One of the biggest challenges of parenting during the Pandemic is trying to figure out how to juggle the competing responsibilities of “working full time” while also acting as a “teacher” during the day and still maintaining the normal “parent” role as well as keeping up with all the homestead responsibilities that keep this place running.
It’s not easy, especially since the Padawan desperately miss their friends and teachers. Admittedly, we cannot give them the attention they deserve compared to what they are used to while trying to juggle everything else around. And, honestly, they’re probably getting bored with hanging out 24-7 with us as well. Honestly, I’m quite done with them and if it weren’t for their joyous moments I’d be completely out of my gourd.
Early on we tried to put together some structure for them based on what we could from their original schedules. We had meal times, and project times, and worksheet times, and play times, and nap times mapped out in what we thought would work.
And, as I expected from my many years of project management, the first version rarely works. The concept was good. The execution sucked and no one stuck to it. The second version, the concept sucked but the execution was good. It still didn’t work, though, obviously because it was too hap-hazard.
So, this week we’ve all been working on creating a third optimization of our failed experiment. This balancing act employs an off-the-cuff suggestion I had about making a clock with no numbers.
This produced a nice art project where we took a paper plate and some colored construction paper. We cut some pie pieces and decorated them with a series of tasks, like meal time and sleep time as anchors and then combinations of worksheets, projects, reading, play, music and more. In theory, you could start the clock at any anchor point and then follow through the different things that could be done. There’s some stability in it while also offering some creative variation over time.
The older padawan is very routine oriented though, so we ended up with the anchors being quite fixed initially… breakfast is always followed by a worksheet, reading, project, etc. the first few days which made the transition on us too.
It really helped from a behavioral standpoint so far. They are both more excited about doing things. Part of it is moving the arrows on the clock which is fun in and of itself. Part of it seems like visualizing what comes next which was missing with the ambiguity in the old system. Part of it is the fact that this created a series of inter-related projects, so far, that dovetail off the original clock.
I’m not sure how long this will last but I’ll absolutely take the temporary serenity. The chaos was getting to a breaking point and now they are functioning more, or less, like normal toddlers instead of pandemic padawan as they were becoming.
20 albums, 20 days
Tagged by Rob via Kevin
–the “influence” of concept records–
Day Eight: Norma Jean – O’God, The Aftermath: The Marvelous End of the Exhausted Contender – 2005
This might be the most interesting interpretation of what makes a concept album in that every title, in short form, is a Portmanteau while the long-form title includes a trivial explanatory. Thematically, it’s a social critique and I’ve been told it was done in a theoretical round, in which the different perspectives overlap across songs which is why the titles are presented as portmanteau.
Whatever the logic behind it, the recently revamped Norma Jean sonically built on their tech-core foundation with Christian metal nomad Cory Brandan at the helm and an inspired devotion to focusing their chaos. It is filled with nerdy riffs, off-kilter breakdowns and shifty vocalizations that also appealed to scene kids who were desperate for something familiar yet found the experience challenging.
There’s a lot to like about the effort in bits and pieces, which was the initial attraction of scensters. It’s full of great parts: pull quote lyrics, slaying riffs, brutal breakdowns, scream along choruses, solid singles. But, it’s so much more than the sum of it’s parts and that’s why it’s one of the reasons as much as I love the album as much as I do for a top-to-bottom listens and part of what’s sustained it among the techcore community for the last 15 years.
What am I eating?
Simple, quick to throw together, fuck this I might be solving the parenting but work is going to shit gimmie some comfort food, food.
Breakfast? After a bagel I was hungry a few hours later and made a breakfast Quesadilla. Lunch? Quesadilla. Lack of dinner before bed snack? Quesadilla.
The bastardized mexi-murikkkan meal of white people trying to be ethnic that has become Quesadilla is pretty much what I’m working with — two tortillas, some cheese and a fry pan.