Thursday, 10 September 2020

Day thirty nine of the quarantine: an experience

Prague Daily Monitor |
24 April 2020

This morning was like any other. I was looking forward to another day of home-office. Hiding in my bedroom, not thinking about sleeping, but about the work I needed to do. Predictably I knew my wife and kids would be playing in the living room or learning something new on the terrace. The lack of interaction with people other than my immediate family was taking its toll on me. The attempt at interaction over a computer was not the same as a genuine visit. In general I fell into a somber mood, a bit bored with the situation.

I finished my coffee and looked at the clock. It was 8:15 and I had a lot to do. I loaded up the computer and thought about what to do first. Naturally, before jumping into a project I turned on some music. I don’t really understand people who associate themselves with one genre of music. The whole urban thing is the biggest awe to me. I love an array of music, including urban beats like Rap and R&B, but could never devote all to just one: body and mind. Above all I love my emotional attachment to the various international interpretations of various genres I have had the pleasure of being part of during my globetrotting days. So when I start listening to music it either depends on my mood, or sets my mood.

I tuned into Youtube because there are some great videos. CCR jumped up in front of me so I started with some energy. The issue is that CCR reminds me of drinking with my friends in Canada and the USA so it quickly brings out a nostalgic mood. The next video I clicked on was a Russian rocker who’s song is covered brilliantly by a female singer in tune to the scenes from the Russian war movie The Fight for Sevastopol. And then I went into the Thai rock which brings further nostalgia from my days of volunteering at a school in the jungles in the North of the country. So within three songs my mood meandered into a difficult to reverse nostalgic drift towards a “what am I doing with my life” moment.

Thank goodness my son walked in and yelled his dramatic “oh my goodness!” line. I snapped out of it remembering that I am not allowed to think about the good ole days – I have people to feed and business to conduct! I switched over to Ice Cube and that got the blood pumping and work flowing.

In fact I fell into so much rhythm that I worked straight through lunch, completing everything by 18:00. I came downstairs and then I needed to play the games, run around and have my family time. The kids are relentless and have no idea what exhaustion means so they just run and run no matter how hard I try to con them into playing a less physically active game.

We are also in the midst of toilet training the youngest so that can be intense. Some parents say it comes naturally, some say it doesn’t come at all, and we say it is a lot of patience and work. We are at the stage where we just guide the child to the little toilet most times, often he goes himself and sometimes there are “surprises” which actually aren’t surprises as they happen almost every day.

So playing turned into a nice dinner of roasted potatoes, pickles, and pickled cabbage and tomatoes. Yes you read that correctly, the tomatoes are pickled too. We had a nice dinner, watched some cartoons and slowly got everyone ready for bed. As we were prepping I heard the “Oh my goodness” remark from my oldest. I walked over to see what the fuss was about and as I entered our bedroom my oldest was pointing to a mound of brown on the rug and was quick to point out that it was not his. My wife had had enough so I volunteered to clean it up.

As I went into the kitchen to get some cleaning products, my eldest in tow, my wife had started to put the kids to sleep. She came into the kitchen to grab the oldest and he looked at me and said “Now pap, make sure you clean-up the poop.” I answered “you bet boss.” He repeated it two more times and was very set on me not forgetting to go clean up the excrement that had dried into our bedroom rug. At that moment it was clear to me that those are the moments I will be reminiscing about in 20 years every time I hear Old Macdonald.

I went to fulfill my duties and laughed about what an eventful evening we were privy to!

Paul Lysek – The idea of writing a daily update came to me by seeing, hearing and trying to understand all the things that are happening around us at this time. This story is a combination of all those sources, including friends, relatives, and experiences with attempts to bring out the satire, emotion and changing environment of the situation. It is entirely fictional, with the exception of my sarcasm.