Like most kids this year, mine are in the ether, attending elementary school online only. At first it was a shitshow. Then it was slightly less of a shitshow, then it was going okay, then actually good.
Cue record scratch.
Today I learned from browser history that younger kid has ditched school the past 3 days to attend Minecraft videos on YouTube, while pretending for my mom to be in school. You see, we moved my mom across the country (2500 miles or so) to move in with us to be in charge of their school. Except instead of in charge, it’s more like helping. Except instead of helping it’s more like she sits nearby and makes them lunch. Period.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t blame her. It’s nigh impossible what is expected of any adult supervising remote school, nevermind an 80 year old. Two kids, with two different class schedules, break times, lunch breaks, and so on. Two different computers, each of which has multiple Google classrooms to check for homework. Some of the homework requires using other apps. And since the kids are in live zooms all day, every day, meaning from 7:30 – 1:45 daily, and someone’s talking at all times, and they both are at my dining room table, they’re in headphones. So how on earth is an adult supposed to manage adult things AND keep on track of what each kid is up to and that they’re on top of things? I certainly couldn’t! That’s why we brought her here!
But so we get an email from the teacher this afternoon reminding all parents that kids are to attend class and be attentive and not playing video games during class.
Was she talking about my kid?
Turns out: YES!
So what am I supposed to do? I’ve already arranged to cut back to 30 hours / week come January 1 because my boss knows I’m burning out fast. But I’m not sure how the hell I can work THIRTY hours AND start keeping a much closer eye on kid 2. What, am I supposed to start working at 2, after their school day is done? So then when would I battle Kid 1 about doing their homework after school? And dinner? And baths? And getting outside to get fresh air & exercise?
So I spent two and half hours this night researching parental controls, and I found one that seems like it’s the right fit. And I installed the app and made the accounts and adjusted all the settings, and the way it works is it alerts me on my phone every online move my kid makes, requiring my permission for him to actually enter the site. So…..I’m supposed to be working while monitoring literally constant notifications on my app? Nah.
I’m sitting here wavering between: do I care? It’s only elementary school, after all. And: how do I not care, as in how does one go about not caring? Maybe some dude can teach me that last one because the dads sure seem to be getting off pretty easy with this working from home while schooling while parenting shit.