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Quarantining with Evie

Quarantining with a preschooler (soon to be kindergartner) is both wonderful and terrible.  Mostly wonderful. But sometimes I feel like I'm doing a terrible job as a mom and as a sudden teacher.  And then other times I feel like I deserve an award for working my full-time job and still teaching her things.  I oscillate between these feelings as fast as I find snacks throughout the day, because why not? 

Here are some things Evie has learned during this time of quarantine:
1.  How to say I Love You.  As of August, she now says, "I love you SOOOOO much!"
2.  How to dance the Robot Cha Cha, courtesy of her music teacher sending along videos. Robot Cha Cha is a made-up dance, but she actually dances to Apache, by the Sugar Hill Gang.  Every single night. 
3.  How to tell Daddy to dance the Robot Cha Cha, and make us all giggle.  Now Evie just points at her Dada and says, "Dada Dance." And then he has to dance.
4.  How to read the words "God," "love," "pray," "toe" as of April, and now as of September, I can truly say she can read most words in a board book.  She doesn't even let me read the words for her Bedtime Prayer book now. She has to read it to ME.  She is very proud of herself. 
5. Leaving the house is a source of joy when you stop taking it for granted.  We have gone to Russell Orchards, Cape Cod, Horn Pond, and countless trips to the playground once it opened.  It's been so helpful to leave the house. 
6.  To ask for the book "Peck Peck Peck," she can hit the button for "woodpecker" on her Nova Chat (if you don't know this book, it is one of our favorites).
7.  To cook something in the microwave for 1 minute. Don't worry, she's not strong enough yet to open the microwave door herself. 
8.  That her reflection is visible in the oven door and the microwave door when she wants to look at herself...all the time. 
9.  Simon Says MUST be put to song, and Mommy must sing it with the ukulele every time, and dance around until she is panting excessively because she is now completely out of shape.
10.  How to coast down the driveway on her scooter without hitting the bushes.
11.  How to pretend to count to 10 during hide and seek while totally peeking to see where Mommy or Daddy went to hide. She refuses to hide. She only seeks. 
12. How to be adventurous in tasting foods like broccoli, french fries, ribs, cheerios, and noodles. Her newest favorite is cranberry sauce--she is truly my daughter. 
13. How to play T ball indoors and tag kitchen appliances as bases.  I blame this Youtube kid: https://youtu.be/AZUAh3iA75Y


14.  Evie's vocal language has really taken off in the last 6 months.  She now independently says things that surprise me, like "Mama hug Evie" and "Purple Stars (for which pajamas she wants to wear)."  She spontaneously bursts into song, and sometimes gives a monologue that I don't completely understand.  Her favorite pastime is naming all of her plastic vegetables. It's going to be a good rest of the year as she expresses herself in so many more ways! 



Things I have learned during this time of quarantine:
1. How to transition quickly from a Zoom call with preschoolers to a Zoom call with colleagues. It should be interesting this fall with hybrid/remote learning!
2. How it is essential to have leggings for each day of the week.
3. How much I love and miss the cameraderie with my colleagues at work.
4. The many ways of spatial engineering necessary to fit food in my freezer.
5. The many items I can make with overripe bananas.
6. How short Evie's attention span is after I took the trouble to set up a game or something to cook together. (We are working on this!)
7. How much I appreciate my husband, who does his fair share of hide and seek, feeding tube schedules, bath time, feeding meals, and picking up whatever takeout I am craving.
8.  That the Netflix show Kim's Convenience is hilarious.  And how much I enjoyed Crash Landing On You on Netflix, which jumpstarted my new hobby of watching Korean dramas.  
9.  That good ergonomics are essential in keeping me feeling like an 80-year old woman after working from home.  I finally gave in 5 months later and got a new desk chair!  
10.  Seeing patients during a pandemic makes you work faster in the exam room, but has also made me ask myself how I can connect with people in the short time I have with them, and despite wearing a mask and goggles. 
10. That we are so immensely blessed to have a ray of sunshine named Evie who makes quarantining not so bad, when we are having dance parties and laughing over the little things.



And that brings us to September, my friends.  Evie starts kindergarten amidst a pandemic, but she is going to be ok.  She keeps a mask on pretty well, and her excitement for learning and her desire to see new places will carry her through the transition.  

If you're the praying type, we could use prayer for the perfect 1:1 aide (ESP) for Evie.  Her wonderful aide for preschool is not continuing with her to kindergarten, and this is another opportunity for God to provide yet another wonderful person in Evie's life.  We also are transitioning to full-day school, which is a first.  This means eating lunch by mouth in school. With the delicate balance between her need to eat enough to gain weight, and the potential distractions at school, this will likely be a key point of transition.  They are making accommodations for her, but I'm still concerned, especially as we continue to wean her off the feeding tube.  Thanks for your prayers and positive thoughts!

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