The time I have dreaded has come. Now, not only am I forced into isolation with four tiny humans who make me long for hearing loss, but I must teach them. Somehow, I am to fill the shoes of a qualified, seasoned educator, and deliver what once was 40 hour/week of classroom instruction, in the chaos of my crowded quarantined home.
But don’t worry! They have apps! No less than 542 of them, none of which seem to want to function properly.
But it’s okay, I only had to delete 10 years worth of family photos to fit them all on my device. I’m sure someone can help me figure these things out though. Right? Someone? Anyone? No? I must now become a computer technician? Super awesome! So glad I went to school for Theatre!
This is NOT a knock on teachers. I respect the daylights out of them. They were blindsided and then forced to alter the entire landscape of their career.
I imagine they are suffering similarly while transferring everything over to virtual teaching, keeping track of a couple dozen students and their confused parents. Perhaps while also teaching their OWN kids. So this is for teachers as well!
Here I was thinking, oh no…the government has forced me to cancel all of my plans and stay home. I guess I’ll have to wear sweat pants, throw my hair up and enjoy the simplicities of life.
What? I’m sorry, can you repeat that? I have to meet virtually with all of my kids teachers once a week? Do I need to be dressed for that? Can they see me? Are you sure? No, no, it’s fine. I just need to go change.
I don’t know about you, but I can feel my mind slowly unraveling. I’m smiling as a hurricane of frustration and confusion batters the walls of my resolve. I’m holding it together, but I’m not sure for how much longer… So here are a few ways to perhaps release a little bit of that building pressure.
Yes. That’s right. Carbs. All the carbs.
A.) Grab the nearest bag/bowl/even your shirt will do, to collect your cornucopia of junk.
B.) Growl at anyone who may try to shame you out of this medicinal gluttony.
C.) Find a remote area in or near your home. This could be in a closet, behind a curtain, hunkered down under a large box in the garage, or a locked room. Consider the bathroom. Since you’re upping your food intake, the proximity of a toilet couldn’t hurt.
D.) Forget the world and give in to the ecstasy of irresponsible eating. After all, we’re allowed to gain a Quarantine 50! Or was it 15?
2. Lose Control
In a controlled environment, of course! This option will need some pre-meditation. But it will be sooooo worth it.
A.) Pick a safe room in your house. Your bedroom is usually a sound choice.
B.) Set up what I like to call Savage Stations around the room. What is a Savage Station? It’s really whatever you need it to be. But here are a few examples to get you started.
-You know those hideous old t-shirts your hubby has that you would give your right arm to make disappear….? Grab a few. (preferably ones he won’t notice are gone and hold no sentimental value. You’re not a monster!) You may need to give a little cut to the edge to get it going. Now give in to the dark side and tear those shirts to shreds! Bury the evidence in your backyard. Or for a more dramatic conclusion, find a metal trashcan (can be found in any Batman film), place it in the middle of your backyard. Deposit the shirt shards, squirt some kerosine in there, toss a match and then stare at the rising flames as if it were a haunted past.
-Lay down on your bed, on your back. Look up at the ceiling and hone in on the angry bees buzzing in your head. Take a deep breath, then let your body express that chaos. I’m talking legs kicking, arms flailing, tossing around the bed. Maybe even stuff a sock in your mouth and holler a bit. Continue until you’re worn out.
-Have a seat on the edge of your bed. Then smile. Really big. It’s okay if it’s insincere. After a few moments, start laughing. It will be forced at first. But eventually, you’ll be laughing in earnest. Do this as long as it’s sustainable.
-Build a body out of pillows. Dress it if you can. Then put the ugly face of Covid19 on that pillow. Lay it on your bed and straddle that no good lowdown sorry excuse of a virus. Then you give that jerk a piece of your mind, occasionally slamming your fists into it feathery soft case…I mean face.
I think you get the idea. If you don’t question the absurdity of your actions at some point, you’re not doing it right.
C.) Okay, so now that your stations are ready, you only need wait for an opportunity. You feel that stormy chaos of blind rage starting to rise inside? That’s your cue. It is time.
D.) Use what self-control you have left to smile at your family. You may have insanity in your eyes, but perhaps they won’t notice. Or maybe they will. Good. Then they won’t follow you when you leave the room.
E.) Enter whatever room you have previously chosen as your controlled environment. When you’re ready, go full Hulk! You’re welcome.
3. Violent Singing
This one is pretty self explanatory. Instead of yelling things you may regret, get that urge satisfied with some explosive random tunes. This crazy guy with a British accent gives a great example here.
There’s a few ways you can do this. Write a list of songs that would meet the explosive criteria. For example the opening to Disney’s The Lion King’s Circle of Life. “AAAAAYYEEE SU VEN YA WANNA VA VICCI WA WA!”
Those may not be the right lyrics, but who cares!? Accuracy is not the goal here.
Or if you’re more improvisational, belt out the first song that comes to your head! Don’t worry about insignificant things like skill or talent. This isn’t American Idol. As a bonus, your kids might think you’re just trying to have a bit of fun.
4. Avoid Reality
This is one of my favorite pastimes! Old faithful right here. SO many ways you can do this! Seesaw, Google Classroom, bingo bango bongo .com, just let it all slip away. Mental health care professionals might call this disassociation. I call it a brain-cation. Will your problems still be there when you get back? Absolutely. Will the confusion have died down? Not even a little. But do you feel better after indulging in a little YOU time. For a hot minute. But it’s a minute that stands between you and twenty to life. ‘Nuff said.
A.) Binge Watch a Show or Movie Series
If I’m in someone else’s world, I can’t possibly be in mine! So bring on the next cold case, supernatural phenomenon, dilapidated house that has potential, or a crazy tiger guy.
This way I can at least convince myself I’m being productive. So many self improvement shows to ingest! I need to hear about how an Ennneagram Type 4 personality can deal with stress in a healthy manner! Is it a crime to invest in my own education? Let’s watch NCISLMNOP to find out.
C.) Video Games/Phone Games
Ah, yes. An area I can accomplish something. Every level up is the “Atta boy”, I won’t be receiving for every year of life lost helping my son with his Common Core Math.
D.) Take a Bath
I’ve noticed that my husband never questions me when I tell him, “I need to take a bath.” He also seems to understand that his job is to keep any of my spawn from disturbing my temporary Oasis. So set up that safeguard, grab a sweet drink, maybe a snack (no one’s judging) and climb in. You can soak in silence or float to some tunes. Refresh the hot water as needed. Only thing that should drag you back to reality, is that irrational fear of your skin pruning you to death.
5. Attempt a YouTube Dance Workout
Exercise is good for you. This is also good for anyone in your house who might have the opportunity to witness it.
Because entertainment is hard to come by when you’re social distancing. This may take some research, but I promise it won’t be boring. If you’re really brave, consider attempting this while on FB Live. We could all use a good laugh. Of course keep in mind your level of athleticism. You break a leg, you may not be seen by a doctor until July.
All joking aside, despite our frustrations and fears, we must do our very best to extend grace to teachers, parents, ourselves and our sweet kiddos who are all doing their best to make these sudden changes work. Okay, now that that’s done, I need to go update my ipad, because apparently, the app I need for my primary school kids IS NO LONGER COMPATIBLE WITH MY DEVICE!!!!