Ignore the noise coming from your toddler’s room.
Ignore the sounds of canine whimpers coming from inside your bedroom.
Collect your toddler, then bring your toddler to the kitchen. Let the dogs out. Feed the dogs. Give the toddler water and yogurt. Let your dogs poop if they so desire after eating.
Between 6:40 and 7:40 AM
Avoid any screens. Drink coffee. Ask your toddler if they want to read any books. Change your toddler’s diaper if they still have one. If not, guide them to the bathroom multiple times. Take any pills that give you superhuman strength or patience or health benefits of any kind. Eat fruit and yogurt.
Between 7:45 and 9:00 AM
Drink more coffee. Use the bathroom. Bring out options. Puzzles. Legos. Dolls. Trains. Don’t expect anything. Just bring them out, maybe start playing with them for a few minutes to encourage the toddler.
Between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM
If you’re leaving the house, now is the time to do things like wash your face and genitals, brush your teeth, encourage your toddler to brush their teeth, and generally get ready to be in society, even if that’s just up the street to your friend’s house, where his toddler awaits your toddler’s arrival. Deodorize and other normal things Involved in not being gross. Prepare snacks.
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
If you can’t set up an in-home play-date, set up a virtual play-date with friends or family (These play-dates brought to you by ZOOM! Meeting! These toddlers will scoff at the idea of in-person meetings when they’re old enough to hold down jobs. How dare meetings take place within sneezing distance of other humans!).
Have a play-date. Incorporate music, books, building things and quiet time. (Watch the timer! Only whispering during quiet time. Little kids love timers.) Let your child explore and learn. Drink more coffee. Play referee, play silly guy, play dead, just play! Eat snacks. Offer snacks. Let the meltdowns happen but offer reassurance. Pick the toddlers up and hang them upside down. Then dump them gently onto soft furniture.
12:00 PM to 12:45 PM
In the event there is no rain…go semi-crazy at the park (if it isn’t blockaded and wrapped with caution tape to prevent small gatherings and passing of deadly germs). Get that energy out. Have an apple. Drink some water. Go crazy again.
12:45 PM to 3:30 PM
Wind-down from the park. Prepare lunch for toddler and yourself. Eat lunch. Allow toddler to watch a little of her favorite show on a small device like a tablet. Wind-down the show with soothing music. Wait till she’s finally passed out, then quietly escape from her dark room.
Check your email, text your friends, and read about the virus and its impact. Better yet, read five pages from that short story you started a week ago.
Cross your fingers for that pre-nap poop. Call nap time, “Quiet Time.” Sometime before 1:40 PM, bring toddler into their room. Play quiet music. Lie down next to toddler. Reassure toddler. Leave the room. Lock the door. If she is tired out from running, you’re probably all set. If not, pretend you don’t hear the protest screams.
Take a nap yourself. Or join that Zoom! Meeting which your co-workers have set up!
This schedule brought to you Zoom! Meeting. Zoom Meeting: the only company other than Amazon and Netflix benefitting from this new shelter-in-place economy.