Granolavirus, Week One

“Granolavirus” is apparently what Eleanor and her friends were calling COVID-19 outbreak before everything got turned upside down.

William’s social studies teacher sent out an email encouraging all his students to keep a diary of this odd, uncertain time. The idea went over like a lead balloon with the kids, but reminded me that I really out to come out of hiatus for this one.


Days since schools closed: 10 (although it feels much longer)

Episodes of Panic Baking: 3 (all from the Midwest Made: Big Bold Baking from the Heartland). I tell myself that I’m doing this so the kids and I can enjoy “kuchenziet” (aka German teatime, but literally translated as “cake time” which I think we can all agree is superior). I’ve made the “Donut Loaf,” (which also describes my current lifestyle), “Wednesday Night Brownies” (which I am totally making every Wednesday from now on) and “Potato Chip-Chip Shortbread,” (which are made with potato chips and chocolate chips, and were the kids’ favorite so far)

Days Eleanor Spent in Bed Not Talking to Anybody: 3. With bonus Refusing to Eat or Bathe or Go to Bed at a Reasonable Time Action!

Yes, it was kind of scary with Eleanor for a while. She took it very hard when everything in her life got cancelled. School musical, robotics competition, choir concerts, our family’s Disneyland trip — poof. Gone. I’ve been doing my best to not freak out on her and be gentle, but it’s hard. She still occasionally regresses and becomes Surly Silent Girl who insists that she’s “fine.”

[insert beleaguered sigh here]

Homeschool Charts Getting Checked Off: 2. William is the most checklist-oriented person I’ve ever met, and Katie generally follows his lead. Fortunately, I still have our stash of homeschool workbooks left over from when I was tutoring Jeff in math and writing — enough for both Wim and Katie. “History” time is when I read a chapter out loud from The Story of the World, and  twice a week we do a hands-on science experiment. It’s fun, although I fear the honeymoon will be over soon.

Homeschool Charts Getting Kinda Checked Off: 1. Getting Jeff to do anything besides watch YouTube is an uphill battle. He’s doing some math … ish, and reading books … ish.

Homeschool Charts Being Pointedly Ignored: 1 (See Eleanor’s Couch of Despair, above). Eleanor declared that “she wants to learn Latin,” so her “homeschool” is endless Latin language games on Duolingo. Things began to improve when her Geometry textbook arrived in the mail. She now spends a few hours a day taking meticulous notes in a math notebook and solving the problem sets Brian picks out for her. For the first few days, she also refused to read anything (I had to go do some Panic Baking in response) but now I’ve got her hooked on The Wee Free Men. That’ll have to do for the humanities.

Fights Over Internet Access: too many to account for

Nights We’ve Been Woken By Jeff Walking Around the House at 1:00am: 2 (Which, admittedly, sounds like something I’d do at age seventeen, but HONESTLY)

Things I Can’t Do Right Now: Practice piano, knit, or type for more than few minutes. This is because I’ve given myself a repetitive-stress injury with the Rachmaninoff prelude I spent all of last quarter working through. (It’s such a beautiful piece of music! I am heartbroken that I cannot continue mastering it!)

Having all my stress-relief activities taken away at the onset of this crisis is doing nobody any favors. I ordered a finger splint from, and it arrived on Friday night, and it seems to be helping (it allows me to knit a little, too).

And yep — my hand is aching right now, so it looks like I’ve hit my limit. Sigh. Tune in for more granolavirus updates in the future …


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