A Month of Quarantine

Title: A Month of Quarantine

Submitted by: Justin R.

I have been keeping a Facebook log of my time at home during quarantine. I decided to do this mostly because 1. We didn’t know how long this would last, so a log helped me keep track of the days, and 2. I wanted a way to remember all the crazy, silly, fun, infuriating, and hopeless things I was feeling as a parent during this time. This is a compilation of the first month.

A Month of Quarantine: A daily log of Parenting
I have been keeping a Facebook log of my time at home during quarantine. I decided to do this mostly because 1. We didn’t know how long this would last, so a log helped me keep track of the days, and 2. I wanted a way to remember all the crazy, silly, fun, infuriating, and hopeless things I was feeling as a parent during this time. This is a compilation of the first month.
I chose to end each post with #stayinside because it seemed appropriate given our orders to stay away from others during this time.
These are my unfiltered thoughts full of humor, frustration, anger, and obscurity. I think many parents can relate.

Day 1: After the girls ate breakfast Evie said, quite enthusiastically, “what are we going to do today?!” 😑 it begins. #stayinside

Day 2: New beds put together for the girls. I made dessert pretzels for a work get together that is now cancelled. Guess we eat sugar, wait for the crash and go to bed. #stayinside

Day 3: Little one napped for almost 2:30 hours allowing Evie to work on homework and read and me to get work done in a big chunk. Lunch of fresh veggies, fruit and cheese, now a little screen time before some outdoors time. Feeling cute. Might crush my children at competitive Frisbee. #stayinside

Day 4: The dog is confused. He just chased the older child around the den. Beginning to wonder if he barks at himself when we’re usually gone just to spice things up.
Also, worried about some of the Catholic families I know that have more than 10 people. Who gets voted out in order to comply with the CDC guidelines? #maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavor #stayinside

Day 5: After the 85th game of Candy Land with your 3-year-old you start to question everything. Are we all stuck in a Cherry Pitfall? Someone, please, draw a blue card so we can all move on.
Also, “The Next Right Thing” from Frozen II is devastatingly real for a children’s movie. “I’ll make a choice to hear that voice and do the next right thing.” Good advice for today or any day. #stayinside

Day 6: Finally shaved. My female counterpart is happy. I’m starting to wonder how I’d look with a mustache. Downside, I think she might never speak to me again.
Also, began long term cooking phase 1. Chili should help institute the required 6ft of separation between the members of my unit.
*upon deeper reflection, the mustache may also lead to 6ft of separation* #stayinside

Day 7: This week has been a really long month. The small beings in the house are still getting along. We have installed a strong meal policy wherein every piece of plated food must be eaten. To demonstrate our resolve, I saved a quarter of an orange that fell into ranch dressing during our lunch period. The older one is required to finish the fruit in question during dinner. The ranch was *mostly* removed before storage. I expect pushback on the produce front. My counterpart and I will persevere. 💪🏻 #stayinside

Day 8: First day with no official work to do. Finished one puzzle and will finish the second by this evening. We are singing Disney songs endlessly. As we enter the depths of our isolation I always thought my end of days song would be “School’s Out” or “Enter Sandman”. Instead I find myself endlessly humming “Into the Unknown”, which may be far more fitting. #stayinside

Day 9: Been a week with no visits to the store. Worker at Meijer made fun of all the people emptying the baking aisle saying, “what, are people going to make bread during the next 3 weeks?Ridiculous.” Today I made two loaves of bread. Two loaves of gluten free bread planned for this coming week. Got out a recipe to make a blueberry pie, Emalee’s favorite. Also have a boatload of frozen bananas to make banana bread for breakfast. Pancakes are also on the docket. #GreatBritishBakeoffhereIcome
Also, the counterpart and I destroyed the smaller beings in Mario Kart. It’ll be many a day before they can match me on Rainbow Road. 🌈 #stayinside

Day 10: My grandmother was rushed to the hospital this morning because her assisted living center thought she had a stroke. She is responsive and alert this evening but held for observation. If this happened a week from now, she may not have had a bed in that hospital. Italy’s physicians are making hard choices about who can be saved and who cannot. The elderly population is often deemed too severe; standard triage scenario.
Stay the (insert your favorite swear) inside! My family has precious few years left with my grandma. If we lose her because she doesn’t have a hospital bed due to some idiots who think their “rights” are obstructed, or “they don’t feel sick”, or any other stupid, moronic, selfish reason people use for self-justification in this global crisis, I may never be able to forgive those people. Forgiveness is part of who I am. I don’t want that to change. #stayinside

Day 11: My counterpart and I both had video conference calls this morning. The older child had a classroom Zoom at 10. The younger one wants to play Mario Kart… I can place a food order using only my voice to our automated home assistant. This is the 21st century. Yet still no replacement for a pain-free child’s hairbrush, huh?
The problem cannot possibly be user error. #stayinside

Day 12: Our littlest is sick. High fever. Got up to a scary 105 early this evening. Called the appropriate medical personnel. Came back down quickly with a cold bath (not fun for anyone) and meds. We are monitoring very closely. No cough or other symptoms. Lots of Disney movies and water. We are not freaking out, but keeping a close eye.
Grandma is doing ok. She tested negative for pneumonia and coronavirus. Doctors are still monitoring. Hopefully she will get to go home tonight.
Ugh. #stayinside

Day 13: My counterpart suggested I should have called these “captains logs” and now I feel angry because that is a better idea.
The little one did a complete 180. Not only normal temp all day, but perky and joyful. 🤷🏻‍♂️ No idea what that was all about, but it would be great if nothing like that happen again for at least 6 months. Or ever.
Grandma is finally back home with few answers as to what actually happened but is happy to be back in her own bed.
At bedtime the little one ran to her bookshelf and yelled because she couldn’t get the “Nibbles” book. I heard something distinctly different. #stayinside

Day 14: Saw an ad last night for a waffle maker that made LEGO shaped waffles. I showed my counterpart and said, “They finally did it. They Leggoed my Eggos.” My 20 minutes of laughter was not reciprocated.
The smaller beings played together really well today, which is great because I have been finishing a couple projects for work basically since I got out of bed.
Next project: Find a substitute way to say goodbye to my seniors in the event schools are canceled for the remainder of the school year. So that really sucks. #stayinside

Day 15: As we enter into week three of iso, I reflected upon Homer during a day in which my counterpart and I both suffered from headaches. My rumination lead me to this piece of advice:
“We figured out we could park them in front of the TV. That’s how I was raised, and I turned out TV.”
Perhaps this Homer quote is also fitting and slightly more refined:
“Be still my heart; thou hast known worse than this.”#stayinside

Day 16: Spent some quality #quarantime (TM) together taking a walk around the hood. The dog is truly agitated by the squirrels. To be fair, they do seem to stand and taunt him with a great degree of impunity.
Tried a new game. Happy to report we escaped the Forbidden Island just in time. The older child saved us via helicopter rescue.
For dinner, homemade pizza and chocolate banana ice cream. I find that I am really not missing eating out at all. That said, shop local when this is all over. #stayinside

Day 17: Saw coworkers faces today, via Zoom, for the first time in two weeks. Also saw my own face and hair. I need a haircut. May need to get my counterpart to give me a trim.
The older child set up a Zoom play date with a classmate. Don’t know what they will play or how they will play it, but she almost peed in excitement.
We bought a gallon of fat free organic milk. It is exactly as good as you would expect. We discussed adding an entire bottle of chocolate syrup to make it palatable. This sounds like a joke but it is a very real possibility. #quarantinelife #stayinside

Day 18: Thank God we live in a time when, even during a quarantine, we still have easily accessible food. I never really understood the term “hangry” until the little one graced us with her presence. She is like a mythological dragon of lore; only appeased once her insatiable appetite is quenched by many offerings of cheese and applesauce.
Video chatted with more coworkers today. We all looked worse than last week. When is Zoom going to add filters?
Finished puzzle #5 at lunch; The Works of Poe. It seemed appropriate for the times in which we are living. Made me want to reread A Cask of Amontillado. Next up, Ice Cream Bars. No telling what that will make me crave. #stayinside

Day 19: Every day our unit has a discussion during dinner about what we are going to eat the next day. Not to brag, but we have not had a single repeat dinner in 2 1/2 weeks (not including leftovers which we have had mostly for lunches and twice for dinners). Service tonight will include Korean chicken and rice, honey glazed carrots, and your choice of water.
Heard from about a dozen of the teens today. Overwhelming reply: We are bored. Thinking we need our house painted. I’ll leave the money in an envelope under the front bench. Provide your own materials and paint.
You know things are getting desperate when the older offspring says, “You know what we could do? I’ll get a coin and we can take turns guessing if it will land on heads or tails.” God help us. I’ll let you know who… wins? #stayinside

Day 20: It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day! (Sing it! You’ll feel good.)
65 and sunny! Work done both for the office and around the yard. Flower beds raked and leaves bagged with my counterpart. Only a broken blood vessel and knee contusion for the older child. The little one cried 6 times today mostly related to head bonks, because I said she couldn’t have chicken nuggets for dinner, and general grumpiness due to the aforementioned hanger issues. Overall, a solid day of parenting and command.
I put candy on the shopping list for the next foray into the wild. Some will go to Easter baskets. The remainder, however, I am genuinely considering forming into a stash to keep hidden from the small beings. I will reveal the existence of said stash to the small ones only in the gravest of situations. Perhaps if one of them ever beats me at Mario Kart. So, never.
My counterpart is privy to the knowledge and spoils of the stash, but is also sworn to secrecy. #stayinside

Day 21: Three weeks. Tears over the lost time with my groups. Tears for the older one because she will not see her classmates again this year. Tears because the pain in my back, related to yard work, has forced me into a fetal position today. Tears because we are out of fresh produce and I want an orange.
The unit made Easter cards to send to older parishioners at church. The offspring did the decorating and some of the writing. The carrots were only slightly phallic so I let it pass. I had to toss the card the little one made. Too many ghosts. I mean, some? Fine. But not six.
The internet was spotty all day today. Charter said their servers are heavily taxed at the moment. I wanted to make a top 1% income joke, but the lady sounded annoyed after my response of, “Living the Dream!” after she asked how I was doing today. Know your limits. #stayinside
Day 22: The little one has taken to laughing like a maniac. At times the laughing immediately precedes bouts of intense sadness or anger; or sometimes just a big “bonk” from falling to the ground. It’s a little disturbing. She is either coming to grips with the intensity of our isolation, or she is just being three. Or, the lesser option, she is a big fan of the Stooges and doesn’t know it yet.
At home school today (even on a weekend 💪🏻) involved learning about blood types and genetics. Art involved making your own lamp shade for the older one and family portraits for the little one. Example below. Guess who this is. 1st hint: your first guess is wrong. 2nd hint: the counterpart and I are told the dot below the rather smug expression is a nipple. #stayinside

Day 23: The counterpart and the older offspring had a girls afternoon with painting nails and a project for her room. The little one and I played Hatchimals for the 500th time. She won. Twice.
Family game night tonight via Zoom. The expectation is that the counterpart and I will continue our dominance in family activities. (See ladder-ball, corn hole, etc…)
Went on a 2 miles walk this afternoon. Who are all these people? There are going to be some immaculate lawns come June.#stayinside

Day 24: I’m so proud of my coworkers. We put together a great package of at-home Holy Week activities for families, little ones through high school students, on limited time and using resources we thought most people would have on hand. No jokes here. Just really proud of it.
We had 3 simultaneous Zoom meetings in our home this morning. Thank God the little one loves Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid. Raising our kids right.
The older one read us a family story for bedtime tonight. She did great. The little one then read us the same story. There were glaring plot holes I don’t recall from the previous reading; also many more “Plops,” growls, and burps. I never anticipated so many bodily functions as part of every family interaction.#stayinside

Day 25: The older one came down from her virtual class and looked… odd. We realized as we sat down to eat lunch that she was wearing blush, eye shadow, and some lip gloss. None of which she owns. That led to a discussion. She fessed up to putting on mom’s makeup for her class. Another girl in her class had done the same thing. I’m happy that she owned up to the obvious, however, considering my loathing for makeup, I’m not super thrilled.
Breakfast food for dinner tonight. Made extra waffles for breakfast the next couple days. I never thought I would plan out a way to ration the milk supplies to get through 2 weeks, but here we are. I have given the little one a powdered milk/water mixture a few times. So far she hasn’t noticed. Wondering if I can slowly add less and less powdered milk to the water over the coming weeks. I think, yes.
Had a thought to create some videos as a project for my high school kids. Trying to focus on some joyful things during the Easter season.#stayinside
Day 26: More work in the yard this afternoon. Happy to get the home-front completely raked and cleaned up, but my back is screaming at me. Love our neighborhood, but I have a serious bone to pick with whoever decided to plant 25 maple trees around our house about 50 years ago.
Dinner was really something tonight. The family was singing and dancing to some 70s music. Enter Bob Seger and the rhythmic stylings of the little one:

Day 26: More work in the yard this afternoon. Happy to get the home-front completely raked and cleaned up, but my back is screaming at me. Love our neighborhood, but I have a serious bone to pick with whoever decided to plant 25 maple trees around our house about 50 years ago.Dinner was really something tonight. The family was singing and dancing to some 70s music. Enter Bob Seger and the rhythmic stylings of the little one:#stayinside

Posted by Justin Rose on Wednesday, April 8, 2020


Day 27: Closed out my work week by getting some things set to send out to all my high school kids next week. Got some bummer news. It snowed about 15 different times today for between 2 and 10 minutes each time. Come one Spring. Don’t be like this. You know we need a break this year.
News came today from the school district describing home schooling for the rest of the school year. I’ve got to figure out the best way to work laundry folding and dishwasher loading into the curriculum so it seems natural. Last week the older one was not buying my toilet cleaning lesson.
We are running out of puzzles. Anyone want to meet up for a trade? We can fling them into the back of each other’s cars frisbee style and then lather up the boxes with sanitizer. I never thought I’d be talking about a puzzle exchange like it’s a narcotics handoff. #stayinside

Day 28: Finished puzzle number 10 this Good Friday. It was peaceful with very few/no electronics or television time for the offspring. Only two major fights between them. No injuries reported.
Dinner was emotionally devastating. The bigger one said she may not come visit us when she gets older. (She later stated she was just kidding.) The little one continues to randomly spout, “the parents are dead,” quoting Olaf. I hope.
Then the Macarena came on the 90s station. The bigger one said, “I’d be surprised if Norah knew this because this dance is, like, REALLY old!” The counterpart and I made eye contact and a look of deepest devastation passed between us. I’ve never understood the urge to spit at someone until now. The older one nearly got an eyeful of half-chewed peach. She cut me real deep with that one. #stayinside

Day 29: The offspring have been assured that the Easter bunny will still come tonight. I hope he brings us Twizzlers and milk.
The counterpart hosed me in Mario Kart this evening. I’m still not over it.
Puzzle exchange went down today on the north side of Flint. Limited exposure and some new unit projects for the weeks ahead.
Tomorrow I’m grilling hamburgers and asparagus for dinner. I don’t care if it pours on me. I’m going to stand there with the biggest “don’t-tell-me-what-to-do” face you have ever seen.
Happy Easter. #stayinside

Day 30: We have a lot to be grateful for this Easter Sunday. When your family makes you laugh every day, isolation doesn’t feel so isolating. To all our friends and family, when this is all over, we will throw a huge hootenanny.
The offspring enjoyed the Easter festivities and treats. They even wore new Easter dresses for pictures and egg hunts. The counterpart and I put on new sweats. I even wore shoes.
We went for a drive to do a social-distancing-safe Easter egg hunt sponsored by our formation department at church. We dominated. It was a beautiful day. Saw a kid, 11-12, trying to dunk on a 6 or 7 ft. hoop. As we drove by he attempted a dunk that bounced hard off the rim. It took every ounce of will power I possess not to yell “BRICK!!” I am bettering myself. My counterpart was grateful for my restraint.
I wish I had done it. #stayinside

Day 31: It’s been a month. We ordered food for the first time since quarantine; pizza from a local place. They threw in extra breadsticks and a side salad. I didn’t really miss eating out, but that pizza was sublime.
Caught up with coworkers and made plans for the remainder of the school year during our staff meeting. Turns out we all work well with one meeting a week and no incentive other than pride in our jobs. Huh. Go figure. I still miss seeing them.
At dinner the little one, while speaking to the counterpart, referred to the older one and me as “these people.” I was both impressed by the proper grammar and horrified at our apparent “place” in the family unit.
We lost power for 3:30 this afternoon/evening, because why not. At least it came back before bedtime. I was not excited about the ensuing fireworks at the realization of useless sounds machines. #stayinside

I will continue this project for as long as we are in quarantine. I find the process cathartic. If you have not been keeping a journal of your thoughts, I encourage you to start.

God bless.

Stay safe.

Justin Rose