True story: Last week, during like Day 6 of stay-in-your-f**king-house, my wife was upstairs on a conference call talking to important people for her job. It’s raining and cold outside, and the wood stove is running low on logs. So, I go out to the barn to get another load of wood but realize, when I return, that I’ve locked myself out. I’m already anxious and on edge on account of a everything, but at that moment, the kids start fighting over whatever it is that kids fight about. Loudly. I’m knocking on the door so that someone will let me in, but they can’t hear me over the sound of their own yelling. Meanwhile, the dog starts barking because I’m knocking on the door, and I look down at my phone, and my wife is texting, “I’m on a conference call! Please keep the kids quiet.” Only I can’t. Because I’m locked outside. And the kids are inside yelling at each other.
Finally, I’m like screw it. I walk outside into the rainstorm in my slippers and go through the front door, and by the time I get inside, I’m wet and angry and frustrated. I start marching toward the kids as angry as I have ever been as a dad. On the way, I spot an apple on a table. I don’t know why, but I pick it up, and when I finally get to the kids, I am too angry to speak, but I’m also one of those fathers whose kids don’t take his anger seriously. Like, the angrier I am, the more likely they’re going to laugh. But this time, I am furious, and I don’t know what else to do, so I just smash the apple on the floor and it explodes all over the living room. It was magnificent. I turned that apple into applesauce and it flew over the entire room.
My kids look at me. Stunned. And they never look at me stunned. And I just said, “Clean it up.” And they did! And they didn’t laugh at how absurd it was that I smashed an apple on the floor for at least 90 seconds, although they have made fun of me every day since. “Hey, Dad! Remember when you smashed an apple on the ground?!”
That’s a small taste of parenting in a quarantine. A very small taste. Much of my day consists of sharing devices with my daughters and getting up every 45 seconds because a daughter “needs some help,” while my teenage son is absolutely wilting without any social interaction, and even though my wife and I both work at home at the moment, I feel like I see her even less now. Still, by the end of the day, I need to spend at least 20 minutes alone in a dark room to recompose myself.
As parents, though, we’re all in the suck together!
Pro tip for those quarantined with your teenage kids: you can also yell "Shut the FUCK up" into the crook of your arm.— (((Josh Malina))) (@JoshMalina) March 23, 2020
I was just puttering around the kitchen, and was delighted to hear my wife singing softly to herself, a nice start to the morning during rough times. Then I caught the lyrics: “Everywhere I want to go, you’re always in the way.”— (((Josh Malina))) (@JoshMalina) March 24, 2020
I love my kids more than anything in this whole world for about 8 hours a day. After that, it gets tricky.— Josh Charles (@MrJoshCharles) March 25, 2020
It’s official: I am the absolute worst home schooling teacher of all time.— Josh Charles (@MrJoshCharles) March 25, 2020
These @MoWillems videos are magic. At first, my son was a bit unsure about it all, but I just heard him say to the computer “Goodbye Mo!” Thank you thank you thank you kind sir.— Josh Charles (@MrJoshCharles) March 25, 2020
Social distancing Day 12: Today my kids wanted me to wear my wedding dress at lunch & I couldn’t think of a reason not to pic.twitter.com/2snMmwxuGq— Curtis Sittenfeld (@csittenfeld) March 24, 2020
The only good thing this quarantine has given us so far is children’s conference calls.— Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing) March 27, 2020
FYI the 9yo is using my laptop for this conference call so I can’t work— Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing) March 27, 2020
Been homeschooling a 6-year old and 8-year old for one hour and 11 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week.— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) March 16, 2020
Have you guys ever heard of this movie Frozen 2? pic.twitter.com/Zo2RVZZPk6— Rob Huebel (@robhuebel) March 19, 2020