On March 15, the call to quarantine came for my wife and I. Beginning the next day, we would both be working from home, and preparations began.
The desktop computer was moved from a desk in the basement to a prominent position on the dining room table so my wife could work while keeping an eye on the baby. My laptop, which I had just received from Appen Media Group in a case of fantastic timing, was hooked up to a living room outlet so I could work while also keeping an eye on the baby.
And as we have worked away over the last six weeks, we have certainly kept our eyes affixed to baby, and that has been my greatest silver lining among this worldwide crisis.
Since the first day of working from home, my daughter has learned to crawl. She can now confidently cruise along couches, tables and the rails of her crib. She has since developed her unique laugh. Her spirited personality has made itself more prominent. She has become far more expressive, through both expressions and noises. We have realized she is a complete and absolute busybody, never staying in one place for more than a minute or two. We’ve even had our first fits of frustration.
Before the pandemic, I would have missed many of these firsts, and I certainly would have missed the added bonding time we’ve had in recent weeks. Prior to our home becoming our office, my wife would take baby to daycare before I had woken. Most days I would pick her up around 6 p.m., and she would be asleep for the night around 4 hours later.
That schedule doesn’t leave a lot of time together in the grand scheme of things, but we have certainly made up for that lost time since March.
Our home has become our workplace, daycare facility, play place and hangout spot, and as I write this, it comes with the soundtrack of a 10-month old babbling away.
As terrible as the coronavirus has been, is, and will be, we all have to find our silver linings somewhere. Mine is apparent by the absolute wreck that is my living room. It is strewn with toys, books, balls, jumpers, walkers and play tables, and the hearth is covered and blocked off with blankets, pillows and anything else soft to keep an unsteady baby from smashing her head on stone.
It is certainly an unconventional office, but I’m glad to have it that way. I have gotten to spend so much time with my little one and see her growth and progression minute by minute. And, my wife and I have grown even closer and matured as parents.
When I look back on this time years down the road, of course I will recall all the negatives — and there are certainly plenty — of this pandemic. But I hope that I will also remember finding the blue skies beyond the storm clouds, and the added time I received with my daughter.
All that said, the minute we feel safe enough, she is going to stay with her grandparents for at least an entire weekend.