Friday, March 27, 2020

When the World Paused - Day 10-ish

So Washington State (our state) has had schools closed for 2 weeks now. I'm lucky my kiddo doesn't have much she can fall behind on (and with the whole nation 'falling behind', I don't really believe it's a thing - we're just moving the goal posts around for this generation).

At her age, we can sort of throw basic ideas at the walls and see what sticks - and that's the plan for the day. One of the things that makes me an effective coach in the gym is a fairly strong intuition. So now, I get to focus that around at home. Like I've said before, we have a basic plan, as the days start to string together. We can plan ahead a bit since we can rely on a few facts:

1) Everything will continue to be closed.

2) Magnolia Forest School teachers working hard to keep the kiddoes connected. The Impossible Girl misses her friends a lot, but the teachers have a consistent way of showing up for these kids via lots of Live videos and media - to keep them all engaged and connected. They shifted from a Tution model to a donation model to adapt to so many of us who are losing some income and yet keep our teachers around and employed during this time of seperation. Giving those of us with a somewhat uneven income forcast room to breath is such a gift. (If you want to do something for The Impossible Girl for Easter - donate here.)

Apollo goes to school with The Impossible Girl this morning learning all about mixing colors during storytime.
 3) There is always going to a craft or recipe to make. Today, it was Bath Time Playdough. Ours turned out to be a colorful mix between slime and playdough, but she had a lot of fun mixing and making it (and my septic tank won't hate me later).

 4) We have good boots, which means there is ALWAYS a way to get outside and create adventure. Every single day. Today it was cold and windy, so she tried on a new hoodie from a care package from My Sailor (before all of this madness started) and put a stuffed animal buddy in the backpack and we were off! About a quarter mile in, she opted to climb in and out of some of the storm drain areas, building her own adventure as we went on a hunt for Stinging Nettles. We found some and tomorrow we'll be back there with gloves and a bucket to do some foraging. I'm curious to see what Nettle Tea tastes like!

5) There is a unicorn that likes string cheese and pretzels that lives in the back of my car.

Without playgrounds to climb around in, we've gotten pretty creative. When it's too cold/windy/wet to picnic on the front lawn, we picnic in the back of the car. She climbs over the seats, from the front to the hatchback and back again over and over and over. She's really good at it now, and I bring us a picnic style lunch in the back of the car. She eats it without complaint (apparently an invisible Unicorn pet lives in the car too. It lunches with us often as well.) and gets some energy out.  

I have some plans for this later on down the road. I'm thinking dinner tail gate or pretend Drive In may happen if I get truly ambitious.

6) Something will go wrong - and it's probably going to be okay. 
Today, we discovered that The Impossible Girl is allergic to... something? Either outside or in her new hoodie. Her neck and back broke out in a short lived rash... So the hoodie will get an extra wash and we'll have to see if it happens tomorrow on our walk back to our Stinging Nettle spot.

7)  Play is a PRIORITY. 

The Impossible Girl is an only child at the moment (aside from the furkids). When I worked a day shift and an evening shift, our lives looked like this:
  7:30-8:30am Wake up and dressed for work and drop the kid off too.
  1pm-3:30pm Run Errands/Rest
  4pm-6:30pm She goes to Child Watch and I go to work.
  6:30pm-8:30pm Commute home, Dinner, bathtime and bed.

There really isn't much room for extended play in that schedule. And it always bothered me every time I'd have to put off her invitations to play. She is usually a good sport about it, but right now, I am her only playmate. She has already experienced a lot of loneliness over the last few months. While I can't take up every single offer to play (as there are lots of chores and cleaning happening right now), I can make sure I take her up on as many of those offers as I can.

And I'm going to be honest - it's not all about her. It never has in. Playing helps lift my spirits too. As the cheif adult in charge, I need that release as well.

I went through some of my older photos from work - and it all rings true.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
All the investment, even the little things, COUNT.
If there is an gift to these incredibly challenging circumstances, it's left me with time to invest in the little things once again.
Little things add up to big things.

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