April 3, 2020

optimistic, at best

I am either the greatest optimist of all time, or just incredibly dumb.  I wake up every day thinking of all the things I am going to get done and then I go to bed at night having accomplished only a few things from my list, and yet - I wake up the next day with the same 'I've got this' mindset.  How. Can. This. Be?  

I am leaning towards the fact that I possibly have a very low IQ.  

Where does the time that I have such big plans for disappear to?  My children are not tiny and do not need me to entertain them.  I guess, ideally, I would be more involved in their e-learning, but the best I can do is read emails from teachers and scold peeps for not doing the assigned work (looking at you exclusively, Reg).

I binge watch nothing.  Like zero.  I don't even know what the deal is with this lion and tiger guy who apparently entertains folks on Netflix.  We don't have Netflix.  I sometimes squeeze in a family movie in the evening after dinner, but the battle to agree on what to watch is sucking the life out of me.  The eye roll from Coach (if a questionable scene pops up that I have inadvertently forgotten about, because I am old and suffer from low brain function) is not ideal.  Last night, I didn't even try with the TV- I crawled in bed and read my book.  

My house is far from neat, clean, and tidy.  Shit, I would settle for ONE of those.  I believe in child labor, and yet I am not getting a great deal of work from my built in labor force.  So, again - where is the time and why is my list still staring at me, perhaps even laughing at me?  

I AM NOT BABYSITTING RIGHT NOW - so there is less diaper changing and baby corralling and high chair wiping and so on happening, see?  You follow me?  I am practically a lady of leisure.    

If I had to take a stab, I would say my time has been consumed by the following, not in any particular order because why tax someone with such limited brain power:  

Skunk smell:  Trying to decipher the horrid, very bad smell that has twice overpowered the upstairs.  It is a skunk like odor -not human at all - that is then covered with some perfume-like spray of some sort.  This has Lad written all over it.  My guess:  marijuana.  If that is the case, time to get the tent out of the garage and he can get his ass out of my house and into the yard.  Quarantine or not.  
Chicken parmigiana - a la Tank

Meal prep:  while the kids have cooked several meals recently, I have been heavily involved.  The day that Lad cooked his zucchini pizza boats, for example, he called me no less than 18 times from the store.  My services have also been required during the actual cooking.  Still a total positive, but not as time saving as it sounds.  

Extended workouts:  I have been working out more than I have ever worked out before.  Coach and I sometimes go to his clinic before patients arrive and go home before anyone shows up  - think shoemakers elves or something.  I can ride a stationary bike there, and then come home and do the rest of my strength with a bit of cardio mixed in.  Ed helped me download a fitness app on my phone so I am tracking how many calories I burn and what I eat.  It is eye opening.  

**As an aside - if I ask Ed for help on the app, because of my cluelessness with technology and my obvious brain issues, he might disown me or chase me down the street at a high speed, thus burning more calories.  

Naps:  See above workouts.  Seriously sometimes even after sleeping 8 or 9 hours at night, I MUST sleep.  Last week, I woke up and ate and then went back to bed where I said a rosary and then slept for over 2 more hours.  I tend to need more sleep than most adults I know, but this is extreme.  I blame the excessive workouts.  And yet - this is my favorite time suck of all, so I am going to embrace it.  Amazing how the kids don't wake me from a nap.  They are smarter than me apparently, and they know that when I am awake, I will take up the below cause . . . 

One-woman-police-force:  Begging children to remove themselves from Xbox or stop watching the entire Office series for the 5th time or ordering them to do shit that I could do faster and simpler myself like unload or load the dishwasher, but that is not the point.  Or noticing jobs that were never done from the day before and then trying to remember who was supposed to sort a load of laundry or sweep the kitchen and get on that kid's case.  Or reminding people to practice their music.  Oh, and I have had to argue with kids who beg to be able to go hang out with friends.  - well, shit - all that hollering and policing is exhausting.  All this takes lots of swearing and also:  time.  

Projects:  I had a few kids help me rid the family room of the baby equipment that litters that room usually.  Playpen.  Garden.  Toy kitchen.   It is all shoved in the dining room now.  The girls and I sewed masks for health care workers - great project, but holy time consumption.  I am insisting that the Irish musicians in the house all learn the same tune so they can play something together.  For some reason I am not confident that this video will work.  The last 15 seconds is when they start to play together.   Once they have it down, we might add Lad on his drum (if we invite him in from his tent).  Ed has not agreed to try to learn the tune on the piano  - he used to play.  Even if I agree to NEVER ask him for help finding an exercise to upload to the fitness app again.  Still working on it.  If the clip plays, you might hear their ACTUAL names and see their real faces.  Times are tough and we need to be amused somehow - if this is not the time to let our guard down, then when?  

Writing:  I am doing that writing class that I stressed out about so much that I feared I would not be blogging as much and for which I prepared and froze buckets of food in advance.   The class is going well.  I have not had a single point deducted on any assignment yet so I am either a rock star or I might need a more challenging class.  How great would it be if I was 'discovered' like that woman from England who sang on the talent show and blew Simon's socks off years ago?  Yeah, there I go again - napping AND dreaming.  

Laundry:  This doesn't seem to get any lighter.  I am doing my part - wearing the same outer layer a few days in a row, easily accomplished with no babies to wipe snot and food on me.  I have a few cozy pullovers I gravitate towards, because it is fricking freezing here STILL.  

So, I must go and attend to my damn list or I fear I will wake up to Ground Hog Day all over again tomorrow.  


Kara said...

It's anarchy in our house. I've committed to making one meal a day for the family, and they can fend for themselves for the other two, four, eight times a day that they want to eat. Lots of Oreos are being consumed, because those are the comfort food of my people. By state law, no new concepts can be introduced during distance learning, and all classes are pass/fail now in AZ for my high schoolers, so I've given up on them. The youngest is in middle school and her school seems to be very competent, so unless she has issues with a specific assignment, she's been able to figure it out on her own.

My husband and I have never watched the Marvel Movies, so we've decided to take that on as our primary entertainment for this long month. I guess we need a goal to work towards.

We both work in essential fields so we are both still leaving the house most days. The kids are on their own. On my WFH days, I do wake them up at 9:00 AM, but when I'm not home, they don't get up until Noon or later. I couldn't deal with the squabbling, so I ordered TV's for everyone's bedrooms and got firesticks for everyone. We hung them up and there's a lot of real life murder mysteries being watched. If I get killed, someone better investigate my children first, because they're picking up a lot of ideas on how to get away with murder.

Ernie said...

Kara - I JUST said last night - how many spider man movies are there? Seriously, every time I turn around there is another Peter Parker movie playing.

I think my high school kids are still getting new concepts. My freshman in college has elected pass fail for 2 classes he new would be near impossible to get an A and the rest he is planning on getting As. We are hoping and praying that Lad is doing his coursework, but he might just be playing video games in his room because he has his college apartment set up in there.

TV's for everyone - it's like you're Oprah on one of her giveaway shows. My kids might try to come live with you. Outside of Lad's TV set up in his room, we have a TV in the family room and one in the basement. There is a TV in my room, but no one even bothers with it. It still has a fat back on it and the screen is 1990's small. I have taken note of the possible murder scheming going on. There is a new movie/series? on Apple/TV plus that they talked about on the news this am. About a 9 year old who solves a cold case - based on real life. I like real life stories. Not the one I am currently living, but those that are entertaining I enjoy.

Kari said...

It's TOTALLY marijuana. I am a pro-weed advocate so you don't want my opinion but since it feels very end of the world right now, maybe just pitch a tent for him.

Friend, you are not motivated because it takes every single iota of our beings to just exist at this point. Don't stress about it, just be. Somedays you will get lots of shit done, other days you will be in your robe all day eating HoHo's. But you survived and so did your kids, so it's all good.

Writing is saving my life right now. I don't even need a writing class at this point. I am writing every single morning for two-plus hours while listening to music before the girls wake up and it is my version of meditation.

The tiger show is so distracting and worth the price of Netflix. But movies are good too. Honestly, erecting a tent in your backyard for weed-boy might be even more entertaining. Let me know when you do that and I will do a field trip to six feet social distance watch, titter, and point.

Homeschool SUCKS for me. Ella is completely unmotivated and I think it's her anxiety about what's going on. Or she senses my anxiety and it just spirals down. I thought I would be unaffected since we've been doing this for almost two years but no. Day by day is my attitude.


Fist pump.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I was laughing at your skunk smell. :) Good luck with that tent.

I love that you are napping and working out a lot. I'm such a slouch with my exercise; I really need my fitness coach to get my ass in gear because I can't do it myself. And I won't be seeing him anytime soon.

I loved the video, but it was only one son playing. Very talented though.

I've found that the days go by really fast....before I know it it's happy hour again!

Ernie said...

Kari - I want 'weed-boy' on a t-shirt. No I don't. I am not proud. I get that some people might smoke weed from time to time. I don't think this kid is a time-to-time type. I wish writing was saving my life, but I am not writing much. I have to read a few chapters of a few different books for my writing class. One was Frankenstein and I DID NOT enjoy it. I am trying to get Coach to choose something like Hulu, Youtube, Netflix. One major issue - we don't have good internet service, so that might totally suck. We don't even live in the sticks. If you drive by to look at weed-boy in a tent, I will make cookies and toss them to your 6-feet-away-self. Then you can go home and freeze them before you eat them to be sure. I imagine homeschooling would suck right now. Reg and Curly are on spring break. I am trying to get people to still try to learn something everyday but without a home school plan - 'Hey, someone pick a place to learn about and we will call it Geography.' They were all over that. Guessing it would be tough to do homeschool in our recently improved weather too. Sorry for your home school but happy for nice weather.

Suz - I bet the skunk smell is funny from a distance. He would totally be fine with the tent if we allowed him to set up the big ass TV he has in his room right now - inside the tent.

I figure no time to figure out if I can actually lose a few pounds than right fricking now. I do not want to squander this time and then be bummed I didn't do more with it. No babysitting is like a small gift. Who has time for anxiety?

I wonder if I posted the wrong video. I will toss another one up on a future post because RIVETING, right? If you look in the video you can see Reg's phone to the right of the coffee table. Mini took his phone and tossed it when she was super frustrated with him. Hmm. Wonder what that is like.

I am sleeping later usual, but holy crap dinner rolls around and I am like 'Huh?'

Bibliomama said...

I'm with Kari - I think you're being a little too hard on yourself and possibly your kids, although I'm not counting my opinion for that because you have six of them and it's probably that some wrangling has to be done. I think it's good to have a list of things we want to accomplish, but I also think we should not beat ourselves up if fewer of those things get accomplished than we would like. I am also a pro-weed advocate, but not for boys under 25 because of brain chemistry, but I don't know how you go about forbidding it if the boy in question is really determined. I also don't think it's cool that Ed is pissy about having to help his mom with technology. Pull your head out, Ed, she literally gave you life. I have Netflix but I haven't watched the Tiger King. Eve filled me in, and it does not sound like my kind of thing.

Ernie said...

Ali- I'm not really upset with myself for not getting more done - I just wish I could get more done. I am used to fast paced life and I HATE wasting time when life is fast paced, as a result I have a hard time transitioning into slower paced or just weird paced life, ya know? If the kids could just wipe up a mess they make on the counter or put a bowl in the dishwasher the place would magically look less squalor- like. :) Ed did give me a ton of help upfront on the app but my repeated questions made him groan. I do like the reminder that I gave him life though. Might use that. I like your pot age restriction mentality. I do not think Lad's immaturity combined with pot is a good mix.

Nicole MacPherson said...

I don't watch TV really either but I find I've been reading a ton. The video worked well for me - very nice! I really enjoyed this post, thanks!

Suzanne said...

I love TV with all my heart but find myself watching... very little. I have been chipping away at the Tiger King on Netflix and have been watching The Masked Singer with my husband and daughter on the weekends, but otherwise... not a lot. Which is good, I guess?

I have also not been working out enough. I am still figuring out how to balance watching my kid, supervising her schoolwork, and doing my own stuff.

Ernie said...

Nicole - We did watch a decent family movie the other night that we saw years ago, but the younger 3 had not seen it. 'The River Wild'. Had some suspense. I am hoping that I find something decent to read on my kids' shelves when I am done with my current book. Thanks for your kind words. Made my day.

Suzanne - I keep looking at the TV the kids have on in the family room from my usual spot in the kitchen - freezing in my tracks and asking 'HOW MANY SPIDER MAN MOVIES ARE THERE?!' Still hare to find something everyone can agree on. Balance - such a good word for right now. How to balance. I feel this pressure to have my junior high kids do more than what is being asked of them by school. Research a country in a far off land and improve geography skills, read a few things that will help prepare Reg for high school. I tend to NOT be involved in their learning as they are typically self motivated, but is it enough? Sigh.