A dispatch from Caroline Corrente, mom of 3-year-old Casey and co-owner of Middlebury’s Haymaker Bun Co. and the Arcadian
MiniBury: In one word, describe how you’re feeling today.
MiniBury: When are you doing the bulk of your work?
Caroline: I am running our bakery in the mornings between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. and then I come home to switch off with my husband, Matt, who has been home with our son, so that he can go into the restaurant.
MiniBury: What is your kid’s relationship with screens these days?
Caroline: He is spending more time on Facetime and Zoom with people than normal, but other than that I would say it is about the same.
MiniBury: Tell us about a non-screen activity that your kid has enjoyed lately.
Caroline: Working out in the yard with Dad, going for scooter & bike rides with mom, exploring nature on walks, turning his closet into a spaceship, adding new plants and insects to his terrarium that he and Dad made, making forts everywhere. Oh, and catching ants in our house and putting them in mason jars to keep as his pets (not ideal).
MiniBury: Has your family celebrated a special occasion during isolation?
Caroline: His 3rd birthday was during the first week of isolation. I made him a cake and we did a special dinner in our empty restaurant. It was tough to not be with family and friends, and it was clearly a challenge for him. Easter with no grandparents around was also difficult, but I think more so for me.
MiniBury: What has been the hardest part of this new way of life?
Caroline: I feel like I am wearing a whole lot of hats right now, but none of them particularly well. Somedays it feels challenging to be a good employee, boss, mom, teacher, wife, friend, etc. Accepting that I am doing my best, even if my best is less than stellar, in all of those categories is tough for me.
MiniBury: Any small victories lately?
Caroline: I have had more dinners with my husband in the past four weeks than ever before in the eight years that I have known him (he has always worked nights). I feel incredibly lucky to have all of the family time we are getting right now. We also have been continually amazed by the support of this community, friends, and family. We have a business that is very impacted by isolation, and it is humbling to see how much people have come together to support us.
MiniBury: What song do you have on repeat these days?
Caroline: Brandi Carlile, “The Eye”
MiniBury: What are you reading/watching?
Caroline: Reading “Disappearing Earth” by Julia Phillips and “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. Watching “Workin’ Moms.” It’s hilarious, and should be required TV right now for all moms (and dads). And “Little Fires Everywhere,” read the book and watch the show!
MiniBury: What’s your favorite thing you’ve cooked, eaten or imbibed in the last month?
Caroline: Whole roasted chicken with potato & celery root gratin, every bottle of red wine available, and breakfast of raw cookie dough at 6:30 a.m. most mornings. Breakfast of champs.
MiniBury: How have you explained the current situation to your kid?
Caroline: Casey is very aware of what he calls “the big sicky” we have been honest with him since day one. He for the most part has been very receptive and understanding, but still wakes up most days and asks if it is “family day” or “school day.”
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