Is it just me not doing the Pandemic right, or are you feeling similarly disjointed? I can’t finish anything with all these people in my house. There are so many people in My Pandemic. It’s like they’re multiplying before my eyes. Adding another component of fun, four of the five of us have ADHD, which is like adding double people. I don’t think the Pandemic was made for people with ADHD. Putting us all in one confined space is plain bananas. We can be very impatient people. Cooking a meal everyone will eat without complaint is impossible. An uninterrupted phone call is out of the question. Speaking of questions, someone has one for me every minute.
I’m not doing the Pandemic right
We are fortunate to live in a comfortable condo in the great school district. What makes it affordable is the modest space for my family of five, who inhabit every inch of the 1437 square feet. I realize how entitled that sounds but it remains being said. There is no escape from each other. What do you get when you mix a menopausal mom attorney, a middle-aged Public Defender who can’t be in public and three moody teenagers? That was a rhetorical question. It’s not all bad. As proof, I can have a semi-private conversation if the Conference Room, i.e. the bathroom, isn’t already booked.
It’s like the world is ending. Is the world ending? I’m trying to breathe. A decade ago I thought mothering three children under age four was challenging. Three toddlers in diapers doesn’t hold a candle to the daily existential crisis of raising three teenagers. Then you pile a pandemic on top? That’s just mean. Under normal circumstances there is never one teen who doesn’t hate me. I don’t blame them, really. I can be insufferable.
“Why are there fourteen single socks in the folded laundry?”-Mom
“Yeah. That’s what cats do. They shit on the floor when you don’t clean the litter.”-Mom
Covid-19 home schooling teens
I’ve been working with the great school district since kindergarten helping my special needs son gain independence and social skills. We’ve met innumerable times to perfect home/school communication and systems with the school, teachers and specialists. We’ve made good strides. During My Pandemic, all those plans and connections evaporated. Now it’s just me, fumbling over Zoom meetings with inventive teachers and home ABA therapists. Don’t misunderstand me. The teachers and therapists are great and it’s not like I have to pull a curriculum out of my ass or “know things”. What I have to do is the make the horse drink water, and the horse doesn’t like drinking water. The horse asks beautiful but inane questions and argues about the water temperature until I bang my head against the wall.
My son is the apple of my eye, but having a child with autism can be like living with your stalker. I love, love, love being his favorite person, but it’s exhausting. It is constant. Before the Pandemic, I scoffed at home schooling parents. Now I’m home schooling teenagers. I can barely parent them as it is. I haven’t understood their math homework since they were 4th graders. Please, someone think of the children. We have ample resources, unlike so many, and it’s still fucking hard.
I also wonder about the mark My Pandemic, the chaotic chain-smoking one, will leave on our psyches.
This Pandemic, allow me to serve as your warning
In reality, I may even hate them more than they hate me. In the fantasy Pandemic in my mind, I’m calm, cool and collected. I bathe every day and wear deodorant. I don’t dream about day drinking or running away. In my actual Pandemic, I am clinging to each day I don’t cry or scream. I’m eternally grateful we are healthy and safe. Social media is its usual anxiety trigger of what I’m not doing or creating or winning. All the “should’s” are sending me over the edge. I’m no role model for my kids in My Pandemic. Rather, I’m a warning. I also wonder about the mark My Pandemic, the chaotic chain-smoking one, will leave on our psyches. Ultimately, the Pandemic, maybe even My Pandemic, will lead to much-needed personal and societal changes. I just hope I’m around to see them instead of in a padded cell.