We’ve been self-isolating for nearly four weeks. Four weeks without seeing friends or family, without going to a restaurant to sit and stare at other patrons, four weeks without gathering on a front porch with our neighbors to have a glass of wine and catch up on life. It’s been really hard. Partly because it wasn’t that long ago that I overcame my nervous breakdown, built myself back up, and felt safe and secure in the world again. And yet here we are, trapped at home, surrounded by uncertainty, and trying my best to stay on top of my self-care while being a mom.
Every day feels like Groundhog Day. My kiddo is only fifteen months old so my days revolves around snacks, tantrums, diapers, and reading five books, roughly eight-hundred times each. That’s not to say that there isn’t beauty in spending all of my time with him, obviously, there is, and I’m thankful that I get to be with him because during this pandemic so many parents are being separated from their children, especially healthcare workers.
He pretends to cook with a little saute pan and shakes the pan like he’s stirring it. He tastes the imaginary food which includes chewing and swallowing, and he gives us little bites to try, too, (and then examines our faces to make that sure we, too, are chewing and swallowing.) He talks a lot, preferably from a soapbox and uses a ton of hand gestures like any good Italian child who also thinks he’s a tiny politician or a Shakespearean actor. He refers to my husband as “dada”+ puts his hand to his head and snores because F sleeps in every morning like he’s a fucking princess but that’s another blog post titled, “why do husbands think they’re extra tired?” My little kiddo loves dogs and he believes his best friend in all of the world is our asshole poodle, Oliver. Our dog does not agree, at all, because he’s old and crotchety and doesn’t like children but I have to give him credit for being as patient as he can be as a senior citizen and an overall brat. My son is always happy. He smiles seventy percent of the day, he laughs and dances almost constantly, and he’s strong enough to push the kitchen table that seats eight and is made of solid wood. He’s perfect and I love him and spending time with him. And I think it is super annoying that I feel like I have to say that. Society, amiright? Anyway, he’s great, it’s great, but we’re not exactly having deep conversations about the anthropological perspective of religion or discussing The Great Gatsby and poopy diapers are gross so things can get a little monotonous. And that’s hard. Mostly because I feel very lonely and trapped without a clear end in sight. And I think Little is having a hard time, too, because he’s been grumpy lately and won’t stop waving to people walking by. Ladies and gents I had no idea I could raise such a social child. I mean, truly, this kid is a pure extrovert in every way. He loves busy spaces full of people and talking with anyone and everyone (including every stranger and weirdo ever and I’m like CHILD STOP SUMMONING THE MAN DRESSED AS A WIZARD HOLDING THE LARGE POSSUM AND YELLING AT A ROCK–also no judgment, I can relate to this person on many levels but also I don’t want my little waving them into my living room to play with their crystal collection). My little is bored, I’m exhausted and I feel a little lost and lonely, but there are a lot of things going on that continue to lift my spirits.
For example, every Disney Song Playlist on Youtube makes me happy and nostalgic and kind of weepy. Zoom chats with friends. Occasional check-ins with my therapist. Making You’re Gonna Be Great! Using Pinterest to plan many fake vacations (writing retreats in Spain, seeing Koalas in Australia, Orca watching in British Columbia, a week in the American south including New Orleans with my fave grad school friends) and also a house renovation that I’m confident I can now do entirely alone due to how easy these bloggers make it look. Also doing some self-improvement work and reading a Gottman and obsessively going through this Instagram account and taking notes on things to talk to my therapist about. I’m also very inspired by the amazing ways my friends are coping, the way they’re showing up for others, and the positivity that is erupting in the world like Old Faithful. But that’s another post.
How are yall holding up? How are yall coping? Are you all okay out there?