Working From Home During a Pandemic: a photo montage

The kids’ last day of in school education for the 2019/2020 academic year occurred on Friday March 13. During the month, while we effortlessly (insert guffaw here) transitioned to online education, Brian and his staff continued to enter NYC, the epicenter of the contagion, each day and tirelessly worked to ensure that the company employees were able to work safely and remotely.

On April 14, 2020, Brian’s first day working from home, he got up, showered, and proceeded to put on business attire, down to the shoes. I snapped a pic, joking that he didn’t understand how working from home is supposed to work, and from there, things just kinda kept going.

Below is a photo montage and original captions of Brian, working from home. As the pandemic continues and working from home is his new norm, I will continue to add to this collection when possible. It is definitely a work in progress.

4.14.20 Day 1:
Today was his first day working from home. Taking bets on how long the suit lasts…

Day 2, working from home: no jacket and started out in slides but then changed to work shoes to “break them in.”
Someone needs to break HIM in…

Day 3 of working from home: the suit is back

Day 4: Jacket required, tie optional
(Not sure he knows it’s Friyay)
#fancynancy

Day 5: Sunday Salutations vs Monday Meetings… plus proof that he owns more than just suits and golf clothes
#alldressedupandnoplacetogo

Now this is where it started to get fun…

Day 6 of working from home:
Suits & Sorcery
#notsohiddenmickey

Day 7: I triple dog dared him to keep the hat on for his meeting with the president of the company…he declined. #nofun #whysoserious

Day 8: You’re welcome
#Moana #IslandDreaming

Working From Home Day 9:
The Unbirthday Suit
#AVeryMerryUnbirthdayToYou #DownTheRabbitHole

Working from Home Day 10:
The seclusion may be getting to him as he’s gone a bit batty.
#BatDad

On April 28th, daily jokes, memes, and props entered the mix whenever available, after I repainted and reorganized the office…

Day 11: Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirates life for me…
#swashbuckler
Daily Joke Answer: A pirate’s favorite letter be an arrrrr, but their true love be the c.

Day 12 of working from home:
I’ve got the magic in me
#HeWhoMustNotBeNamed
Daily Joke Answer: You’ll find Dumbledore’s army in his sleevey.

Day 13, working from home:
#seussical
Daily Joke Answer: Puss in Boots

The sun did not shine
It was too wet to play
So he sat in his suit
On this wet quarantine day

He sat and he stared
At his computer and zoom
He talked and he listened
To Cara & Lou

When will this be over?
When can we go back?
It is his job to work out
The best plan of attack.

Will it take a week, a month,
A year, maybe more?
We have no way of knowing
What else is in store.

Unless it is safe,
Until it is sound:
He keeps his staff safe.
He won’t mess around.

So he sits and he works,
All dressed up at home;
Planning on his computer
And talking on his phone…


Working from home, Day 14
#TopOfTheMorning #DressYourLuck #MayDaymayday
DJA: If it’s a French fry.

There once was a man who was quarantined
Working from home on day fourteen
He dressed every morn
Business attire was worn
For he claimed ‘twas more comfortable than blue jeans


Working from home: Day 15
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…
The galactic planets, suffering from a relentless contagion, banded together to stop the spread, protect life, and search for a cure…
Meanwhile, the supremely misinformed leader of the United Federation…
…Nah. Too easy…
May the 4th be with you!
#maythe4thbewithyou #maytheforcebewithyou #workfromhome #covid19 #stayhome #thisistheway
DJA: To get to the dark side

Trabajando desde casa día 16: Olé!
#cincodemayo #tacotuesday #its5oclocksomewhere
DJA: Inchilada

In related news, here’s some history about this popular holiday that does NOT celebrate Mexican Independence, as most people believe. Have a read:https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.history.com/.amp/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo


Working from home, day 16:
It’s a jungle in here!
#exotic #coolcat #tigerking #calvinandhobbes
DJA: Nothing. He’s already stuffed!

Working from home, Day 17:
TBT to draft day.
#flyeaglesfly #latetothegame #getyourheadinthegame
DJA: A bald eagle

Working From Home Day 18:
Welcome to District 13
maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavor #hungergames #taskforce
DJA: A yellow jacket

Working from home: day 19
The party continues…
#happybirthday #thedayafter
DJA: Age

Working from home, Day 20:
All aboard the crazy train!
#toottoot #trainwreck #offtherails #offtrack
DJA: Because they’re not a conductor

Working from home, day 21:
Mahna Mahna
#muppets #singalong #quarantinelife
DJA: Swine Language. But her first spoken language was pig Latin.

Working from home, day 22:
Bringing it way back today
TBT #OswaldTheLuckyRabbit #DisneyOriginal #MickeyMouseClubHouse #Hopper
DJA: To find Pluto

23 days…it took 23 days for him to NOT shower & put on business attire. He claims it’s bc all of his conferences today were phone only and that he has to cut the grass later. Whatever the reason, my work here is done…
#workfromhome #whereswaldo #wheresbrian #isthatasmileisee
DJA: So he won’t be spotted

Working from home Day 24:
In planning the company’s “return to office” strategy, Brian was attempting to think outside the box…it’s not going well…or is it?
#thefarside #thinkoutsidethebox
#deconstruction #reconstruction #adapt
DJA: A map

Working from home, Day 25:
Not the mask he thought he was getting, but I think it’s purrfect.
meow #hissyfit #covidcatastrophe #thundercatsho!
DJA: None. The other 9 were copycats

Day 26 of working from home:
Trying to keep things light for his Board Meeting.
#rainbowbright #sunshineandlollipops
DJA: In prism

Day 27, working from home:
Brian is beginning to doubt his house…or at least his housemates
#resort #sortinghat #muggledup
DJA: Because they’re both cauldron

Working from home day 28:
On this Memorial Day weekend we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to those who have served, continue to serve, and to remember those who gave their lives protecting our freedom.
#memorialday #landofthefreebecauseofthebrave #remember #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy
DJA: Liberty

Working from home day 29:
Brian, trying to keep his coworkers safe, is fervently researching other companies return to work strategies, unconvinced that this is the right thing to do at this time as much of the scientific data shows a high possibility of a second wave that will be even more deadly than the first: “Coronavirus. Very dangerous. You go first.”
#namethatmovie
DJA: Because their career was in ruins

Working from home, Day 30
This pretty much sums up how his day is going as you can tell by his face:
“Wrong sir, wrong! Under section 37B of the contract signed by him. It states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if…et cetera et cetera…It’s all there black and white clear as crystal! You stole fizzylifting drinks! You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized so you get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!
#candyisdandybutliquorisquicker #somuchtimeandsolittletodo #snozberries
DJA: Recess pieces

Working from home day 31:
After yesterday’s stress, Brian is taking a bit of advice from Elsa today, while embracing his inner (and outer) Anna.
#letitgo #frozen #bewarethefrozenheart
DJA: Because she’ll just let it go

Working from home, day 32:
From princess to villain…
#allinadayswork #maleficent #hornsforhairdontcare
DJA: Malefiftycent

Working from home, day 33:
When the coach lets you know that the season can finally start!!!
#softballdad #softballlife #playball
DJA: They touch base

Working from home, day 34
Brian, fervently following the news, is trying to keep his company abreast of any and all potential problems…
#PartonMe #bighairdontcare #DollyPartonMemeChallenge
DJA: She was tired of working 9 to 5

Working from home, day 35:
Some days the return to work protocols all makes sense, and some days it’s all gibberish.
#lostintranslation #thatsnothowanyofthisworks
DJA: Because they always get lost in translation

Working from home, day 36:
Drama queen 🎭
#phantomoftheopera #pastthepointofnoreturn #masquerade
DJA: Pasta Point of No Return

In related news, this popped up in my fb memories today and was totally “operapropo” for today’s theme. Originally posted 6.5.13 when the kids were 4, 3, & 18 months old. I still remember it as though it was yesterday:

So I pull up to a red light and there’s a gentleman in the truck to my left. He smiles at me, a skeevy kind of crooked grin and just then, Lady J rolls down her window revealing the chaos in the back seat:

K-Mad in the middle with both legs in the air trying to reach her siblings and laughing her maniacal laugh. Maxman pushing her leg away and shouting, “No Kendy! Pwease stop!” And Lady J happily singing, “He’s here! The phantom of the opera!”

The man looks horrified and turns to face forward, both hands gripped tightly on the wheel, and speeds off as the light turns green…


Days 37-41, while Brian continued to work from home, the kids and I took a brief hiatus for the week.
#DownTheShore #HappyPlace #ToesInSand #BookInHand

Working from home day 42
Happy Holiday Week!
#christmasinjune #jinglethis
DJA: Because he likes to hoe, hoe, hoe!

Working from home, Day 43
Light it up, up, up…
#getlit
DJA: Hanukkah lasts for eight nights. Dragons ate knights.

Working from home day 44
Irish you good luck getting through the rest of this year
#luckoftheirish #shannanigans
DJA: Paddy O’furniture

Working from home day 45
He looks more like Lord Farquaad than Queen Esther, but I can only work with what I’ve got.
#purim
DJA: Polly-Esther

Today, the last day of “holiday week”, in lieu of a funny picture of Brian, I ask that you learn about and celebrate Juneteenth, the day that the slaves of Texas learned of their freedom, two and a half years AFTER the
Emancipation Proclamation.
Today we celebrate that every person in these United States are free. Tomorrow, we continue the path towards equality.
Please visit www.juneteenth.com for more information.
❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💗🖤🤎🤍

Balanced

(6.30.19: 12yrs)

You are the untucked side to my hospital corners

You are the the collared shirt to my yoga pants

You are the beer to my wine, the whiskey to my vodka, the coffee to my tea, and the Gatorade to my water.

I am the marathon in your golf game

I am the veggies to your steak

I am the spend to your save

I am the test in your patience

I am conservation. You are conservative.

You are law. I am equality.

I feel the passion. You search for facts.

I am the storm. You are the calm.

We take the time and make the effort to listen to and learn from one another. We celebrate and argue together. We agree to disagree. We don’t have it all figured out, but we’ll figure it out together.

We are a balancing act, acting as both the support and security net for each other. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I am…still smiling

Convos with Kids: Old School

The scene: Malt Shoppe

Young server to Max: Excuse me sir, but you need to remove your hat when inside this establishment.

Max complies.

Max, after thinking about it: Mom? Why do I need to take off my hat but Jordyn and Kennedy don’t?

Me: That’s a great question! It has to do with some very old school rules on etiquette and manners. Men had to remove their hats when entering a building and women didn’t. I’m honestly not sure why or when it originated. We should look it up.

Max: Well I don’t think it’s fair.

Me: I honestly don’t disagree with you. In fact, when I was in high school, my teacher made a guy in my class remove his hat but not me. They got into an argument over fairness and he wound up getting a detention for arguing with the teacher. I felt horrible even though it wasn’t my fault.

Max: Yeah. But you probably should’ve taken off your hat too. But that still doesn’t make it fair or change the rule.

Kennedy: Well, ya know, boys can go topless at the pool and girls can’t do that so that’s not really fair.

Jordyn: But would you really want to be topless?

Kennedy: No. I don’t want anyone to see my nickles, but why is it ok if boys show theirs?

Max: Maybe it’s because boys don’t make milk in their breasts.

Jordyn: True. True. But usually only moms with babies make milk. Like our mom stopped making baby milk because we don’t need it anymore.

Max: Good point. So why do boys even have nipples?

Kennedy: Maybe it’s just for decoration.

Jordyn: Maybe it’s so they look more like women.

Max: Maybe the next level male people won’t even have them.

Jordyn: Mom, is that possible with evolution?

Server, approaching carefully: Um, can I get you anything else?

Me: An expert in history and evolution?

Convos with Kids: Parental Guidance

The following conversation took place at a family event while the other adults sat across the table, enjoying their own conversation…Thanks for the help…

Max: I’d really like to see that movie Little

Me: You mean the one where a grown up turns into a child again?

Max: Yeah. It looks like it’s SO funny.

Me: I agree but it’s not for you.

Max: What? Why? It’s rated pg13 and you let us watch pg13 all the time!

Me: The “pg” stands for parental guidance. Daddy and I do our best to guide you to appropriate movies. While Marvel and DC movies are pg13, we think you’re ready for the content. The content in the movie Little is a bit too mature for you, so no. You can’t watch it yet.

Max: Then can I see Deadpool? It’s a Marvel movie.

Me: Absolutely not. It’s rated R and the content is 100 percent not appropriate for you.

Max: Is there kissing?

Me: More than kissing.

Jordyn: Like sex?

Me: Yes. And horrible language, and a ton of gory violence.

Max: Like the f word?

Me: Worse

J: Like s-h-i-t?

Me: Way worse

J: Worse than h-o-e?

Me: Yes. And how do you know that word?

J: From Penelope*

Me: Do you know what it means?

J: Penelope said it’s when a girl has sex with a lot of different boys. Like if Amelia* had sex with Griffin* and then with Adam* and then…

Max: Or it’s a tool. Like for digging in the garden.

Me: It is a gardening tool. And yes, Jordyn, that is a terrible name to call a girl who behaves that way. Name calling is never ok. And besides, while you may not agree with her choices, they are hers to make. She is in charge of her body, just as you are responsible for yours.

J: Is there a word for a boy who has sex with a lot of girls?

Me: There is not a mean word for boys who make those choices. In fact, quite the opposite. While girls are often insulted for that behavior, boys are often celebrated.

Max: Well that doesn’t seem right or fair. I’m never calling a girl that. Girls need to be respected too. Plus, I still don’t understand why anyone would do that a lot.

Me: I’m proud of you for recognizing that, Max. That’s very mature of you.

Max: So now can I see Deadpool?

Me: Nice try, Bud.

*All names of children have been changed to protect the identity and privacy of my children’s friends/peers

Convos with Kids: Lenten Shabbat Recipes

Kennedy: Wait, are we having salmon for Shabbat dinner?

Me: Yep

K: But why? We usually have chicken for Shabbat.

Me: It’s lent so we can’t eat meat on Shabbat for a few weeks.

K: But you’re Jewish

Me: Daddy is Catholic so we respect his religious practices

K: But salmon is meat! It’s fish meat!

Me: According to Judaic law & Catholic law fish isn’t considered meat. I don’t know why so please don’t ask until I’m not driving and can google it.

K: But why?!?! Fish are animals so salmon is fish meat!

Me: I’m so glad you pressed the issue. I realize that it makes no sense. I think it’s because fish don’t produce milk. I know there are more details but they escape me for now.

K: Fine. But I only like salmon sushi or bagel & lox. Not cooked salmon!

Me: I hear ya. But this is what I’m making for dinner. You don’t have to eat it, but that’s what I’m making, along with asparagus, rice, and spinach salad, like I said before. You can eat whichever part you want but I’m not making you a special dinner. You know I don’t play that game.

K: Well, can I have goldfish instead?

Me: One, Goldfish are generally pets and not food. Two, I already told you we are having salmon. Three, what are you talking about? We don’t have goldfish.

K, looking forlorn, folds her arms and sulks: We do in the snack closet.

#touché

Happy 3rd Lenten Shabbat! The first week I defrosted corned beef until I realized it was lent so I ordered sushi via Grubhub. Totally worth the last minute save. Yum! Last week we had dominoes pizza at a Cub Scout pack meeting and it was deliciously not nutritious and I enjoyed every bite.

This week I finally got it together. Below is this week’s recipe. Hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

Spinach Salad: 5 minutes prep to table

Rinse, drain, and toss the following into a bowl

-baby spinach

-chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

-salad cut hearts of palm

-marinated artichoke hearts

-chopped baby cucumbers

-chopped apple

-Italian seasoned crumbled feta or crumbled blue cheese

(No additional dressing is needed because of the marinated artichoke hearts and cheese but I’m sure a balsamic would be lovely if you must)

Rice:

I usually use brown rice or quinoa but got out voted this week. I season my plain white rice with Jane’s Krazy Mixed-up Salt, and add fresh chopped parsley* right before serving. High in bad for you carbs, but zero net gluten. Pick your poison. (*Pro tip: Make sure you floss after brushing if you add the parsley…but also because you should floss after brushing anyway… don’t be lazy. Your gums will thank you.)

Asparagus:

Tried something new this week. Mixed reviews from the peanut gallery, but I LOVED it! Hashtag nomnoms

-bake asparagus* in a shallow pan at 375° for about 10 minutes (I spray a touch of oil on the bottom to prevent sticking and season with a bit of krazy salt but neither are necessary, though quite delicious) I like my asparagus bright green and crunchy. If you like yours more well done, keep it in longer.

-sprinkle shredded mozzarella on mozzarella and place back in oven just long enough to melt cheese

-drizzle balsamic glaze atop cheese & asparagus

-live life to the fullest and enjoy every bite

*Dog owner pro tip: save the ends of the raw asparagus and chop into treat size bites for your pup. It’s delicious, nutritious, and helps clean teeth and freshen breath.

Salmon*:

-Season with juice of 1/2 lime, 1/2 lemon, and old bay

-Grill…or bake if you must.

*We use wild caught Alaskan with the skin on and the kids (ok, us too) LOVE the crispy grilled skin. High in good fats and omega 3s though the charbroil may or may not be carcinogenic so there’s that.

Dill-Dip

Blend the following in a nutri-bullet or whatever whatever gadget is closest… (though all ingredients can also easily be mixed by hand)

-Juice of 1/2 lime & 1/2 lemon

-1 avocado

-1 container of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

-1 bunch fresh dill

-fat free 1/2 & 1/2 (maybe 1/4 cup?)

-old bay to taste

Serve atop or to the side of salmon. Also makes an awesome dip for fresh veggies. While Kennedy may not have had the salmon, she loved the dip and is looking forward to including it in her snacks and school lunches, though she did mention that it’s probably not best with goldfish.

Convos with Kids: Condiments

The following conversation is part of a larger ongoing child-driven conversation about puberty and everything that comes with it. We consistently answer all questions with age appropriate honesty and use correct anatomical language. That being said, most of these conversations catch me off guard and are quite awkward, albeit highly entertaining. Enjoy 😉

Jordyn: Mom, what’s a condiment?

Me: A condiment is something you use to add flavor to your food like ketchup, mustard, relish, or mayonnaise.

J: No. That’s not it. You know how I have that book about how babies are made?

Me, realizing she meant condom and not condiment and trying to keep my cool: Yep. We haven’t read it in a while.

J: Well the book said something that goes over the penis and I didn’t get it.

Me: Yes. That’s a condom. It’s a latex cover that goes over the penis to prevent the man’s sperm from entering the vagina. It can prevent pregnancy and can also prevent people from accidentally getting each other sick through intercourse.

Max: So a condom is a penis cover and condiment is a food cover. They’re synonymous!

Me, chuckling: I think you missed the point, Dude.

Max: So then is a condom a synonym with a balloon since they’re both made out of latex?

Me, laughing and thinking back to my childhood when one of my sisters may have made (extremely slippery and highly fragile) water balloons out of some condoms she found in my parent’s bedroom and my father’s subsequent reaction: No. Not even a little.

J: Well anyway, I was looking through the book last night about the S-E-X part.

Me: Okaaayyyy…

K: Mom, does S-E-X spell six?

M: Uh! Kennedy, the number six is S-I-X. S-E-X is sex.

K, upset with Max for correcting her: Well I don’t know what that is!

J: Kennedy, sex is when a man’s penis goes into a woman’s vagina to make a baby.

K: Eeeewwwww. I am NEVER doing that!

Max: Me neither. That’s gross. Besides, I don’t want to have a baby.

Me: Well that is totally respectable and absolutely your decision to make. Your bodies, your choices.

J: So the book said that sometimes people have sex even when they’re not trying to make a baby.

Me: Yeeessss….That’s true…

Max: But why? Why-in-the-world-would-anyone-do-that?

Me: Max, I’m honestly not ready to answer that for you right now. Let me think about the right way to discuss it with you and we can come back to that another time.

J: But that’s what a condom is for?

Me: Yes

Max: But not a condiment.

Me: Correct. Hey! Let’s clear the table and finish getting ready for school!

Mother’s Log: a week with no kids

July 11, 2018: Day 2 of Solitude

Yesterday’s excursions left me wiped. My whole body is grateful for a day of rest and sleeping in.

So far the only accomplishments of the day are making the bed, making a vegan “chicken tortilla” soup, boiling beets for a beet & goat cheese salad, and taking the girls’ bikes to the shop to have the brakes fixed.

My new sunglasses and flip flops have arrived and I could not love amazon prime any more.

Heading to the beach to read and possibly nap… I have no worries, guilt, nor regrets…

Mother’s Log: A week with no kids

July 10, 2018: Day 1 of complete Solitude

8am: Instead of sleeping in today, I wake at a reasonable hour. It’s odd not having to make breakfast, clean up, or listen to any sibling rivalry, imaginative games, or the echoing crash of the marble run on the stone floor that reverberates in your head like a pin-ball. I thought I might miss all of that. I do not.

8:13am: I finish my coffee and unsweetened cashew milk. (It’s gross but healthier than happiness, I suppose.) I dress and leave the condo without even making my bed. As someone who thrives on organization, this, surprisingly, does not bother me one bit.

8:27am: I head out to the boardwalk on my bike, so far not having a uttered single word to a single soul. I head toward Atlantic City at a decent speed, only using my voice to let others know when I am passing them. Music blasting in one ear and the freedom of not shouting at my kids to stay to the right, pass on the left, and to plan ahead is magnificent.

9:56am: I just got back from the ride. End to end, it was a 17 mile trip. Not quite as long as I had wanted but more than my tailbone and lower pelvic bone were prepared for. They are quite angry with me, as is my non-thigh-gap.

10:03am: Damnit. I really do need to make the bed. And I guess I’ll fold the pile of laundry that’s been sitting in the guest room for 2 days.

10:38am: Spoke with Brian. He’s having a busy day at work and would love it if I came home to surprise him. He keeps asking. It’s cute and annoying at the same time. Either way, it’s not gonna happen. I love him, but I’m really enjoying this solitary.

11:34am: I mount up again and ride another 4 miles to the bay. My ass hates me. So do my feet, because I am wearing flip flops and manage to literally flip one off coming to a stop, therefore using my bare foot to land. See kids? This is why we don’t where flip flops when we ride. Duh.

11:58am: I’m going on a 2 hour solo SUP excursion in the bay. The waivers have all been signed and the young gentleman gives me directions on which way to paddle based on the tide and wind. I am so excited!

I follow his directions and paddle north, watching the wildlife of turtles, small jellyfish, egrets and other marina birds, crabs, and a plethora of jumping minnows during the low tide. It took all of 40 minutes, but I decide to head back.

12:49pm: Unfortunately the tide may be coming back in and the winds have changed so that my efforts are meaningless. I am paddling as hard as I can and am staying in the same place, possibly moving backwards. What. The….

1:46pm: I have been nonstop, hardcore paddling for an hour. The wind is so strong that if I stop, I will be pushed backwards and therefore cry.

I paddle towards the docks where the surf shop kid said it would be easier. The wind and waves knock me into the docks. This is not easier. He is a kid and knows nothing. I paddle back out, attempting to make a beeline for the surf shop, which is now in view. I glance up to see the damn water tower behind the surf shop smiling as it mocks my efforts. I’d like to give it the middle finger but I’m afraid to stop paddling.

Just keep going. You can do hard things. Hopefully you’ll have a 6 pack and toned arms by morning…Dig. Dig. DIIIIG!

2:00pm: My 2 hours is up, and by my calculations it’s going to take me at least another 2 to get in. The buoy in front of me is not getting any closer and the osprey nest to the left of me is still to the left of me.

I see another SUP heading towards me. Shit. It’s the kid from the surf shop paddling out to “rescue” me. Lovely. He approaches my board just as a boat whizzes by, causing me to lose my balance, my sunglasses, and my dignity. I climb back up, fall again, climb back up, and allow the kid to tow me in for a bit. This is not how I expected this to go.

2:17pm: We finally made it back. My whole body now hates me from the day I put it through. I inquire to the surf shop kid how often this happens, thinking it must be often. “Twice a month” he responded, humiliating me even more, “But it’s usually from inexperience, not from Mother Nature, so you’re good,” He tries to make me feel better. It does not work. At. All.

2:21pm: I hop back on the bike and ride the 4 miles back to the condo. Once I arrive safely, I hop down and manage to break my flip flop, which was already in poor condition. I go upstairs, order new sunglasses and flip flops, shower, and decide that relaxing on the beach can wait until tomorrow…I need a nap.

Convos with Kids: Birth Control

Before sharing, please know that we all struggle in some ways and I am acutely aware that many of my family, friends, and readers have struggled with family planning and pregnancy. I want you to know that I see you and I feel your pain and sorrow with you. I am here/hear for you, in anyway that you may need.

That being said, while I have had my own share of adversaries, for whatever reason, pregnancy (and getting my kids to eat well) have not been part of my own personal struggles.

The following awkward yet honest conversation took place over breakfast:

J: Kennedy, you know you were a fluke.

K: I am not a whale’s tail!

J: No. I mean an accident. Mommy and Daddy didn’t mean for you to be born.

Me: Whoa, J. Hold it right there. I think you need some clarification. First of all, Mommy and Daddy may not have planned to get pregnant with Kennedy, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t want her when we found out that I was pregnant with her. In fact, we didn’t really plan for any of you. You all just happened, and we were very happy when we found out about each of you. We were very lucky that it was so easy to get pregnant with each of you. For many women, it’s not that easy and it can be very sad for them.

J: But weren’t you on birth control when you got pregnant with Kennedy?

Me: Yes. But didn’t you ask for a little sister?

J: Fair point.

Max: What’s birth control?

Me: It’s a way that can prevent a woman from getting pregnant. It can also prevent people from getting sick from each other. Some kinds even keep people healthy. There are many different kinds of birth control but most aren’t a guarantee. There’s still a chance a woman can get pregnant, hence, Kennedy.

J: What kinds are there?

Me: Well, I walked into that one…So let’s start with the basics. First, there’s a condom.

Kennedy: What’s a condom?

Me: A condom is something that goes over a man’s penis and catches his sperm so it can’t go into the woman’s vagina.

Max: Cool. But I don’t have sperm yet.

Me: That’s true. But you will when you’re older.

Max: Well I’m not sure that I want my penis in someone’s vagina. Even when I do have sperm.

Me: Well that’s excellent. But should you change your mind, please talk to Daddy and me about it first.

Max: Ok! But not today.

Me: You got it.

J: Is that what you and Daddy used? That conga thing?

Me: No. A conga is a type of dance. A condom is the word you’re looking for.

Max: Con-dom… that’s like condominium! Do you hear it? Condom-indium. Do you think that’s the root word?

Me: No idea. We’ll have to look it up.

J: So what were you and Daddy using?

Me: I was taking birth control pills. It’s a medicine that a woman can take everyday. It tells her ovaries not to release an egg.

J: So your ovaries didn’t listen?

Me: Well, there are different kinds of pills with different medicines, depending on what your own body needs. I was switching from a pill that was safe for women who breast feed to one that was for those who don’t, since I had stopped nursing Max. It takes time for your body to adjust to new medication and that’s when Kennedy came to be.

Max: I really miss breast feeding.

K: I do not. But I do wish Mommy would by chocolate milk. That’s the best! Even the almond kind.

Max: That is an excellent point, Kennedy!

K: Well fank you, Maxwell.

J: So are there more kinds of birth control? Like how do you know you and Daddy won’t have any more babies?

Me: There are lots more kinds. We know because after talking about it for a long time and deciding it was the best decision for our family, Daddy had an operation that prevents the sperm from getting into my body. It’s called a vasectomy.

J: How does that work?

Me: A doctor cuts the tube that connects the testicles to the urethra so the sperm can’t come out.

J: So you can still get pregnant but Daddy can’t make babies?

Me: Yep. Pretty much.

Max: That’s ok. You can still adopt me a 17 year old brother. I’m ready. And I can show him how I can fart with my armpits like this!

Laughter ensues and life goes on…

Awkward Convos with Kids: A Natural Continuation

The following conversation is a natural continuation of previous conversations we've had with the kids regarding human bodies, reproduction, and how it all fits together. These conversations each begin with child lead curiosity and are followed by age appropriate discussions using honesty, real words for anatomy, and answering their questions, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable it may be.

This is not the first conversation we've had on the matter, and will not be the last. We believe in education over ignorance and communication over silence.

That being said, this is what I woke up to this morning:
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