Four Months…or has it been Four Weeks…Inside?

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art via Visual Hunt

Monday

RH decided not to sleep most of Sunday night. She’s become extra clingy over this last month in part because I never leave her sight in the morning, and we’re both around most of the afternoon and evening. She’s now more fervent in her protests of her afternoon naps. One day this week she somehow unscrewed the door-protector spring-know at the bottom of her door. She also found the power strip under her dresser, which is currently empty so she can’t dump everything out onto her floor, and she unplugged her little floor lamp and her Amazon echo dot, which often plays quiet music which we use for naps. Instead of napping, she neatly arranges all of her little friends on the big pillow and sometimes tucks them in, as if to say, “You all must be so tired after that long morning.”

Instead of sleeping, she tossed and turned from midnight until 2am, then N went downstairs and I brought her into our bed, hoping to soothe her. After another two and a half hours of tossing and turning, counting, singing, and sitting up and staring at 75% asleep Daddy, she finally gave in at 4:45 or so. The dogs started whining around 6:30.

I may have said “Fuck my life,” out loud, but I think I said it in my head. I slipped out of bed ever so slowly, and led the dogs downstairs. After letting them out to pee, then giving them breakfast, I let Joey out to N in the garage, then came back up. Fortunately, RH let us sleep until 9.

I had an 11:30 Zoom meeting. I tried Frozen. I was only interrupted five times in the hour-long meeting. RH insisted I help her put on her Elsa gloves. Then the Elsa dress. A few minutes later, she pooped in her diaper. We decided to wait to potty train until this past weekend. We probably could have done it several months ago, but is there ever really a great weekend to stay inside with your diaper-less toddler and her naked tuchus dominating your recovery time?

Tuesday
Garbage day. We watch the trucks in the window, some of the few vehicles that pass by these days on our mostly empty streets. We wave. One of the guys always waves back. We say thank you as we have most Tuesday mornings over the last year. I was going to mow our small patches of lawn that afternoon but time went fast and it ended up happening after dinner. RH’s interest is piqued by the lawnmower, though she’s still not 100% sure it is safe. Standing with Mama, she watched as I mowed the grass in long rectangular lines and clapped on with encouragement, “Go Daddy! You can do it, Daddy!” I laughed as I thanked her. As unimportant as it may seem, these small tasks that sometimes feel frustrating when you’re overly stressed and exhausted become barometers of normalcy when you can’t go anywhere. Clean, short grass. Sweat. Dumping clippings in the compost bin, where RH is eager to join me. It all helps life keep moving.

Wednesday
Who knows what happened Wednesday. Maybe nothing at all.

Thursday
We meet Aaron and Bijan at an open area, mostly filled with dogs. They run around, chasing each other on the wood chips while dogs scamper and sniff. A neighbor of ours who has two little whiny white terriers greets me by saying, “You didn’t bring your dogs to the dog park?”

These days, we’ve been getting our weekly Wendy’s drive-thru lunch on Thursdays. This week, after I order her chicken nuggets, Rebelle Harmony calls from the backseat, “Alexa, order some fries.”

She has begun pretending to take the orders of her twelve wooden owls. I taught her to say, “Welcome to Wendy’s, may I take your order?”

I have to ask her if they have certain items. She has her note card ready to tell me if they have the items ready.

Naps have become a nightmare. She simply resists being in her room before 7:00 pm.

Friday

Potty training begins. Peeing on the potty success. Poop not so much. Coffee with Dad, six-feet-apart. Groceries with mask and gloves. Nice to be out of the house for a while. Sometimes I forget we have cars these days.

Saturday

A Zoom Passover Seder with about 20 relatives. It was neat to see (on a tiled screen) so many extended family members I hadn’t seen for so long. Rebelle Harmony was curious about the whole thing. She wasn’t wearing pants. She wanted Elsa gloves and crown and dress and hair. In future years, I look forward to Rebelle Harmony meeting her Jewish relatives at a Seder in the Boston area, but this was a good start. We got her to say, “I love you, family!”

We went to Garage School at night.

Sunday

N painted Easter eggs and hid them around the backyard. It was fun to watch her scavenge for her eggs and be delighted with chocolate bunnies.

The weekend never quite feels like the weekend. Every day is just another strange version of the last.

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