March 2020. A month that all of us will forever remember in our minds. It was the start of something that would change the way we live for years to come. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that it feels like this pandemic has been going on for so long that I have a hard time remembering what life was like pre-pandemic. You know, not wearing masks everywhere. Not worrying about staying six feet apart. Seeing family and friends whenever we want and not thinking twice about it. Those were the days, right?
So much has changed since then, including the way we talk. I mean, if you would have told me back in 2019 that terms like ‘social distancing’, ‘self-isolate’, and ‘lockdown’ would become the norm, I probably would have thought you were crazy.
But it got me thinking about all the things I’ve said to my kids over the past year or so that sound completely normal now but would have made no sense prior to March 2020. So, I’ve put together a list of 5 things (and I’m sure there’s more!) that I never thought I’d have to say to my kids. Parents, I’m sure you’ll relate!
“Do you have extra masks?”
How many times have you checked your kids backpacks for extra masks before school? Or asked your child this exact question as they head out the door? A couple of years ago masks weren’t even a thing unless you worked in healthcare. Now, we have masks everywhere! In backpacks, purses, pockets, glove compartments, and most likely…hanging from the rearview. Masks have become so normal that we actually got our boys masks for Christmas with their favourite NFL teams on them – and they LOVED them! Yes, they got excited about face masks!!
“Turn your camera on, mute your mic, and listen to your teacher!!”
If your kids aren’t currently doing in-person learning, they’re at home learning virtually. As I type this, I’m listening to my 10-year-old learn French from the dining room table. I’m constantly asking him to listen, pay attention, make sure his mic is off when he’s not talking, and to turn his camera on when needed. The fact that kids can still get an education during all of this is wonderful, but still not something I ever thought we’d be doing. What would we have done in the 80’s and 90’s??
“No sorry, they aren’t in our bubble.”
Ahhhh, the bubble. Is the bubble still a thing? I know that was the term used early on in the pandemic to describe the small group of people we were ‘allowed’ to associate. Explaining to kids that they can’t get together with their friends, the neighbours, or even family is hard. Our guys are a bit older and understand what’s going on, but I imagine trying to explain this to little ones is very challenging. For parents, and the kids.
“Stop it! We CANNOT go to the emergency room right now!”
How many times have you yelled this over the past year? With two boys, aged 10 and 12, I’ve said it more times than I can count. It almost happened last Spring though when our youngest wiped out on his bike. Luckily, steri-strips did the trick!
“Sorry guys, restaurants are closed for indoor dining.”
Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? I mean, it kind of sounds normal to me now (which is also weird) but it’s something I never thought I’d ever have to say. Before March 2020, I don’t think I ever thought there would be a reason why EVERY restaurant would have to close their doors. I’m sure we’re all happy take-out is still available so we can enjoy food from our favourite local spots!
As a parent, what things have you found yourself saying to your kids during the pandemic that would have sounded crazy before all of this? Share them in the comments below.