I grilled my 5- and 6-year-old children about the state of America during the coronavirus | Just Jaggin' | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

I grilled my 5- and 6-year-old children about the state of America during the coronavirus

This was the best they could during these trying times. - CP PHOTO: JOSH OSWALD
CP Photo: Josh Oswald
This was the best they could during these trying times.

Generations of Americans are living through an unprecedented era right now. Coronavirus and the subsequent quarantine are new and difficult for people of any age to navigate. So how do a 5- and 6-year-old deal with our new challenges? Well, I just happen to have one of each sitting behind me right now. And they’re mine, so they have to do what I tell them.

I sat down with Marty (6) and Cece (5) in my home office (basement equipped with a computer atop a patio-furniture table) and asked them questions about their current situation. For two kids who can talk non-stop throughout an entire episode of Jeopardy! — they were strangely tight-lipped about quarantine.

What do you think about the coronavirus?
Marty: I bet the doctors will find a way.
Cece: I bet the doctors will say, “I guess it stopped.”

These are answers you'd expect Trump to give the American public. But, I was happy to hear them from 5- and 6-year-olds.

What has been your favorite part of quarantine?
Marty: Ohhhhhh! Watching TV.
Cece: Watching TV.

These kids love their television, as I may have mentioned in previous columns. But we also found a cool YouTube series from children’s book author Mo Willems, who walks kids through how to draw his characters step-by-step. They did this for hours.

What’s been your favorite show?
Marty: Garfield!
Cece: Garfield!

I’m not sure which version of Garfield this is, but it’s on Netflix, and has been on nonstop. It’s actually pretty funny, and Garfield is still threatening to send Nermal to Abu Dhabi. Ahhh! Normalcy.

What have you been doing in the house?
Marty: Hanging out and drawing.
Cece: I like to play with rainbow looms.

Rainbow Looms is a cool elastic, bracelet-making set that is infuriatingly hard to figure out the first time. Here's the best instructional video.

What do you miss about school?
Marty: I don’t know, like, my friends, I guess. I miss art class and my teachers.
Cece: My friends.

Do you miss snack time?
Cece: Yes.
Marty: Yes.

What they don't realize is that almost every hour at home is snack time. Keep this to yourselves, dearest readers. 

What do you think about the new schedule we have during this?
Marty: Eh bad.
Cece: (No comment.)

A couple of days or what feels like 10 years ago, my wife Emily created a rough schedule of what the kids should be doing at certain times of day. It was far from demanding: get dressed, quiet time, etc. Cece got so upset at this structure that she found a pen and X'd out each bullet point. We are reevaluating.

What’s it like having mom and dad home all the time?
Marty: (Looks at me and gives a thumbs down.) Just kidding. Thumbs up!
Cece: Thumbs up.

At this point in the interview, the two excused themselves — walked away while I was talking — to ignore my questions and sit on the couch behind me, making Rainbow Looms. Also, something Trump might do.

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