I went back to work again last week after our temporary layoff from March. It was a lot easier than when I went back from mat leave. I wasn’t exhausted when I got home like I was before. But it’s a whole different experience than working in the past now that we are dealing with a pandemic.

Everyone in the store is asked to wear a mask. While the masks aren’t necessarily uncomfortable, they make your face so hot. I start overheating and have to take it off for a minute every now and then. I’ve also found that my face feels a bit numb when I take it off. I don’t know if its because I have to breathe through my mouth while wearing it or what.

Speaking of masks. I ordered a bunch online about a week or two before heading back to work, which said they would arrive the week I went back, and now I’m still waiting. Its extremely frustrating. I only have a handful of disposable masks left so if they don’t come soon, I’m going to run out this week. I really don’t want to buy more when I’ve already spent money on these ones which said they were on their way.

The other change in the retail store is sanitizing. We have to wipe everything down between customers if they are touching anything, like the credit machine. We are constantly washing or sanitizing our hands and paying closer attention to what we are touching. We have been keeping the door locked and making sure we stay as far away from other people as we can. Having the door locked has made it easier to keep the number of people in the store lower and also make sure they are wearing masks.

But there is another big change which I hinted at in my last post. Before we were closed due to the virus, we were given notices saying that the store would be closing permanently at the end of May. The pandemic has changed our closing date to the end of August but we have now started letting our customers know we will be gone.

I’ve been working for this company for over 11 years now so on one hand it’s sad to be done. But on the other hand, I’m excited to find a new job. I am hoping to move out of retail and into a job with more regular hours and higher pay. But I’m also nervous because I’m sure so many people are also looking for jobs and I’m not sure if I’m qualified for the jobs I want to apply for. I also haven’t done an interview in over a decade so I’m also nervous about how I will do (I tend to be shy around strangers).

If I have trouble finding a job, I was also considering going back to school to get an accounting degree. But we are also looking to buy a house so I’m nervous that I won’t have enough money if I decide to go to school.

They say you should try to have your baby off the bottle by their first birthday. I was fully prepared to do that but had no idea where to start. I was unable to find any real advice online for this which I found surprising. When we went to the doctor for Elliott’s one year checkup, he didn’t seem too concerned about him being on the bottle which I was also surprised by.

Dropping his afternoon bottles sort of happened by mistake. I went back to work and his dad was in charge. He decided to skip one or two of his bottles, and Elliott didn’t seem to mind. So when it was my time to be in charge for the weekend, I also tried skipping bottles. Instead, at the time he would drink, I gave him a snack instead.

For the first week I also sent two bottles with Elliott to the Day Home, but he was only drinking an ounce or two. For the second week I started only sending one bottle, although at home he wasn’t having any daytime bottles. But he was generally refusing the bottle. So by week three he was off the bottle during the day.

The next bottle to go was his morning bottle. Normally I would give him a bottle as soon as he woke up. Again, his dad decided he didn’t need a bottle and instead just gave him breakfast. So I tried the same. I made him wait until 7 am to have his breakfast and he didn’t seem to care. He didn’t act any hungrier than usual.

The last bottle was the one before bed, which they say is the hardest one to stop. I only just stopped that one three days ago. Normally I would sing to him while he drank his bottle. This week, I sang to him without the bottle. For the first minute or so he looked confused and complained a little bit. But I just kept singing and you could see on his face that he realized no bottle was coming. He complained the three nights that I have done this so far, but the realization seems to come faster each night.

I think it’s safe to say we are done with bottles, but I also think I am just blessed with an easy baby.