Friday, March 13, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Canceling Life As We Know It, Wise Sayings That Backfire, and Going Out With a Bang

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Does anyone else feel like they're watching a car accident happen in slow motion right now? Because I sort of do.

At the beginning of this week, our lives weren't very different because of COVID-19. I had basically just started making my kids wash their hands before dinner, which frankly I should have been doing anyway.

But now the governor has declared a state of emergency and things have been changing pretty fast. By Wednesday, every field trip, concert, and event the kids are involved in for the next few months had been canceled. On Thursday, Phillip's job sent all employees home to work from their living rooms, the church temporarily suspended all meetings for Latter-day Saints across the world, and the school closed.

Making plans now feels like making plans during your last month of pregnancy: "Sounds like fun maybe it'll even happen!"

I know that for most people, Coronavirus is not something to be feared. It'll simply be a major inconvenience as everything on the calendar gets postponed. Such drastic measures are being taken so hospitals can keep up with the uptick in people who need them, not because we're all going to die.

It's just... weird.

And I really hope I get my money back from those canceled field trips I already paid for.


My children, however, are carrying on with business as usual.

Some kids do gymnastics on tumbling mats; mine use their sleeping father.

If you say "I need to take a short nap" then they say "Absolutely, Dad. I can see you're really ti — DIVE BOMB!"

Seriously, bookmark this post and just show it to the next person who asks you why people with kids look so exhausted all the time.


I went to lunch with a lovely group of ladies on Tuesday. We were all asked to bring the last book we read and give a little blurb about it.

Which was fine, except the last book I read was Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers {affiliate link}.

Actually, that part was okay. I loved the book. I thought it was funny, fascinating, and extremely well-written (and researched.) I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it and I plan to check out other books by the same author next time I get the chance.

The not-okay part was that we shared our book recommendations while eating, and it turns out most folks don't enjoy listening to someone go on about cadaver ballistics testing, organ harvesting, and anatomy dissection over carrot cake.

It was still a great book, just an unfortunate context.


My teenager is was getting ready for an upcoming formal dance for our church youth, appropriately called "church prom." She found a beautiful dress on Amazon and this weekend we went shopping and came home with the perfect jewelry and shoes to match.

Church prom was, of course, called off this week. Add it to the long, looooong list of canceled events she was really looking forward to.

They're going to try to reschedule for later in the spring/summer, but there's no guarantee. So I'm not sure what we should do with the expensive dress, necklace, and shoes with their tags still attached.

Do we return them, assuming prom won't be rescheduled? Or do we keep them, assuming it will be, or that she can wear them next year?

What if we keep it all and she grows out of it (even though we think she's done growing) or decides she doesn't like it by the time the next prom comes? Or what if we return everything and then they do reschedule and she can't find it again (it took a while for her to find what she liked the first time)?

What would you do??


Something I say all the time to my youngest two sons is "big boys try." I've been using that line for at least two years, since my 5-year-old automatically gives up whenever he gets frustrated.

Things like that can backfire in funny ways.

I recently changed the passcode on my phone to keep my 3-year-old from playing on it without permission, but what actually happens is that he now just keeps entering the wrong one until it locks everyone out.

The other day I picked up my phone to use it, but saw the message "try again in 28 minutes."

"Hey!" I accused him. "You locked me out of my phone!"

"No," he explained. "I was just trying to get in it. 'Cause big boys do try."

Dang it.


Another message gone wrong from this week:

Over the summer we were given a copy of Dear Boy, a picture book of short life lessons like "it's important to be kind," "it's okay if you don't win as long as you do your best," and so on. One page is a vague introduction to the idea of consent, saying "Dear Boy: Yes means Yes. Anything else means No."


Fast-forward to several months later, after my 3-year-old has requested his 50th snack right before lunch, and I say no.

"But I want Craisins! I just want Craisins!" he starts to whine.

I reach for the cupboard, but then I stop myself; I don't want to reward that behavior. Firmly, I tell him, "Listen to me: 'no' means 'no.'"

My 3-year-old smiles at me and chirps, "And anything else means 'yes!'"

Sorry, authors of Dear Boy. I know you're doing your best to teach the rising generation about consent, but the only thing my son is learning is to exploit loopholes in the English language to get more snacks.


I work with the 11-14 year old girls at church, and this week we had the best youth activity. We had a Book of Mormon read-a-thon.

I loved the idea but I admit I wasn't sure how it was going to go. Would some of the girls get too fidgety and restless? Would they think it was boring? Would they be into it at all?

But I shouldn't have worried, because my co-leader planned the whole thing and it was amazing. Everyone came in their comfiest pajamas or sweats and brought a blanket/pillow and their Book of Mormon.

We read while we ate some snacks, took a break for scripture charades, read some more, then chose a favorite scripture and my 13-year-old taught us some handlettering techniques to write it all fancy-like.

There were nine girls in the room so it took a minute to get quieted down, but once they settled and all started reading, it was such a beautiful sight.

I guess that was the last youth activity for the immediate future, now that the church has suspended all gatherings during the pandemic. At least it was a good one to go out on.

For reference, here was the treat I brought. This is a Book of Mormon prophet named Samuel who preached on a city wall. The actual wall was probably not made of Cocoa Krispie Treats.

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Jenny in WV said...

Your cocoa krispie treat wall is pretty cool!

Everything does feel very weird here with the virus stuff. I live in a college town so with the students leaving, at least there will be less traffic? I'm trying to find the bright side, but also a bit worried about running out of TP.

Katie said...

Keep the dress, and if the dance isn’t rescheduled take your daughter and some friends out to a restaurant all dressed up - doesn’t even have to be a fancy place. And maybe she’ll also want to wear it next year. Too bad, I know she must be disappointed!

jen said...

It's seriously like an episode of "The Walking Dead" here in western Washington.

PurpleSlob said...

I'm worried about seriously, is running out of tp, since everyone else is hoarding it!! That would be a true nightmare at my house! But then, we'd find out if the "Family cloth" idea is feasible!

Kimberly said...

I stocked up on toilet paper a couple weeks ago, before everyone else freaked out. Sometimes it pays to be paranoid. ;)

Now, if only I'd thought to buy a bunch of hand sanitizer to sell on the black market.

AnneMarie said...

How exciting that you and your daughter found a beautiful dress to buy! Since I find that it can be difficult to find beautiful fancy dresses that are tasteful, so I'd definitely keep that one. If you'd really like the money back, maybe hold onto it a few weeks before returning? It's insane to me how in the span of just a couple days the status of this virus (and life as we know it) can completely flip-flop.

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

We are in the same boat, my daughter just got a dress for an even that is cancelled. It's wild to me to see how fast this went downhill. We are just keeping on with the homeschooling, so things won't be that much different. Hang in there!