COVID-19 Journal – 4

Monday April 6 (Day 22): Unlike last week, I had a strong desire to make sure the kids completed their assigned schoolwork today, and it resulted in a lot of tension between Amelie and I. She feels the workload is too high, and the days are too structured and she is clearly very frustrated. That impacts her desire to do the assignments that seem hard or uninteresting. So I end up giving her “well, if you don’t do X then you can’t have Y” consequences, which makes things worse instead of motivating her. I think it is also difficult because Camille has less or easier schoolwork assigned, and seems to breeze through it. Her classroom environment is very different than what she’s getting at home. Maybe I can get her more connected with her teacher and classmates somehow. In other news, dieting seems so ridiculous now. I still feel like I’m in coping mode when it comes to eating. Give me all the ice cream. Camille mastered starting by herself on her bike today and I was there for it. It’s nice to spend this much time with the kids.

Tuesday April 7 (Day 23): I had a much better perspective on the kids’ schoolwork today. Not everything is getting done, but we have a working routine and good rapport. Wisconsin leaders ordered a delay in their primary election but the conservative courts overrode it and are forcing people out to vote in person. Huge travesty. The GIS symposium planners discussed and agreed to cancel this year’s symposium, mostly driven by belt tightening at Cuyahoga County. I didn’t do enough day-job work today, but I trimmed the plum tree.

Wednesday April 8 (Day 24): Had some interactions with a local guy who is 3D printing medical supplies. I have been thinking about whether I should spin up my printer at the office for this. My hesitations are: 1) not knowing which items are actually useful locally, and 2) not knowing how to get them into the right hands. Looks like I need PETG filament instead of the PLA I have on hand, but I will see how quickly Amazon can get some here.

I had a good, productive day of work and also a good day with the kids. I took some comfort in some online comments from other parents trying to juggle work and their kids’ learning. Basically the message is “my kids are working 1-2 hours a day and that’s OK”. If I’m honest, my priorities are to make sure the kids are: 1) healthy, 2) happy, and 3) spending a little time learning each day. I don’t need them to learn about hard work and perseverance right now. I don’t need them to work on things they don’t enjoy. Not working if you don’t feel like it is OK. Incentives are useful right now. Consequences can wait.

Thursday April 9 (Day 25): Nothing about the COVID-19 lockdown seems strange now. Just unfortunate. I hear from my Colorado friends that people are going outside and howling at 8pm. We did this. It doesn’t seem like Cleveland has adopted this practice yet, but we did manage to stir up a neighbor’s dog. Friday is a school holiday so we had a drink spent some time with the kids making a zombie movie.

Friday April 10 (Day 26): Howled again, made another zombie movie. The kids both participated in the editing. Camille was interested in the overall process and seemed bored with the details. Amelie was very interested in getting the cuts and timing right, and had specific ideas about which music should be used, where to introduce it, etc. It was a fun techie project to work on together.

Saturday April 11 (Day 27): Worked in the yard and garage, dyed eggs for Easter tomorrow, and had a generally low-key day. It’s nice to have time to do things at home, without a packed weekend schedule. The girls stayed in their PJs all day.

Sunday April 12 (Day 28): Easter. Despite coronavirus, the Easter Bunny found our home and managed to hide eggs and treat baskets for the girls. Amelie marveled at certain discontinuities (clever re-use by the bunny, of last-year’s eggs). We talked with family by phone and Facetime. Remote holiday conversations were common in Colorado so they don’t seem strange. I know some people are feeling the pain of disconnection though, especially those with family nearby, or who are accustomed to large gatherings.