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March 31, 2020 52 mins

This week at “Aunt Ali School” the kids learn about the three branches of government, which leads them to write a new constitution, create a government and write a bill about “butt slapping.”

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:07):
I got to s Yeah, yeah, yeah, welcome. We know
his parenting. I'm Peter McCarney, Beth Nowel, We're in it.
We're doing it episode Wow. Can you believe that we're
almost to a hundred? Can you believe? Hundred weeks? So,

(00:31):
like the rest of you, where um still in coronavirus lockdown,
we are hearts are going out to those of you
who are in essential workforces and in New York City
and areas that are being very affected right now. Um,

(00:53):
we are still riding this out in Massachusetts. We're boy,
We're mostly doing good. It's been a little bit of
a bumpy ride here. Um, but yes, relatively we're great,
um compared to people who are really struggling. But yeah,
we're very lucky. But we're also having to deal with

(01:14):
each other. That being said, we have our own challenges.
What are some of yours this week? Elizabeth? Um, it's
just trying to carve out space and time to be
alone and away from you all is my number one concern.
That and my allergy situation. How are they compared to

(01:35):
last week? Better than last week? But it's still like
it feels like in terms of keeping the kids away
from me, it feels like there's like a strong effort
early in the week, and then as the week goes on,
it's kind of like our regular weeks where everything just
slowly starts to fall apart and the kids become more

(01:56):
tired and everyone's trying, like it becomes sort of every
man for himself and it devolves and it's not fun
by the end. The end of the week fell apart
in terms of our rules. But today boy being back
on track and being very clear about who's in charge
of what when, Yeah, better. It feels like it feels

(02:17):
good for it to be a Monday and be like, Okay,
we're hunkering down, and it kind of feels good to
be the weekend when we're like, okay, we're not really
going to try to work that hard, and then everyone's
like a little bit more relaxed. Um. But Friday, when
you're almost there, Yeah, Friday, it was hard because you're
kind of like neither here nor there, Like the kids
are too tired to actually uh do anything productive or

(02:41):
be left alone, and then like our efforts to get
work done are increasingly futile and we really should already
be throwing in the towel we should, except today they
got a lot of education. Today. Daddy school was back
in full swing, and I I saw the Brent's teacher
has been sending At the beginning, I think every educator

(03:05):
was suddenly wildly trying to figure out how to do
their job digitally, and especially were a kindergarten teacher, Like
what the hell do you do? So I feel like
the the resources she was sending our way were a
little hodgepodge and weird, and I would just ignore them
because I was The emails that Brent's teacher were sending

(03:27):
were so frequent that I just couldn't even like catch
up to read the first or second email. And then
I was just like, you know what, I don't read
these emails. So I emailed her and I gave her
up because she uh is great, and she she reached
out to us individually, as I assumed she did with
all the kids. She's like, how's it going? And I explained,

(03:49):
I was honest. I was like, we're not really following
what you're sending us, but here's what we're doing. It's
a lot of stuff, and she's like, that's fabulous, don't
worry about it. So that took a load off. But
then today actually went in and started reading her notes
and she has this, uh this online resource there. She
signed up her class for like these reading challenges. And

(04:12):
I ignored it at first because I'm like, Brin is
a great reader and he's reading all the books here.
But I opened it today and it's a very simple
you know, Brin, here's like twenty books. Um, They're very simple,
and he clicks on the button to read them, and
he reads the book and then he takes a quiz
about it. And uh, we started actually open this up

(04:35):
and logged in and created his account and started doing it,
and I was shocked at how into it he was.
He read like twenty books in a row, and I
was like, this is great. And then I was like,
let's take a break, because then you you get points
and you build up all these like stars, and then
you can take the stars and go into a spaceship

(04:56):
and build your little special spaceship room where you can
buy ro about the aliens. And this immediately destroyed the
whole thing, because as soon as brain realized he could
spend these stars on cool things, he rushed back to
the books and started reading them too fast, and that
then he started he had a perfect score for like

(05:16):
twenty books, and then the next three he started getting
questions wrong because he would just want to get the
stars and he'd rush back to like buy an alien,
and he got so mad when he missed a question,
and I'm like, you're overloaded, man, you gotta take a
break because you're not remembering anything from the books because
you've just read now thirty books, and so he's got

(05:38):
a lot of points. But I'm like, this incentive was
all wrong. I should have left alone when when the
incentive was just reading. Yeah, it's hard enough to fall
in those traps when you're doing homeschool and just like
you say something offhand and then suddenly it like derails
the whole day. That that is I think my big

(06:01):
suggestion for parents trying to do any sort of homeschooling.
Schedules are great, you know if you can get them
to work, but ultimately, desire drives learning. So if your
kids attention and excitement is pointed in a direction that
is in any way productive or educational, don't try to

(06:25):
don't try to push, take a hard right turn into
something else. Ride that wave and just say they're into
this right now let's just get everything educational out of
it we can, and if it means four days of
complicated additions, which it was for Britain, for our kids,

(06:46):
I think this advice is pretty applicable for our kids
who are three and five years old. I feel like
for other people, like for us, the learning resources seem
kind of like a waste of time because it's like
very time consuming to look up the resources and figure
them out, and it's just it's like for a five
year old, so it's not like it's like we could
challenge them on our own. If our kids were older, though,

(07:07):
I do think I would be like, what is common
core math? How does life work? Like? I would need
more help, And I do think like kids at those
ages might want to be stimulated in ways that I
could not directly provide. I would. I think in some
ways I would love it because I think the common core,

(07:28):
like what you need to figure out is a little
more tangible. Well, this is what I like about Daddy's
school being more structured, is that you love to set
the rules and be the leader. And I don't. I
don't enjoy like repeating things like I just don't like

(07:51):
I want to be doing something new and interesting. So
like mommy school tends to be more free form, and
we take a walk on the beach in the afternoon,
like like these kids need to get outside. Sometimes mommy
school is like a task that allows mommy to clean
the kitchen. Sometimes mommy school is a walk and that's what.

(08:12):
We had a really good walk today and they were
like playing and like we were on this adventure. And
then we drew a square door in the sand and
we jumped into it into like a different world, and
then like they were loving it. So it was like
it's very Jacqueline West Books of Elsewhere. Yeah, well then
we when we were jumped through the sand one on

(08:35):
one of the times, burn was like we're in a book.
And then they just kept saying that over and over again.
They were like, we're in a book. There. Their make
believe is getting like Narnia level, you know, like the
kids that in the Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe are
in this giant empty house and so they just explore

(08:56):
and create their own world. To I feel like there
are in that mode, and they're starting to have like
call backs, like they're always like okay, your winkle, I'm
tinkle and your ankle like they have, like go to characters.
Can we talk about the fake mustaches? I don't know
where they got this. They just started. They just walked

(09:17):
into the room when I was there. They're both holding
we're holding fingers up to their mouths as fake mustaches
in disguise, and they Brin said, I'm Mr Rogers and
this is Mrs Rogers and I love Um. Somebody pointed
out on Instagram that Mrs Rogers has a mustache as well. Yeah,

(09:41):
that's my favorite, really rather inconspicuous. And then I said
where are my children? And Prince said they what did
you say? They went on a hike and they're never
coming back. If they win the woods and they're never
come back, you'll never see them again. Um. So there's

(10:01):
mommy school and there's Daddy School, but periodically there's also
Ali School. Yeah. Today my sister had a really good
homeschool session with them. So she I told her. I
was like, you should teach them civics and she did.
Boy did she teach them civics. So she, my sister
with along with Brendan Mayven, created a household government for

(10:24):
us with a constitution with different branches of government. So
there's the legislative branch, which is composed of the five
of us in the House, and then the judicial branch,
which is my parents, well your parents and my brothers
and your brothers, and the executive branch, which is your
parents because they own this house that work currently in. Yes.

(10:46):
And then so then my sister wrote some bills with
my with Brenna Maven. Each of them had a bill
that they sponsored, and some of them medic sponsors. So,
for example, one of the bills brands said, there's a
little bill he wrote that says if someone else butt slap,
then everyone has to slap their butts ten times. They don't,

(11:09):
they go to prison forever. If they go to prison forever.
So that bill did not pass. I think a lot
of us felt that. Actually, Ali wrote a bill if
someone says jumping Jack's, do you have to tend juppy
Jack's if you don't go to prison forever. That was
voted down. That was voted down. The slap butt slap
was passed. Yeah, that was a three to five vote.

(11:29):
And then Maybn historically her bill passed unanimously, which was
a bill that said everybody should have a brain. Everyone
is supposed to have a brain. Everyone is supposed to
have a brain. That's the full text of the bill. Yeah,
not unclear what the penalties are or I don't think

(11:51):
that is interpreted, but doesn't say you must so you're
supposed to. So that bill passed unanimously, and then it
went to the executive branch on a zoom conference with
all three branches of government. Nana and granddad and grandma
and grandpa. You're dad and my dad both had some
good singers on the call. They were in there their element. Yeah,

(12:13):
when we said, we said the ten butt slabs rule
when someone else but slab, and my dad said, isn't
everyone already doing that? And then your dad had one
about uh, the executive branch, I don't know something about
legislative branch not having brains. So they signed into law

(12:35):
the butt slap law. The executive branch signed it. They
vetoed the everyone is supposed to have a brain. I
think on solid grounds it was wishwashy could be interpreted
too loosely, you would have a legal challenge. So they
vetoed it, but it was unanimous to vote, so we
overturned the veto and UH, so we have two new laws. Yeah,

(12:58):
and then at the of the call with them branded
yell butt slap um, and then he did not slap
his own butt, so he was taken to court. Um.
And he argued that as the person who yells but slap,
he doesn't have to slap his own But he had
a pretty good argument. The law said that when anybody
says butt slap, you have to slap your butt ten times.

(13:22):
So there was an implied sense of other in it. Um.
But the judicial branch said they needed six months to deliberate.
It's tied up in court. My sister is going to
work on them to write some more specific laws going
forward to account for these kind of issues and interpretation
of the law. Um. Can we talk about how much

(13:45):
ice cream we've eaten? We've eaten a lot of everything lately,
a lot of home cooked meals. Um, some really really
good recipes, I would say, really good improvised recipes. Um.
I gotta say, I love I love how much we're eating,
just immediately eating all the leftovers. I feel like at

(14:07):
home we waste so much food, but here we're like,
we don't want to go to the grocery store. Pandemic
and so we're like, Alie just made a a taco
salad from our from our tacos. The other night, I
made a tortilla cast role from our tacos. That was
three meals from that Taco night. Yeah, Taco Night is

(14:30):
really prolific versatile. Um, oh boy, we're really We're really
isolated out here, aren't we? Are we? Yeah? I suddenly,
just five seconds ago felt in just talking to you know,

(14:51):
thousands of people who aren't here. It was a weird
moment of oh my god, we are alone. And I'm
sure a lot of people are feeling that right now,
especially people who are literally alone. I've got a good
number of friends in apartments that are literally alone. My

(15:12):
brother is literally alone. It's tough out there. I'm I
am really you know. I don't want to be too
dark on the podcast, but I am getting increasingly worried
for an increasing number of people. Um. So I hope
everyone listening is doing okay mentally and physically. And I

(15:34):
gotta say, I really am enjoying. I'm online and on
social media more than I then I normally would want
to be. Um, but it feels like a lot of
time there is a nice balance of boy, we're taking this,
at least in my like sphere, in my bubble, people

(15:56):
obviously taking this very seriously, but there's also a nice
balance of well and then beyond that, let's be positive
and let's be here for each other and let's let's
find healthy diversion um and again like that's great, prepared
and positive. I feel like I feel that way when

(16:19):
I interact with people directly, like if I have a
Zoom happy hour with my old improv team, or like
when I'm texting my close friends, or like my coworkers
if we're on Slack or whatever. I feel that way.
But when I go on social media, it's like very
overwhelming between the news and then people's anger about the news,

(16:43):
and very understandably, it's just really overwhelming, and I do
it's I think it's just really hard to find a
balance of like taking this seriously and trying to be
somewhat informed and also making sure that you're taking care
of yourself and you're like not making yourself crazy for
no reason, because I think for a lot of us,
we're not, you know, healthcare workers. There's not a lot

(17:07):
we can do day to day, and I don't think
it's like helpful for anyone for us to make ourselves
crazy about it. Yeah, completely adjust what I what I said.
That's not general social media. I go to my Facebook
news feed and it's oh miserable. But these targeted, specific
online communities, you know, like I talked to all the

(17:29):
Story Parts company members and it's it's a it's a
specific and positive focused group or like a Zoom zoom
hang out with people, uh for sure. Yeah, but going
down the social media drain in general is the opposite
of that. Even though I made it sound like that's
what I was having. Well, I mean there's some good
things on social media. I don't think it's all bad,

(17:51):
and I think a lot of people are just reporting
the facts as they should. But it's just like I
do feel like you really have to monitor your media
intake in general right now. Yeah, it's just how curated
are your feeds? You know, I've got my Facebook feed
is is the wild West, and so I don't touch
it because it's thousands of people that I don't really know,

(18:12):
and so I'm stressed for no reason. Whereas my Instagram
is nice and tidy and focused and shallow in the
number of shallow in that in that your shallow. I
mute almost everybody so that I not because I don't
want to know what's up with people, but so that
I run out of stuff to look at quickly. And
that's what that's what maintains my sanity. And then every

(18:34):
once in a while I go through and I'll un
mute people I miss, and I'll re mute people that
I've seen a lot of. I do think since we've
been here, I've I have I've never looked at social
media less over such an extended period of time done it.
I mean, I still feel crazy because it's like proportionately

(18:55):
it's still sort of crazy online, but I don't like
because I'm with the kids and I can't really look
at it. And then when I'm working, I really need
to focus on work because the news is so distracting,
Like I just can't be on it as often, like
just browsing things. It's too taxing right now. It's like
it's just too emotionally exhausting to hear how badly everyone

(19:17):
is doing um, And so yeah, I just can't and
I think it's I feel good about trying to limit
it to some degree. I still feel like I need
to check in and not like completely become a hermit um.
But our job right now is as as global citizens,

(19:40):
is to like not jump the gun on anything, hunker
down and literally get out of the way. And there's
and if I get too far into it that I
get that sense of like I should be doing something
that's the in for the the most for the most part,
that's the opposite. Well, I just I just want to
be aware of what's happening two people in our home

(20:01):
city of New York, where people are really suffering, Like
I want to be tuned into the conversation and like, no,
what's up? And um, you know, it's getting dangerous for
people we know. And but I do think like our
primary objective right now as parents is to take care
of ourselves so that our children don't remember this as
like a scary, traumatizing time where their parents were upset

(20:25):
all the time. You know, Yeah, no, and I don't.
I think they're having a great time. I did have
my first like serious talk serio quote unquote serious, not serious,
but very upfront talk with him about what was going on,
because I took him to the dump. So here there's
no garbage collection where we are, so we have to

(20:45):
go to the dump or the the the transfer center
and recycling center, and uh so I took Bryn. Obviously,
I was like you have to stay in the car
and he's like why. I'm like, well, we're all staying
away from each other right now. And then that led
to along conversation about all this, and that was the
most like here's literally what's going on. Here's how dangerous

(21:08):
it dangerous it is. We talked about people dying, and
but I also let him know that he's you know,
he's safe, he's low risk. And he had a lot
of very thoughtful questions. He also told me, he goes, well,
it's happening because um because Chinese people ate bats, right,
And I was like what. And then you know, it's

(21:29):
like they don't really know what the source of this was,
but it could be from like people think, from animals
and initiating in China, or bats or panguins or whatever.
And I was like starting to get into the like, well,
you don't want to just start saying Chinese people eat bats.
That's you know, trying to get into racial sensitivities. And

(21:52):
I was like, is this this is too complex? I
feel like at his age sometimes you're better off changing
the conversation rather than like creating an elaborate story around
Chinese people in bats that he's going to continue to misinterpret. Yes,
it's like I was like, well, we they we don't
know what happened. He was like, my friend told me

(22:12):
there's Chinese people eating bats. And I was like, well,
we don't know. And maybe somebody did, but obviously not
all Chinese people are eating bats. And I was like,
let's let's talk about statistics instead. Let's talk about statistics.
I really was. I was like, listen, five year old son,

(22:34):
let's talk about statistics. I talk about death rates instead
of uh, you're talking about death rates. Not not really.
I mean I did talk about how it's dangerous for
certain people. He was very thoughtful. He's not scared, but
he could sense. He could sense the gravity of the situation.

(22:56):
What are we gonna do for episode one? I don't know.
Listeners right in and tell us how should we celebrate
in uh here at the end times um, And that's
been our week. This next segment is called Listeners Want

(23:24):
to Know. It's where we take questions comments from you guys.
But first I'm going to adjust my chair loudly. I
wasn't as loud as I thought it was going to be.
Oh boy, okay, we got a lot of listener mail.
You are all at home, you have thoughts, you have time,
and so you are sharing. Thank you. UM. I think

(23:44):
we're actually we're definitely going to be in an era
where we can't get to as many emails as we'd
like to, and an era we're getting more than the normal,
which is great. Please keep sharing even if we don't
we don't get your um. Great alright, So this email

(24:06):
comes with from Craig question colon behavior um. This to
me feels like ah, this is a British or maybe
Canadian spelling of behavior b E H A v I O.
You are behavior um. Not a criticism, just an observation.

(24:30):
So I have a five year old girl, a two
year old girl and a week old boy. Well, with
these times of physical distancing, we are spending a lot
of time in a smallish apartment together. My question is
what do you guys do when your kid zero is
in on a behavior and won't stop nor listening, nor

(24:51):
listen to interruptions or change requests. My two year old
has so many ideas in her head but often will
not accept any deviation or distraction from those she focuses
on in a moment, such as stealing the one book
the five year old is trying to read, even though
they are hundreds there are hundreds of books around. The

(25:13):
two year old will retry after separation or break down
into tantum rather than perform a different task with either parent.
The five year old will ask the same question to
the same thing over and over, regardless of what you
just told her two minutes ago, even if it was yes,
but wait five minutes. I'm struggling with being able to

(25:33):
break into my kid's head during these moments, and find
myself getting frustrated. Any suggestions are at least similar stories
to share us. I don't feel like the only parent
feeling like this. I've read some articles, but they seem
focused on what not to do, which I can already
check most of the list, and esoteric suggestions on what
to strive for without ideas of actual things I could attempt.

(25:57):
Love the show and quite enjoyed Beth's book As a
Man as a Man, as it candidly let me further
into a world I will never experience myself. Love Craig
he didn't say love, but it is Craig. Thank you Craig.
To answer your question, no, you're the only one. No
one else has ever experienced any of those things. Just kidding.

(26:20):
Only your kids are difficult. Boy. I related to everything
you just said. I started to formulate an answer to
what he was saying, and then he mentioned that one
of the kids is two years old. And then I
was like, oh, never mind, I don't think there's anything.
There's no hope. You're living with an insane person. Um,

(26:40):
I don't. Yeah, the two year old, we fall into
the traps two and most of three, I feel like
we fall into the trap of thinking they are more
mature than they are, especially with the second kid. Like today,
Maven was doing so like she was writing her letters

(27:01):
and she was trying. She was asking me how to
spell words, and she was writing the words backwards, and
I had such an urge to be like, that's wrong.
You need like you need to write in this direction.
And then I remember that Brin, who was like almost
two years older than her, I was probably doing the
same thing like a few weeks ago, you know, like
I just like I was like, I just you like

(27:22):
expect so much of the Brinn wrote the end in
his name backwards for a year because I pushed to
correct him, and then he was like, fuck you, I'm
doing it this way forever. Yeah. I think unfortunately with
some of this stuff, I like, depending on the behavior, obviously,
if it's like hitting or something, you have to have
kind of harsh, consistent punishments. But um with other stuff,

(27:47):
I do think, like when it's just like them arbitrary,
like like picking an argument or re asking a question,
I think the best thing you can do is like
try to convince yourself that you don't care at all.
But it just saying stop does not work. I mean
with Bryn, who's nearing six, it's sometimes that is starting

(28:13):
to work, where I just say don't brand stop, or
it's the brand stop, or there's no ice cream. I'm
going to counter three and like you can stop him
that way. But any younger and it's it's the only
time I'm successful is when I'm able to redirect. But
I don't know, I think we have pretty stubborn kids.

(28:36):
I'm not saying other kids people's kids are like easy
all the time, but I do think like there's different
demeanors and children where some people have, like a kid
who follows directions. I mean, at the times I'm successful.
Is the story Pirates model, which is, you know, when
we're in a school and we're trying to get the
attention of six screaming excited kids, we don't ever try

(28:58):
to stop it. It's uh, the job is to always
be more interesting than the thing they're interested in right
now that's distracting them. So like the only time I've
ever able to get maybe to calm down is like
one don't get it in her way. She's upset, and
I can tell that she's upset, so I need to
let her calm down. And then when I come in,

(29:18):
I'll just I just start looking at something across the room,
Like I'm like, was there a spider in the corner.
I don't know about you may even, but I'm ast
afraid of spiders. I'm gonna go check. And then I'll
fall down and pretend to hurt myself, and then she'll
start laughing, and I'll do that ten more times until
I know that she's truly forgotten what that first thing is.
I also sometimes if they're arguing over something arbitrary lately,

(29:39):
I'll just try to like talk about something more interesting
or exciting that they want. Yeah it is. I mean
it's you if I can trick them into thinking I
have completely not heard anything that they're complaining about, and
then I'm like, oh my god, I think there's a

(30:00):
horshoe crab outside. I'm gonna go. Look, they'll follow you.
But if you're like, guys, stop fighting, you know what
we should do, Let's do something else. They know that
you're trying to redirect them and it doesn't work as well.
But I just like ignore them and then redirected, and again,
this is like my my batting average is probably i'll

(30:22):
say somewhat related. Something I'm realizing in the age of
coronavirus is that I need to wear headphones more often
when I'm trying to do anything or work or just
like not feel insane because there's always so much noise
and like arguing happening about like things that I don't
need to be interested in, Like I don't need to

(30:44):
care about the outcome of like who's allowed to read
the book? You know. So it's like I really need
to find some new coping mechanisms to like not be
tuned in. I'll tell you my mind, is AirPods bro
those noise cancelation you have it? Does? It was expensive?

(31:06):
It's expensive. I paid for it quality purchase. I think
regular headphones are also equally good. Hey, I'm not I'm
not dissing anyone else's headphones. I'm just a love in mind.
Right now, a lot of people will probably be purchasing
noise canceling headphones in the near future. People are purchasing

(31:28):
a lot of things. Read some just a headline where
it's like Walmart or some online retailer is selling disproportionately
far more shirts right now than pants because everyone's going
to work on Zoom, Yeah, and they just need shirt. Well.

(31:49):
I also say I read somewhere that like delivery people
are operating at like Christmas time level of purchases, so
they're like working a lot, and it's like people need
to tone down a little bit with the purchases because
you're putting delivery people at risk to have them working
so much. Uh So, but we also need stuff. Well yeah,

(32:13):
it's also just I think we I am trying to
like tone down the non essential purchases because I mean, granted,
we've purchased a lot because we are in a home
that is not ours. But um, I'm trying not to
like jump on every like you know. I think like
we're all kind of going to our coping mechanisms right now,

(32:35):
which is like food and alcohol and TV and like
retail therapy is a real thing that I think we
all do to some extent um if we can afford it.
And I think it's like it's I'm trying not to
follow that urge or like today I would like look
at I would browse like sweatpants online and I put

(32:59):
it in the car and then I go to a
different store and put something in the cart there and
then I just closed all the tabs. It was like,
I'm not I was like, I don't need this. Boy,
I've never had that problem. I just like was fantasizing
about like all the comfy outfits that could be wearing
right now. I mean, if you're gonna do it, put
it all in one big cart. Well That's what I

(33:21):
was trying to do. But ultimately I didn't really find
a store that was satisfying, so I just gave up.
You m Yeah, but it was fun. Okay, I know
this is listeners one who knows, but we're gonna do
one quick. We knows what they look like. Because by
the way, we're still getting a lot of baby picks,
and we love we love them, We love all of them.

(33:41):
We've now hit the saturation point where we can't do
our our weird live reaction to your baby fotus, but
we're gonna keep doing some just because I need to
show bath this picture. This is from jen baby Pick.
How to share this one of my son Atticus this
first time taking a bath in the sink. He was
a huge newborn of German ancestry. Enjoy ready, Beth, we're

(34:06):
closer together, so I can just show you one, two three,
first time in the sink. Oh my gosh, His little
scared brownie mouth is so cute. He has a look
on his face that says, why are you doing this?
He's the wide eyed pure terror. He's like, why am
I wet? I thought I thought I had trust in you?

(34:29):
What is this? That is terror? That was beautiful, But
there's still it's not. That's so cute. You know what.
We got a lot more listener mail, so we're going
to take a quick break and then I come back
with more listeners. Want of those. Now it's time for

(35:00):
more listeners want to know? So many listeners they got
to knows so little time, so much listening. That's not true.
We have a lot of time these days. This email
comes to us from Sarah. Great subject line how important
is preschool really? Hi, Beth and Peter Ignoring the current

(35:21):
pandemic parenting anxiety and choosing to be anxious about more
normal parenting issues. I have a listeners want to know
this question for you. My eldest just turned three, and
I suddenly started panicking about preschool, which I never spent
a single second thinking about before. We live in rural
Ish Virginia, and all the public preschool programs around here

(35:46):
are only for at risk students. The only private preschools
I can find within an hour here are through churches.
But we aren't at all religious, So is preschool all
that important? I don't remember going when I was a
kid name for my husband. Our son is pretty smart already.
He knows his colors and shapes and alphabet and count

(36:07):
and count to twenty. He learns new things all the time. Somehow,
I swear I don't know how or should we send
him to a Christian preschool? And try to dodge slash
tastefully respond to the inevitable questions about religion and faith
that we're in no position to answer. Thanks for the
hours of excellent contact content. Sarah ps sharing a picture

(36:30):
of my babies just for the heck of it, beth
Ready one, two three. Oh yeah, that's an almost naked
baby and a diaper very cute, and a toddler pool
very cute. I love the matching colors on that shirt.
And anyway, anyway, is it that important? Yeah, I don't.

(36:55):
I mean, I'm ignorant to the like nuances of religious
pre schools in Virginia, but um, I do think like
daycare is often not that far off from preschool in
terms of structure and learning opportunities. And similarly, if you're

(37:15):
just keeping him at home, I think if you're doing
anything remotely educational, it's the same level. I do. I
think the value of preschool is socialization. Yeah, I'll take
back I mean, I'm going to take back my you know,
my flippant no, because it's it's not across the board. No,

(37:36):
it's Preschool is a huge advantage in a lot of situations,
but not everyone's situation is is the same. I think
like preschool is a huge advantage in terms of people's
ability to like, you know, go back to work and like,
you know, for like the average American who you know

(37:56):
what I mean. But, um, but if your child is
I mean, honestly, if your child is just turning three,
are about to turn three, and knows all of his
letters and numbers up to twenty in shapes and colors,
then content wise, he's doing great. He doesn't need school.
There is a benefit to the social aspect of things. Um.

(38:18):
But yeah, and if there's like if there's some daycare,
if he's around kids at all, then yeah, great. I
think also, like some preschools, the hours are like it's
like two hours a day, twice a week or something.
And I think you could get similar benefits if you
want to like a library sing along and sign him

(38:41):
up for like a soccer class, you know, like just
a couple of chances for him to interact with other kids.
You know, I think that would be helpful. Um. But
but if but I don't, Yeah, he's gonna be fine
if you don't do any of those things. I mean.
The fact that you clearly, um, you you are asking

(39:06):
the right questions, you have the right concerns you are articulate, smart,
seemingly educated parents, so that you're doing a great respect
of it. Your child has a leg up and is covered.
There are some kids who don't have that advantage, in
which case younger having preschool at a younger age is
like a major benefit. Um. But from the very little

(39:31):
I know about you, which is you know this well
written email, um, uh, you're fine. This is the kind
of thing where I think, like we uh, when we
look back on a child's life to their toddler years
and around there, I don't like, these are the kind

(39:52):
of decisions that I think have very little bearing on
who the person becomes. So we're going through a big
I don't know if we're talking abou this last week,
but so our kids are out of school obviously we've
talked about that a lot, and we're trying to move
to Brooklyn and that's you know, probably going to get delayed. Uh.

(40:13):
Um as are you know, for a lot of reasons,
and so you know, we might not be able to
move before the school year starts. And so if we
stay where we are, I haven't registered Maven for pre
ka um, and I'm like, you know what, it's fine,
They'll probably be room. And if there's not, she's fine.

(40:35):
We've learned how to do school. Yeah, I mean, I
will say, like, if you had asked me like a
month ago about the idea of starting them in school
in the middle of the school year in Brooklyn, I
would have been like pretty stressed out about it. But
at this point, so many things have gone off the rails.

(40:57):
I don't pandemic has really moved the goal post. Yeah,
I don't like that. No longer feels like a pressing concern. Yeah.
And at this age again though, if you know, if
my kids were twelve, I would be a lot more
stressed about Yeah. I mean, you know whatever, even then,

(41:18):
those kids are resilient, they survive. I'm not worried about
them surviving being out of school. But but yeah, three boy,
this is a this is a good time for a
weird interruption to education. Yeah, um, all right, next one ready.
This is a part of a similar theme Pandamonium. This

(41:45):
comes from Casey. Hey, Bethan Peter, long time listener, First time, right,
you're here. My name is Casey and I'm from Saskatchewan, Canada.
I'm currently working as a nurse at an acute care hospital.
Things have been super crazy. They're lots of policy and procedure,
lots of emptying out, emptying up the hospital, awaiting the

(42:06):
surge as as has been called. When I'm off work,
I'm now a teacher of my two daughters, Ruby eight
and Hazel five. My husband works residential construction, which is
considered essential, so we are both working full time and
calling on my parents to help support us a day
or two a week to help with the kids. Controversial.

(42:27):
I know the constant caretaker role is taking some adjustment,
as I had just reached this uh sweet sweet place
of having days off during the week with both kids
in school, which had improved my mental health status to
somewhat stable question mark prior to this pandemic. For schooling,

(42:47):
we started off with a schedule which included worksheets, outdoor play,
arts slash creative stuff, and learning apps. Some days we
are nailing it and sometimes we don't. I admire your
different styles of schooling, and it sounds like Daddy's school,
coupled with the more open nature based learning, will compliment

(43:08):
the learning slash teaching styles of everyone, which seems crucial
to sanity today. In quote unquote, Mammy school, my kids
bailed on worksheets in favor of sweeping up the dirt
in the alley, giving me an allergy attack. I had
to sleep for a night shift to sound my life,
I had to sleep for a night shift tonight. So

(43:29):
they watched two hours of television and eight snacks while
I tried to sleep. My youngest daughter, Hazel did self
explore did did self explore some math at lunch, where
she discovered that one apple plus one apple equals butt cheeks.
See photo below a very cute little girl holding two

(43:50):
apples together and smiling as the together they make a
butt Thanks for adding so much laughter and empathy to
these crazy weeks, and good luck and managing all the
hats all at once while trying to function as an
autonomous professional at work. We're all doing the best we can,
and humor is the key to making it through. Alive.

(44:11):
Casies from Saskatchewan. Here's the picture, Beth. That's so great, Casey.
Sounds like you're doing a great job through all of this.
Thank you for this email. Um, I'm glad to hear
from someone who's trying to, like, actually do their jobs
and have to leave the house and deal with all
this because that's a whole other stress that we're not

(44:33):
having to deal with right now. Um, And I what
she was saying about the how it's controversial to be
using her parents as help right now, I gotta I
have to say, like, everyone needs to get through this
the way they have to get through this, and there's
no judgment from us on how you need to do that.
I know, we've all got our own economic concerns and

(44:55):
health concerns and otherwise. It's also, you know, there's we
can't expect. Uh, you know, the entire healthcare system right
now needs everybody, right and there's a yeah, there's a
lot of parents who are working in various industries that
we need right now. It's a great example of, uh,

(45:19):
the sacrifices that people are making for everybody else. Yeah.
I know someone whose husband is a doctor and she
is pregnant with a toddler, and her husband has chosen
to live away from her right now to protect her
from the virus. But then she's dealing with her own
nightmare of parenting a toddler solo through all this while

(45:40):
she tries to do her job, Like anyway, It's it's
really a dumb joke, but the way you said it
made it sound like she was pregnant with a toddler.
Like she's not pregnant with a toddler. She's like, I'm
just not having this baby until the pandemic is over.
So with the toddler now, which is fine, no rush,
no rush is our priest will know, no rush to

(46:01):
have the child be born. It's always funny to have
these like pandemic type conversations with people who aren't parents,
because people will say things to you where they're like, well,
I shouldn't get pregnant now, no one should bring a
child into this and you're like, well, some of us
already are. Life is going on, like you like, um, yeah,

(46:23):
it's very like it's so interesting, so trying to you know,
I actually have a lot of work these days with
story parts, and I'm trying to organize actors from their apartments,
and there is a huge difference between the availability of
people without kids and people with kids. Yeah, and well,

(46:44):
people without kids will start to have conversations with you
or like people who have less, you know, like maybe
their job is not happening right now or whatever, and
they just have all this time to kill and You're
like meanwhile, you're trying to like homeschool kids and do
your job and all these things. You're like, I can't
just have this conversation casually, like we need to get
to the point. Like I emailed story pirates who I

(47:09):
know don't have children, and I was like, are you
available for a thing tomorrow? And within ten minutes everyone
was like available. And the few parents that I've emailed
I have still not emailed me back. And I don't
blame them because they've got less time to do work. Yeah. Well,
like I a couple of weeks ago, I had a

(47:33):
when we were first trying to get settled here and
we didn't didn't have a schedule. I had a conference
call I was supposed to be on that I just
didn't call into, Like I just like got so sidetracked
by these children. Um, and it's just like there's stuff
like that. And I was like, I was on a
conference call this week with three other moms and it

(47:53):
was just like one person was late to the call
because her kid fell off a trampoline, and then one
person had their kids like me in the background, like
another person had their kid come talk to them, Like
it was just like did I was supposed to call
into so the Story Privates Radio daily daily at eleven am.
Check it out. But h I periodically have called into

(48:15):
the show, um, and I was supposed to on Saturday,
but you and I got in a fight and I
got mad and I stormed out and I went for
a long walk and I didn't bring my phone. And
when I got back to the house, I had forty
texts from Lee saying I'm calling you in I announced
you Everyone's waiting for Peter and I was like, oh no,

(48:37):
I missed my live appearance on Story Pirates Radio, which
was was real bad. It was real bad. I mean,
when do I ever leave my phone? And I left
my phone. I was like, I feel so free. You
have never in your life left your phone. I mean,
how how often am I truly away with my phone?
It's kind of groundbreaking. It was great. And then I

(48:57):
came back and I was like, I'll never leave my
phone again. I'm trying to through this, get better at
like walking away from my computer, like because we have
we both have these work schedules and then and we're
taking shifts and sometimes I'm with the kids and I
have to just like try to achieve this news and
where I'm like, I'm getting emails and messages and questions

(49:18):
from people and I just need to not care and
they're just going to have to wait, you know, like
it's just like how urgent could anything be. I have
to constantly remind myself, like, you are a comedy writer,
and no one is going to die because you don't
reply to this question right now. I got an email
from my agent tonight a S A P voiceover audition,

(49:40):
and it was like, right in the middle of making dinner,
my my shift with the kids was on, and I
was like, A S A P. What does that mean?
I gotta record a podcast? And I was like, can
I do this in the morning. She's like, yes, do
by one pm tomorrow. I was like, Oh, Normally I'd
be freak out about it and I have to do
it immediately. But now I'm like, there they're saying a

(50:00):
SAP on account of like the other clients that are
like twenty two and they're just zoom calling everyone all night.
You know, they're just not going to sleep because the
zoom all kids in the zooms, um, anybody going to
zoom date. I want to hear about it. My sister
has been zoom dating. My brother's been zoom dating. I mean,

(50:22):
this is kind of like their love is blind, except
they can see, except they're not blind. Love is as
no techtile, love can't smell. Brian had a really good
joke tonight where you were like, I haven't showered in

(50:43):
two days, and brand goes, I think you mean two years.
And with that that's been another episode of We Knows Parenting. Hey,
if you want more stuff for your kids, please check
out story Prides dot com. We got story Prides Radio
Live every day to love They Am Sorry, Price University
where they can learn some creative writing techniques at thirty uh,

(51:06):
start a creator Club membership, visit the podcast. A lot
of great stuff for kids. That's my gift to you.
Buy my book for someone you know who is pregnant.
There's no manual, honest and gory wisdom about having a baby.
Can they get digital copies? They can. You can get
the audio book or the Kindle version wherever books are sold.

(51:31):
Email us said we knows Pot at gmail dot com.
We want to hear how you are doing, or leave
us a voicemail at three four seven three eight four
seven three nine six. We'd love to hear your children
yelling in the background. Uh. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, we knows.
Pod rate review, leave us a review. Stay safe out there,

(51:51):
Wash your hands, stay home your face. You're doing great.
You're doing a good job, even if you didn't do
any home school this week. Bye bye,

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