The Will We Overcome Boredom Edition
S1: This ad free podcast is part of your slate plus membership. The following podcast contains explicit language.
S2: Welcome to Mom and Dad are Fighting. Slate’s parenting podcast for Thursday, April 2nd. So will we overcome boredom addiction? I’m Elizabeth New Camp. I write the Homeschooling Family Travel blog. That statue’s a mom to three boys, Henry 7, Oliver 5 and Teddy 3. I’m currently socially isolating. And our Lego room in Navarre, Florida.
S3: I’m Jamilah Lemieux. I am a writer, communications consultant and shut in and mom to Emma, who is 7. And we are hunkering down in Los Angeles, California and damn place.
S4: I’m a writer at Slate and the author of the book How to Be a Family. I’m the dad of wira, who’s 14, and Harper, who’s 12. And we’re currently stationed in our emergency bunker in Arlington, Virginia.
S5: Today on the show, we have a question from a parent looking to update their well, which is a heavy task at the best of times and even more pertinent in these uncertain times. What happens if you don’t have a go to person to look after your kids? If the unthinkable happens, we also have a question from a mom who’s feeling guilty about being bored when she hangs out with her toddler. Now, social isolation has significantly increased the amount of time spent together. Plus, triumphs, fails and recommendations. Tomsula. Do you have a triumph or fail for us?
S6: This week I have an ever rare triumph. My name is Seventh birthday was on Sunday. We had a Zoom’s slash July celebration for her. I went to her father’s house. She’s still been going back and forth. She’s doing pretty much two days here, two days there since we’ve been doing that. I have not been going out at all, especially in anticipation of going to their house. I was like, OK, when she’s with me. I go to a grocery store when she’s not here. I don’t take her anywhere like I am flattening this damn curve. So this was my activity for the week as well because I hadn’t been out in six days. I went to her dad’s house. So as us, her father, her stepmother and her younger brother, we had pizza and taken cookies. We smiled and said hi to loved ones on Zoom and friends and supporters on July 5 and everyone saying her happy birthday. And she was in such good spirits. And I really am grateful that she’s young enough that simply telling her it’s her birthday puts a smile on her face. You know, like she stayed up really late on Saturday, birthdays and Sunday. And we were watching a movie and I looked up and was like, oh, my God, it’s almost midnight. And so and she was falling asleep, notes, putting her to bed. And then I was like, oh, shoot. Well, this will be the first time she’s ever been awake for her birthday. So I was like, 11:57. So I kind of came up with some stuff to keep her steady. So do I. Yes. I didn’t tell her why I had heard, you know, charge a crystal and said some midsentence or her seventh year, which I would have done with her, like the next day when she was awake to really get into it. I was like, I have to figure out a way to keep her up for like three or four more minutes and then was putting her in bed as I kept to tell you something. It’s March twenty nine seven now. And she just lit up. That was her energy the whole day. You know, every time you say happy birthday or wow, you’re seven now. She just smiles so big. And so I’m just so blessed and happy that she’s still that kid in the midst of this. Part of that is her youth. Because, you know, by the time you turn 10, it’s like, OK, it’s my birthday and nothing super cool happened. And maybe I’m reacting to that. And we always do such big fun birthday parties like we did the new edition story One year for her birthday. We did The Wiz, we did Black Panther. Like, I make my friends turn into actors for her and have my actor friends come be unpaid actors for her birthdays. And this year it was just us and some cake and the Internet. And she really was still very happy about it. And I got her an elevated Geralt Barbie doll.
S7: This is the exact triumph that I need because we have Henry’s birthday coming up next week and we are on a weird birthday cycle because of moves like we have years in which we don’t know anyone, which was last year and now we’re here. And he like has friends and he was planning something. And obviously that’s not happening. So we are also planning a birthday party. I love that. It was just like enough. And she felt loved and hoping for the same here. Yes.
S6: I think the little people are happy to hear that. It’s your special day. That’s all it takes.
S7: That’s great. Well, Dan, how about you?
S8: I have a fail this week. My fail because that I keep losing to everyone else in my family at games. Yesterday I lost at say anything. I lost at Rummy and I lost it as zul. We’re keeping a big quarantine cards scoresheet on the wall that actually says quarantine cards on it. And it’s sort of general expanded to become a scoresheet for all quarantine games that we play from Hartstein held Rummy Cube to love letter to whatever. And we keep track of how everyone does in each game. And right now I am in Dead Last in our family. And I understand that I’m supposed to lose to my wife at games like she is the world’s. Like second, most ruthless hurts player following her mother, and so obviously she’s going to crush me. She’s extremely good at games. That’s totally permissible, but I’m losing to my children at games. Not on purpose. Like when they were little, but just because they’re better at the games that I am so like they beat me. Mario Kart. It’s so bad on Mario Kart that I am considering turning on smart steering on my car and leaving it off on there so that I can’t plummet off the sides of the track the way they do.
S9: They have that now. Yeah, they have that on the switch. Oh my God.
S7: I presume you take the losing very well too.
S10: Yes. Yesterday.
S11: It is all recent apogee and this is why I’m so frustrated by this. No I don’t take it. Well of course I take a terribly yesterday. Harper beat me and horse just on our driveway.
S8: Whoop. She beat the shit fucking horse because like I could not hit like a mid range jumper to save my life. And she because she’s twelve. All her shots were like ok, dribble three times with your right hand, three times with your left hand. Bounce it against the wall, throw it up in the air, spin around five times and make a layup. And then I would get dizzy and then I would miss the layups I lost at horse. I’m very upset. I think that this cannot stand, so I pledge to deliver an update to this podcast on quarantine games every week until I have secured victory over my children, which will happen.
S12: Do you have like a plan for that, though? I mean, there must be things that you are just inherently better at. I feel like you’re not stacking the deck enough. Like if your goal is to just beat them, you have to beat them.
S13: You know, it’s something that you should be doing more. Just like wrestling. Yeah, exactly. Sumo wrestling. Yeah, I’m aiming for sumo wrestling. Yes.
S11: Like I said, it’s getting harder. Hardly. Once upon a time, I could have beat them in a pie eating contest. But now they’re teenagers and there’s no way I can beat them in a pie eating contest. I just think it’s gonna be hard.
S14: But I’m very committed to cheating or distracting them or like getting up late at night and changing the numbers on the score sheet or whatever it’s gonna take to get me the championship.
S7: I deserve some kind of game where you multiply answers by age.
S10: That’s a good idea. I’d say anything where there’s a handicap for old people back. It would be great. Are you good at tic tac toe? No one ever wins a tic tac toe in this house. We’ve reached the age where yet every tic-tac-toe is a draw.
S6: We were starting to get there. Yeah, I have to make myself lose. It’s kind of boring.
S8: Yeah. For a long time I could be Harper tic-tac-toe anytime I want to, but she’s finally figured it out.
S12: We expect you to be smarter at the games that you play and report back that you’re thinking.
S10: That’s great advice. That’s great advice. I appreciate the support. Create a gang and its playing Calvin Ball. Elizabeth, what about you? Try Alphaville.
S12: I have like actually a Dan Esq fail in which I got real truth from my 5 year old and it hurts the most because Oliver is like my kid, like he’s the one that always prefers me. He always takes my side on everything. I can just always count on him for whatever the plan is. I’m already coming in with two votes because he just is my kid and we’re doing some sort of silly game. I have been table topics or something and we’re asking questions of each other at dinner. And I can remember the question is, but basically he tells me that he is going to live alone and doesn’t want kids, which is totally fine, except that any time he has the opportunity to play or dress up, he has a baby. If he is playing astronaut, he is astronaut with a baby and he ties the baby on. When he played that, he set up a daycare center in the vet to care for his baby.
S15: So when he said, I don’t want kids, I was like, oh, OK. But every time you play, you’re a dad. You know, to be a dad, you need to have kids in your life. Don’t you want kids? And he looks me straight in the face and he says, no. I see what kids have done to you.
S16: And we were just like, stunned. Yeah, this is like my my child.
S17: So anyway, apparently in this time of me trying to make everything feel, you know, warm and fuzzy around the house, I have also let myself go, I guess.
S9: Here’s the thing. Also, he’s the middle child, so he has never seen me without children. He has no idea what you know.
S12: Anyway, apparently, I’m also not in charge of the house because I can’t carry a kayak. That also came up. The person that carries the kayak is in charge of the house. Yeah. That’s just a rule. Yeah, clearly. So anyway, I have been put in my place by my 5 year old.
S10: That’s a fantastic 5 year old delivered fail. Great job, buddy.
S12: Very good. Before we move on, let’s do some business. Slate’s parenting newsletter is the best place to. Notified about all our parenting content, including mom and dad are fighting, Karen, feting and much more. Sign up for Dads weekly e-mail at Slate dot com backslash parenting mail. It’s a personal email from Dan, which sure beats all the reassuring corporate e-mails filling your inbox.
S15: Also, check us out on Facebook. Just search for slate parenting. It’s a really fun, active community. Plus, we moderate it so it doesn’t get out of control. OK, on to this week’s listener question. It’s being read by the wonderful SAS-L Leonhard.
S18: Dear mom and dad, how did you choose guardians for your kids? In the event of your untimely demise, my partner and I have been stalling on finalizing our new will for a while now. Nothing like some social distancing that got us thinking more seriously about getting our acts together. We don’t have an obvious go to person to take on parenting if we aren’t here. We have three boys, five, two and nine months. Five years ago, when our first son was born, we had a plan in place for my brother and his wife to take guardianship. Since then, we have come to realize that our lifestyle and values differ greatly. Even more, I’m concerned about instability in their relationship. As that became evident, my brother and I had an honest conversation and he agreed. In the interim, my parents have been our primary go to. But they’re in their late 60s and we’re thinking that may not be sustainable as they grow older. That being said, we are turning our eyes to our village. One choice is a longtime friend of mine. We are kindred spirits and our families are similar in values and lifestyle. But adding three boys to their two seems insane. Even if our boys are covered financially, the other consideration is another one of my best friends, an old roommate who my partner and I have had close ties with for over 10 years. She’s single, has a fulfilling career and lives with roommates in the city. How could we ask her to leave that life behind? Of course I would trust her choices for where to live and other things so she could maintain as much of that life as she could. But it seems like so much to ask. We wonder if it would be possible to start off with my parents and then have a backup if they can no longer carry the load. But would a second transition later be very hard for the boys? How did you make this decision? Did it change over time when logistics or relationships changed? How did you make the ask? We will need a will and a way, Dan..
S12: Any thoughts?
S14: Yes, I have a lot of thoughts about this. This is a very complicated question. One, as this letter writer says, that has a lot of both logistical and emotional things tied up in it.
S19: The first thing I want to say is the answer here is to choose the friend with two kids. That’s the obvious answer to me.
S11: It is the best situation for your family, for your kids. Should the worst happen, because you are not making your aging parents deal with three children as they only get more and more aging. And you’re not forcing a childfree person to become a parent. You’re giving your boys extra playmates and support from siblings and a family that’s ready for kids. Should the worst happen? Maybe you’re right that adding your three kids is a lot to that family that already has two kids. But there’s no situation in which your kids wouldn’t be a lot, as I’m sure you know, from dealing with them every day. Your kids, I’m sure, are a lot. Three boys are a lot. And they’d be a lot to the single person. They’d be a lot to your parents and they’d be more every year. The friend already has a parenting infrastructure that can expand to support a like a new influx of population. I mean, I just think that there’s a very easy immediate answer to this question, given the choices that you’ve presented to us. I think the obvious choices of the friend with two kids and high as I’m sure you have already done, you should over buy life insurance like crazy. If you both croak, you are like a seven figure check landing on this person’s doorstep along with your three kids. But I just think it’s easy. But I’m curious whether you guys disagree and think that I’m oversimplifying. Or rather, do you think there’s a different obvious answer?
S20: I actually agree with you that I think that is the R.V.s answer. Oh, just say for myself. It’s pretty straightforward. I’m not with my daughter’s father and he’s married. So if something were to happen to me, I’d feel very confident that she would be well cared for and loved. Her father and stepmother have had to deal with a few relatives that are dealing with dementia and who I guess I’d be Klein in a pretty short period of time and weren’t terribly old when they started having these issues. And so they sent me a link to something called Death Over Dinner. It’s death over dinner dot org and it’s organization that came together encouraging people to start having these difficult conversations with their loved ones about what they want for their end-of-life plans. You know, particularly thinking of people who would actually make arrangements for your funeral and your finances. And also, of course, there are children involved. And so because it is something that so many of us don’t talk. Their parents don’t want to talk about until it’s too late. So we’d planned to have a conversation and then, you know, coronavirus happens and things are dark already. But we plan to have a conversation at some point this spring about what their plans would be savviest. You know, I have one child. Everything that I leave, I leave to her and perhaps to my mother and I entrust them with her care. And if, God forbid, something were to happen to them. I have a sister who has a child, and that would be the next step. She has an aunt who has a child. Like we got a couple of family members with children. I would recommend shaking out death over dinner for anyone who’s kind of struggling with how to have this dialogue. And what are some of the things that you need to talk about with one another. They have some great suggestions for language and how to broach this subject. But again, I agree with Dan. I think that it would not be ideal to send children, particularly that many children, to aging parents and also starting somebody as a new parent under those circumstances. If that can be avoided, you got the makings of a great Disney movie. You know, you would prefer that somebody who had some experience with loving children in that way was able to care for your little ones.
S21: So I actually kind of came down on the side of I’m not really sure it specifically matters which of these people she asks or what she ends up doing so long as she, first of all, doesn’t delay and makes the well.
S12: I love your suggestion of the website and language for my life. This is something that we talk about a lot as a military spouse. We fill out these forms every year that say what’s going to happen to our kids like all of those kind of things. And each year they are presented back to us to look over again. And that’s just kind of a reality. So I think in that way, I’m kind of numb to this being a discussion that other people don’t have all the time. And in fact, in preparation for talking about our plan, I just use it as an opportunity to call the people that were on our plan and just make sure that that is still all good and we’re on the same page of what’s going on. So I actually am in a very similar situation. I have three boys about the same ages. I have a single sister who lives in D.C., has a wonderful job, lives in a tiny townhouse. And I just can’t imagine throwing all this on her. When I talk to her about this, though, she basically said it’s your choice. I would absolutely take the children. I would move. I would do this. None of that would matter to me if this is what you wanted. I also have a college roommate who has two boys. Lives in Michigan is very well setup. We parent very much the same. We have the same values. We don’t see each other as often as I see my sister. But after talking to both of them and of course my parents who are also willing to help, we sort of came down with my parents are the first thing on the well.
S7: And I am counting on them because they’re closer to us because they know what’s going on in our lives, because the children are familiar with them having them as that first point of contact. And I have had the very frank conversation with them that it is completely OK for them to say the children should go with them and just say that is OK and that they will continue to serve the grandparent responsibilities in any way forward. But that I feel that as my parents, they are the best people to make that decision at this point. I also want to say that you can revise this well as often as you need to. So that is something that we are constantly talking about. Are my parents still in a good place? The conversation actually that I ended up having with my friend yesterday was sort of like, hey, because of what’s going on. If something were to happen to one of us or both of us right now, I don’t think the children should go to my parents. There’s just too much risk of the environment that we are in here and what we’ve been exposed to. Bringing that into my parents house and she was totally on board. I think the other thing is that having a frank conversation with the family, with two kids. Don’t be scared about it.
S12: My friend was like, we would absolutely take your children. Yes. It would be complete chaos with five boys and a dog in the house, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes, it feels completely overwhelming. But if you’re even considering them, it’s likely that they’re going to say yes and they would be happy to do this for you. And I also have told my friend in these conversations, like, if something in your life has changed, you should have the conversation with my parents and my sister. I am putting you in the will because I believe that you will make the best decisions for my children. And that might be that you decide that. Them coming with you is not the best decision. But I trust you to make that choice. So I think you can take a little bit of the pressure off and say, I’m choosing the person that I know will make the best choice for my children. And if that is your single friend or if that is your parents or if that. Whoever that is. OK. And then have a conversation with those people about what you hope that that looks like. So I just am hoping to take a little bit of the pressure off because I think you need to get it done. And also you should, you know, go see a lawyer. And if you have any issues, discuss those issues with your attorney because they’re in the best place to sort of advise you.
S7: But this time, right now should be a time in which you are evaluating those things, even though it feels like a lot.
S22: Yeah, there’s a piece that Slate ran earlier this week by Ruth Graham, which, as you know, about a thing that many families are facing right now in which many more will face as this pandemic goes on, which is just the very real situation of both parents getting sick. You know, in a two parent household, you know, in households with one parent, this is a problem that they face all the time where they are the one parent in charge. And if they get really sick, they have to figure out what happens with their kids. And it’s not something that I think two parent households think of that much. But you do have to now. And so it’s worth having a plan for what happens if you both get sick in addition to the plan that goes into your will, that is, you know, if, God forbid, we both should die, this is what’s going to happen with our kids. Now it’s definitely the time to do it. Elizabeth, I really like your advice to not stress out about the conversation where you’re asking someone if they will do this. I just don’t know anyone who would ever respond negatively to be an ass. They might in the end say no. I just think that’s a bad idea. But they’re not going to be angry at you for the incredible amount of trust and love you are showing them for asking this question. I also think that this letter writers shouldn’t panic about that question because this letter contains in like one sentence a remarkable point about this letter writers courage and having difficult conversations already, which is that this letter writer already had a much more difficult conversation than asking someone to be your children’s guardian. They told someone who they had chose to be their kid’s guardian, that her brother, that she just didn’t think that that was a good idea anymore. And she you know, she mentions that my brother and I had an honest conversation. He agreed. Since they first made that decision five years ago. And I think that that’s pretty remarkable, because I think that that is something that would seem hard for a lot of people. And I mean, the story that I’ll tell is that when our kids were born, we were trying to decide as we made out our wills right away and we were trying to decide, well, who would be the guardian.
S23: And we were trying to say between my brother and Ali, his brother. And in 2005, when Larry was born, my brother and his wife were also having their first baby. They were living in Boston with very secure careers. And they were clearly sort of building a life that very closely resembled ours. Whereas Holly’s brother was at that point, like, you know, still traveling around South America. And maybe he was dating the girl of his dreams. He’d let us know. So it was like an easy choice. At that point, right. We asked my brother and his wife. They said, yes, we were ended up in the well.
S19: But then a few years ago, things had really changed.
S11: And everyone’s families. Holly’s brother at this point was married to that girl of his dreams. And they had three kids and we see them seven or eight times a year. Our kids have incredibly close relationships with them. Holly’s mom lives across the street from them and the kids have a super tight relationship with her. And meanwhile, my brother and my sister in law live much further away. Our kids love them and love their cousins, but they don’t have a particularly tight or close relationship with them. We see them maybe once a year, if that often, you know, we’re talking about it with Alya. It became clear that we both thought, you know what? Her brother has grown into being a better option if the worst happened to us. And we were very anxious about having that conversation with my brother, about saying, you know, we made this decision 10 years ago. But for these reasons, her opinions have changed. I really admire the letter writer for having that tough conversation with her brother because we never did.
S24: We never told my brother. We just changed our wills so that Ali’s brother is now the guardian. And we figured, well, if we die and my brother gets really angry about it, we’ll be dead. So we won’t care at all.
S10: Except he knows now. Well, I guess I’ll find out if my family. Let’s listen to a podcast at all. What? This is how you find out.
S24: We were too chicken. We were too chicken to have that conversation. We could do it even though we feel very secure that it’s the right choice. But boy, like the idea of calling him would be like, nope, you’re out. We couldn’t do it.
S7: I do want to circle back to talking about support now, given the kind of virus and everything going on, because I think that that is a wonderful point. That is separate from the conversation about Wells.
S17: So I just think finding someone locally, because that is actually a really difficult conversation.
S7: We dont have family here were military. My parents are in Atlanta. They could get down here and I’m sure that like given the worst that they would. But you know, like Floyd has got roadblocks set up, like it would be a real problem. So last night I did sort of have the conversation with my neighbor about listen. She’s in the same boat in the event that Jeff and I were to both get sick and could not care for the kids. Are you guys willing to take our kids in that situation, which may also mean exposing themselves and exposing their family to the virus. Luckily, they’re in the same boat. She’s also a military mom. And having that conversation of sort of saying, yes, we’ve got each other. But I was realizing what a relief that was for me. I think I knew that someone would step up and do it. But just to have it and say, yes, of course, we would do this for you. And, you know, to know that I have someone to call if that happens. And we’ve talked about it in a time in which it is not panicking, because even if everyone is going to be fine, I think there is a probability, particularly with my little one, that we could be sick enough, that we could be in the house and be like quarantined and fine. But could we be caring for all three kids and being able to say to someone like, sure, I can put two of them on the i-Pad or the TV and my 7 year old can, you know, mostly kind of feed people or I could help them. But what do you do with a 3 year old? I can’t count on the 7 year old to take care of the 3 year old. So having that kind of conversation, I think that’s an important thing to do. And it is slightly uncomfortable because you’re essentially asking a friend like, would you put your own health at risk for me? And I tried to make it very upfront that I completely understand if this is not something you’re willing to do. And if you’re not, I need to know because I need to find someone. So I encourage you to have that difficult conversation, because I do think that there is a chance, I mean, probably more than chance that some of us will find ourselves in that situation.
S11: Yeah, absolutely. And be willing to be that family for the person you ask. Right. Because that’s an offer you can make when you make this.
S7: Yes. Yes, of course. Yeah, it’s nice. We kind of you know, we’re in our own like coronavirus pact.
S13: Now we’re all we’re all going down together. But please welcome my three children and my fourth child. The. Yes, exactly.
S15: Into your home. Yeah. But even then, she willingly took them. So I think the overall message is that humans are mostly good. So. All right. Well, listener. Thank you so much for reaching out. If you have a question or conundrum for us. Send it to mom and dad at slate.com.
S8: And if you’re my brother and you’re angry, give me a call. We’ll talk it out.
S7: Surprise. Onto our second listener question, which is once again being read by the one and only Shasha Leonhard.
S25: Dear mom and dad are fighting in this time of social distancing. How do I keep from going crazy? I live in Michigan and work in the administration of a large headstart program. I am working from home during the pandemic closure. I have an 18 month old who is fine. Not being in preschool every day, as long as there are toys and a couple of adults to blabber to. He is perfectly content playing around the house by himself. I however, him going nuts, being stuck at home. I was not a woman who lamented going back to work after my maternity leave. I enjoy my work and like my co-workers, every day I get to be around a diverse group of smart, passionate women working hard towards a common goal of giving services to families in need. Dream job. I feel guilty about being so bored hanging out at home with my kid. Of course, when I am working, I often feel like I don’t get enough of him. But now it has only been a few days, and I have already clean my house from top to bottom and done all the laundry. I’ve started craft projects and even considered opening my laptop and getting some work done on a Sunday. I’m realizing how much time I spent on the weekend running errands instead of just being at home with my kid. As people who work from home regularly, how do you deal with the social isolation of being alone with a young child who is currently sitting on my lap and brushing my hair right now? Board Mama.
S20: Welcome to my life. I work from home almost always. So even though my daughter is not typically here, I have a life that involves limited social interaction with other human beings throughout the day at times. And I definitely am guilty, particularly when I had a corporate job of creating errands or every weekend we have to go to Target. You know, I have to take these pants back as opposed to just sitting and playing Barbies for hours. Right. We’ve got limited Barbie time because we have to run these errands. And when you take that off the table. Yeah. It can be difficult. And I want you to try your best not to feel guilty.
S26: I know that’s a tall order for any parent, particularly a mom, chiefly a working mom, just a mom, period. It kind of comes with the package that we’re always supposed to feel guilty about something.
S27: And it’s OK to be bored with your kids. Sometimes kids are boring, delightful, kids are boring, smart, funny, witty kids are boring.
S20: The coolest kids in the world can be quite boring. I would only suggest that you try to. Incorporate as much variety into your schedule as possible. You do want to have some semblance of a routine so that, you know, you can get your work completed and your child can have a bedtime and feel a sense of normalcy throughout this. But within that schedule are those patterns and routines that you create, leave space open to throw stuff at the wall and see if it sticks. So trying an art project that would have been too messy for you to consider. If you only had, you know, three hours of downtime on a Saturday afternoon. Right. Because now you’ve got plenty of time to set it up and create a workstation and break it down. And, you know, have lots of time getting dirty and slimy or whatever in the middle and baking and watching some shit like screentime. Is it Shirkey beast? You know, it’s very easy to get sucked into the temptation to either completely limited or eliminated altogether so that you don’t get addicted to it or just getting addicted to the ease of turning on a device and allowing it to take care of your kids. But there are lots of programs, you know, exactly where an 18 month old that you can watch that are educational, you can binge a few old episodes of, you know, Sesame Street or maybe not binge.
S26: Maybe you do, too. Vintage Sesame Street episodes a day or you’re just doing Sesame Street clips on YouTube and, you know, finding that girl. She really likes the songs that are doing the songs.
S20: Don’t be afraid of the screen. The screen is going to be your friend. You’re going to need the screen. You’re gonna need these to get some work done. And you’re gonna need the screen sometimes just to have material for conversation with your 18-month-old. Right. Because 18months those are such fabulous conversationalists, but they’re getting there. And you know that there’ll be some material for some fantasy play or for some new stuff. I don’t know. Too many mothers or parents, period, especially those who work, who don’t have something that they’ve wanted to do that day, just never had time for, you know, where there was a matter of a book that they wanted to read for themselves.
S26: If it was, you know, it’d be great to go to a mommy and me yoga class. We did our first mommy and me yoga class a couple of months ago. It’s almost seven years. I’ve been wanting to do that since she was in the loan. But those classes typically took place Wednesday at 2 o’clock where I was in an office, you know, or I was somewhere working and she was at school. And so, you know, we found one on a Saturday morning when now we can’t do that anymore. But there are lots of free yoga classes and things like that that are available for kids online. There are folks there teaching classes online. Debbie Allen has been doing dance classes for kids online. There’s lassi yoga studios that are offering their stuff online.
S20: And there’s all the, you know, fitness in play and dance videos that were on YouTube prior to coronavirus. This is the time to like create the sort of home life that you’ve always wanted. And that’s going to be, I think for most of us, a result of a lot of trial and error, you know, like. It’s funny because you said you already clean the house top to bottom and done all the laundry. And I’m at that point to my west, the Clansman house has ever been in about a week. There’s going to be nothing to clean. Like I had to space it out so that I did not accidentally clean everything too so and so I would not have anything to do. But maybe you want to flip the bedroom. Maybe you want to switch rooms. Maybe you want to, you know, order some wallpaper. danzon wallpaper fan. There’s a lot to do. You just have to create things to do. You have to be creative. I know that doesn’t feel like the best advice, but it’s really the only thing that’s going to get us through this period. What do you guys think?
S23: Well, that ties in really well to something that I was going to recommend, which is that you, the letter writer. Get yourself some kind of long term project. You know, it could be wallpaper switching around rooms. It could be one of those craft projects you mentioned. It could be writing a novel or building a porch or organizing and calling all your digital photos from Google photos or, you know, in our case, transforming the backyard into a wildflower meadow. But you’re looking for something at home that will take you weeks. And that really requires a lot of focus and attention and brainpower and if possible, like physical activity or body power, if you can.
S11: And I really recommend this because it gives you something that can very slightly replicate the experience of going to work and being enmeshed in this environment where everything is about this shared thing that you all are trying to get done together and now you can’t bring the shared part of it home. Hopefully some aspect of that remains in your job. Let letter writer, even as you do it from home, you know, you still have those same colleagues are all still trying to accomplish stuff. But creating some kind of largest project for yourself gives you a thing that is completely separate from everyone else in the house that is just yours and about which you care. And that is a challenge for you.
S19: And I think having something like that in your life that you can set aside time for and make a priority when you. Really matters at a time like this. Now, the e-mail suggests to me that there is a partner in this house.
S11: She mentions that there are a couple of adults in the house for the toddler to babble to. She mentions that she ran a lot of errands on weekends, which suggests that someone was home with the kid in the before times when she used to run errands on weekends. So, you know, you have a huge advantage in this particular point, which is that you each have a person who can take the load off of you for longest stretches from time to time so you can get enmeshed in some kind of ambitious or fun project. And so I think both you and your partner should have a project like this. You should each have a project that’s your own. And any day that you guys have an hour to block that you can make this happen. You’re not too insanely busy at work or when it’s a weekend and you’ve got a big empty schedule every day, that that’s possible.
S19: One of you should have a scheduled focused, say, two hour block where you are working alone on this thing and the other person gets the care. That whole time. And then the next day you have an opportunity, you trade and you take the kid the whole time and your partner works on his or her project. You know, maybe you can only ever do this on weekends. Maybe you’d only ever do this one day a week. But then you each have a thing that is only for you and it’s a thing that you can be scheming and planning and thinking about other times and can work on in a completely self-sustaining way. I think that that’s really valuable.
S21: So I love the idea of a big project, but I also read the letter and I think I identified with this idea that kids are pretty boring and hanging out with them all day. It’s pretty boring and that is basically my life.
S7: And when I made a list of like reasons I would stay home with the kids and reasons why I wouldn’t. I’m like the top of why I shouldn’t do this is because I would be bored out of my mind. And also this idea that, like I am an extrovert, I read this letter that this woman is an extrovert. Like she’s missing the friendship. She is missing the connection. And I can absolutely relate to that, even as someone that stays at home. I am so bored right now because I’m missing all of you like windshield time that I had where I was making phone calls to friends and like playdates that were really an excuse for me to chat while the kids, like, ran off with someone else. All of that is basically gone, but I have found ways to have some of that now and also some of the intellectual stimulation that you can get with playing with kids, especially at this age, like podcasts, audio books. You can listen to a whole bunch of stuff. Why do you are doing the like, quote unquote boring thing? And all of a sudden I could play blocks or magnet tiles forever if I’m listening to Science Friday or whatever that sort of engaging that other part of my brain.
S12: I also think like podcast kind of like this, that where people are chatting makes you feel less alone. So there are a lot of good ones out there on a variety of topics. So find something else you like. Try some out and see if that just makes you feel a little bit less bored. And I mean, I will wear earphones if I’m listening or something that’s not appropriate for the kids and like have one and listening to my podcast. I just say to the kids, like we have music playing, I’m going to do this while I play with you. And they’re usually totally cool to have me kind of half engage because I’m willing to sit there so much longer. Right.
S8: Fifty percent of your attention, not a Bloch’s is actually plenty of attention that blocks away way more than I would have gotten without the podcast.
S12: I am like scheming, like how do I build this to get out of this situation like it did. I hear the laundry like constantly looking for something else to do. I also think using your evenings and your time when your children go to bed to call friends and use social media and all of that to have kind of date nights and, you know, get togethers, happy hours, hangouts, that has really been for me. What has made me feel less socially isolated is that we are calling people that we haven’t seen in a while or that we almost wouldn’t have connected with. And we’ve also done it with neighbors down the street that we would have seen all the time and just said, do we all want to have our glass of wine on Zoom’s sitting on our back patios while the kids are running around? I’ve done playdates with the little ones which are again, like the Xoom is running and the kids are running around in front of the screen. But I’m talking to the mom and getting face time with the mom. And we’re sharing just like we would have at a playdate at our house. I think you can utilize some of those reading any opportunity to read like your own book. We do quiet reading time. I only have one real reader in the house and the other two like flip through books and I get a chance to like actually read an adult book and that helps too.
S7: So I think if you can try to stick in your day, little elements that are like semi-normal, that have you engaging your brain and engaging with other people, you will just. Feel kind of less bored.
S14: I will also say that the next few months are just going to be really fucking boring for everyone who is lucky enough not to get sick like a lot of it is gonna be boring as hell. You know, the boredom is gonna be mixed with panic and with stress. It’s still gonna be considering how panicked and stressed we all are. Just a remarkable amount of boredom because we’re gonna watch all the Netflix and read all the books we’ve been meaning to read and will get so good at Scrabble on our phones that the computer can never beat us and there won’t be other things to do. And so it already wasn’t like a fault to feel bored sometimes by being with your kids. And I would urge everyone to recognize that the next few months it’s going to be totally normal to just feel bored out of your skull sometimes and to not view that as some kind of failing on your part, that you are like not making the most start of your quarantine time. It’s okay. Also sometimes just be like, fuck, I’m so bored and to put your kid on a screen. Esther Mula noted screens will be real life savers at this time. And to just give yourself time to yourself like that. It’s gonna be really valuable even if that time to yourself is just you sitting there being like, God damn it, I wish I had something to do.
S12: I think getting used to the boredom is also like a good. I know I’m the eternal optimist. You’re right. Like having some opportunity to be bored is an OK thing and something that we really haven’t had.
S7: And like how many people try to do social media? Detoxes and all of this. And we’re sort of being forced. I mean, not on that kind of detox, but sort of a life detox.
S17: And I think at least it’s happening like spring is coming. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping. And it’s a little bit weird that like life on earth is continuing, but like our life is not continuing in a normal way.
S12: But there is also something really reassuring about that. And so even just having an opportunity to just like sit outside or sit with your windows open and enjoy that I think is maybe a small glimmer of something good that can come out of this. It’s just enjoying what’s around you and, you know, just those little moments, which is something I am too busy to do normally.
S28: That has been my approach. I gave myself the first week to just really be just kind of dab smacked and depressed and tired and also increased fatigue levels during this time are a natural response to the trauma of what’s going on in the world, you know.
S29: So if you’re feeling sleepy, if you’re feeling lethargic and like you can’t get up and make yourself do all the things that you said you were gonna do.
S20: That’s a completely normal feeling to have to work through.
S29: But I am doing my best to embrace this as an opportunity to create some of the patterns and habits that I’ve wanted to have for a very long time in terms of things that I do with my daughter, in terms of how I care for my household and and how often I’m mopping and sweeping and that I’m cooking, you know, nearly every meal from scratch as opposed to eating out.
S20: It’s definitely going to be warriors can be challenging. It’s going to be sad at times, but that we do have an opportunity to build some really beautiful things for ourselves in the face of the uncertainty and disappointment of the season. And so to try and focus on that.
S12: You can always come complain about it on the slate parenting Facebook page.
S10: That’s true. That’s a great way, a great place to complain about being bored. Lots of people to commiserate with you.
S12: Well, bored, mom. Hopefully this helps. Please write to us and let us know how it’s going. Because everybody on the parenting Facebook group wants to know.
S23: People really want updates. That is a really awesome job this week. If you have called into the show in the last couple of months and you have something to update with, email us are posted in the Facebook group. Let people know people want to know how it’s going with these letter writers.
S12: I think we could bring them some quarantine updates and that would make people really happy. You know, get in touch. All right. Time for some recommendations.
S14: I am recommending the nineteen sixty four Beatles documentary A Hard Day’s Night. So I’m trying during quarantine when I have a little movie time by myself.
S23: I’m trying to watch this big backlog of Criterion Collection DVD that I have sitting around that I’ve always wanted to watch. So the other night Lyra and Harper were playing Minecraft and I knew that I had like an hour and a half hour. The only thing I had to do was fold some laundry. So I just put on the Criterion DVD of A Hard Day’s Night while I was folding laundry and I was really enjoying the movie.
S19: Like, I mean, basically the movie is just a chance to watch that handsome young Beatles do adorable stuff along. You know, it has a bunch of silly jokes and gags, but really it’s just the Beatles like playing music and being goofballs. And then about halfway through the movie, Harper came down and ended up sitting and watching the rest of me.
S8: And this was not. Like a my kids must love the Beatles moment. I was not intending to show this movie to them at all. I didn’t seem to me like it would be their cup of tea. So I was very, very surprised at Harper, like. Loved much more than I expected that she would. She just cracked up laughing at the gags. She was interested in the songs. I think she liked how cute the Beatles are in 1963 1964. I guess it makes sense because, you know, if you think about it, the exact target market for this movie in 1964 was twelve year old girls. But she also really liked it. She asked me a million questions about what was going on and who the people were. And unlike during most movies, I wasn’t like she trying to pay attention. Like this movie was fine for me to just answer her Beatles questions in the middle of the movie.
S19: Anyway, my recommendation is that you, an adult, should just watch A Hard Day’s Night, which is just a totally lovely, you know, time capsule of a different time and place with a bunch of good music in it.
S8: But also, maybe your kid will enjoy it too. Who knows? You’ll be desperate soon. It’s on Amazon Prime. Or you can buy the DVD from Criterion. It has a lot of really great extras on it. I highly recommend that.
S20: So I am going to recommend for my single friends out there. Now’s a great time to get on the dating apps. This is particularly under Regnan. This toward people who have the unfortunate predilection toward dating men.
S30: Listen. They’ve got to be conversationalists right now. OK. They can’t razzle dazzle you with what they’ve got between their legs or what they drive.
S20: Now is the moment in which if you want to court someone or get to know them romantically, you have to be capable of having a great conversation on face time reso or over the phone or even just being text. I have had better conversations with men in the past two weeks than I’ve had in months.
S30: They set their game up. Hinge is a good one. You definitely have to be careful. There are people out there who still think that in these troubled times they are going to go meet you off line. I firmly said no, and that pretty much ends the conversation because I don’t want to get attached to somebody who’s still out here going on swipe dates in the middle of a pandemic.
S15: A good litmus test.
S8: I mean, are people putting that in their profiles like, yes, I still want to meet you in real life or no, I’m not meeting you open to Corona virus.
S31: I’m looking for a quarantine buddy is the thing that I’ve seen a few times. I’ve also seen people who said and I have this in my.
S30: Like they put it clear, like I’m into social distancing. So hopefully, you know, that what we’re doing right now is the phone thing that can perhaps become the real life thing. But it’s been really delightful and a nice little bit of escapism throughout the day, particularly at night. And it’s a good time. I was thinking this yesterday. This is Love is Blind Season 2, except for love is not blind. It’s just distance.
S20: Like, it’s kind of like in the 80s where people were like video dating.
S32: So you’re having like good old school conversations with.
S31: I’ve had like hours long conversations with guys that I’ve never met in real life and they’ve been great.
S20: And I think, you know who wins at the end of this? Who else are they talking to? Will I end up heartbroken over a man I’ve never met? Maybe. Maybe not. We shall soon see. It’s been great. Of course. Be mindful not to overly invest in like a new online relationship to the point where you’re not calling your parents or your siblings or people who you already know and love, because that’s a really bad time to do that. But it is a nice break from some of those stress and anxiety and the difficult conversations that we do have to have with loved ones right now and checking in on people to just kind of talk to somebody about music and art and silly stuff.
S12: Yeah. Meeting someone new. I think that’s lovely.
S10: I love that. One side effect of this time is that people who can really write her can can really talk are like having a moment. This is our time, baby. Elizabeth, what are you recommending?
S17: On that note, I am recommending raising some insects in your home. Carefully. So this is one of those projects that I think every family should do, literally. I’m amused by it. You have the time now. There are a million reasons why I shouldn’t have done this before.
S12: So you can get caterpillars from we used Insect 4 and they come and they have their own food and you get a nets and everything that they live in and they go through their whole lifecycle. So they eat, make a really big and then they make little Chris Alissa’s and then you hang them up and they turn into butterflies and Islam have a window, you can let them out to fly. We raised little ladybugs. That was fun. I’m currently raising praying mantises. And what I’m going to say here is that one egg case is enough for egg cases.
S16: It’s way too many.
S12: And when you believe that the first egg case has hatched and they have all hatched, you are wrong. Each of these cases have thousands of these things inside of them. I think it’s like three hundred. But anyway, over the course of the last five days, every day. Sometime during the day, one of these egg cases has opened, revealing thousands of teeny tiny praying mantises. Because I live in Florida when we go out to release them. You can’t literally just like shake them on to any plants. But my children, like, place them lovingly. We then watch lizards eat about half of them. But all in all, it has been wildly amusing. I have four more egg cases to hatch, so this will be going on for many, many days. But yes, I think you should all raise insects. It’s super fun. The praying mantises come from a company called Nature’s Good Guys, which is available on Amazon. These are all insects and bugs that are good for the environment. And if you’re having a garden, they actually replace a chemical right on there.
S22: So it’s really amusing now, but only when one egg case, one day entomologists will be puzzling about the incredible boom of the praying mantis population in Florida, the Florida Panhandle, Aryan Corona virus, MOBI like today, do they develop some kind of natural immunity, but they’ll eventually just trace it to your house? No, no.
S12: One woman bought like ten egg cases thinking if one didn’t work, we’d have more.
S10: So, yes, that’s horrifying.
S28: That is Elizabeth. Like, I just want you to know the cycles of emotions that I went through when you started you started with N6 in my face immediately or just that. And then when you said ladybugs and.
S20: Well, those aren’t real insects, those are cute, you know, and then you’ve got some praying mantis is an idea to care to.
S32: They would kill you in your sleep. Go on my Instagram. They are so cute. No, they’re a little tiny bit the lizard start eating them like crazy.
S33: Nevertheless, they grow up big. They will sneak into your house and kill you.
S15: Well, no. Hopefully they kill everything that kills my garden here. That’s the plan.
S10: Very optimistic.
S28: My friend Patricia is a very big fan of your contributions to this show. And I know that this is going to be the moment where you have crossed over into white folks madness.
S31: I just lost the out in Brooklyn today.
S17: I admit, this is what I’m saying. The caterpillars are a gateway. So I think start with the caterpillars, but maybe stop there. And definitely if you decide on the praying mantises, one egg sac is enough just as you are ordering. Repeat that to yourself. It’s definitely crazy.
S7: And I’m chalking it all up to home-schooling and my wonderful garden. And I never would have done this if we weren’t stuck here. You know, I can’t wait two weeks for something to hatch. But now I have all the time in the world.
S28: So your suggestions for things to do are like because you’ve had more time to do things in the house, like the stuff that we’re like.
S31: Know we’re cleaning. I learned how to mop yesterday. I don’t think I really knew how to mop. I read the instructions on the bag. I was like, wait, I’m supposed to. Well, I’m a backup with a mop of the mop, like a lot cleaner, the clean operation, the like. And I bought a steam mop and then I broke it yesterday. So I had to like old fashioned. But the plan I was going to do both. I was an old fashioned mop and then steam up and I like knocked over the steam. I’m not at the same time, though, right now. I think I know that’s that’s going to be August. That’s only August. But no. Like right now. Okay. I’ll do the. And so I looked at the bag and I was like, I don’t need to read this.
S30: I was just going to like mix the like cleaning solution in a bucket of water. And then I read it. It was like, you know, you’re supposed to put directly on the floor. It’s like, oh, I didn’t know that. And then it said so I was like, so like wet mop, mop the cleaning step in and then rinse the mop and mop it again. So get the cleaning solution up. I never would have thought to do that. I would have just had a floor because I wonder, like, why would my floors get really clean if I mob? Because I’m just like pushing soap around.
S10: Dirty soap water. Dirty soap, water. So I’m glad are all learning something new.
S30: But Elizabeth is so far beyond mopping. She’s got plants and flowers. She’s moved on to bugs. I can’t wait until you like.
S7: I’m gonna get really upset when all these insects eat my plants. This is what happened last year. I had this beautiful garden and then everything just got destroyed and I was like, really mad about it for a few weeks. But I’m back with a shitload of praying mantises. That’s what it is.
S6: You’re going to end up with a tiger. It’s going to be with the guy with the Netflix show right here.
S9: It’s a real one. I know you’re like down the street from me. Isn’t he like that now? Like, I’m just some guy. He needs to take care of those guys. But he was arrested here in Gulf Breeze. That’s the neighboring town.
S13: So the prey matches don’t get you one of his escape tigers. Exactly. Exactly. Well, and on that note. That’s our show.
S34: If you have a question. E-mail us at mom and dad at Slate.com and join us on Facebook. Just search for slate parenting. Mom and dad are fighting is produced by Rosemarie Bellson for Jamilah Lemieux and Dan Quoits. I’m Elizabeth Tulkarm.
S15: Hello, Slate Plus listeners.
S12: As you know, over the last few weeks, parents have been scrambling to come up with a quarantine schedule that works for both parents and kids. Whether that schedule is similar to Nyima is organized block schedule or closer to Harper and lyra’s, I’ll circle around Eisold.
S33: I’ll take her home. Oh my God.
S15: Also take her gum, of course. How could I forget? But what if the kids aren’t happy with the schedule? Dan, you have a friend that recently experienced a schedule. Mutiny.
S33: Yes. I would like everyone to welcome to the show for the plus segment. Great. Claire Campbell and her son Leo, who are coming to us live from Durham, North Carolina. Claire and I go way back. And Claire posted to her Instagram a couple of days ago, a three page manifesto written by Leo with some assistance from his little brother Jesse, rejecting and objecting to the draconian institution of schedule and rules on their quarantine. So I want to talk to them both about what that schedule is like. I wanted to hear a little bit from Leo about what his objections were, about what that manifesto was, and that I really wanted to hear from both of you about what kind of conversation has this manifesto created, have things change or will things never change. So thank you both for being on the show.
S31: Yeah, happy to be here. Thanks. Yeah, a very big fan of yours, Leo. Yeah, me too.
S33: You have many fans here at the show, Leo. We’ve all read your manifesto and several of us have printed it out and put it on our walls. So, Claire, can you maybe just start by telling us a little bit about what has been the structure so far in quarantine?
S35: Yeah. So we have two parents working from home, two kids, one in middle school, one elementary school on. Very different. Like learning from home programs. So we decided right away like a schedule was going be the only way to keep our lives on track and to kind of cut down on the friction every day of telling people what to do. So the schedule, though, that we created was kind of a mix of classwork, like some math homework, some reading time, some stuff around the house, like getting out in the yard, some exercise and some fun things. I would just like to point out some free time, many hours of free time were included in the schedule. You thought it out and then we would alternate each day, like with a mystery website of the day or mystery videos or TED talks on the board. So we tried to mix it up everyday and keep it kind of interesting.
S12: Did the kids help make the schedule or was it like you came up with it on your own and then implemented it on to them?
S35: Yeah. No, I mean, we knew what they needed to get done for their classes. And then beyond that, we know what they’re interested in. And so we just tried to like put all that together, but we created the schedule each night and boosted it in the morning.
S33: All right. So, Leo, this has been going on for a week and a half, two weeks or so. And you were driven to create this manifesto. Was there something that sent you over the edge?
S36: OK. Well, Jessi and I were getting used to the schedule. It had been a week and a half. And Jesse just came to me and he was like. Leo, let’s talk in private. So how old is Jesse? Eight. He’s like, Leo, we need to talk. So he pulls me aside. I forget where, maybe the basement. And he’s like, Leo, I don’t like the schedule. And we need to tell mom and dad. And I had been feeling some of it because I’d been like, well, I want some more free time because I just I have all my classes. And since I have the classes and then just the family activities, I thought I had an hour or so free time a day. But he came to me and I was very surprised because he had been showing some of it, but I didn’t know he cared that much. So I was like, yeah, yeah, I hear you, Jesse. And we were about to go on a walk and walks or his least favorite thing.
S33: Yes. As you’ll see if you read the manifesto, which we’ll post on the Slate Parenting Facebook page walk’s he hates the most.
S20: Can I please share a quote about the walk’s? Because that was the thing that jumped out for me. It would seem that the youngest member of the reigning nuclear family, Jesse, if they were in clear dislikes, walks and the fatigue they bring him.
S33: So he was feeling fatigued by the war.
S36: Yes. And he would complain every day. And I was like, Jesse is just to walk. And he’s like, shut up, Leo. It pains me.
S33: So your take on this is that while you were feeling some dissatisfaction with the schedule, you were really serving as a representative of all the children in the family together. The two of you to convey these complaints to your pet?
S36: Yeah. I mean, it was a collective because there are some things in here like a typing club, if you see that, that I have no problem with that at all. But yeah. So it was a collective effort. Yeah.
S33: What led you to decide that rather than just yelling at your parents or something? The way to handle this was a three page manifesto.
S36: Trial and error. Like you tried yelling, tried so many different things with. Sorry, mom. We’ve tried talking. We’ve tried. Like when we tried to get a cat. We tried making a poster. I mean, we have a cat now.
S33: But didn’t you want to make a PowerPoint to convince your parents of something?
S36: Yes. Didn’t I? What was that? Roberta was. But yeah, that’s one of the tools in his arsenal. And I don’t remember what. But I remember I made some manifesto of something a long time ago and it worked. So I thought, hey, let’s do this. And Jesse was like this a great idea. And he said, we want to we’re gonna do this. And I said, OK. I know how you love coming into my room. So what if because you wake up in the night, what if you come into my room and. You just wake me up and we plan this on the computer. He was like, solid plan.
S33: Wait, so you did this in the middle of the night, this is a midnight manifesto.
S36: Well, that’s what we were planning. Because he wakes up every night. That was one night. He didn’t wake up. He just didn’t come with me. And I ended up doing it all in the morning from like 8:30 to 10:00. So like a mid-morning. Yeah, I had some free time because he was doing school and it’s my spring break and today.
S33: All right. So, Claire, you know, listeners will be able to read this manifesto and digest its points. But what was your response when you and your partner were presented with a smile?
S35: I mean, I’m a writer, so I had to admire the craft person for and respect the energy that went into the creation of this manifesto. It was mildly annoying given how much work we had been putting into making this schedule and what we thought was pretty fun and exciting. We decided to, you know, take a deep breath. That night we got together and we talked about it and we issued a response this morning.
S10: So is that also available on Instagram? It is available on Facebook. OK. Right. I can’t wait to check up. Can you summarize the responses? Yes.
S35: So without admitting culpability in anything, we did acknowledge the complaints and frustration on behalf of the children.
S10: And I said that was on the advice of your county.
S35: So we have decided on a trial basis to move to a system where Tuesday and Thursday after lunch is totally on schedule. Sunday is totally unscheduled. But there are a few ground rules that they have to observe during those times.
S10: I assume limits on various things they can do or they can’t bug you too much or limit everyone is, you know, fighting. Oh, yeah, sure.
S33: Good luck, Leo. What did you think of this response? Did you and the rest of team children approve this?
S36: Well, I came downstairs and I saw it on the fridge where the schedule would be. I was like, oh. Because I thought they were going to write a response of some sort. And Jesse hadn’t read it because he doesn’t like to read for fun. So wait.
S20: Jesse didn’t read the document that you wrote.
S36: No, he didn’t read it. He was just like, all right, I’m going to let you do this. He just handed over to me.
S37: This is such an amazing piece of writing. I am so impressed. I know that this day is coming for me as a writer and a mother to a very verbose daughter. This is incredible. Like, I can’t stop looking at it. Can I just read the ending? I know that readers are going to look at it and I readers, you must read them. Don’t not click on it and feel like you got the gist of it. You don’t experience it until you read it because Dan told us about it in the e-mail and it was a great anecdote. And then I read it and I was blown away. I’m really curious if there’s any backing it that inspired you. But it ends with this paper was created to passively show and express the feelings and emotions of the rainy children toward the schedule. We have shown and spotted many reasons that the schedules should be no more. And we hold by these promises and agreements and will throughout the quarantine and foreseeable future.
S10: Real Declaration of Independence vibes from that bed right there. Big Declaration of Independence energy.
S33: Leo, I drew because Jesse is now reading these documents. You are the one who is sort of primary and the communication. So you read this response this morning. What do you think?
S36: OK. So I read it. And the lovely title, may I say. Official response to quarantine schedule grievances, and it’s a front to back one page. And the first paragraph I was like. They noticed. That’s nice. They noticed that I put some time into this. And then I saw two words on the back. These words were conditions apply. And I just took a big breath. There’s like. OK, I’m ready for these. And it just talked about like physical activities 30 minutes a day, you know, watching a video game, restrictions. But I felt that it was a great way to deal with it because it put it in literal words that I understood. And I just thought it was great because it covered a lot of things. Most of the things I had to say were jessee issues. So that might have been why I was so happy.
S8: But so you feel satisfied by this response? You think collectively this will satisfy a lot of the problems that the children part of the family are having? Yeah, but I mean, so it’s good to see the collective action has a positive result. It’s good to see management coming to the table and bending just a little bit and finding creative and innovative solutions. That’s really good to see. How long do you think it will be before the next manifesto?
S36: And will it be the parents who write it or the children who I was going to think maybe a week and a half, maybe two weeks until then, that I can see your face?
S17: Mom, you’re like, are there new issues you want to address or you have more on a schedule issue? Are you thinking now you’ve found a venue to really fix things around the house?
S38: Well, I mean, it worked. So, I mean, exactly why management never wants to ban.
S35: You can see a of management offered only a measured response. Know compromise.
S20: Well, you have it. Jeff, do you have a union now? You’ve unionized. Maybe you all meet every two weeks to review progress as opposed to having to issue a new manifesto and just kind of say, is this working? Can we improve upon.
S8: Do you have committees? Yeah. Small committees, subgroups that just joined to see how everything’s going.
S36: I remember when I completed this, I was super proud and I went into the living room and I met. Family meeting.
S38: Yes. So I just draw everyone there. Right in the middle of a math lesson. So proud. So you count on me. So this was your first protest. You listen to it, man. That’s right. No. That’s great.
S12: I hope you’re both very proud. I think this is like even if this is how it continues for the rest of gauranteed. Like what better lesson in this? These are like the life lessons. Claire, I hope you feel really proud of your son as well. Just I mean, to raise someone that does that instead of screaming, I think means whatever you’re doing, including your schedules are probably working well.
S35: You know, I’m super proud. He’s a special kid. And I just appreciate the fact that these tensions can be worked out creatively.
S10: I also think you should be very proud of Leo, but also I’m deeply sorry. Yeah. The floodgates have only 10. Thank you, Claire and Leo, we appreciate you coming on the show. Please keep us updated. How’s it going down there and dry? We’ll do it for you.
S15: That’s it for this week’s Slate Plus segment. Until next time.