As a family, we've been unintentionally hitting a lot of universal quarantine milestones.
This checklist appears to include activities and experiences that reflect "the new normal." Specifically, virtual play dates, dinner parties, happy hours, music lessons and baking copious amounts of bread-type foods to help contribute to the next item on the stay-at-home to-do list — gaining weight.
The children seem immune to this particular consequence, due in large part to the fact that they don't care for my from-scratch cinnamon rolls, cherry cobbler or blueberry scones. This has unfortunately led to me eating most of these homemade goods myself.
The kids and I have also handloomed, painted, attempted needlepoint, made God's Eyes and sorted buckets full of beach rocks collected over years of adventuring along the water's edge.
We played the pandemic scavenger hunt for hot finds like hand sanitizer, yeast, garlic (yes, seriously) and toilet paper. The image of me, masked and fast-walking, to the back corner of Target because a sale associate said there were a few packages of toilet paper remaining from that morning's shipment will always stick in my memory as one of those moments from the pandemic where I thought, "Is this what I've become?"
I attended a wedding on Twitch, a funeral on Zoom, business meetings on Microsoft Teams and writing workshops via FaceTime. But the real personal checklist fail moment came when I decided to give my son a haircut.
My son has a lot of hair. It's like a beaver pelt; just loads and loads of thick hair. I love it and I like to keep it a bit on the long side (I'm a big fan of the British schoolboy haircut). But after five months of no haircuts, Declan was struggling to see through the mop of fringe that lay over the top half of his face.
When my husband bought a hair trimmer and asked if I would shave his head in our backyard one sunny day, I had my reservations. However, once I started, I really found my groove. Buoyed by the success of taking my husband's hair down, I thought it was the perfect time to also give my son a little clean-up.
There is a reason we go to professionals for haircuts. Years of sitting in a chair watching someone cut and style your hair does not qualify you to be an expert stylist. I learned this the moment I set down the shears and stepped back to see what I had done to my son's hair.
It was bad. Envision Moe from the Three Stooges and add a glaring bald spot above the right ear because my husband had taken the guard off the shears without me knowing. That is what I had done to my son's head. When Declan asked for the mirror, I steeled myself for his peals of horror.
Instead, I was met with, "I love it! I look just like Mr. Spock on 'Star Trek!'" He wouldn't let me fix it. He claimed it was the "perfect" look. So now, when I look at my son's face, I have a daily reminder of a miniature version of Jim Carrey from "Dumb and Dumber."
Many lessons can be taken from these months in home isolation, but nothing has been as humbling as thinking I could play hairstylist in my backyard.
Molly Cavanaugh of Channel 94.1 FM's Big Party Show in Omaha is a mom to two children living in Chicago. She writes weekly for Momaha.com.
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