And here I sit on our couch as Maddox is playing on his iPad doing his vest treatment with Daddy. A part of our normal routine that still carries on. The vest has been with us through the Polar Vortex, thunderstorms, Christmas Eve at Grandpa’s house, birthday parties and now we can add the Covid-19 Self Isolation to the list. The hum of the neb’s compressor, the shaking of the hoses of his vest and the cartoons of the games he plays on his ipad is the only normal thing in our house right now. Who would’ve thought that his vest treatments would have such a huge meaning of ‘normal’ for us in our household.
I would imagine our story is not much different than everyone else’s. The nation was getting word that the Covid virus can spread without any warning and people were getting pretty sick. This is one of those stories of, ‘where were you when it happened’. I was in a bar with my co-workers having a beer with them after work and discussing all the news of countries and states starting to close everything down. I was sharing that if things get bad, that I would have to pull Maddox out of daycare and school to protect him from the virus. While at the bar, one of my co-workers told me that the governor had ordered all the schools to be closed and that a “safer at home” order was on the horizon for the state. And then the panic kicked in, ‘now what’, can I work from home, should Nick take FMLA to be home with us, what about school, what about daycare, what happens if Maddox gets sick(this provided the most anxiety out of all the questions).
Schools were closing on Wednesday March 18. Nick and I made the decision to pull Maddox out of school and daycare starting that Monday. Later on, the Safer at Home order was put into place until April 24, where everyone needs to stay home. All the sports have been cancelled, the Olympics were pushed back a year, all concerts and events of 10 or more people were cancelled. Then, non essential businesses were ordered to close and everyone was instructed to stay home to slow the curve of exposure for everyone.
So, here we are – a very active family that had events planned for the next few weekends. Everything on the calendar cancelled and we are told we are to stay safe within the four walls of our home. Granted this is WI and we have been in the safety of the four walls of our house all winter already. Thankfully, it was a pretty mild winter that we could go ice fishing and sled riding to be able to get outside. This also meant that I would be working from home while Nick would still be going to work. There was a night where we had so many questions of ‘what do we do’ that we were literally sitting on the couch so lost in our thoughts for the protection of Maddox and trying to figure out we should do. If it was just the two of us, it would have been so much easier. Thankfully, I can work from home but it still will have it challenges.
The first week of isolation was a huge change for both Maddox and I. When transitioning to work from home, we needed to learn new things about each other and how we were going to try to function. I quickly learned that working a full time job and being a full time mom/teacher/etc. at the same time is quite the task.
Throughout the first week at home, Nick and I went through a few ways to explain why we couldn’t go shopping anymore or why we couldn’t see our friends/family. We did the pepper in water with soap demonstration with him and said that everyone has germs and until the germs are gone we can’t do much. Maddox grasped the concept, he wasn’t scared but very aware. After we did the demonstration we then wrote the song “Happy Birthday” on his mirror and we revisited how to wash the germs away and re-emphasized we need to wash our hands all the time. The first week, Maddox didn’t have any homework as the school district was working on a transition game plan but they did send a few websites that we could find and learn on. We set up our front bedroom as the office/school room and off we started our first week of Isolation.
Now that we are on week 4, the first 3 weeks flew by but they did have their hiccups. There were days that I feel that I was on more conference calls then working with Maddox and I feel that a lot of other parents felt like they were in the same boat. There was one day that Maddox and I gave each other a big hug in the bathroom as we were crying trying to figure this out. The next week I took a few days off so we could spend more time together. Throughout the weeks, we are starting to fall into an attempted routine. A few positives on these weeks have been that our mornings are way less stressful as we are able to wake up when we want (within reason), eat breakfast when we are ready, still do our morning vest treatment, work on homework from school, go outside before lunch and play. We make a lunch and then attempt to have him nap/have quiet time and then by then daddy is home so that I can catch up on work.
It’s not the best of schedules, but it’s working for us as it’s less stressful. I can keep an eye on emails coming in, he’s still learning something every day and we know what to expect (sorta). In the mornings, I try to have some sort of life lesson or something cool that we can share and in the afternoons he plays with daddy until we have dinner.
Throughout the past few weeks, our Team Maddox network has been amazing to help us break up the days and have something to surprise us or look forward too! We have picked up a pen pal from Rhinelander (Hi Teddy!), we had some awesome door stop drop offs from Wine and flowers, to crafting supplies, strawberry milk (Maddox’s favorite), cool bubbles, to Facetiming with family and friends.
A few things that Maddox and I have done in our time together includes; making our own homemade shirts, painting our windows, adding hearts to our windows, and going to a few local parks to get outside to enjoy the fresh air. In the beginning April 24th sounded so far away and such a stressful time, but the last 4 weeks have actually flown by relatively fast and as of right now, Maddox is doing great. We are doing our part by washing our hands and keeping 6 feet away from our family and friends. Every day the news is sharing that the peak is on the horizon, just in time for summer fun!