I sat the kids down and had a serious talk with them this morning after breakfast. We’ve been talking about all this in bits and pieces, of course, but this was more focused than that. I told them:
– this is a serious disease, and we may well be in our house for 12-18 months
[we discussed the rate of infection, how fast the numbers are doubling, and that if we don’t work hard in the next week on social distancing, a million Americans may die this year]
– we are very lucky that we have a big house and garden, that many of their friends and others don’t have that; we also have enough money to buy the food we need, parents who can work at home, and more
– it’s our responsibility, since we have these privileges, to do as much as we can to help everyone else
– that Mommy is working really hard right now on trying to figure out what are the best ways regular people can help each other, and it’s not easy, and it takes a lot of staring at the computer, and it’s making me very tired and very sad
– that I yelled at Daddy a little bit yesterday for not helping me, and he was sorry and is going to try really hard to help me more with the computer work today
– that I need their help too, especially for the next week, when I’ll be working particularly hard
– that I think their teachers are assigning too much schoolwork, and it’s not a priority for me or their dad, but that it’s good if they learn things, so if there’s time, they should still try to keep up
[Kavya interjected at this point that she is NOT learning things — for example, in her math class, they have her doing MobiMath and doing really easy stuff she learned in elementary school; I told her that her math teacher was probably overwhelmed and she should try to be patient with him]
[we also discussed that if we are basically homeschooling for some months, we can really think about what we’d like to learn and how we’re going to go about it — for example, I told them if we wanted to all work as a family to become fluent in Spanish, we could download Duolingo and really work on it, and if we made good progress, we could also save up money to go visit Mexico or Spain in a year or two when all this is over; Kavi is VERY excited about the prospect of going to Spain]
– I told them that if they could do a good job taking care of themselves, the house, and Mommy in the next week, it would be a HUGE help; they are excited about doing some meal planning and cooking
– I said that I had a hard time thinking when the rooms are messy around me. Anand suggested I just go to the shed, which is actually not a bad plan, but I said if they can help clean up, that would be even better, because otherwise I would be fretting about the messy house some anyway. It took them maybe 10 minutes to straighten and vacuum the living room just now. I had to give them some direction, because they’re not used to it, but they could absolutely do all the actual work themselves.
– I also told them that Mommy had gained two pounds in the last week (true), and though it’s not a great idea to focus just on weight, we *are* getting a lot less movement stuck in our house than we’re used to, and we’re going to have to be very intentional about adding more movement (and not eating junk food) if we don’t want to roll out of here in a year. They liked the idea of making a big chart with different kinds of movement, and at least three times a day, picking something off the chart to do together. I’ll try to remember to post that once we have it done.
[Kavi has now taken Anand for a walk around the block; I suggested they walk most of a length, then when they passed the last alley, race to the corner, then repeat that going around the square; I did that with Anand the other day, and it worked pretty well]
I honestly felt so bad, scaring them a little. But on the other hand — I really need their help right now, and it’s honestly a scary time. I’m proud of our kids for stepping up to help mama (and the world) out.