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A Daily Routine

Quarantine looks different for everyone, but here's a snapshot of a day, not necessarily every day.

6:45 am - Husband turns on the news when he gets out of the shower, thus ripping me from my insane dreams and into a reality where the whole world is battling a deadly virus.  I can already hear the one year old babbling and jumping in her crib from the monitor located across the bed.  I roll into the bathroom with eyes half opened, smearing on deodorant and attempting to brush my teeth before she starts screaming.  I change into something resembling clothes I would wear out in public, which usually involves pants that button because apparently I'm a monster, then I run into the office and grab my laptop, which I set up at our kitchen table.  The baby is screaming now.  Shit.

8:30 am - After frantically chasing the one year old all over the house and reminding her multiple times that, "No, we can't go outside.  Yes I know you want to go outside," I manage to get her strapped into the high chair with minimal wrestling and feed her some frozen waffles and raspberries.  At around this time, our sleepy three year old will emerge for her room and pronounce she needs, "Milk, juice, and water," and starts asking when she can watch T.V.

9:30 am - I remember that I have a conference call that starts now, so I usher the kids out of the back yard, even though we've only been out here for twenty minutes and they were just starting to enjoy themselves.  Set the screaming one year old in the pack-n-play while trying to get the three year old to go pee.  The one year old has stopped crying, and I hope it's because husband has emerged and comforted her and not that she's suddenly decided she's done with us and called an Uber.  The three year old and I come back to the living room to see husband, on a call, holding the baby.  I dial into my own call and turn on the T.V.

11:30 am - Somehow, I have managed to be a participant in my conference call while also casting library story time for my three year old and entertaining the baby from the pack-n-play next to the kitchen table.  Now, though, she's done with this and wants lunch.  I bring her into the kitchen and make the kids lunch while getting pinged on Skype from team members asking if I can chat about the meeting we were just in.  I do, though I have to mute myself when the kids inevitably start trying to get my attention.  Husband makes himself a sandwich and sits at the table with the three year old, and I finish feeding the baby while unloading the dishwasher from the night before.

12:30 pm - With the baby napping in her crib, I make a salad and sit down at my computer.  I turn PBS back on for the three year old and sketch out something for her to color.  She sits at the table and talks to me while I try and get something (anything!) done today.  

2:30 pm - I'm on a conference call when the baby wakes up, but I was smart enough to call in from my phone and go get here while listening on my ear buds.  I manage to get her changed and then chase her around the house while occasionally taking myself off mute to answer a question.  

4:00 pm - Lego time.  I'm exhausted, and husband brings the three year old into his office to build Legos while I take the baby on a walk.  I zone out for an hour listening to podcasts while doing loops around the neighborhood.  I come back home refreshed.

5:00 pm - My studio does a happy hour at this time, so often I will pop on just to say hi to my co-workers.  If I'm not still sitting at the table, then I'm in the kitchen with the laptop on the counter.  I prep/cook dinner and catch up.  If I decide it's too much to dial back into work, then I'm back to listening to podcasts or an audiobook while husband plays with the kids.

7:30 pm - Somehow, we've eaten, bathed the kids, read books, and generally had a good time as a family.  It's the only time of day where we're all together at once, so I try to slow down and enjoy it.  The baby's asleep, though, so it's time to get back at it.  I dial back into work and try to finish up what I was working on while husband and the three year old hang out.  I join them for her final tuck in and tell her stories.

9:00 pm - The kids are asleep and the kitchen has been somewhat cleaned, although the floors are definitely still sticky and there is rice in every nook and cranny.  Husband and I collapse on the couch for a few minutes.  If we need to, we head back into our office to work a bit more, but if we're caring for ourselves we take that last hour or so of the day to relax.  

Some days are good, and some days are not, but through it all it's been pretty amazing to be home to witness so much of my children's lives.  The one year old is taking more and more steps every day, and the three year old amazes me with her empathy and humor.  It's crazy times, but there will likely never be another time like it, so all I can do is watch and document and try and stay sane.


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