Tape Expectations (or Waist Not, Want Not)

I need to share my Friday night with y’all. I don’t know if it will make you feel amused, angry, sad, or some combination of the three. I’m still sort of trying to figure out my own feelings on the matter.
So it was Friday – yesterday – after the hell of yet another flooded carpool. I swear, someone somewhere disturbed a tomb or stole an idol doll and the spirits are PISSED. Carpool is downright cursed. There was no way we had the time or energy to get to jiu jitsu, which we’re trying to get back into after a year off due to COVID. There was nothing for it. I set about making dinner, pretty relieved to have survived the week and the first 3 days of the new school year. Stella came into the kitchen and asked for duct tape, a rather unusual request. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure where it was and even if we had any, but that her dad had a big old tape bin in the other room. At the very least we had packing tape. Maybe that would work? She seemed pleased with that answer and went away.


I should have known something was up. I heard her go into the bathroom several times, locking the door behind her. That’s not that unusual, but the frequency should have been an alarm. My mom Spidey-senses weren’t on point.


As I was finishing dinner, she came into the kitchen wearing only shorts and a sports bra. She had apparently found duct tape – pink with white hearts. She had wrapped her entire mid-section in it, effectively making herself a corset. She said she did it so that she would look thinner. She looked at me expectantly. I’m not sure what reaction she was expecting, and I had no idea which reaction to give. Part of me wanted to laugh hysterically. Part of me was pissed. Part of me was absolutely gutted that my beautiful 10 year old daughter taped her fucking waist up to look skinny.


She said she just wanted to be thinner and beautiful. I told her she was perfect the way she was – that she was beautiful the way she was. I reminded her that her body is changing, big-time, and that it was going to look different along the way. All of that is normal.


I actually stayed pretty calm, which in retrospect, I’m kind of proud of. I asked if she had thought about how she was going to remove all that tape. Her eyes widened. She hadn’t thought about that. She set about trying to peel tape off. It went well until she got to the tape that was actually stuck to her skin. Then it got complicated. She managed to clear a small area, howling all the while, and it looked like someone had given her a hickey on her side when she was done. Peeling that shit off without assistance wasn’t going to work. Duct tape is waterproof, so soaking in a bath wasn’t going to make it release. We needed a solvent.


While some cod and carrots overcooked in a pan, I began to pour small amounts of 70% isopropyl alcohol along the top edge of the tape, then gently tried to peel about 4 layers of tape off. It took forever but it worked. I managed to dislodge a small bit, then we took a dinner break. I had a drink and steeled my nerves for the rest of it. I guess that’s one good thing about COVID: we have a ton of alcohol around the house, rubbing and otherwise. Getting the tape off my daughter took almost 2 bottles of rubbing alcohol, 2 cocktails for me, and the better part of an hour, as she cried and hollered through most of it. At the end, her skin was pink, but perfectly intact.


I have been so, so careful not to talk critically about anyone’s bodies in a negative way – my own, especially. Sure, I can’t stand looking at myself in the mirror, but she doesn’t know that. I know body dysmorphia is a thing, and I know from personal experience that girls are so vulnerable to it. We all want to look thin, flawless, with glowing skin and perky boobs. That ain’t what most of us get, and if we do, we don’t get to keep it. I guess I was hoping things were at least a little different for this generation of girls. Nope.


I’m angry and sad about this. I’m not sure what to do about it other than to point out that everyone – Stella included – is beautiful in their own way. I don’t know how to make her believe it, however, and that’s the part that breaks my heart in a way that duct tape won’t fix.


Sorry for another emo blog. At least I didn’t bitch about COVID this time?

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Here Are Some Deep Seething Exercises


I’m not sure why I’m posting this today, exactly, only that it’s one of those times where I feel like if I don’t spew some of this out I’ll burst.

Here’s Felix demonstrating his feelings about the state of things


So what’s been going on? Well, to summarize, COVID raged through my kids’ summer camp at the end of June. They didn’t even make it 2 weeks before it happened. First, it was Felix’s group. Then Stella’s. Stella definitely tested positive (and felt poorly for a few days, losing her sense of smell for a few weeks), and we don’t know about Felix. CVS lost his first sample. His second sample a week later came back negative. I emailed HR where I worked, honestly expecting some understanding. When Stella’s homeroom had to quarantine last November, they were more than willing to allow me to work from home full-time for 2-3 weeks. After all, we had all just worked full time from home for quite a while, and IT WORKED. Stuff got done. This time? Nope. I had to take a shit-ton of leave to stay home with my kids who are too young to be vaccinated, much less left home alone. I had no one that could help out, as my in-laws aren’t vaccinated. We couldn’t take that risk.


Y’all, I was and am seriously pissed about that, and call me petty, I’m having a hard time letting that go. I am just now getting caught up at the office and am much lighter in the leave department. I guess that’s not too catastrophic (right now) since we just cancelled yet another visit from my mom – the 4th since this all started. We were to have taken a road trip this summer in early July (cancelled since Stella had COVID), and now a Labor Day visit is off due to our out-of-control case count here in Louisiana. Has my HR seriously remained this antiquated? Have we not learned anything from this? We can pivot and do things differently. Taking that on board and allowing workers to adjust when necessary would have been a positive change. I guess I expect too much from these people.


What I’m most pissed about is the lack of planning and guidance. My kids just started school 2 days ago. Already the app for Stella’s school is pinging me with “an individual at our school has tested positive” alerts. For all I know, we’ll have to quarantine again at some point soon. And then what? To my employer, and likely many others, this thing has ceased to exist and we should be back in the office full-time like nothing ever happened.


Sorry. I’m just so angry. I’m so anxious. I know I’m not alone.


But yeah, Stella is now in middle school, which is all by itself something of a mind fuck. Felix is in 3rd grade. We’re having to learn a whole new schedule are routine. Some demented asshole here decided that middle school hours should be 7:05 to 2:25 (elementary is 8:15 to 3:25, roughly). Given that I don’t want Stella on a bus (which would have to pick her up at 5:38 AM on the side of a busy road), nor does her bestie’s mom, bestie’s mom is doing the evil early daily morning drop-off. I get off work at 3:00, fly to pick up the Dude at elementary, and then race to pick up the girls from their school’s extended day program. I know it’s only been a couple of days, but it’s been pretty awful so far. Carpool has taken me total about an hour and a half each day. Part of that is no doubt first day issues. It’s like parents suffer from some sort of severe memory loss when it comes to carpool procedures (despite the fact that they haven’t changed in years and the school is quite good about sending out tons of emails and messages with diagrams, etc for the few noobs). They just can’t do it right. It’s maddening. We’ve also had some serious bullshit weather – we’re talking biblical level. The first day was lightning, pouring rain, and hail. Yesterday was flash flooding. Today will be what? Blood rain? Toads?

Obligatory First Day Pic


I know the school shit will become more…familiar, if not easy. Right now everything just feels exhausting.

We did at least make it up to Virginia to see my dad
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Note to Selfie

Greetings, salutations, whatever.


Things have been a struggle lately. I’m not going to lie. First it was trying to get used to the idea of everything being back to “normal” so very, very suddenly. So many people, so much talking. I don’t know about y’all, but that has been hard. And what about the 180 degree about-face? We went from creeping around behind masks and wiping down our groceries to back out in the world, bare-faced. It has felt too fast. Shouldn’t there have been a much more gradual reentry into the world? Did we even want or need to go back to normal?

One new thing that we have been embracing (when not stuck at home) is the new taiyaki ice cream place. So, so good!


I felt strange sending my kids to camp for part of the summer. Last year, we had all summer together, whether we liked it or not. It was a strange, wonderful, awful, scary, special time. I felt as if I was going to miss them and miss that time this year, despite the fact that I’ve never had regular summers off with them. But then I ended up with a whole lot of extra time thanks to COVID. It’s been the gift that keeps on giving. We’ve been holed up at home for over a week now, with another to go. And work? Work has been a right and proper asshole about it. Rather than allow me to telecommute (**cough** like I did all last summer successfully **cough**), I’ve been forced to take leave to stay home with my minor children who are too young to be vaccinated, much less be home alone. God forbid we learn something from this whole experience, like how to be humane and compassionate to working parents/moms. But that’s ok. Because of the whole quarantine thing, we had to cancel that road trip we were going to take with my mother, anyway, so I had that leave I was expecting to use for vacation to use as sit-around-with-your-kids-stuck-at-home time.


Sorry. I’m angry. I’m frustrated. How could we learn nothing? People are so disappointing. What’s that old saying about the only thing you can count on other people for is letting you down?

It’s a cold, hard world, kids.


I’m trying to bootstrap my mood and make the best of all this. We’ve been taking walks to parks, doing scavenger hunts, and such. We’ve been doing science kits. We’ve been swimming. We’ve watched movies. Stella hasn’t realized yet that we’re not going to Memphis and Huntsville with my mom, but she’ll figure it out soon. I want to have some fun things she can remember about this whole thing rather than the trip she lost. I need to come up with some cool shit to do next week. We won’t have the time for theme weeks like we did last year, but we can do theme days. It’s just my creativity tank is pretty damn empty.

Yeah, Dude. I know.


Ideas, anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

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Better Isolate Than Never

Reentry continues. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m seriously struggling with being around so many people. I don’t hear about any studies looking at that, but it’s a damn thing. We’ve all been isolated for a year or so, and it’s now kind of creepy and irritating to be out with the heaving masses. I had to fly recently due to a death in the family, and while logically I knew I was as safe as possible (masked and vaccinated), I still hated every minute of it. I could almost see the bacteria in the air, feel the viruses. And I’m so much more sensitive to people noise now. They’re ramping up occupancy at the office, and the extra chatter sets my teeth on edge. I realize that I’m an introvert and that there are a whole lot of extroverts in the world who have been choking on all the unspoken words in their heads, just waiting to spew them out at the first available body, but damn. I clearly need to work on my resting bitch face.

 

We’ve also reached that point in the school year when everyone is just DONE. Poor Stella is dealing with standardized testing, the results of which will probably not be used, so what the fuck is the point? It also sucks for Felix, as the younger kids have to be SUPER QUIET so as to not bother the testing kids and their ancillary/fun classes are cancelled, as those teachers are needed for testing.

 

One thing we have going for us is the backyard.  No, I’m not talking about the grass that needs to be cut or the fences that need to be replaced.  The pool is now up!  Y’all, it’s amazing.  It’s a game-changer.  Sure, it always had been, but with the addition of a year’s worth of maturation, my kids now go back there after school for a couple of hours and swim without adult participation.  That is HUGE.  For the past 2 years, Felix would only get in if I got in also, or if there was an extra kid visiting.  Now?  He and Stella are so damn happy to be in the pool that my existence is arbitrary.  They swim away the frustration of their school day while I get to cook dinner and straighten up in peace. 

And the Doomsday Garden in thriving. The Lettuce Shop of Horrors has been closed. We needed the space for more squash and zucchini plants, and honestly, the Louisiana sun was starting to get too intense. Oh, and I now hate the sight of lettuce. We harvested the last of it and turned it into more lettuce soup. Y’all, the last of the lettuce filled and entire Home Depot work bucket. To hell with lettuce. Anyway, I think we’ve already harvested a few pounds of green beans, and we’re about to crushed by tomatoes and squash. Send recipes now. I may have to take up pickling and canning.

 

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Lettuce Shop of Horrors

So how are y’all doing? It’s been challenging, thinking about a blog during all this. I had a one-year anniversary of our lockdown post all mapped out in my mind. I even had a title, “Lend Me Your Years,” but then I ended up getting my vaccine on that very day: March 13th. That was a surreal day. I got the Johnson and Johnson, so one and done. And fortunately for me, I’ve not clotted. That’s sarcasm.

This whole thing is a strange…thing. Getting back out is hard. The stuff that I would have done in a typical day pre-COVID now wears my ass out. I used to be able to bounce from work to dinner to homework to the kids’ jiu jitsu practice and still have energy left over. Now? The thought of going to the grocery store AND the pharmacy is just too much. I joke that I’ve always been a bit misanthropic. COVID has not helped that, what with the anti-maskers and such. I’m downright feral now.

One amazing thing is that since our vaccines, I got to see my mom again for the first time in 15 months!❤️❤️

But we all are facing this kind of shit. Not blog-worthy.What is a bit unusual or different? My husband’s Doomsday Garden. I had one last year in my flower bed. Given all the chaos and horrible shit going down, I planted a bunch of random stuff. We ended up buried in something called lemon cucumbers. I learned to make homemade pickles. Will has one-upped me big-time. He tilled up about 1/3 of our backyard and created a serious garden, complete with raised rows covered in weed block, with stainless steel support fencing. It’s massive. There are over 100 plants, all thriving.


We will soon be drowning in tomatoes, but now? Lettuce. I always thought of lettuce as being this delicate, fussy plant, that would rather grow in Alaska than the heat of Louisiana. Nope. This shit is like Harry Potter level, y’all. We have about 10 bunches, and as soon as you cut it, it comes right back. Mind you, it’s beautiful stuff – the fancy kind, with some leaves in red, some with delicate ruffles, etc. But I cannot even think of salad right now. We are saladed OUT. In my wisdom, I started looking for alternate recipes that might use a lot. Somehow, I stumbled on an Epicurious recipe for lettuce soup. Yes, you heard me right. Lettuce soup. On the positive side, it uses up a whole lot of my green nemesis. It doesn’t taste bad, per se, and Stella actually loves it. It also most definitely has fiber in it. Oh yes. That should not be called into question. The negatives? Well, the texture is a bit off-putting, particularly once it cools. In the fridge, it basically resembles Hulk-colored pudding. I just can’t. If y’all know of good lettuce recipes that are not soup or salad based, let me know?

Stella and her lettuce-loving spirit animal
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The Luck Stops Here

Y’all know I’m a science-type person.  I pretty much always scoff at superstition, “old wive’s tales” (with the caveat that those wise ladies often knew what the hell they were talking about, even if they didn’t have the fancy jargon and data to explain it properly), and generally anything not measurable by modern technology.  All that being said, I’m taking no chances right now.


After the universally-maligned phenomenon that was the Great Dumpster Fire of 2020, I’m pulling out all the stops.  I have a skull wreath that my mom bought me ages ago, and I decorate it for whatever season is upon us – or whatever strikes my fancy.  I hereby decree this the season of “international good luck.”  I ordered good luck charms from multiple cultures across the globe.  One might work, right?
My mom also sent me the David, Patron Saint of Ew candle.  I figure that kind of goes with the theme.
On January 1 (yesterday), I cooked all the supposedly lucky food: cabbage, black eyed peas with pork, and corn bread.  I had read something about 12 grapes, but I didn’t have that.  Instead, I drank the champagne last night that I didn’t drink on New Year’s Eve due to awful weather (and going to bed by 9:35).  Since champagne is a grape-based product, I figure I ticked that box as well.
I think we all realize things won’t be magically different over the course of a few days, but I gotta have hope.  We’re about to pop out for a quick overnight surprise trip for the kids before things get back to the new, new normal next week.  I hope y’all had a happy-ish New Year celebration.  Now no one be assholes.  We need all the good karma we can get. 
I leave you with Felix, doing some kind of dance of supplication to some force out there. Surely this must also be lucky.
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These Roots Are Made For Walking

No, this isn’t a post about poor hair upkeep.  I’ve long since given up on that and embraced the gray.  This is a post about my annual Christmas aftermath.

I adore Christmas.  I’m one of these people that does a lot of gift acquiring early and always is fully decorated no later than the end of Thanksgiving weekend.  This year, I even started putting some odds and ends up earlier than that, as we all could use a little cheer this year, no?  
Christmas came and went.  I think both kids felt pretty good about it all.  Felix cannot wait to get his greenhouse ultimately positioned, a “floor” put in (we’re thinking roofing tiles), and a small bench.  He wants to hang out there and commune with his plants.  Stella is absolutely dying to go shopping.  Those gift cards and that cash are just calling to her like the world’s loudest siren (the ones that would sing boats to shipwreck….not the ambulance version).  
But once Christmas is over?  I want it all gone.  Done. Put the F up.  I want it ripped out by the roots and banished.  I want it to look like the Grinch just rolled by, with not even a trace of pine needles on the floor.  This year was no exception.  This year even felt a bit more violent for some reason. 
As much as I adore the smells and colors and lights, I love how clean and open and airy and new everything looks and feels once it’s all gone.  Mind you, my house is not anything approaching “spartan” or “modern and clean.”  I’m a tchotchke kind of person.  I’m a “I will hang my kids’ pictures on my walls” kind of person.  But I’ll be damned if for about 24-48 hours my house doesn’t feel clean and open and elegant.
The day after Christmas, we headed to my in-laws’ river house to hang for a couple of nights with my BFF, M, and her son.  Her son turned 8 today, so this was a substitute for a party (we’ve been in each other’s bubbles for months now).  The kids got to be out in the fresh air, take a nature walk, and those that were willing could  kayak.   It was nice, but any mom knows that traveling like that isn’t really restful.  There are still meals and messes and arguments to referee.  Don’t get me wrong: the trip went great, but it wasn’t really “restful,” particularly 24 hours after Christmas.  Anyway, all women and children left late this morning (Will stayed behind for some quiet, whatever the fuck that is…no, seriously, he’s working from home and it’s actually better for him there, as we don’t have to listen to his conference calls which drag on ALL DAY while we make serious but failing efforts to be quiet).  Despite my desire to just lay on the couch and watch bad non-holiday programming, I completed the Christmas purge.  My tree is naked in the backyard until recycling starts, and Will can handle the inflatables when he gets back.  
It always feels so perfunctory, Christmas, once it’s over, particularly given my zeal, nostalgia, and excitement at the beginning of the holiday season.  I always feel a bit guilty about it.  But mark my words, come next November, I’ll be whistling carols and sneaking out Santa figurines.  
Now who’s ready for New Years? 


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Greenhouse and Ham

So it’s Christmas Eve day.  I suppose holidays are always a time for all the feelings.  This year, I think that’s more true than ever.  
We were supposed to have met my mom in Texas a few days after Xmas.  It was the first time all year I would have seen her.  We had to cancel it for a variety of reasons – most COVID-related.  Any other time, we could have and would have found a Plan B, but this year it’s just not possible.  Luckily, we hadn’t told the kids.  They’re spared that disappointment, at least.  It also occurs to me  we’ve had my dad here the past 2 Decembers.  Not this year.  I know I’m not alone.  Lots of us can’t spend time with those we’d love to see.  
Of course, others are carrying on as if nothing is happening.
Even the reindeer is being responsible
Nope.  Moving on.  I’m trying to be positive.
Santa will be arriving in under 24 hours. Somehow, Stella still believes at 10 years old.  Of course, at 10 years old, Santa has a hard time finding “exciting” things to leave under the tree.  From what I hear, she’ll be getting a “gift card tree,” full of gift cards from everywhere from Michael’s to Old Navy to Starbucks.  It’s not as exciting for Santa, but I suppose it’s more important that the kid is happy, no?  But Felix….
This is going to be his Red Ryder year, y’all.  He is getting a greenhouse.  Santa found a kit that builds out to a 5’x5′ greenhouse, complete with shelves.  His head is going to absolutely explode.  My mom got him a subscription to the Succulent of the Month Club, and he’s already excited about that.  Now, he’ll have plenty of space for his green buddies.  
The weather here is a pain in the ass.  Sure, it’s gotten colder in the last 24 hours, and will continue to be so for the next couple of days.  The wind, however, is gusting such that my inflatables would take flight like the Macy’s parade balloons if I turned them on.  So while it’s festive and cheerful inside, outside we’re rocking a serious 2020 Humbug kind of vibe.
I am, happily, done with work for the year.  I decided I wanted to just spend time with my kids. Don’t really  know what we’ll do and part of me thinks I’m crazy to volunteer for Togetherness, but there we go.  
Anyway, not the most riveting blog.  Not the most riveting year.  I hope wherever you are that you have the happiest Christmas you can have under the circumstances.  
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There’s Snow Place Like Home

Since it’s officially December, I suppose we can get into full Christmas mode without pissing anyone off.  I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out fun and special things to do to round out a rather un-fun – albeit special year.  And in case it’s not obvious, in this instance, special doesn’t mean good. It’s the opposite… kind of like when Hitler was chosen as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year for 1938.  
Our halls have been decked for over a week already, and we often find ourselves singing carols, often incorrectly.  Y’all, we have gotten some serious mileage out of Frosty.  One morning, in particular, we discussed the issue of Frosty being a smoker.  Stella’s take was “duh, he has a pipe,” whereas Felix wasn’t sure what a pipe was for but felt confident Frosty was a non-smoker.  Surely Frosty wouldn’t have such an awful habit?  This led to a remix of the classic in the vein of “Frosty the Snowman, had some dirty, filthy lungs.”  As Stella joined in it became apparent that like her brother, she was fuzzy on some details.  Frosty’s pipe was a “popcorn pipe.”  More hilarity ensued.  The next morning we had to wonder what a more appropriate version would be for the state of Louisiana: Frosty the Mudman?  Mudsy the Bogman?  Regardless, the real Frosty wouldn’t fare so well down here, even in our current cold snap.  These poor, poor Cajun children.
I mean y’all… we’ve even had to wear jackets lately!
But back to Christmas. I’ve sent a pile of cards to the extent I’m out and am waiting for more. We still have our annual Zoo Lights that we can do, as that’s safe enough.  They decorate the zoo with all kinds of light displays and you walk through ooohing and aaahing over the lights.  We do it every year.  We will soon be opening our holiday crafting sweatshop.  The kids’ school is asking families to make decorations to send in as a way to bring the community together.  I love this idea!  Normally, there’d be the annual holiday assembly with the singing and class parties with almost as many parents as kids.  This year?  Nope.  And it sucks.  I have yet to meet Stella’s core subject teachers, and the only reason I know Felix’s is because Stella went through 2nd grade there and you just get to know folks.  And as much as the holiday musical is like the Hunger Games for parents (there is SERIOUS competition for seats, with many of us getting there at least an hour early only to find out the first 5 rows are already taken), I’m going to miss it.  The music teacher always chooses such cool and unusual songs.  I still remember the one Stella sang in – I think – 3rd grade….Something about the shallow bay and horses and bananas.  It was catchy.

While not a banana, I had a rogue vine appear and make a single fruit. I pulled it before our first frost, not knowing what it was – zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin. Turns out it was a juvenile pumpkin, and not delicious.

Stella and I currently have a Girl Scout day camp next Saturday, complete with masking and distancing.  We’ll probably do some kind of ugly cookie baking afterwards.  My friend M and I are still too scarred after trying to do gingerbread houses with our collective 3 kids 2 years ago, so are trying to think of less-harrowing alternatives.  What are y’all up to?  Any cool ideas for what you and your kids are doing?
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Bleeding the Witness

Do y’all remember the Noid from the Domino’s Pizza ads in the 1980’s?  Avoid the Noid and all that.  I guess the promise was if you chose Domino’s, you wouldn’t be annoyed by late pizza.  If you’re a Gen Y, Gen Z, or Millennial, you won’t remember that and it sounds stupid.  It was.  But it’s really the perfect introduction into a description of my morning. 
Stella was exposed to a known positive COVID case at school before Thanksgiving break.  I got the call while in carpool on that Friday.  What was really surprising  was when the nice lady told me that while Stella couldn’t come to school until December 3rd, her brother was to come back at the end of the break (today) unless anyone developed symptoms.  I was rather gobsmacked at the time, but this morning it really hit home.  What the actual fuck kind of policy is that??  I kind of back-burnered that until today.
Stella, enjoying the free dress policy that comes with distance learning
My children are 7 and 10.  That means, they’re still pretty gross.  Sure, they’ve come a long way in that department, but I still regularly catch them trying to get the other one to smell their breath.  Germs are free-flowing around here, even with much more frequent handwashing and disinfectant wipes.  And call me a slacker, but I’m not going to have my entire family mask in the house for 2 weeks because one kid was around a positive case (while at school, wearing a mask).  Maybe I should.  I don’t know.  I just went with my instincts.  No one has had any symptoms of anything except bullshit allergies. No fevers.  We can all smell and taste stuff.  I think we’re good. 
BUT the policy – loosely termed – is the same: only one kid has to quarantine.  In theory, if one kid had the cooties, would not both kids be theoretically cootified?  Seriously.  I want to know.
So I had to take Felix to school this morning really quick, as Will had an early meeting at work.  No biggie, except I’m not prepared to leave my 10 year old home alone.  Maybe I’m just old-fashioned.  Who knows?  Anyway, Stella had to ride with us, and got out of the car briefly to let Felix out and to help haul his 40 pound booksack out of the car.  She’s my muscle. In the meantime, I was having a panic attack, as Felix was having a nosebleed.  He gets those sometimes when the weather changes, and had had one in the night.  I cleaned him up and swabbed the nostril with vaseline, my usual approach.  He was fine for a couple of hours, but right as he was putting his mask on, bleh.  Blood everywhere.  He soaked the first mask.  Luckily, I had some disposable kids’ masks in the car for emergencies.  This qualified.  He soaked the first disposable.  I had it stopped and his second disposable on when he got out of the car.  I mean, what do you do in that situation?  I really have no idea.  There’s no playbook for nosebleeds during a pandemic.
As Stella and I got back home and she was logging into school and I was logging back in to work, I get a call from the school. Shit, I thought.  Felix’s nose.  Nope.  It was the principal, wondering why Stella was at school?  I replied that she was not, that she was here logging on to do virtual.  She apologized and said someone had seen her on campus.  I replied that I had had to bring her to take Felix – I had no choice.  She was very nice and understanding about it, but…
What kind of bullshit is this?  Look.  I get it.  COVID is real and we do take it seriously.  But this school “policy” is fucking stupid.  I’m hoping Will can be around the rest of the week to help, so that Stella won’t be “busted” on school grounds.  But she’ll still have to come with me to pick Felix up in the afternoon, so I’m sure I may get side-eyes or another call for that.  I want to follow the rules with this thing, but there need to be some, and they need to involve a unified, common sense approach.  
Do any of y’all live anywhere where this school shit makes more sense?
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