Stuck at home? We’re all in this together…separately.
I can’t believe how quickly the world has changed in just over a hundred days. Wasn’t it only yesterday that I would bring Nanette to the park, to play on the slide and sandbox with her favorite toys? I was thinking about our spring and summer plans and now, well, it’s all been put on hold. Not to mention the fear, real or imagined, about the threat of a virus that can’t be see or smelt circulating all around us. At first, I just thought everyone around me was being another panicked, overprotective helicopter parent. Surely, everyone is panicking over nothing. But when the schools shut down, my heart sank, and I knew life wouldn’t just go back to normal.
What to do with all this free time?
What the heck was I going to do with Nanette all day? How was I going to keep her busy, or entertain and educate her, whilst making sure she wasn’t glued to an IPad and that I wasn’t panicking around her or transferring my stress, worry and anxiety onto her? I needed a glass of wine. “Ok, calm down Nathan, you can do this”, I told myself, after all, I had spent years fighting to make this solo parenting happen. I had encountered worry before, and was used to the feeling of shuffling one-step forward two steps back. I can handle this new uncertainty as well. Right?
What kind of activities should I do?
I knew that in hindsight I would look back on this time as a rare opportunity where I had the chance to bond with Nanette like I never had before. I wanted to keep her active and motivated, to teach as well as to just have fun silly days. I looked around at all the city had to offer online, especially since all our arts and education organizations have moved online and are now offering classes, exercises, and games for families and friends.
- Check out Calgary’s very own Quest Theatre and Storybook Theatre activities.
- Parade magazine is now offering over 100 ideas to keep your kids entertained.
- Disney Plus+ is a real lifesaver in our post-dinner evenings.
Global action, local commitment
At first this whole ordeal was so isolating and overwhelming. But knowing that these organizations, both local and international, have teamed up to reach out to parents, solo and coupled, made me feel less alone in these trying times. Their dedication and love for arts and children restored my faith in community and I know we will get through this in the end. And when we are finally allowed to return to the park, I know Nanette and I will be a much more bonded family because of this ordeal. In the end, I know that a lot of you will thrive and do well. This will be a learning experience for all of us. So keep isolating, stay safe, and check out the rest of my blog here.
Nathan and Nanette