20 perfectly normal child and parent behaviours during a pandemic

For all those moms who think they have terrible kids — this is normal

Cat and Nat tackle motherhood with wit and wisdom. Find them at catandnat.ca or @catandnat.

If you have a kid, you’re a mom. And if you’re a mom, you might be rethinking your decision since the pandemic hit. We are here to let you know what normal behaviour for your children is, if you are sitting there wondering, “WTF did I get myself into?”

Due to school closures and social distancing protocols, you are finally spending more than an hour at a time with your kids. Which means you’ve probably thought to yourself, “I had no idea how terrible my kid was!”

Well, chances are that your terrible kid is just a normal kid, here’s how to be sure. (Note: this list only applies to moms, not dads.) Here is our list of 20 child (and parent) behaviours that are entirely normal.

1. Personal space does not exist in their world. They have a magnetic connection to you and need to be really close to you at all times. They are sitting on you, on top of you, looking at you, breathing on you and they don’t move.

2. They are standing in the kitchen, with their father, but decide to come up to your bedroom to ask if they can have a glass of water.

3. You ask them a simple question such as, “What are you doing?” and they respond with, “You don’t understand me!” And then you think to yourself, “How can my child be so psychotic one minute and then normal the other?”

4. If you have more than one child and you constantly hear them telling each other, “I hate you.”

5. You make them a meal, and they refuse to eat it. But they also spend the rest of the day complaining that they are hungry and require you to give them an endless stream of snacks.

6. They say the word, “Mom” 4,000 times per hour.

7. They ask you daily what they will be doing today and you explain to them for the thousandth time that they are doing nothing. We are all doing nothing! And they respond with, “But what are we doing today?” They cannot get it into their heads.

8. They spend the entire day sitting in front of a screen no matter how many times you tell them to, “Get off the f***ing screen!”

9. They take their clothes off and leave them all over the house. It’s absolutely crazy that they can’t just keep their clothes in their rooms, but somehow this is normal behaviour.

10. When you have another adult in your house who is staying home due to the pandemic and is not accustomed to it and they ask questions like, “Why are the kids so messy?” They have always been messy, you are just never here to see it!

11. They are so loud that your brain rattles. And the adult (usually your spouse) that you don’t usually spend much time with but now have to because you are quarantined together asks, “Why are the kids talking into a microphone?”

12. Your kid makes a not-so-nice comment and your partner asks you, “How did we raise such rude kids?” Rude? RUDE?! Rude is asking me why our kids are rude.

13. They tell you daily how excited they are about not having school, even though the reason for this is a global pandemic.

14. They never flush the toilet. It’s like they want to show off what they left in the bowl. Like they are steaming their poop. Even at nine years old! Flush the damn toilet!

15. Their hygiene is questionable. You’re constantly asking them to brush their teeth. Sometimes you have to bribe them just to take a shower.

16. They are five years old, but you still have to wipe their bums when they take a poop. When does this stop? How long do I have to double check that they’ve adequately wiped their bum? There’s going to be some skid marks, it’s going to be okay.

17. You completely gave up on making meals at about day five of social distancing.

18. You happened to find five empty bottles of wine in your garbage this morning.

19. You tend to hide in your car while your kids are inside. You have nowhere to go, so you are just sitting in the car.

20. You have started swearing in the house.

By the way, your kids have always been like this. You just haven’t spent this much time at home with them with no school, no activities, no outings and no escape. These are extraordinary circumstances and normally we have something to do. Right now, we have nothing to do but stay home.

And you have to just keep staying home. So yes, your kids will drive you crazy. But know that you are normal, your kids are normal and you got this. Good luck to all the moms, we feel your pain. Stay safe.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO