Wednesday, April 15, 2020

COVID-19 Shutdown Forced Homeschool Parent Log – Day 33

Forced Homeschool Parent Log – Day 33

Hope was lost on Day 4. Now all that we have is the endless grind.

Today is our last day of what the school district laughingly referred to as “spring break.” In the before-time, spring break was scheduled to be only one week. We had dreams of travel and adventure. Those dreams are now but a distant and crushed memory of what once was. Just darkness ahead now. The darkness of remote learning.

After my exceedingly polite letter to them asking for the elimination of spring break this year due to the extenuating circumstances, the school district actually extended our new worthless, trapped, virus-ridden “spring break” an extra three days. A cruel, possibly vindictive joke that only forced us to come up with three more days of spring break home school courses until the distance learning begins again tomorrow.

We covered lawn maintenance, car maintenance, pool maintenance, irrigation system maintenance, bicycle maintenance, vacuum cleaner maintenance, coffee maker maintenance, electric wine opener maintenance, garage paint can collection maintenance, shower drain maintenance, and today, toenail maintenance.

The curriculum for my Appreciation for the Cinematic Arts of the ‘80s & ‘90s class was derailed by an academic mutiny, led mostly by my wife. I think I lost her trust at Uncle Buck and, amazingly, failed to regain it with Crocodile Dundee I and II. Whatever. It’s not like anything matters anymore.

The mutineers have decided that we will instead watch every single Marvel Avengers movie (approximately three hundred of them) in timeline order. We are halfway through and, consequently, our couch has developed an impenetrable layer of popcorn residue that is either serving as a protective barrier against wear and tear, or slowly destroying the cushions underneath us. Time will tell.

Meals have devolved into a standard routine of serve-yourself brunch, snack at random, and usually cereal for dinner, with dessert popcorn during the nightly Marvel movies. At first, we were ashamed of what we’ve become. Now we embrace it.

If the boys start to annoy us too much now, we’ve taken to keeping them in the game room by getting “high COVID readings” on my new “COVID meter” (one of our old Blackberry phones). We tell them there’s a viral outbreak in the kitchen or the family room, or wherever, and I put on my welding helmet and Latex dish gloves, hold a can of Lysol, and tell them to shelter in place until I have disinfected the stricken room. Then my wife and I have a few drinks on the patio before we give them the all-clear.

In an effort to limit our store trips, we have been attempting to eat as much as possible from our pantry and our freezers. We have a large chest freezer in the garage that slowly filled up to the top with frozen delicacies over the years. We are more than halfway down into the frozen cavern now, and ice axes have been deployed. Any attempt to retrieve food at this point looks like an arctic expedition.

Tonight, we are having a Stouffer’s Party Size Macaroni & Cheese that no one can remember purchasing, paired with some Van de Kamp’s Crunchy Fish Sticks that would have expired in 2009 had they not been completely encased in ice all these years.  

Or cereal.

Stay strong, people!

See you soon,


Copyright © 2020 Marc Schmatjen

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  1. Love this! The COVID meter is pure genius! Hang in there.

  2. Thanks! I foresee another day of high readings in the general downstairs region.