So this is happening. How is everyone doing? I’m trying to take things day by day and live in the now, which is difficult when the vast changes and challenges occurring in our society are so enthralling. My daily iPhone screen time usage is off the charts. I’ve been averaging 5+ hours a day while looking after my kids.
At the beginning of the week I was very optimistic about quarantine parenting. I figured, as a “stay at home” mom, I’ve been training for this for the past 5.5 years. I looked up the online resources, I made a fun schedule, and I had even stocked up on school supplies from Staples last week to get ahead of the curve. After day 1 the reality of our situation began to sink in, so I panicked and splurged for an iPad which James has been racing virtual Hot Wheels on for the past hour. Don’t judge me.
For our sanity, we are aiming to spend a chunk of time outdoors every morning. Yesterday this was not possible due to a downpour. I had seen an adorable Facebook post on how to make rainbow crayons by melting pieces of old crayons together. I set my boys up with a bag of crayons and muffin tins lined with cupcake holders. It was a hit! The three of us spent over half an hour peeling paper off of old crayons and putting them in the tins.
I was excited to witness our creations and I walked to the kitchen to heat up the oven. Just as I had finished setting the temperature I heard a loud crash. I spun around to see the muffin tins face down on the floor and bits of crayons scattered like rainbow sprinkles.
“I don’t want to melt the crayons!!!” shouted out my five year old, James. He was crouched down at the edge of his mess and his face was red with hot tears streaming down his cheeks. My little Mr. Hyde had arrived. James leaped up, kicked the sofa, and sprinted halfway across the living room before my husband tackled him and held him down.
I was pissed and confused. The rage was so abrupt. So seemingly random, and I wanted an “after” picture! I wanted proof that I was capable of creating something beautiful in our oven. I tried to force the issue, but that created even more blow back, so I finally asked, “Why James? Why don’t you want to melt the crayons?”
“Because I don’t want the crayons to change!”
My poor baby. So much had changed in his life in the past week. Was this really just about crayons? (Possibly) I took some deep breaths, swallowed my Pinterest fail, and negotiated until he agreed to allow me to make two rainbow crayons. They did not turn out to be beautiful. Apparently if you use random crayons from the Dollar Tree, they do not melt.
Today has been a bit better. The rain let up so we headed to Whittier Narrows. There were people on the trails, yet it was easy to keep our distance and exercise outdoors which is still allowed under California’s new ‘Stay at Home’ order. It was depressing to see the playgrounds covered in caution tape, but we played soccer and made the best of it. Here we are. Our new normal. Let’s all take it one day at a time.