It’s Day One, and things are still a little surreal. We still went forward with our plans, shopping for furniture and taking a leisurely lunch while our kids’ godmother looked after them at home. We’ve shut down just about anywhere where 250 people or more could gather, but it was clear there’s still several of us not quite ready to shut ourselves off from the world.
This is only short-term, though. The restaurants and small businesses operate in constant fear of a national lockdown, barring doors and keeping everyone at home, so we’d better enjoy it while we can, right? But I’m taking every spare moment I can find to jot some thoughts down, sure they’re a lot better here than jumbled inside of my head.
I think I’m trying to hold on to a sense of normalcy as long as I can, fully aware that it could all get a lot worse before it gets any better. But the most important thing we can do right now is prepare, and that includes what we’ll do while the kids have nowhere to go.
If You Fail to Prepare, You Prepare to FAIL. (And Nobody Wants That, Right?)
In the comic book circles, there’s this theory called “Prep Time Batman”—that Batman with sufficient time to prepare is capable of overcoming anything. And that’s what it feels like with this coronavirus March Br3ak—that preparation is everything, and the only way we’ll make it through is with the right tools. And while some obsessively hoard toilet paper like there’s no tomorrow, I had other things in mind:
- Muskoka Brewery‘s Middle of Noir from its Moonlight Kettle series, because those cans are limited edition, and I’ll need to get my sour beer fix till I bring some Blood Brothers back into my life
- Plenty of writing supplies to record the journey until we’re back to something that looks like normal
- And, of course, actual food, since toilet paper’s not going to do a damn thing if you don’t introduce any food into the digestive equation.
But no matter what your essentials might look like in the times ahead, they’ll only do so much for you if your kids drive you up the wall with all that pent-up energy from being trapped inside for so long.
But it’s in situations like these where we step up and do what we do best—share the resources and knowledge we need to survive all this time inside, even when these kids make that problematic.
I’ve seen plenty of lists flying all over the internet in the past day, so if you’re not spending more time on your Facebook than you probably should like some people I know (see: myself), let me show you a whole bunch of things you can do over March Bre3ak!
Things to do at Home Where the Coronavirus Can’t Get You
1) Play a Rousing Round of Hero Kids.
So as the Dad in a gaming family, when Steve suggested Hero Kids for the kids and me to try, it was probably the easiest $20 I’ve ever spent. It’s a role-playing game you print off from PDFs, and like Dungeons & Dragons, you develop your characters, fight monsters, and adventure around in search of fame and glory! The boys are excited by the prospect (I mean, they’re playing Monopoly for crying out loud…), so I’ll let you know more once we try it out!
2) You Can Take the Kids Out of School, But You Don’t Have to Keep School Out of the Kids!
“It’s important to remind our kids that while school’s closed, it is by no means a vacation,” says every well-intentioned parent ever.
Yes, the time away from school makes for a very different routine than the one they know, but it doesn’t mean you have to throw everything out the window!
And to that effect, several educational companies are offering their resources for free for all these displaced kids while we wait for COVID-19 to blow over.
Here’s one possible approach you can take to make the most of it:
- Follow Jessica McHale’s COVID-10 Daily Schedule to build some structure into their lives so they’re not too messed up when they finally go back.
- If you’re short on ideas, check out the Princess Awesome & Boy Wonder Giant List of Ideas for Being Home with the Kids, with nearly a hundred different things you can do to make the best use of your time.
- And once you’re ready for them to learn a thing or two, places like Scholastic and a bevvy of other educational companies are offering up resources from kids from kindergarten through to Grade 12 so they’re not missing out too much on everything that school has to offer. Also, check out the list from Kids Activities!
And trust me, you want to keep your kids as busy as possible, lest you find yourself repeatedly annoyed by them because they have nothing better to do.
What’s YOUR plan for this unexpected March Br3ak?
And that’s it for the first day of The Great Quarantine—as much as I enjoy having all this extra time to write, a man’s gotta rest sometime.
I hope you’re all keeping safe out there, and if it all ever feels like it’s a little too much to handle, remember—one day at a time is all we’ve gotta do!
Be well, everyone, and until the next, I remain,