When news spread that we had officially entered pandemic territory and schools were ordered to close their doors, a friend texted me with words that instantly made my palms sweat and my heart race: “I’m going to the dollar store to stock up on arts and crafts supplies for the kids.”
The idea that I would be stuck at home with my three-year-old and nine-month-old and responsible for supplying them with an endless variety of crafts and activities to occupy them was enough to make me run up to my room to see if I had any refills left on my Ativan prescription. I love my kids and I’m happy to read to them, watch TV with them, wrestle with them and snuggle them. But standing by as one of them dumps a bin of rainbow-coloured rice onto the floor while the other one sticks his fingers into a container of red paint and smears it on his shirt because he refused to wear a smock and now both are shouting and crying? That does not fill up my cup with parental joy—and more than a year into the pandemic, I’ve now decided I’m done with it. Forever.