…a very Disorderly response to Emily Perl Kingsley’s Welcome to Holland
The Disorderly Blondes are often asked to describe the experience of educating a child with a disability while in quarantine – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.
It’s like this… it’s like planning a fabulous solo trip – to the restroom. You grab your phone, your readers, and make your wonderful plans to relieve yourself in peace.
Instagram stories. Tiger King memes. What the hell, Zoom conferencing. You may even learn some new shelter-in-place recipes while on the “pot.” It’s all very exciting.
After minutes of eager leg crossing, the time finally arrives. You double check your dwindling TP supply and off your pants go. Several seconds later, the bathroom door swings open. A child barges in, jumps into your naked lap, and says, “Welcome to homeschooling.”
“Homeschooling?!?” you say. “What do you mean homeschooling?? I signed up for HomeGoods! I’m supposed to be adoring clearance rack pillows as we speak. All winter I’d dreamed of tag teaming a teacher so I can have some “me time” before the summer swelter.
But there’s been a change in the school calendar. Your kid has landed at home and there you must all stay.
The important thing is you aren’t confined to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. Who are you kidding, your home is super filthy and devoid of any food except snacks, but it’s just a different place.
So you must make a bed to appear “camera ready.”
And you must implement a whole new set of behavior management techniques (we mean for your new “student,” but if the shoe fits…)
And you will video scare a whole new group of people you would never have met, face to face without your makeup.
It’s just a different place. The lunch lady is testy, and the student constantly complains about how much his substitute curses at screens. But after you’ve modeled “social skills” for your own flesh and blood by expertly balancing a martini, you look around… and you begin to notice that homeschool doesn’t ask to send in school supplies…and at homeschool every day can be “crazy hair day.” Whew! Homeschool even canceled PTO fundraisers.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from the potty… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s where I had planned to do my “business” before homeschooling took over my life.” And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of your bowels is a very very significant loss. Especially during a live meeting.
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to pee freely, or seek out a HomeGoods/ TJ Maxx combo store, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about homeschooling.
Holland for summer break, anyone? We’ll take Hialeah at this point.
P.S. THANK YOU teachers!