It’s day 34 of isolation for me and I lost my ever loving shit. Normally I consider my personal meltdowns signs of weakness and inadequacy; not today. Today I am a motherfucking rockstar for having kept it together this long.
Parents trapped at home with toddlers and elementary school children, you deserve to be in a special tax bracket. Nevermind big bank bailouts, Cheeto in Chief, let’s give parents of tiny tyrants a break. They deserve it. They’ve earned it. Okay, so you’re cussing more than normal and you’ve bumped up your Wine of the Month Club membership to platinum to receive weekly shipments. Truthfully, it should be covered by your prescription plan (if you’re lucky enough to have one right now).
My kids are not little. They are not toddlers. They are not elementary school children. They are 15 and 19. My 19 year old is devastated by the catastrophic end to her senior year of high school. No more parties, no more bonfires, no more trips to the mall with her besties. She gets frustrated with me from time to time because, yes, other kids are still doing those things. PARENTS! PLEASE STOP LETTING YOUR KIDS DO THOSE THINGS! IT’S MAKING MY KID MAD AT ME! As a senior in high school you’re invincible, you don’t understand the magnitude and gravity of what is going on right now. As ADULTS we have a difficult time grasping the insanity that is COVID 19. She’s up early every morning to get her online assignments done, knowing full well she will not be failed whether the assignments are submitted or not. That’s who she is at her core; “SHE” knows what is right and what should be done and she will do it.
My 15 year old is exceedingly witty, sharp, and far more intelligent than his academic efforts portray. He is thrilled to use this time to plead ignorance about how to navigate an online classroom. He knows he will not be held back this year as a result of virtual schooling and he is capitalizing the hell out of it. Despite repetitive discussions on the importance of putting your best foot forward in these times; and how teachers are likely to respect EFFORT above perfection right now, he resists. At 15 it’s time to be taking responsibility for yourself, your actions (or lack thereof), and the consequences. While I am a firm believer that sometimes you have to let your kids fail, we cannot sit back and let him willfully self destruct – not right now. Two days ago I confiscated all of his electronics until missing assignments were submitted. Shockingly, he didn’t put up a fight. Instead, he immediately sat down and got to work. He emerged 45 minutes later and proudly said, “They’re all turned in, Mom!” As I logged on to verify his claim, I saw the assignments WERE, in fact, submitted. All of them. BLANK. This is what I’m up against, folks.
Theoretically, our houses should be the cleanest they’ve ever been. We’re trapped in them with endless time on our hands to polish, shine, and Marie Kondo the whole joint. Not my house. Despite my best efforts I’m tripping over dirty socks & kicked off shoes, picking up empty bags and boxes my child (who shall remain nameless) either leaves on the floor or stuffs back into the cupboard, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD…RAMEN NOODLES! My child doesn’t eat Ramen cooked, unless it’s a special occasion; he takes them out of the wrapper and eats them like a goddamned sandwich. While walking around (apparently) the WHOLE ENTIRE HOUSE! I don’t want to hear you crying about the pain inflicted by a floor bound Lego until you’ve stepped on raw Ramen. It’s on the floors, tables, counter, and in between my freaking couch cushions! Does anyone want to wager a guess at how many times I’ve told my kids, “NO EATING IN THE LIVING ROOM!”? Anyone? 2,454,789. In Trump math that’s Two million, four hundred fifty four thousand, seven hundred and eighty nine million. And juice boxes. I’m not sure I can talk about the juice boxes without convulsing. Boxes. Upside down. Couch. Wrappers. So. MANY. WRAPPERS. For the remainder of isolation and probably the rest of our lives, there will only be water served in Chez DuBois.
Getting back to today’s epic tantrum. At 3pm I was being sustained by 2 mini Hershey bars, a handful of bacon bits, a bite of week old birthday cake, and 2 glasses of milk. Being hangry may have fueled my reaction when I stepped on raw Ramen, started screaming about everything that’s ever bothered me since 4th grade and how nobody ever listens to me. In the midst of my belligerent rant I noticed a glass and a bowl on the stand…IN. THE. LIVING ROOM! I’m pretty sure I blacked out. When I came to, I realized my yelling had scared the dog into a urinary malfunction on the kitchen floor. At this very moment, my 19 year old has the audacity to look at me and ask if I’d mind cooking her some noodles.
Godspeed, parents. Godspeed.