2020 has been some kind of crazy…I can’t even remember everything thats happened in between the Influenza A epidemic, forest fires, political circus happening, and everything else before. But Covid-19 is a whole other level.
Shafiq had a string of back to back weekend jobs coming up so we decided to take a small family vacation to Terengganu, since Mak, Abang, and Kakak’s families would also all be there for a wedding. But due to the Covid-19 situation, we decided to skip the wedding and just hit the beach. We planned on staying til Monday but I took and extra day off of work because I didn’t want to be tired and exhausted coming in post-holiday. But after seeing the news about how bad the health situation was in KL, we decided why not just stay that extra day in Terengganu, since at the time, there were zero reported cases there (as opposed to hundreds in KL/Selangor). Decided to stay at a secluded place 20mins outside of Dungun, where we were definitely socially distanced from everyone.
On our last day in Terengganu, news broke that starting on the 18th of March, the government would impose a movement control order to actively force people into social distancing. I totally agreed with the call, and as we made our way back to KL we stopped at a few small grocery stores to stock up on supplies. No, we did NOT panic buy, but it was funny – since we rarely cook at home, I was peering into other people’s shopping baskets and trolleys in case I missed out anything. But most of the things they bought didn’t really apply to me. Eg, cili boh, tepung, gula, belacan etc. I properly fail at malay cooking. dah try nasi goreng, sup daging. semua rasa kurang. Loaded up on pasta and tomatoes and cheese and the like.
In response to the situation also, as it turned out, all of the strings of clients and jobs Shafiq had lined up for the next few months unfortunately, were all postponed or cancelled. Allahu musta’an
First few days
Since we had been away from the office since last week, we decided we would both pop into work today to get everything we needed to continue working from home. Packed up the kids around noon and headed off to Setapak. The roads were pretty much clear but not empty. At first I thought of hauling my PC back home but I decided against it. The hackintosh seems pretty fragile anyway. Spent a couple of hours copying files and then headed back home, and the rest of the day was just discussing work stuff and then prepping for dinner, which was paratha with scrambled eggs and sausages. Rojak kind of english breakfast lol.
Even though we had gotten a lot of groceries on the way back, we were still missing quite a lot of fresh produce like chicken and beef. So the next day Shafiq headed over to Giant to finish grocery shopping. I felt very nervous – like he was going off into a battlezone, which when you think of it, he kind of was.
The kids seem very happy to be at home with both parents around – though keeping up with them is a challenge to say the least. Even though we are both used to having kids around at work, at home there was us and only us to layan their every request. At least at work there are other people who they can kacau, lol!
Being at home reminded me of the time when I was a haughty “mom”, before I had kids. I was that person who said things like “my kid will have very limited screen time. I will definitely homeschool them. They will eat healthy homecooked food everyday.” HA HA HA. Jokes on me. I do still harbor big ambitions, but I also know that I have not nearly enough patience and dedication to pull that off. So I’ll try with whatever I can whenever I can, even if that just means a staccato 10 minute struggle with keeping eesa focused through phonics or fine motor skills or math. Or if it means an hour coaxing him to eat, just eat, for the love of God, whatever is on the table.
A lot of the days are spent entertaining the kids, because they need A LOT of entertaining. The amount of times I hear Ummi, ummi nak minum/nak makan/lapar/jom main/ummi sini la/come here/nak ni/tak nak ni is endless. And for some reason, no matter how late I let them sleep they still wake up at 7.30-8am, and pounce on me of course. Abah dia gets to sleep in, easy.
Although it’s wonderful having time with family, it can also drive you a little bit crazy to say the least. As an introvert, being constantly surrounded by people can eat away at your soul and sanity. I was kind of scared we would get on each others nerves too much, but so far alhamdulillah it’s been ok. Not smooth sailing and definitely a lot of deep breathing moments, but ok. We know to spend time on our own in corners of the house so we each get our me-time away from everyone else. Hopefully it gets smoother along the way.
Home and living
On day 5 we were feeling kind of restless I guess, so Shafiq took it unto himself to reorganise the living room layout. We finally hung up the big mirror in the entryway, and hung up the frame that had been in a box for ages. The new layout is much cosier, I think, and defines the living room area a lot better.
One of the things that remains the same whether we’re working at the office or working from home is the eternal conundrum of what to eat. The only difference is, at home, we’re wondering what to cook every day. I’m not big on cooking, especially complex Malay cooking. So far, our menu has been pretty basic, from what I can remember:
- Day 1 – Paratha with scrambled eggs
- Day 2 – Breakfast – Cereal + Apples. Grilled cheese with sardine – Lunch – Dinner – Nasi + Ayam masak merah
- Day 3 – Breakfast – Cereal. Lunch – Spaghetti goreng, Dinner – Nasi putih, kicap, telur mata
- Day 4 – Breakfast – Pancakes, Lunch & Dinner – Nasi Goreng
- Day 5 – Breakfast – Cereal + Apples. Lunch Nuggets, wedges and fried chicken, Dinner Sup daging
- Day 6 – Breakfast – Cereal & bananas. Lunch – peanut butter and honey sandwich
The abrupt slowed down pace of life has been a blessing. It has given time for introspection, for scooping up loose pieces of our lives, and for thinking about the future.
Things I am thankful for, among others, in no particular order and off the top of my head,
- praying more jamaah
- cuddles with my babies
- taking care of our home
- not rushing
- creative and physical energy
Next week we plan on cleaning the store room and Eesa’s room. We’ll see what else pops up out of this cabin fever. Til then, May Allah protect us all.
Image via @sunnahscene