Pandemic in Pictures: Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

After getting some chores done (most notably, cleaning the fish tank; once again, the snail population continues to outpace our ability to contain it), I took Benji on a neighborhood scavenger hunt on Saturday afternoon. He never wants to go for walks, so I didn’t frame it as a walk, and I didn’t force him to go to a park to walk on trails.

Instead, Ian and I just created a very long list of items to find that required quite a bit of walking. We ended up spending nearly an hour outside, all told, and found all but one item (“An out of state license plate” — a bummer, since our next-door neighbors have a Corvette with Minnesota plates, but their garage door was closed so we couldn’t see it). Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Biking

I’m still riding outside, albeit alone and carefully (the last thing I want is to go to the emergency room!). Advantages of riding alone: I can stop for pictures any time I want.

Here was my ride yesterday:

Inside the Thunderstorm
I rode my fast bike, no fenders, and soaked through everything.

Here was today:

Sammamish Slough and Thunderheads
I rode my rain bike with full fenders and it never rained.

Pandemic in Pictures: A Little Harmless Chaos

Before we get to the chaos part, a little parenting vignette.

We had Benji scheduled to do a phone interview with a guy who’s doing a podcast of interviews with kids talking about their experience of coronavirus. My Uncle Gerard suggested it, and I think it’s a cool project. So we were doing it. (I’ll post more about it when Benji’s episode goes live on the podcast. Edit to add: See the post about the podcast here.)

Five minutes before the interviewer called, Benji decided he really, really didn’t want to do it. He started melting down into his spiral of resistant complaints, excuses, whining, and arguing. I didn’t have time to deal with all that crap — by then we were at T-minus three minutes and counting — so I went full scorched-earth bribery: “If you cooperate with this, you can have an ice cream sandwich for breakfast.” Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Alpha-Bakery Children’s Cookbook

When I was a little girl, we obtained — I don’t know how — a children’s cookbook. Produced by a flour company, it contained the requisite references to “Gold Medal All Purpose Flour” in each recipe, but nevertheless also contained 26 recipes perfectly suited for teaching kids the basics of baking. During our enforced stay-at-home time, Benji and I have started baking through every recipe. It being Benji, of course we’re doing them in alphabetical order, with perfect rigor. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Park Perambulation

Okay, I admit, I couldn’t resist alliteration in the title, even though it’s a bit absurd. All that to say, with playgrounds closed…

Pandemic: Closed Playground
Although it looks like a purposeful stride, he didn’t continue on to the playground.

…we’re getting more creative with what to do outside. Fortunately, we live in a place with lots of good woodsy parks. Woods are God’s playground, and kids have played in the woods forever. Although I wish Benji could play with other kids his age, rather than a couple tired old adults who already spent the day and their energy on lame work, still we attempt to play in the woods. On Monday, Ian took Benji to a woodlands near our house, and they had a great time. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Learning Continues

Angry coronavirus.

With schools closed for the duration, we’re creatively thinking about how to keep Benji learning and occupied during the day. At the moment, I’ve arranged standing daily classes or chats with three people, each of whom is teaching Benji something they specialize in. Thus, he’ll be learning some about history, writing, and French from my uncle; art, storytelling, music, and some script writing from my mom; and Pokemon from my sister. Just kidding–although they probably will talk Pokemon a lot, Colleen and Benji will be working on writing to answer specific questions, too. TBD. Continue Reading >>