A Year of Pandemic Parenting, In Pictures

April 30, 2021 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES

We’ve been pandemic parenting for over a year now… and it’s been a hell of a year, hasn’t it? Compared to so many that were medically or financially devastated by Covid, our family got off fairly easy. Yet I imagine everyone looks forward to putting this behind us, allowing it to fade into a surreal, scary, traumatic, lonely, stressful, depressing — and oh so monotonous — memory.

Between the isolation, health scares, lost work and the flaming dumpster fire that was virtual learning, I had to do something to keep my sanity, fill the time, and lift the spirits of my housebound family.

While distance learning was (and is) a largely futile endeavor for my ADHD kiddo, his school interjected some fun as best it could. Spirit Week was always one of my favorite events growing up, so I was pleasantly surprised when Jon’s school added a couple of extra themed weeks to the calendar.

As it’s no secret Dad loves any excuse to play dress up, I wasn’t letting my son have all the fun. I got us all involved — picked out props, took pics, and occasionally had some Photoshop fun before sharing on social media. It was such a hoot, I added a few themed Spirit Days of my own. If I’m being honest, sometimes I was probably the only one truly enjoying it — but kudos to Jon and Papa for letting me force convince them to play along!

So, as we surpass the year mark on quarantine life, I wanted to commemorate all of the wacky, weird and spirited photos from the weary months we’ve made it through.

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HOPPY EASTER! 👯‍♂️🦄 Not an official Spirit Day photo, but officially adorbs. Trying to find some fun hidden in our son’s first Easter not spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s.

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SILLY HAT DAY!
🎩👒🧢 Sometimes (okay a lot of the time) it was hard to get us all set up for virtual school and work and still find time for a goofy group shot. So here we are in our individual quarantine habitats, donning selections from our too large collection of hilarious headgear. Fun fact: I wore this very same Big Bird hat when I was of Sesame Street-viewing age.

Funny Hat Day

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FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM DAY!
⚾ As usual, everyone was running late. To motivate Jon, I told him to make the goofiest pose possible and then Papa and I would mimic it. I think we hit bunts compared to our son’s out-of-the-park weirdness. Also, GO NATS!

Washington Nationals

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CRAZY HAIR DAY!
🤡 And since Dad no longer has hair, he dipped into the Halloween bin. Never was a fan of hair metal. Still not.🤘

Crazy Hair Day - Pandemic Parenting

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FAVORITE COLOR DAY!
💙💙💙 Blue was Jon’s favorite color at the time, so here’s our trying-not-to-be-Blue Period.

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BEAR DAY!
🐻 The first of my made-up Spirit Days. We’ve dressed up as The Three Bears before, but this time we did more of our own thing. Too hot? Too cold? Just right?

Three Bears - Pandemic Parenting

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BROADWAY DAY!
🎭 Another Spirit Day original! Check out the clips below of us getting our Go-Go’s, Vodlemort and Dewey Finn on. 💖💀🍳 OMG I MISS SEEING SHOWS!

Broadway Day!

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SUPERHERO DAY! 🦸‍♂️ Naturally, my favorite. But we only had time (or energy) to put on our hero tees and strike a pose. I used my super doodling powers to add costumes and backgrounds. 💥

Superhero Day - Pandemic Parenting

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FAVORITE COLOR DAY, PART II!
💜❤️💙 So this time we all picked our favorite colors, then proceeded to pile on every piece of clothing and costume/accessory in said color. Violá — instant fashion show!

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HALLOWEEN!
🎃 Though not technically a Spirit Day, it’s always been one of our family’s favorite days. Since we didn’t go trick-or-treating due to Covid concerns, we were a little more lenient on Jon’s quasi-mature costume choice. In any event, it inspired our costume theme — movie villains! 🦹🦈😱

Halloween Family 2

The Addams Family ain’t got nothing on us!

Halloween, Pandemic Parenting Style

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SILLY HAT DAY, PART II!
🐤⚡⛄ Big Bird makes a return appearance, along with Thor and a crazy-eyed yeti for this quick Spirit/Snow Day family selfie.

Funny Hat Day - Pandemic Parenting

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HOLIDAY CARD OUTTAKES!
🎅🎄🎁 Yet another unofficial Spirit Day. But I’m counting it since we managed to have a little fun while taking photos for our holiday card. Check out the final result.

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GRANDMA’S WIG DAY!
👵 Once quarantine restrictions lifted a bit — and my parents got their vaccinations — we visited Grandma for her birthday. At some point, my son started laughing and yelling, “OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THAT?!?” Turns out he’d found a wig my mom had bought recently. I instantly had flashbacks to when I may or may not have played with her wigs (and clothes) from time-to-time. Here I am reliving my childhood… and (once again) forcing it on my long-suffering family.

Wig Day!

I’m hoping we can squeeze in one more Spirit Day before the year is up. Maybe it will be a THANK GOD VIRTUAL LEARNING IS OVER photo. Check back in a few weeks to see what we come up with…

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What were some ways you and your family helped pass the time and inject a little fun during quarantine? Share them in the comments!

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