Means, motive and opportunity — we learned about all three in homeschool today.

Sure, there was some French grammar at the beginning of the day, a smidge of long division thrown in, but the bulk of today’s education of my 9-year-old was related to the penal system.

It started when she rolled into the kitchen with a toy school bus carrying a stuffed cockatoo and penguin and announced that the feathery duo was “on the lam” as suspects in a bank robbery gone wrong.

Intrigued (it doesn’t take much to entertain me right now, see yesterday’s post on the TV I’m watching) we started chatting and I quickly realized we needed to call in an expert opinion.

So, I “phoned a friend,” a coworker, Kelly, who LOVES true crime. Turns out she too was more than happy to contemplate the facts of the case (again, thanks ‘Rona). My daughter, now with a larger audience, was only too happy to spell out the sordid tale of a cockatoo who “wanted money to impress the ladies” and a penguin with expensive tastes and slippery fins.

Both, we were shocked to learn, were from known crime families.

Twenty minutes later, Kelly and I both concluded that one thing was clear — this crime was far too big for just one bird. The two were obviously in cahoots. But the twist was that there was also a murder involved — a dog, it turned out — probably the same old story, wrong place, wrong time. There was still no body. This case was far from sorted.

We let Kelly return to her life, with the promise to provide updates as they developed, and took the obvious next step, a journey to the playroom to chat with the guards (a stegosaurus and a couple of dragons – one ancient Chinese and one that shoots blue disks when you pull its tail).

That’s when my husband checked in.

“I don’t get it,” he whispered to me. “Where is all this ‘jail’ and ‘prison’ talk coming from?” (Spoken from a man that still leaves the house every day to go to work.)

I looked at him incredulously, like he had just announced the polar bear would be providing his legal fees pro-bono. (C’mon, everybody knows those guys are ruthless).

“I get it,” I said to him. “I sooooo get it.”

Today the governor declared the whole state closed for three more weeks and, since school is cancelled, that means parents, at least at our school, can add another two weeks of homeschooling duties on to that. That puts us into June.

So no, my love, I don’t believe it’s any kind of mystery that our daughter is plotting jail breaks in the playroom.

What’s amazing is that it’s taken her this long.

As I complain, I need to stop and say at the same time that I am fully aware and embrace the fact that we are all not “stuck at home” we’re “safe at home.” There are so many people I love on the front lines of this and just as many that fall into the “especially vulnerable” category. I guess this is just an honest acknowledgement that even that immense sense of gratitude doesn’t make some of these days move any faster.


Hang in there y’all. See you tomorrow.




The Corona Diaries is a joint project of the Renaissance Publishing Staff. Each week during the series, a different member of our staff will share their day-to-day experiences with working from home, social distancing and the other ups and downs of living through the pandemic.