IMG_4058.jpegThere’s probably something wrong with a mom who makes it a habit to snap urgent-care selfies. These are from 2016 (top) and 2017 (bottom) during our seasonal “I’m soooooo sick!” visit. 


No one comes into the house, no one goes out. Schools are shut down. Stores are closing. People are working from home or not at all. Life is on hold. This coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and pretty scary, although quarantine is nowhere near as scary as quaranteen.

Imagine being holed up for weeks — possibly months — with hungry, hormonal teenagers. It’s horror movie stuff. Truly. Not that they really seem to mind that much. No school? No problem!

This is probably the population best suited for hunkering down.

I mean, they were made to veg on the couch. They already snooze until the early afternoon and during their brief period of wakefulness, they’re largely uncommunicative because they’re glued to their phones or a video game or, typically, both.

As long as you follow the rules — no direct eye contact and ask questions solely relating to what kind of food they want to eat — things go pretty smoothly. Make a false move, though, and it could mean the silent treatment, which honestly, is not so bad. Or different from the norm.

I keep seeing all these great suggestions for dealing with kids who aren’t yet bathing in Clearasil — have some outside time, read together, make cookies. It sounds exhausting. So much planning.

I guess part of me is happy my kids are past the need-me-to-constantly-entertain-them stage, which is how it was that one summer when I had surgery on my driving foot. These were the days before Uber and Lyft, so we were pretty much under house arrest. For six weeks. In the long, hot Tucson summer. No movies, no bowling, no nothing. Well, I did my best at playing camp counselor and creating different activities. The one everyone loved the most was tie-dying. They loved it so much that once we ran out of blank shirts, nothing white was safe — my husband was quite surprised when he opened his underwear drawer. The patio, too, was never the same.

Yeah, the kids seem OK with just doing their own thing, but I have angst because I feel like I should be doing more to foster some full-on family togetherness.

“Should we go for a hike?” I asked.

I got The Look. If you have a teen, you know what I’m talking about.

I didn’t dare bring up playing a game.

I guess I shouldn’t try so hard. Because actually, I’m just happy they’re forced to spend some extra time at home. With me.



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