Coffee, Floods, and Morning Breath

I don’t know when my little girl morphed into this strong yet willowy coffee drinking teachers assistant. But I dare say if it were not for her, the pandemic virtual schooling of our 2nd grader would have crashed and burned long ago.

K4 sits right outside the office door. The office that my husband and I share while we work very different jobs during the mandatory home quarantine. Frequently our mid-sized in measure yet thimble-sized in feeling room is littered with our friendly Cerberus… otherwise know as our COVID puppies who are now bigger than their rescue lab older brother. They all pile on each other and it’s frequently hard to tell where one ends and another begins… until you back up a chair. So we sit in this room attempting to do virtual work stemming from a former hands on society and inevitably as soon as a phone call is being placed- hysteria comes from the 2nd grade learning area. Some days it’s full on temper and tears, other days it’s the inability to find ones pencil that just dropped to the floor. All I know is that about :30 minutes after virtual school starts I am singing praises to every teacher I have ever known because I want to pull my hair out and duct tape my kid to the wall.

Can we just talk about technology? How am I supposed to know that you double tap with your two fingers to bring up cut and paste options? Or that the arrow buttons don’t really function as such? I should have taken a remedial class in elementary school technology before allowing this sucker into our home. Thank goodness for all the older siblings who know how to use this so I can frequently have them take over.

K3 takes over a lot. I mean A LOT. Today there was a worksheet on floods to complete. But it wasn’t on Pebble Go it was in MyOn – I truly have no idea what either of those things are. All I know is that it caused mass hysteria, tears and a moment of my physically removing my child from his desk so I could do the reading comprehension and get it over with. Not my shinyist moment. In steps our heroine who was making herself coffee. Yes, coffee… iced with froth. Can’t even tell you when that started.

What? !

So she swoops in with her calming voice above his tears and frustration and my attempts to curse schooling under my breath. I am failing my child because I cannot help fill out a piece of paper on floods. I can however message his teacher that we are all having a breakdown moment and will resume life ASAP. K3 effortlessly calms the raging beast and then goes to her little brothers aide. Promising to help him as soon as she’s done with her school.

He and I hug it out. And while I LOVE the deep sigh of peace that melds into my body, I struggle to move my nose out of exhale distance. “Don’t ask him about his teeth” I have to repeat to myself numerous times so as not to spoil the moment. But dear GOD. How have we let this daily hygiene habit fall to the wayside? I wrap his snuggle blankets around him and advise that yes he can wear them turban style to the next part of school. I don’t make him go brush his teeth because it’s not work his emotional energy at the moment. And thankfully technology does not include the sense of smell… yet. And who cares what’s on your head as long as you show up?

Pandemic life is cracking many of us. We feel the pressure. We feel the isolation… even though we really don’t want or need to go anywhere. It’s just the sense of the lack of freedom to do it. So we all sit alongside each other and practice being in the moment and ok with what is. Because we can’t judge it, it is what it is and to judge it would just cause insanity. .. as evidenced by today’s fiasco. I will pick my battles and always choose stinky breath hugs over flood tears.

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