you're reading...

Cornelius News

Modern Dad vs Coronavirus: Pollyanna-ish tendencies

March 27. By Jon Show. I tend to have Pollyanna-ish tendencies at times. Pollyanna and her dad called it the Glad Game: “My father said don’t let it be gloomy. Let’s try to find something to be glad about. So we made a game of it. The Glad Game.”

The Glad Game is admittedly a little tough right now given the onslaught of negativity, especially when the Internet is everyone’s main source for information. Media reports all seem hellbent on scaring us. Here are a sampling of headlines this morning:

CNN: Trump Touts Success as US Becomes Virus Epicenter

Fox News: GOP, Dems Include $11B for Three International Development Organizations in Coronavirus Package

The world is so weird that as a society this week we’ve rallied around the mutual love of a Netflix documentary involving some very weird people who either love tigers or abuse tigers. I’m not sure yet. I’m only on episode three.

So I’m trying to play the Glad Game. Trying to find positives in what can only be described as a world of total and complete uncertainty. “There is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.”

So here are mine this week:

Lightning has a snuggle buddy all day long. Normally she wanders in and out of my home office – occasionally putting her chin on my lap for a good head scratch – and then retreats under my desk for a nap. With two kids home all day they’re actually fighting at times over who gets to hang out with the dog.

I have someone to hang out with. As much as everyone wants to complain about being locked inside with their family, I can’t imagine doing this alone. Spending all day with your family might not be good for anyone’s mental health but I think solitude would be far worse.

I’ve started doing puzzles? I do things like that now. Puzzles. And to be honest? Not gonna lie. I kinda like it. Not the worst thing in the world.

We’ve never been a board game family because the kids are too far apart in age to like the same games, and at the end of most days it’s just easier to snuggle on the couch and watch a bad kids TV show.

But I forgot about Yahtzee and Battleship. And Uno. And Blackjack.

My kids might exit the coronavirus shutdown as gambling experts.

I told the kids we all have to find a skill that we want to master or improve upon during the shutdown. Future Man announced his plans to become “the best 11-year-old lacrosse player in the state of North Carolina.” The Mother of Dragons wants to learn how to play pool, but we don’t have a pool table. The Blonde Bomber wouldn’t answer me.

I’m going all in on bread. I already knew how to make a decent loaf of ciabatta but I’m currently awaiting shipment of scales and proofing baskets and lames (pronounced – luh-MAY – I think) with the intent of taking my bread making craft to a new level.

I’ve already named my home bakery The Dough Show and created a bread bag sticker that reads – The Dough Show: Shaking and Baking since 1975.

I’m learning other new things, as well.

For example, I, like every other parent on the planet, tell my kids to wash their hands before meals and after using the bathroom.

I, like every other parent on the planet, place some level of unearned trust that they’re doing what we ask of them.

Based on my closer observances in recent weeks I’ve once again learned that I am an idiot. What they call hand washing is more like a light water spritzing. Thankfully we’re locked in our houses because I don’t know how we survive an infectious disease outbreak with them anywhere near the front line.

Sorry, got off track. Back to the Glad Game.

Future Man developed a fever 14 days ago. Fourteen days ago the implications of that seemed much different than today. The fever came and went for a week. A few days later he developed a dry cough that he still hasn’t shaken.

In a normal world we never would have taken him to the doctor, but seven days ago he woke up and had trouble breathing so my wife drove him to urgent care and had him tested for the flu and a variety of other things. Unsure what he had, they gave him a coronavirus test.

Look, I’m not trying to be dramatic.

The kid’s been fine since Monday, aside from the lingering cough. We’re the last people on Earth going to Facebook for #thoughtsandprayers or the kind of people who feed off the attention of others.

But seven days later – this morning – it came back negative.

So today I’m glad for that.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 10-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 7-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.