You did it! Nine whole months of growing something inside you and now you’re the proud parent of your pandemic alter-ego, Cindi! She enjoys sweatpants, never washing her hair, and purposely avoiding all responsibilities and deadlines because who the hell cares nothing matters anymore it’s all pointless.

You carefully read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Pandemic Alter-Ego” and tracked your week-by-week growth on CNN, NPR, and your father’s Sunday-phone call diatribes. One week you felt calm, the next you felt gassy, even hour by hour, you could track your heartburn by Cuomo’s news conferences.

Your dutifully took your…

He wakes at 9 and rolls to the screen

He eats a waffle at his desk

He does social studies,

Music, Math, Reading

In between

It’s Madden YouTube Roblox

From bed, still in night

Clothes, still in night

Hair, still in night

There’s a bed

And a couch and a desk chair

That spins,

There’s a kitchen stool

And a couch and a bed

And a desk chair

That spins,

For lunch, take

A bite


A bite


A bite

Eyes locked, never looking

Up, there’s science, ELA, Phys Ed

It makes you breathless

Just to say Phys Ed

To better understand the inherent shitiness of being you during the year 2020, the following is a technique that uses a forgiveness meditation script inspired by Danny Bonaduce and Bette Davis, a technique that relies on the cleansing flames of rage combined with pre-Method acting melodrama.

Meditation can be very intense. Remember to use your breath.

Now, you might feel disingenuous as you start the forgiveness meditation, but if we started in a place of genuine emotion, you would need an ark to carry your nameless terror, along with two of every ice cream flavor.

Let us begin:

1. Settle yourself. Find that perfect moment sometime after you wake up…

We Must Open Schools Now

On Wednesday afternoon, November 18, my husband and I received word from our boys’ school district that learning would move from in-person to fully remote. The 7-day rolling average positivity rate of Covid-19 in Western New York is too high.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of when my kids moved to remote learning the first time, I can no longer sit idly by while New York continues to deny the basic human right of education to its youngest citizens. …

How I Became Everything To Everyone During Covid

In the ancient 1990’s, I used to download music to my iPod (I’m sure I wrote all about it in hieroglyphics on my papyrus diary).

One of the songs on the iPod was “Everything to Everyone” by Everclear, a band so prescient as to predict the future of parents in 2020. How did a three-man band somehow know that my children’s world would shrink down to the parental unit, and force me to be, in no particular order:

1. Barber

2. Friend

3. Playmate

4. Teammate

5. Coach

6. Teacher

7. Therapist

Have you Been to That One Corner of Your Hall Closet Yet?

I have a travel bucket list and this summer, I refuse to let a stupid pandemic hold me back.

The world is mine! This small, foam world I found in my kid’s room.

In a shocking and surprising burst of positivity, I’m determined to explore the hyper local, and quite ripe, flavors and experiences of my house and yard. Like the Timothy Hay from the guinea pig that’s been lying on the floor for a few weeks, Taco Tuesday, the sweet scent of scooter knee pads, and my gin-and-tonic lemons! …

This one’s for you, Dad in Quarantine.

We see you, spending your mornings in the guest bedroom, your duff upon a decorative pouf, laptop on lap, doing whatever Sisyphean shit one does when dealing with a crashing economy.

Snap out of it, dude. Your real office without children is gone.

We see you spending your afternoons teaching physical education to two feral boys, while we take a mental health moment. We appreciate that you appreciate that our overwhelming emotion dissipates when we march-meditate alone for an hour.

A Jaunt Through December with Billie Eilish!

When we all fall asleep, where do we go? The Nutcracker. Strike that, reverse it. When we go to the Nutcracker, we all fall asleep.

It’s the 579th Act: your kids, snazzy in scratchy wool sweaters and high on Intermission Sprite, are bouncing up and down on their boosters. You have paid approximately one million dollars for these tickets. You are making holiday magic, dammit, but it’s so warm and the music is so endless and that man’s head in front of you is so big.

You can’t see this from your seat, can you?

How did you get to this point?

A Letter From Me to You. I Mean Me.

Hey, Girl!

Let’s party like it’s 1999! Look at you, watching “Pop Up Video” while eating corn pops, living with four other girls in Ithaca, swooning over Ricky Martin, getting ready to Y2K End of College!

Girl, let’s party like your face has collagen, like your knees have cartilage, and like you moved to New York City with $600 in your pocket. Your style is Gap Coupon meets Sexy Chinatown Knockoff. You are the original Destiny’s Child, payin’ your bills, bills, bills, — your Long Island City apartment bill, your New York Sports Club bill, your student loan bill.


In hindsight, my mommy blog of a decade ago might have better been described as a travel blog. It was my emotional and physical travels with children: to the crib for midnight feedings; to the cliffs of exhaustion; to the park; to Gymboree; to the foggy lands of impulse control; to visit family on cross-country flights; to toddler gymnastics; to the depths of social-emotional learning.

Around the world, around the block, around my mind.

Physical travel with my boys when they were little was always horrendous. I once wrote a travel piece entitled “The Snake & the Mongoose” about my…

Tarja Parssinen

Writer, Mother, Advocate

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