The Weekly Digest

How was everyone’s week? This was our second week of staying home, so we tried to incorporate more routine—adding in brief scheduled blocks of time for specific activities like math and Spanish. It worked well for being sure we could tick off some tasks, but it was definitely harder for me: a lot more directing and shorter stints to get into any work of my own. By Wednesday—a rainy day to boot—moods weren’t as rosy. I lost my temper and felt the impending regret like an out of body experience even as I did so. So we chucked out the schedule again on Thursday and just went for a day of game playing, cooking (Hudson made us the best pudding ever from this book), and we took a long bike ride in the sunshine. This is all to say, we’re still figuring it out.

We don’t lack for activities—and we actually haven’t been watching TV or movies during the day as I anticipated. There are so many other activities that involve screen-time (like art classes and workouts, story times, and chats with friends—there are so many options) that we find ourselves putting it away and getting to dinner time before they ask about shows like Scooby-Doo. We did watch The Love Bug the other day—after a reader comment on this post—and the kids loved it. Skyler was a roller-coaster of emotion over little Herbie, but came out smiling.

I’m lucky that I can put my work aside (or, rather, that some of it has been aside for me), because I don’t know how I’d work from home alongside them without those sort of frustrations (outbursts). Which isn’t to say that having to put goals aside isn’t frustrating in and of itself, but I can usually get online a bit every day and that just has to be enough for now. The funny thing is, they’re having a great time so far. We’re still in the span of a normal family vacation away from friends, so it probably feels just like that. And they’re young enough that having me with them all the time is exactly what they’d wish for. I of course wish that Aron were with us and miss having another adult around during these long days. It’s a dilemma when he gets home: I sort of want to just hand things off and retreat, but I’m also excited to spend time with him. We’ve also been having some face-time calls with friends and a glass of wine after the kids go to sleep.

Let me know how you’re doing and what you’re enjoying lately. Here are some links of note in our house…

Earlier this year I shared this tip on How to Appreciate Your Kids in the Moment. Resharing it now, because it has been a help to me this week.

I bought a bunch of new games just before the stores closed. I’ll share which were the biggest successes soon, but so far this has been a total slamdunk for Hudson playing alone. It’s like real-life tetris in 3D and gets really challenging. (It reminded me of this “slamdunk toy” from a few years ago.)

Speaking of being solo, if you’re living alone, do you use any solo cookbooks? A friend recommended this one.

Alison Roman’s guide to cooking in a pandemic.

Here are all the authors reading aloud online.

Domino Mag suggests five games to play on Zoom with adult friends.

A helpful guide to Zoom (via SwissMiss)

How to start a productive garden.

Fun videos on “the kids should see this.”

Will there be a baby boom? Probably not.

Since you all love the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap

I get the impression that conservative news outlets are, in particular, downplaying the threat of the virus here, in the U.S. I’ve been wondering if we aren’t seeing enough of the scary images of what is likely to come without more action. If that is something useful to you, here’s a photo diary from Italy I found in the New York Times. If you prefer to avoid the bleaker stories to keep anxiety at bay, I understand that, too.

What happened when the governor of Michigan complained. And the governor of Massachusetts.

But, also, look for the helpers. People do help each other in times of crisis.

A practical “what can you do right now.”

If you would like to send a message to the White House asking the president to invoke the Defense Production Act to ensure adequate and immediate production of PPEs for the health care workers who are putting their lives at risk by working without proper equipment, you can fill out this form:

Designers stepping up to make face masks with their production facilities. And this week, Marin, CA-based home linen goods brand Rough Linen has begun mask production for Kaiser Permanente’s medical staff of health care workers and first responders. Thank you to them!

How the cornonavirus will end. And four possible timelines. (Friends often ask Aron’s prediction, as he’s a physician. No one knows the answer, but he tells me to brace for school not starting up in August. What I do know? We will certainly not be planning an egg hunt with our elders at Easter and I think it’s very irresponsible of a government to suggest at this stage that anyone might.)

A few more old links you might like:

Favorite chapter books for kids

How to make your own magic shell

Be well!




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