A dispatch from Erin Jones Poppe, mother of 6-year-old Seba and four-year-old twins Lucas and Isaac.
MiniBury: In one word, describe how you’re feeling today.
MiniBury: When are you doing the bulk of your work?
Erin: Wednesday mornings, and then whenever I can.
MiniBury: What is your kids’ relationship with screens these days?
Erin: Because of the educational aspect of what Seba is doing he has more screen time than he did. The twins also like doing some of his activities so everyone’s screen time is up these days. And we try and have a movie night with a pizza picnic occasionally.
MiniBury: Tell us about a non-screen activity that your kids have enjoyed lately.
Erin: We built a fort that took up the entire living room the other day when it rained. The boys each had their own section of the fort and spent hours in there reading and eating and living.
MiniBury: Has your family celebrated a special occasion during isolation?
Erin: The twins turned 4 on Easter. We made each of them separate cupcake flavors they asked for (strawberry for one and vanilla with bananas for the other) and called family members.
MiniBury: What has been the hardest part of this new way of life?
Erin: The boys are not used to spending every part of the day with each other so finding time to be one on one with each of them separately in between schooling and working and making meals… reminding them that they love each other has been tough. They don’t want to hear it at this point. They don’t believe me.
MiniBury: Any small victories lately?
Erin: Isaac, who is a lover not a fighter, shares or gives things up that he originally wanted so that his brothers are not upset. For example Isaac picked the last raspberry fruit pop and Lucas really wanted it and started to get sad. Isaac handed it to him and said, “I don’t really want this kind, you can have it, Lukey.” Small moments of their kindness towards each other makes it all worth it.
MiniBury: What song do you have on repeat these days?
Erin: “Jai Ho” from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. The boys heard it the other day and went wild for it so we had a dance party. It helps break up tension now so when we need to dance our frustrations away I put that song on
MiniBury: What are you reading/watching?
Erin: “The Stranger” on Netflix
MiniBury: What’s your favorite thing you’ve cooked, eaten or imbibed in the last month?
Erin: It’s funny because I’m still cooking as much as before but for some reason it seems like such a chore these days to figure out what to make. I like baking. I have to say the brown butter butterscotch cookies have been a family favorite the last month.
MiniBury: How have you explained the current situation to your kids?
Erin: We have explained it. I feel like they are going through the stages of grief. They are in the angry stage right now. They are very mad about the coronavirus. They see it as something that is stopping them from seeing their friends or family. We have tried to tell them it is frustrating but it is important not just for our own health but that of others. They’re still mad.
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