Confession No. 1,039
Dearest Porcelain Goddess, I bow before you, or rather, sit upon you with earnest gratitude for the physical separation you afford me from my children. We are a couple of weeks into our shelter-in-place mandate, but the "in place" aspect seems to elude my kids. They are never sitting still in one place — unless by "in place," the mayor meant my face, in which case, yes, the children do this often, as they crawl all over me, making a fort out of my body and a lookout tower, their favorite place to perch, out of my head. If only they could shelter "in place" on something else, the way I have opted to shelter in place on you, dearest toilet, as long as the heavens will allow.
I didn't think it would be like this. I pictured something akin to the von Trapp family, a merry household connecting via song and sewing our curtains into clothes. After all, medical folks do keep referring to our fight against COVID-19 as a war. I thought there would be random dancing by nightfall and pillow fights and puppet shows, just as all wars have. But despite the idyllic imaginings of family time spent together, the reality has been far less "The Sound of Music" and far more "The Hurt Locker," with friendly fire being the cause of most casualties.
The bangs and booms and crashes and screams and cries are perhaps the least expected part of this semi-quarantine. Have my children always been this loud? This explosive? This accident-prone? This daredevilish?
I say you offer me physical separation, as opposed to peace, because the children are currently banging on the bathroom door, demanding to know why I ate so much coconut if it gives me tummy troubles.
I do not have tummy troubles. But I did eat a lot of coconut.
I've been learning a lot about myself in the past two weeks. I don't like what I see, and it's only partially the fault of the poor lighting in here. I am not cut out for this whole home-schooling/work-from-home/isolated existence. It's making me coconuts. I, like my children, don't exactly excel at being "in place." I enjoy activity, freedom and experiencing new things. Semi-quarantine allows for very little of those. So when I went grocery shopping today, I found myself buying foods that could possibly create experiences. I bought a coconut and dragon fruit and fixin's for tacos.
The children oohed and aahed at my purchases. I knew I had to make this wonderment last, so I milked each experience. I asked my kids whether they could guess the mythological animal the spiny pink and green fruit was named after.
"A unicorn!" yelled my daughter.
"A dragon!" yelled my son.
"That's right, a dragon," I said.
"Why not a unicorn?" my daughter squealed. Then she proceeded to cry for the next hour.
She only calmed down an hour later because I told her the coconut had been purchased for her because her favorite character on "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" says "oh, coconuts" all the time. We went outside to crack it open. I used a screwdriver to make three holes and pour out the liquid. The children drank it. They were impressed. Then I used a hammer to cut the coconut in half and scoop out the meat. I told them we were pirates on a desert island. The children began to cry.
"So we are deserted and away from our friends even in our imaginations?!" They sulked away. I had failed again. I ate the coconut meat myself.
"Luckily," I thought to myself, "we have Taco Whatever-Day-It-Is this evening."
I taught the kids how to cut peppers. My son almost lost a finger, but we made the meal unscathed. We sat to eat. The children refused to touch the meal. They'd had a meeting; they don't like tacos anymore.
It's 10 p.m. The children are still refusing to sleep and, as I said, banging on the door. A few minutes ago, I poured myself a much-needed drink, thinking to myself, "Fine, if the kids don't want to have a fun and fancy quarantine, it doesn't mean I can't." I told myself I'm on a desert island. I poured some rum into the coconut shell. I picked the wrong side, the side with the three holes. Rum leaked out everywhere. Can't even enjoy a pina corona.
I'd better go; it's late, and my daughter needs the potty. Groundhog Day starts tomorrow at 7 a.m.
Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.