Kids and Cats in Quarantine

Since we obviously have not been on any family day trips or outings, I am not generating much blog fodder.  I thought, therefore, I would just share some of the things we have been up to at home in these last 6 weeks.

Distance learning has become a big part of our weekdays.  The homeschool day does not last as long as the actual school day but it is still pretty demanding and somewhat intense.  This is especially the case with adapting to all of the technology and software.  The older three boys are more used to using their chromebooks for school work but it has been a complete switch in modes of learning for our youngest son and he and I have been on a steep learning curve.  My oldest son has to rescue us at least once per day, usually more.  We are gradually settling into a routine and rhythm, however, and everyone has found their preferred space for working.

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My 14 year old is definitely the Pict family member who is making the most of lockdown.  He has almost finished making everyone’s Christmas presents already, he created some Mad Max inspired cars, and he made a large batch of beef jerky that should have lasted him and his brothers a lot longer than it did.

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We’ve been doing some goofy stuff, like messing around with the google animal photos feature, but we have also participated in some fun neighbourhood activities aimed at entertaining the youngest members of the community when they are on their daily walks.  We had love hearts for them to spot, an Easter/Spring themed hunt, set out teddy bears for “Going on a Bear Hunt”, and several other themes so far.

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I had to process the fact that my year with my preschool students had come to an abrupt end.  Then I set about making them “learning at home” packets and my oldest son helped me make videos of storybook readings.

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The cats seem to be enjoying having us all home 24/7.  Peanut, the ginger cat, is very much a people person and lap cat (or anywhere on your body cat) so he is in his element being permanently attached to someone.  Satchi, the fluffy, grey, three-legged cat, still picks and chooses when he wants to interact with us but he seems to be enjoying having more options throughout the day.  As you can see, he loves to squeeze himself into tiny boxes.

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We’ve played lots of board games, eaten a lot of home baking, the older boys have been indulging in movie marathons, and we are generally just keeping ourselves busy and balancing out time apart with time together.  We certainly haven’t grasped this as an opportunity for self-improvement (not so far anyway) but we are muddling along just fine.  Life is weird and strange right now, certainly somewhat unsettling, but life is also good and it is useful to stop and reflect on that now and again.

22 thoughts on “Kids and Cats in Quarantine

    • Thanks, Mike. I am, of course, writing from a place of privilege: one of us is still employed, none of us are essential workers at the front line, we are all healthy, we have the scaffolding to make this work. I have definitely had my moments of combustibility over frustrations, challenges, and worries, but the privilege of our personal context makes it much easier for us to practice a grounding in gratitude.

    • Thank you. I am glad it looks that way. Ha ha! The schooling part is actually very time consuming, especially for the older boys. Certainly they have more free time than they did on regular school days but thankfully they are all now old enough to entertain themselves and come up with ways to stay occupied. I would be far more frazzled and stressed had I been in this position when they were all much younger.

      • yep. My grands are 4th grade down to K4 ( 4 kids).Mom does have an education degree but it is still a challenge .And still 3 not yet in school. Thankfully they are good kids.

      • That is definitely a lot to handle because all those wee kids need so much one-to-one time. I am obviously a qualified teacher with a wealth of experience teaching diverse age groups but teaching my own kids is truly not the same as teacher other people’s kids.

  1. I’ve missed something re Saatchi. I’m sure he came to you with four legs…. Still animals are remarkably resilient and he looks happy enough in his tiny container. I too was pleased to read your closing sentences. Your boys are also remarkably resilient – a quality that will stand them in good stead I’m sure.

    • They are proving to be remarkably resilient. We have had a few moments of complete meltdown thanks to technology glitches re distance learning but they are otherwise adapting really well.

      We adopted Satchi about a week after he had his leg amputated. He arrived at the shelter with a damaged beyond repair leg so we don’t know how the injury occurred but I suspect a run in with a vehicle since, a few days after we brought him home, the tip of his tail fell off which suggested that type of impact injury to the vet. He was pretty immobile when we brought him home but within days he was figuring out how to get around. He has, therefore, always been a tripod to us.

  2. It is wonderful how creative you are all being!!! Glad you’re muddling along…. Judy and I are muddling along too. This seems to be a time for loving each other rather than grand achievements. But come to think of it loving each other while we muddle along is a pretty grand achievement!!! Yippee you!!! Yiippee to all of us!!!

    • I think that’s the right attitude: achievements come in small packages at time of crisis. I see all of these proclamations of how we should use this time for self improvement and further education etc but I don’t know a single person who’s attempting to learn a new language or develop a new skill. I think we are all just doing our best to make it through each day.

      • I’m just trying to do good on the basics: eat my veggies, sleep well, not get too hungry, angry, stressed, lonely or tired. Trying even to keep my creative projects simple: to just do what puts a smile on my face. That seems achievement enough. To share with others – well that’s part of my own muddling – it seems to be of mutual benefit. And that’s nice. These days “nice” is excellent.

    • It is probably quite an adjustment for all pets. I think one of my cats is loving having us all home 24/7 while the other one is probably counting down the days to when we can resume normal life and he can get his house back for several hours per day.

  3. Pingback: Our May in Lockdown | A Pict in PA

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