On Mundane Tasks

Right now, I’m the dishwasher, 1/2 the cook, laundry coordinator, and etc.

Although I don’t particularly enjoy these tasks, they fill some unknowable need – stability. The dishes in particular provide a rhythm to the day. After every meal comes the cleanup. I rely on that rhythm to mark the day.

My wife has taken to doing a morning calendar routine with the small ones. Things like what day it is, what month, what season, what the weather is like. It only takes five minutes, but I think it grounds all of us in the present day. Rather than what could become dangerously out of control numbness.

Today I took the trash and recycling down to the curb. Because it’s Sunday evening and the trucks come by Monday mornings.

What unnoticed, unappreciated rhythm these mundanities give us.

Throw in with the school

We made some cutout worksheets for the preschool today. A did the drawing and I did the computer stuff – scanning and minor graphics work. They turned out pretty nice. I’m encouraging her to post them on teachers pay teachers or something.

The preschool is having more success with the distance learning than the local school district is. We only have one half-hour call a week though, so I expect that’s reasonable.

It’s a coop preschool, so we’ve been used to being involved with it for a couple of years now, and while this sudden shift has been unsettling, I feel like we’ve been lucky to have the school experience we’ve had.

What to tell the kids

What do you tell the little ones when they can’t go to Grandma’s house or Nana’s house? That they can’t see their friends? That they aren’t allowed to play with the girls next door they’ve always played with? That they cannot leave the house for a few months?

I don’t have a good answer. If you do, please feel free to offer suggestions.

We’ve been telling our kids that the virus is out there, lots of people have gotten sick, and it’s really dangerous.

It’s funny, the older one went through a phase a few  months ago where we watched all of the Kahn Academy viral microbiology videos. Here’s an example:

We got to there by starting with Oceanic Microbes. He’s fascinated and always wants to learn more, so we go to DNA, he asks about germs (have to explain why we need to clean his cuts and scrapes), and boom, we’re watching MCAT prep videos about viruses.


In some ways We’re lucky in a lot of ways. Having the little ones means we have to keep a schedule. Every day, whether or not we want to. Weekends are a little more relaxed, but yeah, we mark time by meals. Cleanup, nap time, play time. Those go for all of us.

The activities keep the rhythm, and as long as we have the rhythm, we can keep moving forward.

Grief and Isolation

There is a lot of grief in the world right now.

For you.

For me.

I hope your grief is not unbearable.

Despite all of it, I have gratitude as well. I don’t exactly like that word, “gratitude.” It has religious connotations to my ear. But, well, it works.

I am lucky that I can work from home. My company has been fantastic, and actually quite surprisingly agile.

All of my loved ones are still with me. We have had to be in the hospital with unrelated illnesses, and yet we are safe.

Since the last time I wrote on here two years ago, the new baby has grown. He’s two and a half now.


Oh, I am sad. Sad for my country, sad for humanity, sad for each person lost to this virus.

I try not to be sad for myself, but yes, I am. Serious illness struck my family just as the virus was catching on here in the US. It’s still very serious, and putting strain on all of us.

I am also angry. Mostly about how the government handles this pandemic. Profiteering and cronyism. Cynicism and pandering. Politicization of a public health emergency, for the purpose of making money.


Because we’ve had several hospitalizations (not related to COVID-19), and taking care of one of our family, I am not as isolated as I want to be.

And yet I am lonely.

And this adds to my sadness.


I’m using this to process. You would think there’s all kinds of extra time to do things like productive writing, yard work, etc. But no.

There is no time. There is even less time than when I was commuting two hours a day.

What a strange world.

What strangeness it is to see profit opportunity instead of humanitarian opportunities. What grotesque macabre times we live through.

Inane cruelty. Stupid selfishness.

What protest can we mount while physically distancing?

Find a way. Write. Put it out there.