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One day at a time

OkotoksToday and Western Wheel reporter Krista Conrad's daily update on working from home and raising five kids suddenly out of school amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Day 11
"No Boys" allowed in the dining room, where Hannah works on crafts next to big sister Brooke, who is completing her English 30 assignment on March 26.

Day 11: Patience is a virtue

And I’m not the one losing it, which I honestly didn’t see coming.

It’s Hannah who has already had enough, and it’s been less than two weeks. This little girl doesn’t like to be told what to do – or more importantly, what not to do.

So not being able to go to the park when she wants to? Not okay. Not being able to go sledding or come with Mom to run errands at the store? Not okay.

Today, she was fed up. Mom was working at the kitchen island as usual, and after their first school block and outside play/exercise break, it was time for arts and crafts. Brooke was busy in the dining room with English and Social 30 and opted to continue with her schoolwork while Christian sat in the living room doing some felting and Alyssa decided to go for the musical arts and play the piano in the loft.

Hannah wanted to paint. And she wanted to make felt animals from a little crafting kit I found for her last week. But she didn’t want to do it alone.

So she hunkered down at the dining room table next to her big sister, but everyone doing their own thing was too much for her.

The five-year-old came out.

Suddenly she was in her brother’s face asking questions, requesting new songs on Google (I swear, if I hear either Into the Unknown or Show Yourself again…moms of Frozen 2 fanatics know what I’m talking about), and generally being the mosquito in her siblings’ ears.

Christian finished making his felted orange, basically a ball of fluff, and tossed it at her when she came at him for the twentieth time.

Not okay.

The next thing I knew, Hannah had returned to her animal craft, but she had also posted a sign on the dining room table that read, “No Boys.”

We all laughed and asked why she had done it, and her answer was simple: “Because he bugged me.”

She carried on through her day, made her way through a numbers activity from school and watched some “Alpha-bot” episodes on YouTube (her latest obsession). But this little girl is definitely getting stir crazy.

When I disappeared into my bedroom to take an interview call on speaker phone, as I’ve been known to do regularly for the past two weeks, I heard the familiar question from the other room: “Where’s Mom?”

She popped her head through the bedroom doorway and I held up one finger at her – enough to say, “Mom’s busy, not right now,” without so much as a word. She nodded in understanding and walked away.

But like the proverbial cat, she came back. Again, a finger to indicate it’s not the time, another nod.

This time, she proceeded to walk into the bedroom and stood beside me, watching as I listened to my phone call. Then her little arms slipped around me and she stayed there, embracing my legs and smiling as I held her close. She quietly slipped onto my bed and waited patiently for me to finish.

It was sweet, and made it clear this is definitely not a normal work day. Similar conversations, maybe. Very different environment.

The moment I hung up it began – “Mom, can I…”

Thanks for waiting, little bug. If this journey teaches my five-year-old anything, it’s going to be patience. Because without that right now, I don’t know how we’d make it.

Krista Conrad, OkotoksToday.ca

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Krista Conrad

About the Author: Krista Conrad

Krista Conrad is the news reporter for Okotokstoday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper covering Okotoks and Foothills County. For story tips contact kconrad@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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