Category Archives: It’s Monday

#sol20 March 23 A Slice of 10 minutes or less of working from home. . .

Earlier today, (It feels like it must have been a different day. But, it was this day.) I had to start to figure out how to really work a full day while my kids did their school stuff, etc.

I put headphones on even though my zoom meeting wasn’t starting yet. It was just so I wouldn’t hear the kids in the other room. I’m not sure what kind of parent this makes me, but it’s what I did, and I need to be honest with you. I could still hear them.

Photo on 3-23-20 at 9.50 AM.jpg

But, I tried to just jump into my real work anyway. I mean, I had 12 whole minutes until my zoom. Surely I could knock something off of my to-do list.

Before the headphones, one of my kids was super curious about what I was doing when he heard me playing a zoom recording someone had sent me

“Are you in a meeting?” he said, peeking over my shoulder. 

“No,” I said quickly, trying to ignore my child. There. I’ve said it. This morning began with me trying to ignore my kids, and that is how the day has ended too. 

“Play it again!” he said, “I thought someone said, Ona Feinberg!” 

So,  I finally showed him again and convinced him that it was not what he thought.

Alone, I took a deep breath and started working again, half-listening to the boys talking in the kitchen. This might have been when I realized that it really is hard for me to concentrate when people are making noise around me.  So, I put my headphones on, and the “Totally Stress Free” station on Spotify. 

Seconds later, he was back. 

“Can we make pumpkin muffins?” 

Oh. This one was easy. We don’t have any flour. So I said, “We don’t have the ingredients.”

“I’ll check” was the answer as he went to check, and popped back in a minute later.

“No, we don’t have flour,” he said. “So I’ll make pumpkin pie.” 

O.M.G. Deep breaths. 

Aha! I figured it out. This will stop the baking extravaganza in my freshly cleaned up kitchen! “How will you make the crust?” I challenged. “We don’t have flour or graham crackers or anything like that.” 

“Oh, there are ways,” he said like he was in a dramatic movie. Or maybe a soap opera. And he disappeared back into the kitchen.”

“You have my permission to google how you might make the crust, you can’t make anything until you run it by me and right now I have to work,” I yelled after him, and turned my attention back to my computer.

“Okay. So I’ll look it up.” 

A minute later, “Okay, I got it. I can start making it now.”

“No! Not yet. Hold on!”

In came the next kid. 

“Mama. I want to start a business.” She flopped down into a chair in front of my desk.

I had to laugh. It just came out. Pumpkin pies and businesses. Forget the struggle of working full time and running a home school, I suddenly felt like I was also running a bakery and a business school.

“I mean after the coronavirus is over,” she said. 

Deep breaths in, Ona. Deep breaths out.

“Okay, that’s awesome honey. I have a zoom-in like 10 minutes. And work to do before that. Can we maybe talk about your business idea in a little bit? Maybe later today?” 

With just a slight pout she started to read instead. So, I went back to work.

But then Mr. Pumpkin Pie chef comes back.

“I’ve figured it out. I can make the crust with crushed ice cream cones and cinnamon Chex.”

“Okay,” I say. And then, because it’s still early, but I already feel like I’ve worked a whole day, I say, “But if there is one speck of mess in the kitchen; if there is one speck of conflict while baking; if the kitchen isn’t cleaner than when you started, you won’t be doing any more baking for the whole pandemic.”

That seemed to go over well, so I turn back to my computer.

But then another kid walked in. (Don’t worry. I only have 3, so my morning slice is almost over.)

“Can you read this from my teacher with me?” he asked. “Can you help me?”

My chef says something from the kitchen that I don’t understand and my daughter says, “He says he’s going to use the food processor to make the crust.”

“You can’t use the food processor while I’m zooming!” I yell. “And my zoom starts in less than 10 minutes!

“Oh,” he says calmly. “I’ll just do it really quickly right now.”

And he does.

(Epilogue: And then the house smells delicious for the rest of the day, he did clean the kitchen, and the pie was delicious, and I did get to my zoom on time, and the next zooms too, and the kids did most of what they were supposed to while I was working, and the house is mostly not a disaster, and I was somewhat successful some of the times I tried to ignore my kids, including the time I spent writing this slice…)






#sol19 March 11 A Slice of a Walk (or, “Poop happens”)

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge!
I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


The walk. 

The day felt almost like spring, with the sun shining and the snow melting. We are on a little bit of a spring break detox (too much time in the car, not enough time moving our bodies, too many car snacks…) so we all need some extra exercise.  It was light out still, thanks to daylight savings.

So, I took a chance. I stopped trying to figure out what to write,  leashed Finnegan, packed dog treats, and a snack for H, and I walked to school to pick him up from drama. Hoping, that there was no drama about my springing a cold 25 minute walk home on my son who had already had a full daylight savings Monday back from spring break — school and drama practice.

Of course, the dog pooped a block from home, at which point I realized I only had one bag. I cleaned it up, because that’s what you do, people. And, I clipped the bag of poop to the leash, on the little clip that Mr. Thought has thoughtfully engineered so you don’t have to carry a bag of poop in your hands. It’s a great system, but sometimes I get annoyed at the bag swaying and the little creaking noise the clip makes.

IMG_0973I kept walking, a little in a rush because good ol’ Finny isn’t what you might call a great leash walker. (We are working on it!)

About a block from school, I remembered that I had seen an email from H’s teacher saying something about a sprained ankle. So, I tried to think of what we would do if I got to him and he actually couldn’t walk home. Who could I call to help? He could stay at school, and I’ll rush home and get the van and then pick him up. I could call my friends and see if any of them are still at school. I could wait with him at school for an hour and a half until Mr. Thought comes home. . .


I got to the top of the hill, and hoped he’d get my text to know where to meet me. I had to keep Finn entertained, because he thinks every person who walks by him should be his new best friend.

When H walked out of school with his backpack and his chrome book binder bag, I didn’t notice a limp. A little hope flittered around me.

“I took a chance…” I said. “We are walking home. I’ll carry your bag!”

His eyes were wide. “I brought everything home with me today!” He said, and I cringed a little.

I smiled, and explained that I had thought we could both get a little exercise.

“I love it!” he said, as he handed me my bag.

“Wanna hold the poop?” I asked him, tired of it swaying back and forth on the leash.

He agreed to run it over to the trash can.

I handed it to him, and noticed it had somehow leaked on my hand.

BLECH AGH. . . what are the words that can fully describe this?

“Get some snow!” H yelled. “Wipe it in the dirt!”

As I stuck my hand in the freezing pile of snow, I looked down and noticed that every sway of that poop bag had left a little smear on my pants.

H ran back from the trash can. “That can is full of poopy bags,” he said, “all different colors of poopy bags. Did you get it off in the snow?”

I told him I had, but that it was all over my pants.

“That’s probably just mud, because that’s on your jacket too.”

Nope. Not mud.

Not. Mud.

It was gross, but we had to walk home. H took off his jacket, because he’s 12, and it was over 20 degrees. He explained that it was light out, and daylight savings makes it seem like spring.  The sun was still out as we made our way home.

“I am so. So. So. Sorry about that poop.” Mr Thought texted me after I told him the story.

But, It wasn’t his fault, and as I told him, “Now I have a slice!”

There must be a moral to this story…

Sometimes in life, poop happens… but a walk home on a cold and sunny Monday evening with your son will always be worth it. 


Sometimes in life, poop happens, but then you have a story.