Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Waiting in place

Ginger tabby wrapped in a festively striped scarf.

Canelo was cold yesterday, so The Thirteen-Year-Old wrapped him up in her scarf. (Photo: Michael Howell)

We are on Day Six of The Howells All Being Home At Once, and Day Two of Santa Clara County Residents All Huddled Up Together in Their Separate Spaces.

Education Update

Remember that COVID-19 Daily Schedule from my first Pandemic Diary post? Funny thing happened when I tried to implement that…

Chart on the left by Jessica McHale via Jessica Lahey on Twitter. Chart on the right: Shit Academics Say via Facebook. In case you can’t read the chart on the right, all the scheduled stuff has been crossed out. The words read “try to keep kids alive while also working from home and pray they don’t start fighting while I’m on a conference call.”

(I apologize for using what The Thirteen-Year-Old refers to as the s- word here, but that’s their name and I need to give them credit for their joke, so I feel like my hands are a little tied.)

I wish I could truthfully say I’d thought of this joke first. Instead, Shit Academics Say posted it on Facebook and someone dumped it into one of my parenting feeds. It clearly struck a chord.

Things aren’t really that bad here, yet, but we’re definitely keeping things minimal for a bit while we adjust to all of the other changes and wait to see if anyone in the house was exposed to the novel coronavirus before the shelter-in-place order came through Monday.

Our basic plan (as of March 17): My daughter completes the assignments her teachers post on Schoology in the morning, takes a break for lunch and recess, does something to help out the family, and then has free time until dinner.

Tuesday’s Pandemic Project

Daddyo has listened to my complaints about being kicked out of my office, and has set up shop at the kitchen table instead. This is much better. Except that now we don’t have a place to eat.

Fortunately, my Aunt Jeanne gave me a beautiful maple leaf table a few years ago. In this house, we’ve been using it as our coffee station. But it makes a great kitchen table.

But what about the coffee, Shala?

I had been intending to buy some piece of furniture to act as a proper coffee station, but I never got around to it. Now that the shelter in place order is in effect, I am having trouble convincing myself that buying a coffee cart qualifies as an essential errand.

Luckily, the owners of the house we are renting left behind a wooden cart meant to hold a microwave. We moved it out to the garage because we didn’t need it at the time, it was pretty dirty, and its knobs were falling off. My project on Tuesday was to clean it up, give it a couple of shiny new cabinet knobs, and move all the coffee stuff from Aunt Jeanne’s table to it.

Here it is, post-cleaning and knob installation, but before taking up service as our new coffee station.

Wooden cart, gleaming because I did such a great job, no really I did, with a new set of bronze knobs.
The cleaned up temporary coffee cart. Fun perk — See those wheels? Theoretically, I could use it to wheel pots of tea and coffee as needed to anyone in the house. Yeah, I know. I’m never really going to do that. But I could. It’s the potential that matters here. (Photo: Shala Howell)

How about you? How are you holding up?

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2 Responses to “Waiting in place”

  1. Shilpi

    I really love this post. Please post updated pictures of the coffee cart with supplies on and no one dozing in the house 🙂


    • Shala Howell

      Ha! I think getting everyone in the picture might violate some social distancing rule somewhere. But I’ll include a picture of the cart in an upcoming post.

      Thanks for stopping by Caterpickles, Shilpi! I hope you and your family are well.



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