Work from Home: Day 16 (or Life is Getting in My Way)

Only the lushest of mullets are appropriate for this blog.

I had intended to bring back the blog as a working space where I could get out some of my work from home frustrations while nudging awake some of the ghosts from recipes past.

We did okay in the first week, all things considered, though last week was empty. The weight of work from home collapsed upon the three of us. My organization’s operation is as functional as it’s probably going to get. Teaching remotely has hit some snags for my wife, as expectations from her and her students continue to wobble. And my oldest continues to struggle with the fact that Mommy is HER teacher and working in the dining room is much different than being in a classroom.

Things get interesting next week when we bring the youngest home.

We made the choice to keep our two-year-old in daycare for a few reasons. We were going to pay whether she attended or not, so economics was a factor. My wife and I needed time to get ourselves up and running remotely, something that parenting a toddler doesn’t afford. And she gets something out of being with her peers.

My wife, who handles her pickup and dropoff, had noted over the past couple of weeks that the daycare center was about 10% of its usual capacity. If our sending her was keeping people employed, then her bleeding heart could handle it.

Then the news hit about Ascioti’s. Our county exec announced that people who went to this little meat market on March 17 could have been exposed to coronavirus. Several of the employees at the daycare center said they had been there that day the previous day (Update: My wife corrected me. Again.). For my wife, the dominoes began to fell. I don’t know what these people are doing when they aren’t at work. They are going home and being with people who may have been exposed. What’s to say they aren’t being forward about where they have been.

I’m a father and exist in a different headspace. Early on, when we decided to keep her in daycare, I told my wife that I thought she should go but that I knew motherly emotions would eventually enter the picture and I would not fight it. (I’m not putting down my wife or mothers when I write that. The determination and emotion of a mother is a tremendous force of good — and, as my therapist will attest, sometimes bad — and no father can effectively stop it and preserve his wellbeing or the wellbeing of the relationship.)

So, Friday was the last day for the toddler. She’ll return when school opens, something our governor has kicked the can on until April 15.

Life will continue to get in the way, but I’m going to do my best to keep this moving. Also, be sure to check in with what I’m doing at Syracuse.com. The Dining Out restaurant reviews have been paused in lieu of Dining In, where I’m taking on the takeaway options locally. Last week was Kasai Ramen. This week is…well, it’s brunch themed. These will run weekly on Thursdays.

This week, I’m going to make chickpea and orzo stew, assemble a pork ragout, defrost a couple of gems from the freezer and embark on fancy takeout for Syracuse.com. Until then, here’s my most viewed recipe from the past 365 days: Oven-Smoked Pork Shoulder.

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