Zen & The Art of Quarantining, By Molly Olivo

Scrabble tiles spelling "We Will Be Okay"

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

Here at Child’s Play, we place a lot of importance on childhood, developmental play, and fun.  As our book buyer, I spend a lot of time talking to parents about how important it is to read with their kids, create positive associations with books and family, and really be present with their family. Given the current situation, I think that is even more important, but there are also lots and lots of things that are not important right now. As a teleworking parent of a toddler, I spent the last week trying to do everything perfectly. Do the cool crafts, read the best books, sanitize everyone and everything that goes in or out of our house, do the laundry (I’m not sure why I thought I could do that now… I have never been caught up on it before), make well-balanced meals and homemade snacks, and keep up to date on the mountain of work I have to do. Long story short, none of that went the way I had planned, and I was over-tired and crabby by Wednesday. As I have worked on lowering my expectations and creating some sense of normalcy for my kid, I have come up with a handy list of things that we don’t need to worry about, along with one thing we do.

Things you don’t need to worry about:

  1. Wardrobe. You and your family can wear whatever you want right now. Prom gowns, sweat pants, several different mismatched polka dots. Who cares? Your pictures might not look as picturesque on social media, but that might be a good thing for everyone’s mental health. 
  1. Keeping your kids occupied. That is what Child’s Play is for. Email us or set up a concierge appointment on our website and one of our staff members will help you pick out the LEGO sets, science kits, puzzles, logic games and stomp rockets that you need to keep your kids occupied, engaged and happy during these trying times. 
  1. Zoom meeting interruptions. I get it, no one wants to look unprofessional, but we are all in the same boat. Everyone has kids at home, pets pawing at the doors or a messy office set up. If your team is going to hold it against you, then that is on them, not you. 
  1. What to read. You set a lofty reading goal when this all started, didn’t you? Something like reading War and Peace or “that book about Alexander Hamilton that Lin Manuel Miranda used for research.” Being stuck at home makes it seem like you are going to have lots of calm time sitting in window seats. Just email us or order a book grab bag from our website for your kids and for you, and we'll find you some books you might actually read and enjoy. 

The only thing to worry about:

  1. Enjoying your family. Instead of worrying about making everything perfect, stop to play a game or read a book together. (Grandparents, you can host virtual storytime!) We all need something positive to focus on, and what could be better than family?

Just remember — your kids are fine, you are doing great, and everyone is wearing sweats under the table during your meetings.

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