Week 5 of coping: Cat is fine; Bea is something else; Leo is nine 9 now - how much longer is this Coping going to last?

graphic coping blueBy Nicki St George

April 21st, 2020


Nicki St George is part of a Team that details how their weeks goes as parents do their best to cope with the Corono virus and take on the task of educating their kids. Nicki has two children; a nine year old boy and a six year old girl. Husband Dan is working from the house – office in the basement. Nicki has completed her chemo therapy and is happy with her cancer recovery.

Bea cropped

Daughter – a work in progress.

MONDAY, April 13
Bea storms out over a disagreement about Candy Land. She says she is going to find a new home. I suggest that she pack a bag. Leo watches from the window. It’s so windy that her umbrella blows inside out. We laugh until she comes back inside and then feign concern. She is a character. She comes back inside to tell me that from now on she is going to live in the car except for meals. She will take her iPhone, but she promises not to use it until the scheduled time (3:30pm). I point out that the Wi-Fi is crap in the driveway, so she relents and has her iPhone time inside the house. Tomorrow, when Dan takes the car to the grocery store, she will ask why dad is driving away with her new home.

TUESDAY, April 14
This week I have resolved to go for peaceful walks by myself every morning when I wake up for sanity’s sake. This will last two days. I miss going for walks with my friends; it’s boring all by myself. In the afternoon, the kids insist on going for a bike ride, which I’m opposed to because it is so cold. On our ride I pass some friends of my parents and stop to say hi. Leo warns me against talking too long, in case we get a ticket like that lady whose friends drove by her house to wish her a happy birthday.

Nicki 1 Apr 21

Out at the grandparents farm where there is acres of space to run and roam

On our weekly pilgrimage to my parents’ property we listen to a podcast about Weird Al Yankovic’s appeal (I’m actually quite curious about this). My parents are having some trees cut down from their property, so we stand in the brisk, April wind and watch the men take down a tree. This is the most exciting thing that will happen to us all week. The kids nearly miss it because they are wrestling on the ground.

Every mum I talk to is tearing their hair out today. I empathize. I often wonder if Bea has been sent to test me. Our conversations go something like this:
Bea – so is the answer 3
Me – no, it’s 4
Bea – That’s what I said! Whines and storms out of the room.

THURSDAY, April 16
Dan and I finish watching Unorthodox on Netflix. I am envious of how long that girl’s hair is. (In case you haven’t seen it, it is a very short pixie cut.) Every day and I check the progress of my hair regrowth. I examine my pathetic eyelashes and eyebrow hairs which I can count individually. Then I draw on a new pair. I am tired of looking like a sick person. Bea sees me doing this and now she does her eyebrows every day too. I do really love that kid. I have my appointment at the hospital today and when I get home, I cannot be bothered to do any schoolwork with the kids. We spend the day doing a puzzle and playing Mario Kart.

Leo cropped

Nine now.

FRIDAY, April 17
We listen to the Kidsnuz podcast and today they announce Leo’s birthday (all the way from Burlington, Ontario!). His excitement at hearing his name through my iPhone brightens my day. At 6pm, Dan emerges from his work cocoon and makes delicious homemade pizza. I prepare a foot bath and give Bea a full nail salon experience including a face mask. She is in heaven.

SATURDAY, April 18
Today is Leo’s 9th birthday. Instead of the new bike and new bed that he had been promised, we get him a couple of games for his Nintendo Switch and a few t-shirts with witty captions. He spends the day playing Roblox while on messenger with his friends. At around 1pm, a few of his friends (and their parents who are our friends) stop by and we all try to catch up while keeping our distance on our front lawn.

Leo approaches me and tells me that the closeness is making him uncomfortable and he is worried that we will get fined. Seriously where did this child come from? I sometimes forget that Leo has inherited Dan’s sensibility, but I’m grateful for it in this moment, because he is right. I politely ask everyone to get back in their cars and we slowly disperse the crowd. I think we were all so starved for some socialization and Leo’s birthday provided the perfect window to have some face to face contact.

After everyone leaves, Leo opens the gifts they brought – cupcakes, seafood, homemade cards and pictures, and some gift cards. We are all touched by the effort everyone has gone to, considering the circumstances. Later we make his meal of choice and a chocolate pavlova for dessert which we serve up over Houseparty with my extended family. Leo hasn’t complained once about his COVID19 birthday and I feel very proud of him.

SUNDAY, April 19

Nicki 2 Apr 21

The cat just seems to go with the flow.

I pet the cat, do some of my puzzle, read something, knit, repeat. This is how I spend the day. I am feeling bored and restless. I want this period of social distancing to be over. I would settle for just knowing when it will be over. My newsfeed is depressing -a mass shooting in NS and idiots protesting social distancing measures in Michigan.

Bea’s behaviour has become intolerable and I refuse to live under her regime any longer. Everything is a battle with her, including the basics such as getting her to wash her hands. Dan and I decide to enact Marshall law which involves no treats, no smiles and no iPhone until there are three consecutive days of good behaviour. She is receptive so far and we have a pretty good day with Dan enlisting her help doing yard work. I guess fixing Bea will be my project for the upcoming week. She’s still a work in progress, but I guess we all are…

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1 comment to Week 5 of coping: Cat is fine; Bea is something else; Leo is nine 9 now – how much longer is this Coping going to last?

  • Tammy Ellis

    loving your story…know that you guys are doing a great job…I can’t imagine trying to keep kids busy and under control with all that is happening