Friday, April 3, 2020

The Dads Must Be Crazy CoronaBlog Day 15-18

Day 15 (Monday)
I feel I actually accomplished a goal that I set for myself today! Not only did I run a singular errand (tax related), but I also managed to completely clean - to the best of my ability for now - one of the bathrooms in my house. It’s the one used most, but it’s also the one that unfortunately gets the least amount of attention. To say it was long overdue for a complete cleaning would be correct. I cleaned everything - even the cover to the light that surrounds the vent. Go figure - the room is brighter now! Tomorrow I’ll “find a home” for some of the cleaning supplies that are still in that room, but for now, I’m just quite happy with the results.

My teaching research continued today, as well. This is turning out to be a bit of an undertaking, much more so than I originally anticipated. However, if a year or two of work will ultimately lead to 20-30 years of a career, I’ll gladly take that tradeoff. Going to keep plugging away on that front Tuesday.

I was impressed with my daughters today, as they took it upon themselves to properly clean off a table that had become cluttered with life. They did such a good job, we were all able to actually eat dinner at the table tonight. That hadn’t happened for about a week or two, through no fault of anyone in particular. It was a welcome change that I will once again try to maintain moving forward.

Tonight, I know our Inaugural Game Bracket wraps up its voting for the current round. At some point Tuesday, polls will be up for all the remaining games, of which there will be four. Only eight games remain after tonight. The continually rising vote totals are something we at NWC hope will continue as these final rounds unfold. Games, in general, are fun. We hope you’re having fun with the bracket.

Tuesday, I imagine, will bring more of the same stuff as Monday, but in different rooms and with different goals. Til next time!

Day 16 (Tuesday)
These days are just running into one another and it’s hard to keep track of them. The steam my daughters had built up for school work seems to be starting to fade. They are all working on it, but now I see it more as an excuse to get away from each other. And I’m not sure how much they’re actually accomplishing. I am just shrugging my shoulders at this point. I’m not sure they can be graded on it anyway.

I will tell you that our printing has gone up. Between all four girls printing for their school work and Wendy printing for her job, I’ve had to increase my HP Instant Ink subscription. We went through all the regular printing, plus three months of rollover in the last ten days. I always thought that electronic school and bills would decrease paper. It sadly is not the case. We print more and more all the time.

We had a discussion at dinner about what social distancing (still despise that term) means and how important it is right now. They all have friends who don’t believe in it and still gather. It’s like they just feel they need to thumb their noses at governmental directives. I totally get it. I feel the same way most of the time. However, watching the numbers grow each day, I realize that we just need to take responsibility for ourselves. That also means we have to be responsible enough to know that our actions have impacts on other people, both negative and positive. We all need to keep that in mind.

I had to run to the pharmacy to pick up one of my vital prescriptions. On the five mile round trip, I saw no less than four separate groups of people walking down the street. The smallest group? Three people. The biggest? Eight or Nine. About half were kids who think they’re invincible. The other half were people who are old enough to know better. Having family and friends in the healthcare field, I hear some of the horror stories. Everyone thinks it will never happen to them. I now know two people who have it. Thankfully they are young and will very likely recover. Not everyone will.

One of the coolest things about my daughters now dating (there is not much “cool” about it, but sometimes fringe benefits) is that their interests have slightly changed. Patience’s boyfriend plays hockey, so she’s interested in the sport now. As you’ve probably read or heard regularly on this website, we love hockey. So for one of the kids to get that interest is a win. Tuesday night she decided that she wanted to watch “Miracle” about the men’s hockey team during the 1980 Olympics. I still remember hearing Al MIchaels famous call back when I was in first grade. It was that big of a deal, even in a household that wasn’t big on sports. But we loved the Olympics.

Day 17 (Wednesday)
Things are beginning to get monotonous. And Day 17 I was at the end of patience with all of this. Every little thing set me off today. I was cranky from the get-go. The problem likely rests with the fact that my sleep schedule is all messed up. I can’t sleep at night, and by morning, I’m exhausted. So I sleep best from 5 or 6 in the morning until about 10am. That’s way too late to start the day. It sets me behind on the things I want to accomplish. I’m going to have to work at getting to bed before midnight.

Day 18 (Thursday)
Today was Wendy’s day to be on edge. I’m not sure how much work the girls got done with their school work. On Wednesday, Wendy had video chats for work. I think some of the news going back and forth with the job situation may have gotten to her a little bit. But Thursday, she and the girls were making masks for us in case we had to go out for something. We know these masks are not perfect, but it may help with peace of mind. They won’t protect us enough to suspend the social distancing directive. And they look cool. 

With a family of six, we need to regularly shop to keep the house running. We’re trying to limit our trips to the store, but today was the day, finally. The stores were still a little bit busier than I expected, but not too long to wait at the registers. There were still quite a few empty or half-empty shelves. We got everything we needed, though, including a surprise for the girls for Friday night. And Wendy and I wore our newly made masks. 

We’ve decided to make Friday night a family night where we can sit back away from all the school work and other crazy things. We’re going to have a special dinner and watch “The Rise of Skywalker” together. After dinner, we will also have a special snack to eat during the movie. All the girls seem to be excited about it, even the one who doesn’t really care for Star Wars.

The last few days have been both uneventful and, at the same time, very productive for me. 

We all seem to have settled into a bit of the monotony, with both my daughters getting the hang of online learning. Of course, that also doesn’t eliminate the “last minute” style stuff that comes with, “Oh! I didn’t see THAT assignment!” Even in situations like these, excuses get made. Thankfully, the assignment in question is a longer one, so I’m hopeful Teagan’s missed deadline is more of a benchmark than anything else. Rayna, meanwhile, just misses her friends and my wife and I miss all the fun she would come home with at the end of each school day. I imagine it’s a bit like that for any parent of a younger child whose excitement about a picture or a “very important” note is infectious.

Like Craig, we’ll probably have a movie night here in our house some time either Friday or Saturday. Popcorn, snacks, and other treats will be eaten as we watch what I assume is going to become a Pixar classic in Onward. This movie, I fear, will wind up becoming an historical one because of how quickly it was released via streaming. It could possibly alter the way movies are delivered to the masses, and ultimately lead to many changes at theaters and drive-ins. That’s an issue for later, though. For the immediate future, I just want to be entertained.

Speaking of entertainment, on Thursday Teagan went to a virtual birthday party. One of her classmates hosted a Zoom meeting with almost 10 friends, and I photobombed a couple times. It was a treat to see a bunch of 5th-graders have some normalcy thrown into their lives for a friend. All of them seemed to have a good time from what I could tell. 

Meanwhile, I finished the book I was reading, and a review of it will appear here at NWC in the next day or so. I also checked on and updated the Inaugural NWC Bracket, which featured games, so the Fun Four voting polls could launch. A quick shout out to the morning crew at WGR 550, who talked about our poll a couple times this past week. Thinking I’ll call in Monday morning to talk about the championship matchup. Craig says this has been a hit with you, our readers. That is what we were hoping for, and ideas are already percolating for another unique style bracket (not “just movies”) to coincide with March Madness ‘21. We fully anticipate you questioning the seeding for that one, too, because it wouldn’t be a proper bracket otherwise.

Time to go tackle yet another room in my house and relinquish control of the computer to one of my daughters. 

Everyone stay safe!