March 30, 2020
Music Day

We're doing themed school days this week and today the theme was music. This was cleverly chosen to coincide with violin and Amelia and Matthew's piano lessons which just so happen to also be on Monday. In addition to the Skype lessons with their normal teachers we also did some other activities. During Elizabeth's violin lesson, the other children had a music note scavenger hunt. The children greatly enjoyed banging and smashing various instruments in the basement and musical freeze dancing.


We introduced the concept of a timeline to Amelia and Matthew (Elizabeth already had encountered them) and made a family timeline. Then we talked about musical timelines for classical music. We listened to some pieces by different composers from each era that we covered while cutting out their photos. I was impressed that Elizabeth was able to identify Bach, Mozart and Beethoven from their pictures. Perhaps she's learned something in music class at school after all. She did claim that she'd never heard of Handel until I played the Messiah and she took back this outrageous claim. The kids had fun figuring out where various people we've learned about recently (William Tyndale, the ancient Egyptians from Story of the World) fit in the timeline. 


A few months ago I'm not sure I would have believed that the most dangerous and stressful part of my day would be grocery shopping by myself but here we are. I managed to complete my trip while only using my right hand to touch anything so that when it came time to pay I could use my left hand to get out my credit card. Brendan printed out the list so that I wouldn't have to use my phone in the store, and he organized the items by section. I picked up a few items for three neighbours on the street, which I was glad to be able to do. The shelves weren't too bare, but there was a limit of only 4 items on everything in the store and a limit of 2 cartons of eggs, 2 bags of milk and 1 of any kind of paper product (aka toilet paper). I did manage to get the five Easter bunnies I wanted because the clerk asked me if I had a lot of kids and when I replied affirmatively she said she'd bend the rules. Actually I got everything on my list, though for some items there wasn't too much choice. There was only one kind of 3L oil - everything else was out of stock. The store also  appeared to be out of flour and yeast. Apparently everyone has taken up baking. Plenty of bread so I assume that this will soon go back to normal unless the baking craze is in response to boredom rather than the bread shortages we recently had. When I entered there was a staff member disinfecting the handles of grocery carts and reminding everyone to stay 2 m apart in the store. There was an announcement on repeat saying the same thing every few minutes as well as assuring us that they are cleaning regularly. The store did seem unusually clean.


I found the store to be busier than I had hoped and people were not paying as much attention as I would have liked. I did manage to stay at least a metre and mostly two metres away from everyone but I had to pay a lot of attention to do so. Lots of people shopping in groups of two, which I found really odd. Most people seemed to be in good spirits and pretty friendly though. The staff were clearly on edge. My cashier was giving a running commentary on Canadian Covid-19 statistics which I could have done without. I was underwhelmed by the plexiglass "protection" - I don't think it's particularly useful because there was a big gap at the bottom to allow access to the interac machine. I don't think it provides much real protection. I was also underwhelmed by the dots on the floor - it wasn't obvious where to stand exactly and people kept getting too close when they were going up and down the aisles. I think they'd be better off closing the ends of some of the aisles. Every other aisle was closed to provide separation which was good. One funny thing: my cashier thought I didn't have the use of my "clean" hand at first. When she realized I was just keeping it clean she offered me a squirt of hand sanitizer. I had heard that reusable bags weren't allowed but I was told that's not true. Cashiers are apparently not allowed to bag people's groceries anymore so if you want to bring your own bags in that's okay. We now have everything we want until Easter, though we'll undoubtedly want more milk and fresh fruit. We could manage without though.


When I got home I found out that Michael had not napped and he wasn't fit company until he got to nurse. So as soon as groceries were away he had a little lie down. Then I put on the Curious George episode about sound acoustics while I got supper ready before piano.


At suppertime the kids were briefly interested in hearing different styles of music but lost interest long before Daddy did. Instead they had a silly faces contest.

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