S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership, the following podcast contains explicit language.
S2: Hello and welcome to Mom and dad are fighting Slate’s parenting podcast. For Thursday, April 30th. Master of Lego Edition, IBM Coifs. I’m a writer at Slate. I live in Arlington, Virginia, with my two kids, Lyra, who is now fifteen, and Harper, who is twelve, and Jamilah Lemieux.
S3: I’m a writer and cultural critic and Monde’s Naima, who is seventh. And we live in Los Angeles, California.
S4: I’m Elizabeth, New Camp. I write the Homeschool and Family Travel blog that starts Goose. I’m a mom to three boys, Henry eight, Oliver five and Teddy three. And I’m coming to you from the Lego room in my house and Navarre, Florida, this week.
S2: We are continuing the discussion from last week by popular demand. A lot of listeners were super pissed about our conversation about quarantine bubbles and about the informal informal pods that families are creating with other families during quarantine. So today we’re talking to epidemiologist Dr. Saskia Peski, you about the personal and public health risks around forming such quarantine bubbles. Will she yell at us? Let’s see. And then for our all ages, everyone is fighting. Now segment, we’re joined by Lego Masters hero Boone Langston. Answering questions from us and from your kids. We’ll put a time stamp in the show notes so families can find the segment. As always, we will have tribes and fails and recommendations. Let’s start with tribes or fails. Elizabeth, you have a triumph for her fail for us today.
S5: I’m not really sure whether it’s a triumph or fail. It is just what I chalk up to be another day in a new camp. How so? We have been giving the kids a lot of kind of ability to play outside without much supervision, not the three year old, but certainly the eight year old. And he has found there are a couple lots in the neighborhood that don’t have homes on them and are like wooded in the sense of like Florida woods like stuff has just grown crazy. And so he has made like a little trail into one of them. We know that the person that owns the lot. And, you know, it’s fine. It’s not that deep. But he made a little trail. He’s been playing in there and he comes biking home with what can only be described as like a homemade shivs. And I’m like, hey, buddy, what is this? And he’s like, Oh, I’m making these. And I was like, you’re you’re making these? And he said, Yes. And I was like, OK. How does one make this? And he takes me over the empty lot where he has taken a bunch of rocks and he has used the concrete, asphalt, whatever, to sharpen the rocks. Then he takes the rocks and he like shaves down, sticks into it. And he has them of all lengths and sizes collected back here. In fact, given the arsenal. I assume that this is some kind of neighborhood collection that maybe he found when he made one. I don’t know if he’s the originator. So anyway, I was very torn at the moment. Like, do I take this away? But we’re also kind of like in a survivalist kind of moment or period. So I’m thinking like this might not be the best time to tell him not to be making things. So I said, you know, why are you making these? And he said, oh, well, there’s snakes that live back in this lot. This would I need to make these to defend myself. Snake to like make these.
S6: Use it to hurt the snake, which is probably he probably won’t catch.
S5: So I think this is not something I really need to cross. But then he is going to he said, oh, it make a nice like scarf or something. So wait, I snake would make a nice scarf once murder. Yeah. I think his plan is that he could like wear it like a trophy or something. So anyway, this is a interesting conversation. You know, this is the same kid that I gave the survivalist handbook to, so I am already partially to blame. So I was like, OK, first of all, I would prefer that you didn’t murder any animals just in general. This is also my child that claims to be a vegetarian. So there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance claiming right now. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I say claims because he still eats hot dogs, but no other meat. So, I mean, there’s. Yeah, there’s a lot going on. So this was this weekend. Today I placed an order after talking to Jeff for a whitling knife and a children’s carving book and a glove that prevents you from cutting your hand. There’s a chainmail glove. Yes. And I think I am going to teach him. And by I, I mean, Jeff, to make some other things in the woods with the sticks, because I love that he is like being resourceful, honest, found something to do with his time. I don’t love that what he chose to do was make a weapon. So, you know, is there an E.R. visit in my future? Is there a dead snake in my future? I don’t know. I mean, definitely you’re going to have a stockpile of homemade shit somewhere in here. Just why do I have a stockpile? I’m having to now. We did. We came up with some ground rules like no shivs in the house if you bike with the shivs. They need to be in a town like this is a copout or a container, not, you know, holding them. He did inform me that he knows that they are sharp enough to draw blood. And he made a first aid kit to keep on his bike. So it sounds like it’s going as well as it could possibly. We don’t know. Yeah, exactly. That’s another day in the new camp. It’s like every every time I talk to you, I’m like Florida, Florida boy.
S7: All right, I’m going to deliver my triumph. I’ve really been focusing on tribes last few weeks because everything seems really hard. But that means that the things that go well really, really, really stick out. And this was a particularly sweet one that I want to share with everyone. So as I said at the top of the show, Lara is now fifteen. Her birthday was Wednesday. And it’s impossible, of course, that this person would ever be 15 years old. But she is. I have a macro to micro triumph. The macro triumph is just that she is turning out to be a wonderful, loving, kind teenager. She had a very stormy pre-teen period, has extensively documented in the book about how I made that period stormier by doing horrible things with her for a year like going around the world. But so I think that really becomes like stealed to this idea. That player is a sensitive kid. She’s probably gonna be one of those pissed off teens who just yells, I hate you all the time. And that is gonna be really tough and I’m just gonna have to deal with it. But that hasn’t happened at all, you know. And even during quarantine, which has been really hard for everyone, she has been super sweet and tolerant of all of us and all our foibles and difficulties. And I don’t think I’m always an easy, personal live with. And she’s been incredibly sweet to me. And that’s the macro shrive of the micro trampas that the other night we were all hanging out together on the couch and she just said, like, out of nowhere. Apropos of nothing, you know, I think a lot of kids my age don’t like saying they love their parents, but I’m not too cool to say I love you guys. Oh, I know. I really could not believe how much that meant to me. I think a lot about what I thought parenting would be like before I had kids and how it bears almost no resemblance to what parenting is actually like. But this is like one of the moments that I’ve lived up to it. And I told her that I told her how happy that made me that she said that. And she was like, Yeah, I know. I’m great. So anyway, happy birthday, Larry. You’re correct. You are great.
S3: Happy birthday, Larry. You are great. That is a great China.
S7: Jamila, do you have a try and for fail for us this week.
S3: So my weekly fail this week is a little bit different than usual. It’s actually connected to what you just mentioned, which is some of the responses that we’ve gotten to last week’s discussion and in particular, the two of you all talking about your Kwanzaa in pads. And so just reading the reactions from our listeners and I’ve taken time to do that. I typically do. Even though I’m not always the most active on Facebook. And part of that is just some anxiety I have around how hostile Internet comments can be. And years of being on the receiving end of hostile Internet comments, both ones that were completely fair and measured and reasonable, and those that were just unnecessarily cruel and insulting, I tend to kind of shy away from them as much as I can. But I really made a point of taking time to read and hear out what everyone was feeling. And I had to admit it forced me to do some kind of reckoning with myself. And it’s kind of a Hegira, because I tend to feel in most situations that I’m the parent whose parenting is going to be called into question around people who are not people of color, in particular when I’m around people of color who are married. You know, if I do something wrong or say something that’s not super popular, that I’m the parent who everyone’s looking at crazy. And so. I think coming from that perspective or that set of experiences is why I didn’t say something in the moment about how I felt when you all said and I was very surprised to hear that you were both doing it, you know. And I realized, I guess, the fail for me and it’s a triumph if I say I make this about me recognizing this within myself. So I don’t think I’ve been able to articulate it before, but my fail is not saying anything. But I think that that’s connected to at times. Me looking at married couples regardless of class or race or where they live. Married couples with multiple children and in some way, shape or form, seeing them as not necessarily of a higher authority than I am as a single parent and a single parent who only has four child 50 percent of the time. But as people that are making these super complicated decisions, that just somehow feels so much larger than what I have before me. And obviously, you know, I’m on this five cars I contribute to Karen feting. So it’s not that I don’t feel comfortable offering advice or even judgment, you know, to people that are in family situations that are different than my own. But this is one of those times where I kind of went to my comfort zone, which is to retreat, you know, and to say very little. And I wish that I had and not just because listeners are disappointed. And I was like, I did not come in to this podcast thinking that I’m automatically going to be the beloved. You know, I don’t mean a beloved voice here. I am fully aware that at times I’m gonna have to bring up issues of race or, you know, feminism or any number of things that somebody who’s listening to this is going to disagree with and respond to and perhaps respond with some vitriol. And and, Daniel, take them off the Facebook page, you know, or they’ll find my email. Some of that just comes with the territory of who I am and what I believe. And it’s not just because I’m black and I’m not as young as I’d like to think I am, but I still think of myself as a young black single mom. I guess I want to share with you very briefly what I wish that I had said then, if that’s OK.
S7: Just please go ahead, because I will say I was surprised that you did not respond more angrily last week.
S3: It’s a shrinking that I do with people I care about and people that I know. And it’s something I had to work on, you know, like it. It is easier to be outspoken and opinionated when you’re talking about people you don’t know. And I tried to, you know. And also people I care about. But also, I’m not close enough to that. I could be like as soon as we get off of the you know, I call you and cursing you out. Right. Right, right. You know, what you’re doing is leg. And it didn’t trigger that level of anger was just kind of more shock for me, you know? And I think I didn’t really get a process like why it was so shocking or like I’m not alone and being upset about this until I saw that other people were having this reaction. Many of the people were commenting or families that looked a lot more like yours than mine. Right. So I just think it’s important to recognize that just because you acknowledge your privilege and this goes for all of us, because I’m always very clear to say that I, too, am highly privileged as a single parent who has arranged but that I have and as somebody who doesn’t have to work outside of the home at this point in history. And so I think that just because we acknowledge our privilege with both gratitude for having had it and empathy toward those who do not, we still have to be mindful of the ways that our privileges can trigger other people and how they can feel when that privilege is put on display, which is what I think some folks were reacting to, because you all don’t work outside of the house because you are in these, you know, situations where you feel infinitely safer, perhaps, than you should feel that you can make these decisions that arguably can put other people at risk, but also that we know that privilege can be a blinder of sorts. So it’s like everyone for the most part, has lost things, opportunities, events, freedoms. But like with us, I guess the similarities kind of end because. Even with all the advantages that I have and being able to work from home from the time being, for example, I have no physical contact with anyone aside from my child. The only person that I’m able to talk to face to face aside from her, you know, minus a brief passing conversation with a neighbor or a mail man or delivery driver, which is usually not actually happening, is my ex boyfriend four or five to 10 minutes at a time every two or three days. He’s in the car. I’m outside the car, you know. And I sleep alone every night or with the seven year old taking me in the stomach. These are the only options. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss dating in person is much great online dating as I’ve been doing. And I’ve never been to a bonfire. But I bet if I had, I would miss that too. But I’d give up everything except for food and medicine delivery and walks where I don’t even linger outside of the door of a business, let alone go outside. And I did that to flatten the curve. I did that to protect my child, her younger brother, her step mother and her father. But I’ve also had to adhere to social distancing in this way because I feel no confidence that I can walk into an E.R. right now and be treated as a priority. You know, I’m an unmarried black woman with a bunch of tattoos and a kid doesn’t matter where I went to school, how much I’ve accomplished, and nor should it. Right. We should all go to the E.R. and get treated the exact same way. Based on how sick we are and how in need of help we are. But I know personally that I look like a low priority patient in the eyes of a lot of medical professionals on a regular day, let alone two months into a deadly pandemic that has these same folks fearing for their lives. So for me, I understand the anger that the listeners were feeling because my own circumstances as it relates to corona virus even being quite priviledge are devastating. You know, I’m sure I would get sick of a husband or, you know, having more than one child and being overwhelmed by the two of them fighting or the three of them all needing me or none of them wanting to talk to me when I want to talk or any of those things. But I think that. It is incredibly important that right now, this moment, we think about this collective sense of sacrifice that we have to make and that it sucks for everyone, it’s going to suck and we can do things to mitigate the sucking. And you’re right, it’s something that, you know, maybe Dan said last week, this is something we’ve never done before. So even if your intentions are good, you’re not people who went to a restaurant that had decided to reopen illegally or to a beach and had a, you know, a big party with a bunch of friends. Right. It still felt very controlled and very responsible and like an attempt at trying to make this better without making things worse. But I just wish that I’d said more in the moment. And I just hope and believe that you all are going to receive what I’ve shared with the listeners have shared in the conversation that we have with our guests today. And just consider that it’s hard to hear people speak to you that way on the Internet, you know, and to question your intelligence or your character, your kindness and your empathy because you’ve made decisions that they don’t like. And I wish that we were better at leaving feedback or podcast hosts or bloggers or news commentators without it becoming that or that. You know, I loved you for this many years, but now I had to withdraw that because of this one thing or I’m so angry and you’re so stupid, you’re so silly or you know. But I think that we also have to recognize that the hurt and anger, frustration that people are feeling that may have just been leveled toward the two of you who don’t live in the same part of the country, are not directly connected to what they’re experiencing, still comes from a super valid place. And everything just sucks right now. And we can’t stuck it with bonfires. We can and stuck it with foreign teen dating. We can just try and survive it.
S7: I’m so glad that you said something now, and I’m really glad that you felt like you could say this. You know, even a week later, I I’ve been so fascinated by the responses because I think my initial response was to view a perception of unfairness with a kind of like, oh, come on, get over it. But it’s useful to me to be reminded that that unfairness is a kind of reflection of certain kinds of privilege that predominate in this society. Right. And to present my decision, as much as I agonized over it in this way, I think you’re right, does have a real effect on people who are listening, maybe even more so on people who have listened for a long time and really love and respect us. Then I certainly anticipated my expectation about the segment was that people would be annoyed at us and tell us that we were being dumb asses, but not that people would be so hurt as they were. And that was interesting and useful for me, I think, to understand.
S3: Definitely. And I think part of it is the hurt comes from being attached to people and saying, I’ve been rooting for your family and I hate to, you know, hear a terrible update from your community or from your household. And part of it, again, just like being stuck in this frustrating moment ourselves, you know, words like listening to you because you’re the good guys and I’m one of the good guys. I’m trying to do the right thing. And now you’re telling me that you’re not. That doesn’t line up with the care and compassion that, you know, I think people typically have gotten from this show when it comes to how we answer listener questions and juxtaposing that with how we reacted, I think with a lot of sympathy and care toward the mother who was ignoring a custody agreement. Right. And the law is tricky because it’s one of those things that sometimes we want to point to and say, well, this is against the law. Other times we’re like, well, the law doesn’t always work. So, you know, and in that situation, I think I deeply felt that this mom might really need her baby clothes right now. And you all have each other and another baby and she sounds like she’s only got this baby and you want to take the baby away. And technically, being in one place is the safest thing to do. Right, that we were able to kind of like had that nuanced approach there. And then when it came to this, I was like, yeah, no, we’re not going to do the thing that we’re supposed to be dying.
S7: But those people were also very angry about that.
S3: I was angry and I think it was kind of like it was I was like a selective kind of like. So you all can push and pull the rules based on what you think, which is what everyone does. Right. Like you listen to the show just to hear what we think, because we are not experts. We are just interesting people with interesting insights. But I understood the anger both times and I could defend, you know, where I stood on the first letter and also understand why people felt differently, but didn’t necessarily feel like I need to Japanese its brain debate about that. But with this, I totally was like, yeah, my my silence is indefensible. And I think it’s important that they recognize that you all are doing something that goes against social distancing rules and that that’s not ideal. And if you’re going to talk to people about how we’re surviving this thing and say I am, you know, not following the rules, that you have to be prepared for exactly what did happen, which was going very hurt and disappointed by it.
S6: I’m so glad that you did choose to share with us. And I do think you articulated so much of what is in those comments. And I, too, you know, read through them and absorb them and hear people. I think it’s important that people know that, too. I am also struck, I think, a little bit by the like part of the reason that the social pods are not a good idea. In addition to like increasing your risk is this idea that people lie about those. And I think some of the reaction and the way in which it was conveyed shows you why people lie about them. Because if you can’t be in the position to tell the truth about how you are handling this situation, how can you trust someone to tell you whether they’re sick or whether they have been exposed or where they have been going? So I think the whole picture. I mean, I definitely knew going in that people were going to be mad about what we were doing, not what you’re doing. It weighs heavy on me. And I think the conversation reflected. I think some people felt like we had taken it very lightly. And I guess for me, it was not a light decision. But you’re absolutely right that it comes from a place of privilege. Right. Like, I can make this decision because of my perceived risk in terms of where I live. And like you said, how I will be treated if I am sick. And the access to health care that I have as a military spouse like those are all things that I rest on in my decision. And absolutely, it is true that not everyone has those. I also very much hesitate to say that, like, we don’t know what’s going on in everybody’s home. We don’t know the situation. And I don’t want this to sound like a defense at all. I have talked very briefly about my son’s neurological condition. But part of the reason we made our decision for a pod has to do with his mental health and the mental health of our family because his neurological condition is very difficult to deal with when he has his OCD and his operational defiance stuff. All of those are reasons that played into our decision. So while I think the feedback we got was exactly what I expected in some respects, and certainly it was deserved in the sense that, like, I am not doing what they have advised to do and I am very aware of that. I am grateful for the feedback to be able to consider why I’m making that decision. But I also just urge everyone to have in this time. And this goes back to what we recommended basically for that parents custody was that we just are more compassionate with people and understanding why they’re making really difficult decisions in a really difficult time. Because you might not know that, you know, we are used to having providers and other people in our life that I now cannot have because of this. Right. And everyone’s in a different kind of place. So I think you did such a beautiful job summing it up that I am so glad that you shared that now and it didn’t go unsaid.
S3: Thank you for hearing it. And just want to add one quick thing before we move on. One thing I did disagree with in the comments was that part of what I kind of like when I was like, okay, I’m just gonna walk away because I was tempted to say something. But the assumption that there wasn’t a lot of thought put into you also decision and how you’re executing it. And you can put a lot of thought and planning into something and still be making the wrong decision. Absolutely. I do it every day. I do it all the time, you know. But I don’t think that we should assume carelessness just because a decision was made. You know, counter to what we understand to be the most careful way of operating. And I know, like, I want everyone to just be Gentzler with each other. And so I want to continue to and I’m not threatening that. I’m not going to read the comments, if you mean. But I just think the great thing about this show and and about so many shows and content creators right now, particularly because many of us are in the house, is that like you have an audience of your entertainers, you don’t. I mean, it’s not just that we have the audience, if you like. You have our ear as well. So I think that it’s really helpful when folks are able to say, here’s line disappoint, which is what most people did ultimately. You know, when you can say, here’s why I’m disappointed. Here’s why I don’t agree with that. Without it becoming an attack on somebody’s character or intellect or you guys are so dangerous, I can never listen to this show again because that puts us in a position to understand where we may have gone wrong and to respond to it effectively.
S7: All right. I’m super glad that you took this moment to talk about this. We’ll be talking about this more in our segment with Dr. Peski you had after. So stay tuned. All right. Before we move on to our first segment, let’s do the business. Slate’s parenting newsletter is the best place to be notified about all our parenting content, including this very podcast. Mom or Dad are Fighting Care and Feeding, starring Jamilah Lemieux and much, much more. Sign up at. Slate dot com slash parenting email. It’s also just a great e-mail from a bunch of different Slate writers, me included, about how our parenting lives are going right now. It’s all very rich. Also, check us out on Facebook. Just search for slate parenting. It’s a very fun. Extremely active community. Very active for the last week. We read it all. We moderate it so it doesn’t get out of control. We closed down common threads that are going a little hog wild and we try and make everyone be nice to each other. And for the most part, pretty much everyone is. It’s a pretty great place. Check it out. Slate parenting on Facebook. All right. So listeners have spent a week pummeling us over our segment on quarantine bubbles and over my in Elizabeth’s admission that while we’re mostly isolating in our day to day life, we’ve chosen to join with the small set of other people outside our own homes to help us get through the months of quarantine.
S1: Once we talked about this on the show, the Facebook group and our email inboxes lit up. I’m gonna pull a few highlights from one representative email from a very nice guy named Andy in San Francisco. He’s a longtime listener. He’s a disaster care worker. And his partner is a pulmonologist. And he wrote, This is such a bummer for me to write because I really love your podcast and how generally you destigmatize all the necessary and unfortunate parts of parenting. That being said, the segments uncovered and quarantine was deeply irresponsible and he continues further down the email. The way you thumbed your nose is that public health experts, without having someone on to defend that position, is not so different from the way Donald Trump has been operating. When Andy asks is that we invite someone from the front lines on the show so they can explain why this is a bad idea. So we did. Please welcome Dr. Saskia Papasso you. She’s a senior infection prevention epidemiologist at Otter Health in Arizona and she is calling us from her car outside the hospital where she works. Hello, Dr. Bednarski. Hi. Thanks for having me. We’re so glad that you came on. So to start out with, you know, this conversation was inspired by a letter we got from a listener who sort of set up the following scenario. Right. You’ve got two families who’ve decided to follow all the social distancing rules. They’re minimizing shopping. They’re wearing masks and public. Their kids are not in school, obviously, but they decided to team up with each other to make things easier on everybody to share resources, including child care. You know, that was the scenario that this letter writer presented. And we started off by reading some responses by epidemiologists, including I think you in a very useful Vox piece, which we will link to in the show notes. And all of those epidemiologists express deep concerns about anyone attempting such a plan. So why do experts feel as though quarantine pods are just generally a bad idea?
S8: I think it’s hard because there are some circumstances, especially involving child care, when you might need to lean on people outside of your quote unquote, quarantine pod. But the biggest concern I have is that if you involve another pod, how many other pods or other people are those people then interacting with? And I think it’s really hard. And the biggest concern from a public health infection control standpoint is if I’m interacting with you, how many other people are you interacting with? And does that just kind of propagate the chain of infection and include, you know, a bigger pool of people that might be exposed? So that’s the particular concern. But also, you know, if I look at myself, I’m considered more high risk because I work in a hospital, I’m on the front lines. And I don’t want to put anybody else at risk. So if I’m going to even remotely consider quarantine pods and expanding mine, I need to be mindful of those people I’m expanding to and if they’re at a higher risk for more severe disease. So there’s a lot of components that make it tricky and there’s a lot of room for mistakes.
S1: One of the mistakes that a lot of people talked about is this sense that the infectious disease specialist see this a lot that people say they are going to follow best practices. But what they actually do just sometimes doesn’t match what they promise they’re going to do.
S8: It’s 100 percent accurate. And I think if you even look at mask wearing, that’s a prime example, because people wear that and they forget to wash their hands or they touch their mouth and in their eyes. And I think the biggest issue when you’re going to go beyond recommendations or expand your household is you really need to look at risk and be mindful of the people you’re interacting with because you might not be the only people they’re interacting with. And I just get very worried. This is such a novel, unique situation. So I understand people getting stir crazy and wanting to try and expand their pool of people there around all the time. But we we still need to be careful. The last thing you want to do is have an outbreak simply because I wanted to hang out with another person and then they hung out with two other people and those people. And I mean, that’s that’s the perfect chain of transmission rates here.
S7: I mean, you basically described how outbreaks happen.
S8: Yeah. I mean, and that’s the hard part is there is an important piece of mental health in this. Of course, you know, interaction is so critical. And if you are an essential worker and you know, maybe you’re a single parent, you’re going to rely on other people for it, for child care, of course. But how can we minimize the risk? How can we make it as small as possible? And how can we be transparent with each other about really trying to reduce the amount of people were exposing ourselves to.
S7: So what would you say to people who really are like going full out on isolation and quarantine, who have made the decision, who have the ability to only work from home, you know, to only get groceries via a delivery or through extremely minimal contact who have, like, gone in whole hog on this? Maybe they’re doing it because they work as a health care worker. Maybe they know someone or someone in their household is elderly or immunosuppressed, or maybe they’re just doing it because like they know it’s the best thing to do. It’s really difficult and it seems worth it to say, like you are crushing it, right?
S8: Oh, yeah. I mean, this isn’t easy. It’s very, very challenging. And I think, you know, we’re so focused on the things people are doing wrong, it’s important to give people credit for what they’re doing. Right, because everybody has to go in on this. We all have to do the right thing. And unfortunately, it’s not easy. So I’m so amazed continuously by the people that are recognizing the severity of the situation and choosing to stay home and choosing not to just go out because they’re frustrated. You know, I think when we start to relax those restrictions, it’s going to be a very slow, incremental process. So I encourage people this is going to be frustrating. It’s going to be it’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. But know that we know we have to protect people. We have to avoid another spike in cases simply because we got frustrated.
S9: I’m in Florida. And by the time this podcast airs, we will be out or emerging from our stay home, stay safe order. And so as we come out of that and families kind of ease back into what they’re calling like phase one life with some restrictions, but like our beaches are gonna be back open. A lot of restaurants and thing are being given permission to open. How do we do that safely?
S8: I think a big piece is for one of the businesses have to have a process in place to really try and reduce the amount of people, maintain social distancing and the tables and things like that. And it’s hard because we’re all reliant on each other. If I am going to go to a restaurant, is things open? I’m hoping that they’re maintaining like 50 percent capacity and the tables are six feet apart and they’re encouraging their employees not to come in sick and to maybe wear masks and all of those things. So I’m reliant on them for that. But people are also reliant on me for not going out when I’m sick and giving them space, their social distancing. So we need to recognize our role in this and to still use those practices. Use your hand hygiene. Don’t just go out all the time simply because you haven’t been able to for the past few months, you know, be smart about it, still keep it to those essential practices. And if you’re worried about a high risk exposure or, you know, you ran a bunch of errands one day and you’re a little concerned. OK, so give it a break for a few days to two weeks to make sure that you didn’t pick up something and that you’re not spreading it.
S3: So I was going to ask about that. I’m a single parent who has a child that goes back and forth between my house and her father’s house.
S10: And because of that, I’m essentially doing what Dan described. Right, which is only having minimal contact, getting things delivered and not going inside any businesses or seeing any friends or anything like that.
S3: And so at some point, I really do need to go to the dentist.
S10: I have a couple of doctor’s appointments I’d need, etc.. It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to put it off the entire time that we’re under a shelter in place out here in California. Like essentially, does that just mean that the best thing I can do is to take two weeks from that day, like see if I stack up all my doctor’s appointments and essential errands and to one day and do them and then do two weeks of quarantine by myself and have my daughter stay with her dad.
S8: That’s one approach. That’s obviously the most ideal, perfect world. But we recognize that that’s not always possible. So I think that if you can stack them all in one day and keep your exposure to one day, that’s ideal. But in that process, it’s about also being safe. So you wearing a mask in situations that don’t allow for social distancing and using hand hygiene and, you know, just being really cognizant of. OK. So I was out about more. I might have been exposed. I tried to keep myself safe, but being cognizant that for those 14 days after, if you start to have symptoms, just being really aware of that and then saying, OK, you know, maybe she needs to go stay with her dad and you might need to go to the doctor. And I think that’s the big piece because some of these perfect scenarios are not realistic for parents, for anybody. So we need to think about pragmatic approaches to you being safe, you know, keeping your daughter safe. And a lot of that is just doing everything you can to stay safe when you’re out side of the home and then being really cognizant of that incubation period when you get home.
S7: I mean, what we’re talking about, in essence in this whole conversation is that question of perfect world versus pragmatism. And I’m so fascinated by how public health officials and experts. Have to, like, weigh that question when you’re giving public advice. So, as you see, officials with states, are local governments or the federal government give advice as someone who’s really an expert in this. How cognizant are you of and how cognizant do you think they are of weighing that perfect world situation versus the actual realities of most people’s lives? And how do you think we should be receiving that kind of information?
S8: I mean, that’s a great question. I think the hard part is part of public health is, of course, that Wayne of that mental health component. Right. That economic component, because those all tie into health in general. And my concern is when I start to see leaders that go from zero to 60 in terms of reopening, because like I said before, that should be an incremental process. So I get really nervous when people are like, we’re just gonna open up everything. OK, well, that tells me you’re not reading this. You’re not reading the signs. You’re not talking to your hospital experts. You’re not talking to your public health experts. And so you’ve you’ve lost that effort or that ability, I should say, to weigh what’s in the best interests of the public, because, of course, people are being frustrated by having these stay at home orders in place. But it’s also going to be a lot worse if you open up too early, too quickly, and then you have a massive spike in cases and you have to go back and do this for a longer period of time. And that’s the hard part. But realistically, that’s why public health officials are saying this is going to be slow. It shouldn’t be fast because we need to make sure we’re doing it right. We open up a little bit. We give it some time to make sure it’s not making things worse and then we move to the next phase. So I think that’s kind of that middle ground. And I know it’s frustrating for people, but it’s better than having another resurgence of cases.
S7: It’s so useful to think about it as your advice for Jameela sort of writ large, right. Just as Jameelah, you know, the best scenario is for her when she gets all her stuff done to them, take a little time and see what happens if if possible, like that’s what a society should be doing. Try something and take a little time and see what happens.
S8: Well, I think it’s also really easy to get fixated on, you know, I want to get out of the house and I understand that. But you also need to be safe when you get out of the house. You still need to use hand hygiene, you know, respiratory protection and social distancing, all of those measures. So that’s my biggest concern is when people get really fixated on these restrictions being relaxed, that they’re just going to totally forget all those other key factors that they’re supposed to be doing. And I really worry about that because that’s how we see another spike in cases again. So everybody plays a really critical role in this. It’s not easy. We’re trying to find ways to meet the needs of everybody, but still be very mindful of public health.
S9: It seems to me like one of the things that we need to be kind of looking for are more long term solutions, because although none of us have a crystal ball, it doesn’t seem like, you know, two weeks or a month or even another month is kind of the end of this story, that the procedures that we get used to and put in place for the social distancing have to be things that, you know, may have to last us 18 months or more. Right. So we’re looking for those middle ground solutions where we’re protecting ourselves, but also meeting some of those other needs. I mean, is that kind of how you see the the eventuality of these phases? Right.
S8: Yeah. I mean, this is like I said, it’s it’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. But I also I really wish that people would see the long term benefits of some of these measures, like hand hygiene, hands covered, nineteen, you know, stars. The only two is not the only infectious disease out there. And if you use this time to really become a rock star for hand hygiene and reinforce all of those infection control measures like, I don’t know, surface cleaning disinfection of your home, it’s amazing the implications that we’ll have for public health and other disease control methods. So, you know, I’m hoping that those lessons get reinforced in the coming months. But I also think that this is a very novel situation. We’re still learning a lot about the disease dynamics and epidemiology. So as we go more towards summer and then flu season, it’s very likely that things could change. We might need to do more sheltering places or another really big emphasis on community mask wearing. So I hope that, you know, people, if we’re good about it now, that might reduce the burden in the future. But ultimately, we’re learning as we go, you know, that saying you’re building the bridges you cross. It is very accurate right now. And unfortunately, that’s the name of the game in pandemics and especially with novel diseases.
S7: I love the idea that we’re all becoming handwashing rock stars in the future home salmonella will no longer be an issue. So to bring it back to this question that we started with this question of like a quarantine potter quarantine bubble, you know, as you said, that is the necessity for some people, right? For someone like Jamelia who shares custody and who therefore has to partner with another household, for people with child care or work responsibilities that require it. Or maybe, yes, here someone like me who’s made the decision that that the only way your family is gonna make it through the next six months is to like find a partner to do it. For people who have made that decision or who’ve been pushed into that decision. What’s your advice to make this kind of relationship as safe as possible? Communication, advice or interaction advice? I mean, barring the obvious advice, which is don’t do it, what do you think is the way to make it as safe as it can be?
S8: There’s a couple of pieces. And for one, I would encourage people to consider the vulnerable populations that you might have in your life. Do you have a grandparent that’s living with you or one of you? Do you have one of the comorbidities? You know, like asthma or diabetes that might put you at an increased risk for severe disease? Being mindful of that. And if you’re living together or, you know, especially for roommates or one of you, an essential worker, where you might have a high risk exposure if you do having a 14 day quarantine after that in your home, you know, is a big piece of that. But also establishing those safe plans, really emphasizing hand hygiene. Still trying to, you know, social distance after or when you go out. But if one of you goes out, runs errands all the time, how is that person protecting themselves? Are you still having conversations about if you’re not feeling well and if you’re sick? What is your plan to quarantine at home if one of you needs to? So and that’s a conversation you I have with my husband because I’m in the hospital and he’s been able to work from home. So if I get sick, what is our plan for me to call her Dean and one of the rooms so I don’t put you at risk? Those are the kind of conversations people need to have. And I think a lot of it is just really about transparency because we don’t want to get other people’s sick. And sometimes those are unfortunate questions. Is it allergies or is it, you know, is it over at 19? I feel like I get asked that all the time. But if you’re starting to get a cost, quarantine yourself for a little bit. You know, if you can have 14 days, that’s great. But what does that look like for your household? And can you incorporate another person into your household dynamics safely without putting them at risk and you at risk all of those things? You know, I again, I really go back to, like, transparency and using those at home infection control methods because there are things that we all know how to do. We just have to be really vigilant with them.
S7: Thank you very much, Dr. Prohaska. This has been really, really useful. I really do think that this is a fascinating dilemma that basically every family in America is dealing with right now in different ways. And I’m really grateful to have her joining us to help us think it through.
S5: Thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate it.
S1: Listeners, if you have a question or comment for us, send it to mom and dad. Slate dot com. I like everyone else. I’m wrong all the time. I’m wrong about lots of things about the Corona virus. I’m often very surprised by what I’m wrong about. So like, for example, I was extremely quick to condemn, you know, say those idiots in Florida who opened up beaches. But as Henry Gerberas written in Slate and talked about just this week, honestly, from a public health perspective, more cities and states should be finding ways to say responsibly, open up green space and let people out of their houses into that green space. I was wrong. I was wrong about that condemnation. And it’s just made me think a lot. And this whole experience has made me think a lot about. The Corona virus and how he respond to it is a subject that is really easy to be an absolutist about. I do it all the time. I know that I do, because it’s life and death has many of our commenters have reminded us. It’s terrifying. As we all know by how scared we are all the time. But we’re all living through it and we’re all trying to figure it out. And something the doctor professor you talked about that I think is really important to remember is how in the coming months the process of bringing life back to anything resembling normal is going to require just an enormous amount of trial and error. And I don’t only mean from state and local governments, I mean like individual trial and error, as every adult in America is making her own decisions about what is safe and what feels safe and what is necessary and what isn’t actually necessary. And every single one of us is gonna make a bunch of wrong decisions and a bunch of right ones. We won’t always know right away what the wrong ones are or when we’ve made the right ones. We might, in fact, never know whether we made the right decision or not. And the more that we all of us here on the show and in our conversations with people can explore this kind of ambiguity. And the more that we talk about the difficult decisions that we’re all making and the more grace that we offer each other in hard times, the better off we’re all going to be. I think that has always been the message of the show. I think it’s particularly the message of the show right now. I really, truly believe it. So thank you, everyone, for listening to us and responding to us. All right, let’s move on.
S7: All right. Now it’s time for our All Ages segment. Everyone is fighting now. If your family includes a kid between, say, five and 12, you’ve probably been watching Lego masters on FOX, where teams of Lego experts build insanely complicated, amazing Lego projects. The season finale aired earlier this month, and we wanted to bring on one of the stars of the show to answer our questions and yours. Please welcome Boone Langston Heyburn.
S11: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
S7: We’re going to start with our biggest superfan on the show, Elizabeth.
S6: Yeah, okay. So I have three little boys who are completely obsessed with Legos and the show and just everything. And of course, you’re their favorite. They’re very excited that I’m here talking to you. But I was wondering if you had any advice for playing Legos with kids, because obviously, like, if you’re an adult and you’re building, you know, you can, like, build your thing. But I know you have daughters. Can you give suggestions for how parents can really get involved and building and being creative with their kids?
S11: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think that there’s there’s a lot of different ways we play together. Right. And I will often build in tandem with my daughters, which basically means we’re all down there together and we might be working on our own projects. But you have no idea how big of an impact you can have on your kids by just being down on their level and building with them. You know, if you want to take it a step further and get involved in what they’re trying to work on, then, you know, be open to giving them feedback or ask them like, well, what do you what’s going on there? And then, you know, in my experience and maybe it’s because I’m so into Lego, but they’ll ask me, they’ll be like, Dad, what do you think of this? Or like what kind of piece could I use here? And then, you know, we get into, like, you know, these situations where we kind of bounce ideas off of each other. And one of the things that I always learned from my dad is, you know, when I was young, he always made me feel like if we were working on a project together, my ideas were as valuable as his. And so I think as parents, it’s important for us to, you know, help our kids understand that their ideas, their perspective is just as valuable as ours and then just support and be there, you know, to to sort of guide them along and otherwise let them be in charge, you know, because it’s it’s their thing and it’s their story to tell and their imagination to bring it to reality. So then, you know, you can just be supportive and you’re gonna love it. All right, because they’re your children.
S7: Every now and then you’ll be able to say, like, oh, yeah, what if you use this piece or, oh, what if you turned this 90 degrees and then you’d have easier access to, you know, turn this crank or open this door or whatever, treating their ideas as if they’re as good as anyone else’s seems especially useful or remember in play right in the relatively low stakes world of play. This is the if anywhere, this should be the place that we should be able to, like, remind our kids that their ideas are just as good as our hearts.
S11: Right. Right. Absolutely. Well, and probably better in some ways. Right. But, you know, I just think it’s important that kids know that trying, experimenting and just giving it a go is far more important with whether they’ve got it right or whether it’s a good idea. You know, like you said, it’s play. It’s fairly low stakes. Having the experience is really what it’s all about.
S12: So for parents of kids who may want to get into Lego, but let’s just say the parents such as me struggle with all those little pieces and not always being able to complete a project. What would you recommend or try to make space or Lego in our lives?
S11: That’s a great question. I would say it doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be the large, complicated sets that have like all that itty bitty teeny tiny pieces. You know, if you’re going to buy Lego off the shelf, you can look for Lego. I think now they’re calling it classic. They’ve been calling it classic for a while. You know, it’s sort of a simpler assortment of of pieces. And I think particularly for a family or, you know, a family that’s just starting out, you know, getting into Lego or for parents who know their kids like Lego. But the parents, you know, aren’t really sure where to start. That could be a good place to start. Or, you know, don’t be afraid to go online and look for someone’s collection of Lego pieces right now. If you do that, you might want to make sure it’s all sterilised when it gets your house. But after that, go through and pick all the biggest pieces, if that’s what you’re comfortable with, and put them in a container that works well for whatever space you have. And then maybe you take all that anybody teeny tiny stuff that you don’t want get and spread around and put that in a bag or a box and save it for the future or give it to someone else or something. Just like see how you can be creative with a little bit or see how you can be creative with sort of the simplest set of like large Lego blocks. The great thing about Lego is it’s approachable to anyone who is able to get any amount of it right. I know people who are incredible builders that have done some really interesting artistic things with a very small collection of Lego pieces. I guess I would say, Jameela. It’s like you don’t have to have a ton. You don’t have to have it all. It doesn’t have to be super complicated. And you can choose what for your family is going to work, you know, and still get the benefits of like having this wonderfully colorful, intensely ingenious, you know, engineered product that is designed for kids to be creative with.
S1: One thing that I know a lot of parents of boys, particularly love about the show is the way that it portrays all these great supportive male friendships. Right. Like between you and your partner and also, you know, these non-competitive friendships between the different groups. Were you conscious while you were shooting a show of really trying to show that kind of friendship between you and Mark as you work together?
S11: Mark and I, you know, part of the reason we were interested in auditioning together for the competition was that we trusted each other, you know, and we really had in the builds that we did before we were ever part of Lego Masters. And Mark and I had been, you know, just collaborating on some things here and there for a couple of years. We just really grew to trust each other’s instincts and rely on each other’s approach and technique. And. And we really had a lot of commonalities and sort of like our interests. So it just worked really well between us. And then when we sort of encountered the other teams on Lego Masters, you know, we just very quickly grew to appreciate what they do. And, you know, there’s so much overlap in our interest in Lego as a medium and our interest in engaging sort of the Lego fan community. And we all in Lego Masters, we all had some sort of desire to engage those things. It was really easy to be supportive of the other teams and to feel like, you know, in Mel. Okay. Melanie Germain were a team and they departed the competition at the end of the bridge challenge. Mark and I really enjoyed spending time with Melanie Germain, you know, on weekends and stuff. And we got quite close to them. And one of the things you hear Mel say a couple of times in the episodes, and one is in the first episode when Mark and I have an issue with our rollercoaster and it doesn’t work. And then he says it again during the megacity challenge when Aaron and Christian’s tower falls. And Mel says this sentiment, like, I wouldn’t wish this on my enemy, like if we’re to be competitive with these people. I want to be competing against them at the top of their game, you know. And so, yes, we all knew we were in a competition and we all wanted to win and we all wanted to do our best, but we really wanted our competitors to, you know, be able to do their best to because that’s how we felt. The best about what we did is if we were all, you know, competing at a at a high level. Yeah.
S6: I loved how you guys are also excited to see each other’s bells. And my kids favorite is the bridge episode. And they’re so excited that everyone is cheering on everybody out, like as they add weight to your bread. And, you know, it’s like even the people whose bread, you know, had held a thousand pounds, they want to see yours also. Hold it. And I just we don’t get a lot of that on TV. So I thought that was wonderful. Like that. You’re all rooting for your projects to be amazing.
S11: It was so much fun. And we we really did feel so much support, you know, from each other. And and we were really sad when we had to say goodbye to another team. Every challenge. It was good. Thank you. And I’m just glad that that’s recognizable. Right. That what we were able to share with people at home was kind of this experience that’s different to some other competitions you might be able to watch. And, you know, I just appreciate that that that fit with the Lego Group’s vision for the project and that fit with Fox, his vision and the production company and all that. So it just I’m I was really pleased with how it all turned out.
S7: All right. So we put out a call to our listeners on Facebook and we have got some questions for you from some young Lego master fans. Let’s hit it.
S13: Hi, my name is Soyer and I’m eight years old and from Massachusetts. And my question is, how many Legos do you have?
S11: Thank you, Sawyer. I don’t know. I really don’t. Some people are really good at estimating. I’m not good at estimating how many I have in my collection. I’m not good at estimating how many elements are in our builds, you know. So in my studio here. My typical guess is that I have somewhere between 100 and 200000 Lego pieces. And I don’t really know what to base that on other than like watching YouTube and seeing other builders say, like how many pieces are in. So I kind of have a vague sense of like what like how big a build would have to be to have like hundred thousand pieces in it. And I can sort of, you know, vaguely imagine how many pieces I might have in my collection if I put them all together and like, built something giant in one place. So maybe I have a hundred thousand, maybe I have hundred thousand. But thank you for the question.
S7: I think so. I wrote coloring. Count them if you want them to. All right.
S13: Next question for me. I wonder how you guys became friends.
S6: Oh, that sounds like my Henry. Sorry, my husband forgot.
S11: That’s good. Thanks for asking, Henry. So I’m assuming Henry is asking how Hallmark and I became friends? I believe so, yes. Yeah, that’s a fun story. So here in Portland, we have a few stores that sell used Lego pieces in just like Tabletop. So they sort of like these big tables with raised edges and they fill the tables with used Lego pieces. And you can go in there and you just dig through the piles of Lego and you fill up a bag with whatever pieces you want and then you just pay for the size of bag that you that you got. And Mark and I actually met there. And one time we we were both digging through, looking for stuff. And I saw this guy with the he’s got like a beanie on his head and a beard and and, you know, like a flannel shirt. And I was like, oh, this guy kind of looks like he’s, you know, my speed, like I should I should see what he’s see what he’s building. And he was building like a house and it was like a dream house. His wife wanted him to build. So they were it was almost like kind of like an architectural design project. And I was collecting red Lego bricks to build like a big YouTube play button logo because I had just reached some milestone with my YouTube channel. And so I wanted to build a big YouTube thing and make it a thing. But, you know, I said like, hey, how you doing? He said, Hey, how you doing? And I was like, So what are you building? And he told me and I told him. And then it’s like that has happened with me a few times with people over those bulk tables where you kind of start to look out because you’re digging and digging and digging in and you have the things in your head that you were looking for, for you. But if you know what the person across the table is looking for, then you might find some of their stuff, too, and then you begin to help each other. And we didn’t know each other at all, but that that happened a couple times. And then there was this other time we were in the Lego aisle at a big box store and we were both in the Lego aisle. And we it’s like we both kind of thought we recognized each other from somewhere, but we couldn’t quite place it. And so we didn’t say a word to each other. We just kind of passage other by. And then shortly after that, we we met officially at at the local R local Lego fan convention. And so it was that point in time that we realized, like, we live really close to each other from then we’re like we just started building together a lot. Like we had like weekly build nights every Tuesday because we live so close to each other. We’ve got another friend that lives right over here, and that’s how it all happened. It was really through Lego that Mark and I became friends.
S1: That’s a great Lego meet. Cute. All right. We have another question from North Carolina.
S13: Hi, I’m Jackie. I’m a king. We’re from Apex, North Carolina. I’m rooting for you and Mark on my Michael. We love you. I told you, you want the most. You have a question for you. If you know the Lego monster, what would it look like?
S11: Thank you, Jackson. Thank you, Emma. We really appreciate your support. Thanks for rooting for us. Let’s see if I were to build a Lego monster. What would it look like? Well, on Lego Masters, I built a shark monster. I built hot dog monsters. I built pizza monsters. Maybe if I were to build another monster. Oh, I think it would be really cool. I don’t know if this counts as a monster, but I think it’d be really cool to make a monster that is like really like a big machine operated by an alien. So it sort of looks like it’s part like, you know, like an old fashioned flying saucer from like 1950s retro sci fi type space movies. But that’s like the head of the monster is like a flying saucer spacecraft with a little alien inside it. And then the whole body is sort of being operated by controls.
S7: That’s the first one that pops into my head as the best answer imaginable. All right. Next question.
S14: Hi. My name is well, I’m nine years old and I in Charlotte. North Carolina and my question from four, Boone, is, how can you build so good with that technique pieces and batteries?
S11: Oh, good question. I get asked questions a lot all the time about. The the motors, the batteries, the lights, the technik pieces. And it really comes from practice, you know, Technik elements, which many of the motors and gears are sort of based in this like whole side of the Lego product line called Technik. And the geometry in Technik is a little bit different from the geometry and sort of what we call system Breck’s a system is sort of where all the the typical stuff you find in the Lego aisle sort of exists in like Lego system. And they will work together. They do it. There’s a lot of elements that sort of make technik and system work well together. But it is a little bit tricky to sort of like get those sort of like geometric patterns in your head. And really the best thing is practice. And so I was literally just I think I was just e-mailing someone a minute ago who asked that same question. And my recommendation is like just, you know, if you can afford to go to Lego aisle and buy some technik with some motors and some some battery packs or, you know, even now they’ve they’ve got the Bluetooth enabled that works with your phone and you can control stuff remotely. Or, you know, just before that we had like infrared remote controls, if that’s in your budget. Great. Go do it. And just like, start building and practicing. If not, then like look for, you know, someone’s old collection on eBay or another. Great one is the Goodwill Online. They have auctions and it’s a really affordable way to get used Lego pieces. And again, you know, right now we’re having to be really careful with, like, you know, of course, just doing a bit of research on how to sanitize your Lego if you choose to get some that way. But my main recommendation is get some. And just start trying it. And the instructions that come with the kits are a great way to learn, but especially with the motors and the gears and just that geometry between technik and system, practicing with the kits that Lego has, you know, provided for decades, it is gonna be the best way to start.
S7: All right. We have two more questions.
S13: Hello. My name is Pam. I am from Pasadena, California. And here’s my question. What is the most functional?
S11: Maybe my most functional build. As measured by how often it has benefited my life, is also one of the simplest things I’ve ever built. You know how all the streaming services now, like provide their little device that you plug into the TV and it’s like the remote controls are getting smaller and smaller and smaller. And when we started using those in our home, people in my family. I’ll leave it generic. It may have been adults and children. It may have been me. It may have been them. It may have been all of us, but. Every single day we were looking everywhere for those tiny remotes, for the streaming platforms and pulling out the couch cushions, finding them. Eventually, you know, in a basket of stuffed animals or whatever, you know, it was it was impossible to keep track of those itty bitty remotes. And so I built a case for that mean little tiny remote out of Lego. And it it made the whole thing about three times larger. So I just I built Becka’s started with the baseplate and I built a wall around the outside of the base plate that was, you know, sort of thick enough and the right dimensions to let that remote sit in there and then left a hole at the front where, like the infrared receiver, you know, or transmitter shoots out. And then I sort of capped it off on the top with some pieces that sort of like hold the remote into it. But it makes the whole thing bigger and it’s yellow. I used bright yellow so that we would always be able to see it from wherever we were. And and it’s too thick now to go down into the gaps between the couch. It’s just all around more bulky. But I tell you what, I built that thing probably a year and a half ago, and I don’t think we have lost that remote since. It benefits my family every single day, even though it’s a very, very simple, just little sort of box of a build genius.
S7: All right. Last question.
S14: Hi, my name is Moses. I was in Massachusetts and I am eight years old. My question is, do you feel nervous when you enter a level voting contests?
S11: Oh, well, I’ll tell you what. We were yeah, we were very nervous during Lego Masters, and I’m always nervous. You know, when we go to fan conventions, sometimes I’ll participate in, you know, little like our long build challenges and stuff like that. And it’s always nerve racking. And really what it comes down to is that that clock the time, because the biggest difference between building for my own enjoyment or building for your own enjoyment at home is is the clock. You know, when I do it for fun, I don’t have anything to worry about. I can take as long as I want and I can experiment. I can try things. I can decide to scrap something that took me an hour, you know, but when the clock is running, it just feels so intense. And we were just constantly I mean, the entire time a challenge was going on and the clock was running, we were just perpetually on edge and just always trying to not waste time and trying to make the best decisions we could as fast as we possibly could. So, yeah, that was mainly what we were nervous about. Yeah, it still affects me pretty much every time.
S7: Thank you so much for joining us. Boone, thank you for all the questions. Listeners, listeners, kids. Elizabeth’s kid was great Lego masters as a super fun show. You can stream the episodes at all the usual places, enjoy the whole season, get surprised, maybe unpleasantly by the end. But it’s a really enjoyable show. Thank you. A million, Boone.
S11: Hey, no problem. Thank you so much.
S7: All right. Before the show ends, we all need to make some recommendations.
S6: Elizabeth, what you got Sunday, May 10th, which is 10 days away, is Mother’s Day. There are not things coming home from school. Preschool, church. So if you have a mother, a grandmother or someone you want to honor on this day. My recommendation is that you put something together from your children now. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I am including a principal in the show notes. That is a very cute like interview. This is something that you can also do if you’re a mom and there is no one there to interview. Do this with your kid and have this little memory of this mother say that you spent together. So whatever you do, do something now. Don’t be. Don’t be caught behind on Mayta.
S7: Yeah, this is a bad year to get caught at the last minute trying to work out a Mother’s Day situation. Jamila, what about you?
S12: That was a reminder that I needed to go to getting at the last minute. So I’m recommending I think I mentioned a while ago that the sex talk was going to have to happen in my household, perhaps a little bit sooner than I anticipated. So ordered a book last week and since and time to read it last night. And it seems pretty cool. What’s the big secret? Talking about sex with girls and boys. And it gets into intercourse and all this stuff about how babies are born. And so if you’ve got a little person like I do, name am seven and you’re trying to figure out some age appropriate language to explain how her existence came to be in the world. Check out what’s the big secret. Talking about sex with boys and girls. And the author is Laura Krasny Brown and Mark Brown.
S7: Great advice. Thank you. I’m going to recommend a game like I think many people were playing a bazillion games and we got sick of all our games. So we traded games with another family. We left the games out to be disinfected. But the game we are now playing that we borrowed from this other family is called Encomia. It spelled a n o m. I say it is extremely fun and funny. I would describe it as a card game that is sort of like scattergories on speed. It’s great for ages 11 it up. I think your family will laugh hysterically like Loon’s while you play it.
S2: That’s our show. If you’ve got a question. E-mail us at Mom and dad at Seacom. Join us on Facebook. Just search for slate parenting. Mom and Dad are fighting is produced by Rosebury Bellson, Pungently Alemu and Elizabeth New Camp. I’m Dan Kois. Thanks for listening.
S7: Hello, sleepless listeners. Thank you so much for supporting mom and dad are fighting. And Slate dot com. It really, really means a lot to us. As always, we’ve got a bonus segment. Today, we’re going to talk about a fascinating story from a friend of the pod, Alyssa Strauss. She’s been on the show before and she writes a lot of great parenting stuff for CNN. This week, she wrote about how some kids are just feeling happier during quarantine. Of course, there are a lot of kids dealing with anxiety or grief. Plenty of kids wished that they had a routine or they miss the routine that they had. But there are also a lot of kids who are sleeping later, enjoying free time, not missing school even a little bit. And I’ve been so curious about whether there are going to be some kids who remember the spring and summer of 20/20 as like the summer vacation that never ended. So I wanted to talk to y’all about how your kids are experiencing this or whether you’re seeing any of this in your household. So let’s start with you, Jamila. Is Namer missing school at all? Are there ways in which she is enjoying quarantine?
S12: You know, I think I may have mentioned this last week or the week before, but when I talked to her about, you know, the foreseeable future and that we don’t know how long this is going to be going on, it’s going to be going on for quite a while. She said, you know, I just don’t think that I like school as much as you think I like it. Well, even with that, I’ll say Nyima somewhere in the middle of like, I’m enjoying my endless summer and I desperately miss my friends, like we’re keeping her occupied. She’s got stuff to do. Sometimes the screen is the stuff to do because, you know, we need a break or we just need to go to focus on where. And just let her do her all day or play independently. She’s super creative. She loves making videos and coming up with dance routines. Yesterday’s shoes at Dad’s. Has she, like, essentially sent me a commercial for another video that she plans to send me. So she told me she wants to create a dance for me. So she sent me a video teasing it. I haven’t had the teaser trailer before. The Avengers. Yes, the teaser trailer report. So she’s doing her best and we’re doing our best to make it fun for her. I do think that getting to sleep and a little bit has been something she’s enjoyed. You know, I can’t say it’s all the way one way or the other at this point.
S7: I’m curious, on sleep schedule in particular, you know, every middle and high schooler I know struggles. I mean, except for Lyra, who naturally wakes up at 7:00 a.m. every single day to get online. Basically, every other middle and high schooler I know struggles all during the school year with getting enough sleep and always feeling tired. Me too. And I’m so curious, like when these kids finally go back to school, like, how will these kids have been able to sleep till 11 or whatever for months? How will they possibly respond?
S12: Because it’s time for the revolution.
S7: I agree. It’s totally time for the revolution.
S12: I want to support the Warren campaign because I just felt like maybe somebody is going to be the adult in the room at some point, realize the like. Getting our day started at five or six, you know, especially with small children, isn’t ideal. So maybe school and you just started 10:00, like, let’s just do everything.
S7: How about down there in Florida? Do you get the impression, Elizabeth, that your routine has changed in ways that in some ways make your kids happier? Your kid’s school is different, but it’s not different in the same way?
S6: Yes, it is my kids school. Most of the things the article kind of highlighted as to why kids are happier are things that are inherent and most homeschools like more time to explore, more time with your toys, more time as a family. I’d say the big change for us has been like we’re not driving anywhere. There is no schedule to keep. There’s no gymnastics to get to. What did kind of bring a court is that the article talks about kind of over scheduling and I think being sort of new ish to homeschool. One of the things I wanted to make sure was that we had lots of time with other people. There’s a big stigma, you know, about not being social enough haha. Well, you know, but I was very worried about that and so made sure we always kind of had places to be and things to do and all of that is gone. So we just have like more time to do the things that we do. And my kids definitely like that. Now if they sit down to do a Lego building or a project. It’s not just that we have an hour here, 20 minutes, like they’re not out on the clock. They can literally work on a project all day. And our home school schedule absolutely allows for that. And I’m seeing a lot of, like, freedom there. Of course, I’m also seeing chefs getting made. So is Henry happier because he’s making sense? I think probably Jameela, like you, I read the article and I just thought there are so many things we can learn from why kids are happier. And can we come out of this and say we can make some changes? And, you know, I don’t know that the intent of school is for kids to always be happy, particularly not in this country now that the Dutch put a lot of emphasis on having happy kids. We just don’t. But I think there’s something to be said about trying to make some changes so that the kids are healthier and we’re respecting, like, their feelings of at least having a schedule that makes more sense and having, you know, activities our time to pursue. Things with their families and their friends outside of academics.
S7: You both have touched on something that I think is super crucial that everyone is trying to figure out. Right, whether it’s the revolution or at least just some modest changes, in what ways will families be able to maintain the things that are better about this situation for many families? When all this is over, I’m just reminded of a thing in Slate Slack and the Slate Messenger program that we all use to talk to each other, especially now that none of us are in the same offices. I’m reminded of a thing that was written, I think, yesterday in response to this piece by beloved former mom or dad or fighting co-host Allison Benedikt rest in peace. But she said, you know, right now I’m happier than I was in some ways, and I’m on a happier than I was in other ways. And she thinks the same is true for her kids. There are a lot of things for kids, for example, who suffer from anxiety at school, like, you know, some of my children do. For kids who are in school, environments that are uncomfortable for them, for kids who struggle with getting up early, for kids who have craved some kind of closer connection to their parents or siblings or who have felt over scheduled. There are obvious actual benefits to this period. And I hope that when all this starts being over, that our rush to get back to quote unquote, normalcy doesn’t throw away all the stuff that we’re learning about this time. And this, of course, has to do with not just kids and parenting and schools, but with every aspect of society. Right. With everything that we’re discovering we can do differently in this time of crisis. We’re trying to figure out, well, is there any hope of maintaining these changes once the crisis is over, these changes that obviously make life better for so many people? As with everything, I’m worried that the answer to all these things, once people can go back to work, will be no, it’ll just go back to the way the things were. But, you know, I have hopes.
S12: I have hope. I will say, well, I do hope that people look at some of I mean, just thinking about working from home. You know, it is such a cited example. Like a lot of people, you know, a lot of writers, we’ve been allowed to do that, you know, throughout our career at various hands. A lot of folks haven’t had that privilege at all. And they should say that privilege. You know, it’s just like, here’s a thing that you can. Basic human right. Human right. That you can complete your work from a comfortable place and get it done in a timely fashion. And nobody’s negatively impacted. And everything keeps moving as necessary. I hope that that is extended to our children, too, because like you said, like schools here, not necessarily thinking of the happiness, the children in the way that they are certain other parts of the world. But that’s because we live in a country that is not thinking of the happiness of its people, of workers. Yeah, that’s so true. The rest is a privilege. So I’m hoping that we begin a cultural shift toward taking better care of ourselves.
S7: I’ve got a lot of parents are excited about some future in which they can experiment further with working from home, but while their kids are somewhere else. What a revolution that will be for so many people when they discover how great that is. It’s a really fascinating piece. It’s on CNN. We’ll put a link in the show notes. It’s by Lissa Strauss is a great parenting reporter. If you follow her on Twitter, you will often find that just some really great, thoughtful stories about what the parenting world looks like. Thank you so much for being members of Slate. Plus, we really appreciate everything that you do for us. Specifically, we appreciate your money, but also we appreciate you as people talk to you next time.