If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that…sh*t, I don’t know what it’s taught us. For some, it’s been an inspiration to learn a new language. Others, to perfect their baking skills. Me? It’s taught me that my 6 year old has a smart mouth and an attitude that rivals my own.
I can hear my Mother laughing right now. Like literally, I can see her trying not to laugh, covering her face trying to hold in her laughter.
My son is typically pretty well behaved. He never cried as a baby. Seriously, I know a lot of people make that claim but really, the kid never cried. Only when we used to play a song on one of those silly baby toys that’s supposed to be soothing, for some reason, it made him break out in tears. He was SUCH a good baby. I miss those days. I did not appreciate them nearly enough.
Fast forward 6 years, lockdown in NYC. No school. No after-school. No Cub Scouts. No playdates. No rides on the ferry. No sleepovers at Nana & Poppa’s. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada.
I get it, it’s tough on the kids, this is an unprecedented event, they’ve had to adapt to such an abrupt change in their routine, blah, blah, blah. It sucks and I get it. It sucks for everyone. Me, his Dad, his Grandparents. We were supposed to go visit my Brother this weekend to celebrate my Nephew’s 21st birthday. I had to cancel my bucket list, turning 40 this year, girls trip to Big Sky and Yellowstone that was scheduled for just two weeks from now. I should be packing for that trip right now!
Instead, here I am, homeschooling, starting a Blog (so I have some sort of hobby during this), working like a crazy person and freaking out that I don’t have enough chicken in the freezer. I don’t even recognize myself anymore.
I’ve never been THAT Mom. The one who has their sh*t together. Bakes for the bake sale (or even remembers to give my kid $2 for said bake sale), goes to PTA meetings regularly, hikes, crafts with their kid. But, I’ve managed to raise a pretty smart, well-adjusted kid that has some manners and is funny as sh*t. Seriously, he’s got a real talent for cracking us up. He’s got decent taste in music (except for that stupid raining tacos song), a great fashion sense, and, he’s nice. He knows that bullying is wrong and he says “please” and “thank you”. Not to me, but he says it to other people.
Before this pandemic arrived, I thought I was doing ok. Now, I doubt my mothering on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. I’ve been forced to parent differently than I ever have. Bribes to do homework? Got it! Promises of candy the next day to go to bed? Kinder eggs it is! Don’t want to brush your teeth? F*ck it! Your breath stinks but, ok! Timeouts have become a regular thing in our apartment, where they never really existed before. I never thought I would use our Alexa as a time-out timer, but hey, whatever works.
I know my family has been extremely fortunate during this pandemic in comparison to many. But that does not mean it has not shaken us to the core. This will leave such a mark on us that I don’t know if we’ll come out of it as we went in. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, since things like this SHOULD change us. I just worry if it will to change us for the better.