You know that children and parents have been cooped up together too long when the parents give the kids the tools to reach out to their grandparents. Our four year old grandson has taken to calling us on Face Time at random times. He is home from school and calls on his ipad. He usually just wants to talk about the weather and thinks it’s always raining in Portland so is pretty obsessed with that topic. He also loves to talk about the tides as he lives by the Ocean and has a tide cam on his iPad because he was driving his dad crazy with the question: “Is it low tide or high tide?” Last week he called twice and hung up on us both times because he had a more important call to make. He’ll call Tom’s phone (PapaJack) because he has his number on speed dial. He must have called the second time by mistake as he said “Oh, I got to go” and hung up right away. Tom tried to call him back but he was apparently too busy to take the call. Why does he call him PapaJack? Because Tom has always liked the name Jack so when the grand kids were born, he took the opportunity to christen himself PapaJack and the name has stuck.
Papa Jack has also offered to take over some of the home schooling for our daughter’s seven-year old twins. She is immensely grateful as she’s working from home and on the phone or in Zoom meetings constantly. Her husband is in the other room also on the phone all day long. So having the twins home all day then being expected to home school them gets overwhelming. PapaJack said he’d take over the arithmetic problems. He started with both girls together and that did not work. Let’s just say one has a better attention span than the other one. He decided to work with them separately. They were given worksheets with 60 problems! (I thought that was a lot for first grade. In fact, I’d hate to be presented with 60 problems now.) It did not go well. Problem number 10 said to draw three things with the longest to shortest. This was exciting. He was working with the less focused twin but now she was into it. She loves to draw. She started by drawing a Post-It note. Tom wondered how she was going to go from that to something shorter and then yet shorter. She was on a roll, and wasn’t stopping at three things. This was way better than arithmetic. Tom however, became very unfocused and dozed off. Our daughter happened to walk by and saw him and yelled “Dad! what are you doing?” He jerked awake. “I might have to suspend you” she said. Meanwhile I can hear the back and forth from the next room and it is very entertaining, I am enjoying it immensely.
I’m getting ready to sneak out to my favorite grocery store again. I am longing for normalcy, will it ever happen? Things used to be so good just a few months ago and it now seems like years ago. Have you been let out yet? If so, have your activities returned to a semblance of normal?