We have come a long way in this pandemic, and we have a long way to go still. I mark the passage of time by the way my toddler reacts to our work-from-home schedules.
In the beginning of lockdown, she was just over a year old, had limited screen time, and was fascinated by the introduction of new faces through endless video conferences. She would wave and giggle and say hi over and over again. She complied with our changing work habits and schedules, as we adapted to working remotely during a pandemic without daycare.
As the weeks passed, her vocabulary grew and so did her agency. She began to speak up during video conference calls, refusing to sit quietly while we tried to jam as much work as possible into our extended days.
Now, 10 months into the pandemic, the days are growing shorter and the workdays continue to feel longer. Our daughter forcefully states, “no more work” and “no more laptops” to me and my husband, pulling us away from our carefully crafted schedules and insisting on very engaged playtime.
And so, we play. We focus on the moment, whether that includes destroying building blocks in our living room or running in circles in the empty pool at the park. If a work call comes in, our colleagues can join in our play. But they know our daughter is in charge.