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Puppies & rainbows. Or not.

What the everloving hell, SkinnyPop Popcorn Cakes. Your box makes it look like there's oodles of salty rice cakes in there when actually there are five ridiculously-wrapped packages of two discs that are so crumbly I should have just made popcorn. And the packages are industrial-strength plastic, which is way too loud to hide that I'm stress-eating from all the sleepy people upstairs.

Why is everyone getting a dog? We are not home permanently. Right?

If POTUS & the VP both catch Coronavirus and are incapacitated, can we hold November's vote early?

Is now a good time to try that face-shaving thing that Italian women do? Curious.

Yesterday was sunny and freezing: but we got out anyway. People, this is my threshold. I do not do sleety snow.

As 70 or so people now know (thanks to FB), this morning was an epic fail. The silver linings were that so many folks could empathize--this is the whole point of social media, I think. Here's what wasn't helpful:

* the handmade, color-coded schedules that seem to have the week planned, including time for online krav-maga training to foreign-language lessons (and I'm beginning to suspect that sending someone your fancy schedule is the new dicpic) (sorry mom) (mom do you know what that is?)

* the folks telling me that I'm doing it wrong or not appreciating this gift of time or deluding myself into a false sense of control

* the thirteenth notification from SeeSaw in three hours

* I forgot to take my anxiety medication until this afternoon

We kept Satan at bay for at least twenty minutes today by watching Mo Willems tutorials

we'd missed last week. Boo Chicken (our youngest) weathered a mild meltdown for not being able to keep up with the tutorials, throwing his pencil across the room and pout-storming off toward Snackland. But he came back, and we tried again, and paused and rewound the video. And it was good.

Because they are my kids, we wound up with a Pigeon who resembled a robber baron and a punk Gerald smoking a cigar. (I swear that we have not modeled these behaviors at home.) Apologies to the Mo Willems enterprise.

I suggested to our Artist (middle child) that we join Wendy Mac's live tutorial to see what her daily prompt would be. Except I couldn't get it to work at first because technologically, I live in the age of Logo. The prompt: Draw a rainbow for your window! (Everybody's doing it!) And my artist simply replied: "I don't feel like it." Okay.

When I hit the wall, I told my kids to do whatever they wanted, as long as it wasn't tv or YouTube or TikTok. I took a Time Out and let myself enjoy a hot shower. (Of course it wasn't long before someone came running to tell on her brother.) I was ready to give up on the day when I remembered I had leftover cookie dough and didn't care what happened to it. We made some sweeeet (but inedible) tie-dye cookies. And it felt really good to knead the shit out of that stuff.

When I wasn't breaking up arguments over who got to use the computer or peeling someone's feet off of someone else's cheek, we also managed to get in some teachable moments:

Learning is frustrating and hard, and it's ok to stomp away and take a break and come back and slow down and try again.

Okay, one teachable moment.

That's a lot.

So why, then, when I blow-dried my hair, did a clump fall out and into my hand?

What is really happening here? This virus is literally hitting close to home. What happens if it gets in? Isn't that why we're all holding our breaths? Is that why we're trying so desperately to convince our kids (and ourselves) that we got this because we know that this invisible pandemic is so surreptitious, random, frightening?

BooChick tried to convince us again, tonight, to get a dog. He left the dinner table to get his Puppy Secrets book (unofficially called the Book of Dogs), to show us how cute and cuddly a dog would be. It's not a new request--the kids have been asking for years.

Yesterday they learned that dogs are immune to coronavirus.

Maybe we're looking for something to hold close in this age of distancing. Maybe it's a playmate who doesn't have to refuse a game of catch. Something that's unaffected by a global situation. Or a good excuse to go outside, whatever the weather.

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