A dispatch from Sarah Audet, mom to Margo, 3, and Nash, 9 months
MiniBury: In one word, describe how you’re feeling today.
Sarah: (Surprisingly) content
MiniBury: If you are working a job right now, in addition to caring for children, when are you doing the bulk of your work?
Sarah: My husband is a dairy farmer, so he still heads off to the barn every morning. It’s mostly just the kids and me until 2 pm. He comes home at that time and I can start my work for the day. I work until 5, and occasionally do a little bit more after everyone else goes to bed around 8. I’ve been able to get in around 15 hours of work every week, though nowhere near the 40 or so I am accustomed to.
MiniBury: Tell us about a non-screen activity your kids have enjoyed lately.
Sarah: We mixed baking soda and food coloring in some muffin tins, and then poured vinegar on top. Margo’s eyes got really big watching the colorful foam erupt and fizz. Unfortunately, she now asks to do a “super awesome” activity like that every day!
MiniBury: What’s been the hardest part of this new, stay-at-home way of life?
Sarah: Letting go of plans, dreams, grand visions for the future, and my sense of self. They’re not gone, just deferred. Almost like we tucked them away inside a box and we’ll come across them again one day when we clean out our drawers. It’s entirely worth it to ensure that our community remains intact and our public health system does not get overwhelmed. But it can still be disappointing, right?
MiniBury: Any small victories lately?
Sarah: Thanks to these sunny and relatively warm days, I was able to set the baby down, outside, in the grass, and he didn’t wail, whine, or whimper.
MiniBury: What are you reading/watching lately?
Sarah: Of my own volition? “Little Fires Everywhere” starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, based on the book by Celeste Ng. Someday I shall read books again! At Margo’s insistence? Frozen II, whose message is actually the one I needed to hear right about now. Olaf sings, “Someday I will see that this makes sense/One day, when I’m old and wise/I’ll think back and realize/That these were all completely normal events/…Growing up means adapting/Puzzling at your world and your place/When I’m more mature/I’ll feel totally secure…” I did not see this coming when we pressed ‘play’ the first time!
MiniBury: What’s your favorite thing you’ve cooked, eaten or imbibed recently?
Sarah: Rainbow pancakes for dinner! Margo announced out of the blue one day that she’d like to have rainbow pancakes. (Everything is rainbows and unicorns to her. It’s not an unwelcome perspective to have around these days.) So, we whipped up a batch of pancakes, divided the batter among six bowls, and added food coloring. We each had a colorful stack of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple pancakes. Really fun to make —even better to eat!
MiniBury: How have you explained the current situation to your kids?
Sarah: My son, at nine months, is none the wiser. He’s like the dog — just absolutely thrilled I’m available to hold him all day long. (And I do mean all. day. long.) My daughter, who’s 3 going on 15, requires a little more explanation. We’ve told her that there’s a virus going around the world, and that we all need to stay home so we can be healthy and keep other people healthy, too. Her only question has been, “How big is the virus?” To which we explain that it’s so small we cannot see it with our own eyes; we need a microscope. She’s still a bit confused — she thinks she has the virus already and wakes up every morning saying, “I feel a little better today.” On the bright side, she is not afraid and just accepts that this is the way life is right now.
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