It started before it officially started. We cancelled our family Spring Break vacation to Hawaii. Then Preschool announced that they are closing from March 16 until April 6, because SFUSD is.
Then we got a note with a screenshot of a news article about one elementary school closing because of students with suspected virus and a suggestion that we should keep our kid home on March 13 as well. I asked what the connection was (none) and told them we’d do a half day because I had an appointment until noon.
The next morning, we got the Big kid off to preschool like usual, I attempted to get the little one to nap, and I planned what I was going to do with no preschool. The last point in this list was more anxious fretting and Instagram scrolling than anything useful, but I did find a book to buy with ideas of what to do with the preschooler.
At 12:08 pm on Friday, March 13, my maternity leave came to a screeching halt*** when I picked up my daughter. She was one of two kids at preschool.
We started by going to pick up a Target order of supplies for confinement: Post It notes, Chutes and Ladders, finger paint, blank cards to make, Diet Coke, laundry detergent. Target was a complete zoo, a Black Friday number of cars in the parking lot and people streaming in and out.
Then we went home and the fun started. By that, I mean we watched 45 minutes of Baby Bus (it’s like a Chinese Little Baby Bum), finger painted for a grand total of 3 minutes, and tried to get the baby to sleep with the big one yelling “Mama, I need you.”
The afternoon seemed like an eternity. I tried going for a walk with the little one in the carrier and the big one in her stroller with her tablet, but was thwarted by her refusal to wear decent shoes or a coat. About 10 minutes into the podcast I was listening to, we had to turn around because she was cold. A bit later, we all went to Lake Merced to walk. The parking lot was full, but it seemed sparse and we only saw a few runners and groups of people. It was a nice walk, and good to be outside, but it also felt surreal.
We had In-N-Out for dinner, as we often to on Fridays, but this time we took it home with us. The drive thru was busy, but there were very few people inside.
The evening was fairly normal after that. We learned that everyone at preschool was going on “vacation” for three weeks. The big one resisted going to bed. The little one finally fell asleep for good after three attempts.
At least they slept through the night.*
*** Yes, I’m being dramatic, and yes, people have it much worse (front lines, are sick, etc). Yes this is hard and it is not what I signed up for. I was supposed to go on vacation to Hawaii (now postponed) and I wanted to spend the last few weeks of my maternity leave snuggling the baby and going to mom and baby yoga instead of doing preschooler activities all day while my husband attempts to work in the kids’ room/ office.
* His first time!