I’ve been thinking about the kids.
Truly, I think about kids all the time. I am surrounded by my own. They crawl on me and attack me with tickle fingers and yell at me and defy me and crawl on me some more. I manage them and change them and sometimes feed them (that job mostly falls to my husband) and nowadays I teach them.
When Trump took office, I thought about the kids in a different light. Now after the insurrection on the Capitol on the 6th, I wonder how our kids — and their kids — will function together.
I recognize that I say “our kids” and “their kids.” I’m specifically thinking about the kids and grandkids of the people who stormed the Capitol.
Many times in the four years since Trump took office, we’ve had questions from our oldest child, and sometimes our middle child, too. Why did he say that? Is he mean? Is he a bad guy? etc. And yeah, we answered those questions as succinctly and honestly as we could. Many times I’d ask my son how he felt about whatever it was he was bringing up. He isn’t being kind. He isn’t thinking about others.
Our kids weren’t asking questions about the guy’s policies. They were asking about the way he conducted himself, as a person.
This guy has led so many adults astray. He has done serious damage to family units and pushed family members apart. My concern lies with the kids who overheard Fox News commentary for these past four years, or heard their parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents speak glowingly about that guy. How are these kids going to manage in the classroom or on the field or whenever there is anything that does not go their way? This tantrum that the former president threw resulted in five people dead. How is that being explained?
Of course it was a horrible day and I hope Trump will not be allowed to run for public office in the future. And of course there is a lot of immediate aftermath here that will I hope be handled in Congress. I just wonder how these kids are going to be together in the future. How will they function in a group? How will they ever resolve any conflict? What does resolution even look like, when you have THAT as a model?
Just a little look-see at my day.
Wake up at 4:17 to a screaming baby.
My husband brings him in to nurse.
Oh look, there’s the seven-year-old next to me in bed. Huh. I didn’t notice him. Thank god he no longer kicks me in the face while he sleeps. I guess he’s getting taller and is not that flexible anymore?
Nurse the baby. Think about Samuel L. Jackson and his “Go the F*** to Sleep” book but not because, of course, I want the baby to go the fuck to sleep, but because oddly Alexa the evening before suggested this book to read aloud to my five-year-old when she asked it about reading suggestions.
Remain awake but in bed with the also awake and also in-bed baby and sleeping seven-year-old for the next two hours.
Finally after 6:00 I called my husband from the seven-year-old’s room to take the baby.
Sleep for about an hour.
Get up and get ready for a video visit with the pediatrician to address why the baby’s cheek hasn’t fully healed from the impetigo he had and then learn that we will have to take him to a dermatologist. Great.
Vacuum the rug in the “school room” (dining room turned classroom for the distance learning we have been doing for almost a year now) so that all the other seven-year-olds on Google Meet don’t judge me for having crap on the floor.
Get the first grader onto his first meeting.
Take the baby’s first outfit of the day off as it has been encrusted in food and then put him down for a nap.
Get the five-year-old on her Zoom class.
Engage in first fight of the day — nee, year! — with the first grader who doesn’t want to do any of his work and begins to cry because I won’t give him a break after the very first class of the day — nee, year! — because that baby is asleep right now and damn it if we don’t try to be productive while that is the case.
Give the first grader and five-year-old lunch early because the first grader says he’s hungry and he doesn’t want to do Social Studies.
Oh look, the baby’s awake.
Feed the baby and wonder why I bother putting clothes on him.
Coerce the big kids into their 1:00 classes somehow.
Keep the baby from pulling down the still-standing Christmas tree.
Listen to the first grader begin his list of what he wants for his birthday coming up in August while not realizing he hasn’t even unboxed most of his Christmas gifts. I’m so glad I went overboard on presents this holiday.
Shit, I haven’t eaten yet.
Go find the baby next to the Christmas tree.
Yell at the first grader that he needs to do all of the SeeSaw activities even though he has decided he wants to take up napping again.
Let the first grader nap while I put the baby down for one, too.
Fully realize the mistake in the above decision.
Continue letting the five-year-old watch YouTube Kids.
Do a small percentage of work while the house is fairly quiet.
Coax the first grader awake with the promise of a snack.
Get the baby.
Listen to the first grader whine for the next couple hours as I try ignoring him, helping him, doing something entirely separate from him but conclude that there is no way I can painlessly get him to finish his work. He flops on the couch, and then he flops on the other couch, and then he flops on the floor to find a comfortable position in which to finish his one last worksheet of the day. The baby crawls over and drools on the iPad, and so the first grader complains about that and finally finishes his last activity after 5:00 PM.
My husband comes up from working downstairs and I do one more pull-the-baby-from-the-Christmas-tree before going upstairs to sit in our room and remember the hit-by-a-truck feeling I’d had when this all started in the fall.