Day 8 of the apocalypse: I am sitting, just sitting. No other movement but sitting. Hardly breathing, so no other movement. And observing. Just observing but not overly observing, just observing intently. And, I’m contemplating. Not aloud, just silent contemplation. And wondering. Wondering which of my fellow ‘inmates’ I think would taste best with some fava beans and a nice Chianti…
I’m totally kidding! (And yes, I am aware of the medical joke behind that famous quote from Silence of the Lambs ha ha!).
I’m close but I’m not there yet…but I’m close! I haven’t left my house, to go out in public (I’ve been out in my yard) since last Friday. And, before that, I’d been out only once, in my minivan for a 20 minute drive the week prior. Have I set any records yet? I already know people think I’m nuts, but my gnome army tells me that just isn’t so!
I’m usually a homebody, and I do pretty much everything from home. Clem usually purposefully gallivants for work, often picking up the necessities on his way home for us, and that’s just how we roll around here. I usually make an effort to get out once a week to run errands, so I’m not cooped up needlessly, but that hasn’t been happening since the beginning of the year. So yeah, this lock down isn’t new to me. That said, my lovely, amazing and wonderful children are usually at school EVERY SINGLE DAY, but not anymore!!
Self professed ‘self-isolator’ extraordinaire at your service
I was and have been a stay at home person since long before I had kids. Clem and I both worked from home for a number of years before Lola finally graced us with her presence. Clem continued to work from home for a number of years before I promptly removed him and his office from the house a number of years later. Why? The phone calls that would come in after midnight would not only wake the kids up, but Clem and I as well. It was too disruptive for us. It took a while, but Clem finally came to the realization that he needed a work/home separation for his own sanity too. So, since that time, I have been at home with my girls and doing my thing, well things.
Our schools have been shut down, and teachers got right on the ball and prepared for online learning, making it official that this will be the way it is for the remainder of the school year. My kids are finding the isolation difficult, and we are doing all we can to help them connect in other ways. Clem and I were in the midst of a deep debate, regarding the purchase or reuse of our old cell phones for the girls, when the world closed down. Unfortunately, cell phones will now have to wait.
In the midst of all this chaos, we’ve been dealing with our WiFi and home phone provider (yes, we still have one of those ha!) since January, to repair a line that has been affected by water for years. Yes, years. They told us that the freezing and thawing each year would never affect their lines, but it has consistently year after year. We finally gained access to wonderful technician (thank you, for hearing us out), who decided to look into our concerns further. Not surprisingly, he found water in the cable line, which was running into our house. Yes, the cable had water dripping from it when he cut it. Astonishing, isn’t it?
I’m old school, but even I know WiFi has become an essential service
After replacing the lines running into our house, he discovered (despite his repairs) that the water was indeed coming from the utilities box across the street because nothing was working still. A new line needs to be run in the summer (once the ground thaws) but a temporary line can be placed for the interim. Have they done that? Nope. They booked for a temporary line placement 3 weeks from that day. We tried to get them out earlier, but they’ve not called or showed. I highly doubt they will place the temporary line before the entire world locks down. Thank you internet and phone provider, your service absolutely sucks the big green weenie, as it always has.
So, everything has completely stopped working, and there is no sense of urgency to repair it, so we had to drop a bunch of cash to get a ‘hub’ for WiFi purposes so our kids could continue to get their school work and we could work from home. Sadly, this seems like it isn’t a necessity, but that’s not the way the world works nowadays. And, because the girls don’t have cell phones, neither Clem nor I felt comfortable leaving them at home (when we could still do so), without having a way to communicate with us or 911 in an emergency, if necessary. I know, children survived without phones back in the day, but parents weren’t usually too far from home at that time. Anyway, it’s been fun times around here!
I’d say it’s been life as usual, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The chaos that has ensued this week, has made my brain go into overdrive and test my patience beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. Getting accustomed to this ‘new life’ on top of my older ‘new life’ is going to take time. It’s funny that although time has passed and the girls have grown up, not much has really changed.
My previous tales of Mommy-hood
This buttoning down, reminds me of the good old days of early ‘Mommy-hood’. When my kids were little, and I felt like I needed a break, I would often (like many other moms, whether they admit it or not), put myself in ‘mommy time out’. My ‘place’ was usually the pantry, because I could easily grab a nice calming, fattening, feel good snack from my secret hiding spot that usually consisted of something decadent, like chocolate.
I would sometimes sit in the pantry, on the floor and in the dark, blissfully and peacefully quiet for about 20 seconds before the telltale signs of my children’s arrival would appear. Usually, it took the form of their looming shadows and little feet appearing under the doorway. That was often the first giveaway sign that I’d been found out. Even with the pantry door’s frosted glass insert, they were still uncertain that I was in there! Kids are funny. The clumsy jiggling of the doorknob would officially announce my little people’s presence and curious discovery of my location.
I’d sometimes desperately hold the door handle to keep the door from opening, while shoving chocolate into my pie hole, and saying things in a weird voice like, “Mommy isn’t here, I think she went somewhere else…maybe the laundry room? Did you try there?”. I knew full well, they’d never go to the basement because it scared the ever loving shit out of them. I still try diverting them to the laundry room when I hear them calling for me sometimes!
I can no longer fit in my pantry, due to the junk food hoard that’s piled on the floor because, well…I have a teenager. That, and I can no longer disguise the smell of the chocolate that I am consuming. My children have the noses of bloodhounds I tell ya! They can identify nearly every smell of junk food imaginable and known to man, from as far away as the living room! “Are those Sweet Chili Heat Doritos I smell?” or the usual, “I smell chocolate! Mom! Where are you and the chocolate you’re eating?”. I scarf man, and I spray our coveted ‘turd spray’ (air freshener) in desperation to attempt to misdirect and conceal my peaceful escapades. Ahhh, the life of a mom.
I am now considering hiding in the laundry machines, yes the machines ha ha, not the room (too easy) with a bottle of vodka for some desperately needed ‘mommy time’. Why the laundry machines you ask?! I know they’re still terrified of the basement for one, but they also don’t do laundry, so I am guaranteed a good portion of some quiet time for myself. Possibly days! Desperate times call for desperate measures folks! It’s only day 8, (my dad says that company are like fish, and they start to stink after 3 days) and the fish are already stinking to high hell here! On top of all that, Mommy needs a break!
Unraveling the mysteries of Sasquatch and teenagers
I love my kids, but being stuck together 24/7 is definitely going to be tough. My nearly teenage daughter, has already caused an eruption of gray hair all over my body that no amount of hair dye on Earth will ever be able to contain. I, for one, had no idea that either:
a.) hair grew in some of these crazy places, let alone,
b.) that hair can be gray right from growth!
I’ll be honest, I think I know who Sasquatch is! It’s a mom who’s gone rogue! Call it the Evolution of the Mother. I need to find one of these Sasquatch moms and find out how they covered the gray without boxes of hair coloring! Maybe they started out gray and then it changed to blend into their new surrounding environment so they couldn’t be found…I know! I’m on to something! Maybe, just maybe, being away from the stress of motherhood, reverted all of the gray hair back to its youthful appearance! Snap! I think I got it! Off to the woods I go!
I wish! Having a teenager is whole lot of something else I tell you! Lola loves to stay up late, and I mean almost all night if she tries, just to think she’s a rebel and a bad ass. Clem and I have tried desperately to stop this, but it’s a losing battle. Remember the ‘you can lead a horse to water’ saying? Well, there be water, but there be no drinking.
It’s like we’ve adopted some kind of new animal that only emerges from it’s cave when it either feels like coming out, which is rare or if it’s ravenous. It seems to be ravenous most of the time, and can be found rummaging around food storage areas between and even during communal meal times. Be careful not to disturb it during rummaging times, as it becomes very irritable and hostile. It often states that there isn’t anything to eat while shoveling food into it’s mouth, and despite having an entire selection of edible goods from the grocery stores in excessive quantities. If we couldn’t leave the house to buy food, Lola would eat us out of everything within 2 hours. No joke. I can’t imagine having teenage boys!
Not only that, with how technologically advanced we’re supposed to be, why hasn’t anyone discovered a way for human teen aged eyes to display an ‘Out Of Order’ message? I speak, and what comes out of her mouth has no relation to anything I’ve said. It’s like her ears are broken, and her brain is completely disconnected from everything else. I hope I wasn’t this bad as a teenager, if I was, I’m really sorry Mom and Dad! Ugh! I miss school, I really do! Get the teachers some hazmat suits, some helicopters and a billion dollars in cash! Stat!
Now, I’m not trying to be an asshole, and I understand the severity of what’s been going on in the world, so please don’t shit on me. I deal with stressful situations with humor and I am merely sharing my crazy thoughts. So again, if you’re locked down and need some comic relief, I’m your gal!
I had this thought the other day. Out of desperation, I’d consider buying up one of those trampoline/fun places for kids. I’d purchase the best Hazmat suits for the kids to wear, for safety purposes, so that they could still get together and hang out. As an added bonus, I think we should weigh the suits down, ensuring adequate ‘play out levels’ so they sleep like dolls at night. Think lunar landing scenario, people bouncing around in big suits…awesome, right?! And for us parents, we also get super cool hazmat suits, that dispense alcoholic drinks and give massages while we let the kiddos burn off the energy. Who’s in?! Call it a mental health initiative and Bob’s your uncle!
I also think, that to ensure adequate ‘social distancing’ that we should invoke the use of those big bubbles that they use for bubble soccer. When you get out of your car to go shopping, you must don ‘the bubble’, and pull the inflatable cord to inflate said bubble before entering any public place. If you’re too close to someone, the bubble simply bumps you off the other while releasing an adequate hosing of disinfectant on the user and you’re good to go. If we could make it completely contained, like a hamster ball, I think that’d be much safer. Plus, the less chemical disinfectant the better because that shit burns.
As you can see, too much time gives me too much time to formulate ideas. Unfortunately, this is my usual self, so consider yourself warned. If we’re in lock down for quite some time, I imagine the ideas will be grandiose and maybe at times concerning to those who lack imagination. Maybe, I’ll have a new following of folks who see value in my inventions! Wouldn’t that be cool? Or not. I guess it depends on who you are.
Take advantage of the time you have at home
In the meantime, enjoy the time you have with your family, pets, plants or whatever you have at home that makes you happy in this time of complete shut down. Take the time to smell the roses and be thankful for what you have. I see others who have not been afforded these luxuries, and my heart goes out to them.
I am hopeful that society can pull through together and that the realizations I’ve come to over the years, become other’s as well. We need a CURE. No more mass money making schemes. Something truly scientific, safe and effective. Not anything else. A CURE.
That said, stay healthy and sane my friends. Here’s to hoping they have a cure for crazy by the end of this too, and that my mate and young, practice a little more ‘social distancing’ from me at home ha ha! I’m kidding! I’m going to take advantage of this time and teach my kids as many things as I can that aren’t taught in school. We’ll see how that goes.
If you think I’m bad in my isolation processes, you should see my brother. My sister-in-law went out for some desperately needed groceries this morning and upon her return, he made her strip at the door and go shower while he washed all of her clothing in hot water. To think, this might be our foreseeable future…here’s to hoping that we don’t have naked panic in the streets next.