worked hard for disappeared overnight. I miss every single one of those gigs because I miss the people behind them. However, the situation has forced me to write and work on ideas that have been simmering in the back of my head for years. Dare I say that I haven’t written with so much gusto in a LONG time? Not to mention all the reading I am able to do now. It’s been good for me.
  • Childcare: Who am I kidding. Of course I miss school and daycare, BUT the change hasn’t been as devastating as I had expected. In this last week, each day brought with it more calm and patience for all of us. We are no longer constantly yelling and screaming at each other. The quarantine has forced us to be kinder and more creative. I thought I would be driven mad, but my sanity is okay. That’s saying a lot, especially since Devang spends many long and tiring hours at the hospital. I absolutely can’t wait till it is safe to be back in school, but I am no longer worried about the current situation.
  • Our old neighborhood: We moved just days before social distancing became a thing, to start home renovations. I left behind the most perfect street of the most perfect neighborhood in my opinion. The temporary home has wall-to-wall carpet with so much beige and brown that I was sure I would go crazy. BUT, home this has become in the most amazing way! The yard is to die for and social distancing has been easy when we don’t have our lovely neighbors as temptation to go mingle. There is a walk-out basement full of light and it is our HQ for all things fun. It sits on a giant cul-de-sac which is where I run to get some fresh air and exercise while the kids play in the yard.

The other day, while we were out on a walk, Arjun plucked a dandelion and made a wish quietly but I overheard him. As he blew on the stem, he whispered with a smile, “I can’t wait to go back on a plane.” It made me smile.

So many things I want to go back to normal. I don’t want to live in fear of people close to me getting sick. I want to see friends, have playdates, have movie and pizza nights, travel, see grandparents in person, start working again, etc. etc.

But this right here is where we are, and I am learning that I am no longer mad about it.

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