We suspect that the new game Serena Williams and her daughter Olympia Ohanian played in their home on Monday is one kids and their parents around the world have invented in 2020, whether we planned it this way or not. The 3-year-old gave her mother a pretend COVID-19 test — because this is what normal looks like to her.
“What test is this?” Williams asks in her Instagram video, as her daughter sticks what looks like a toy syringe up her mom’s nose. Like really in there.
“It’s the coconut test,” Olympia answers patiently, then proceeds to count to 10, just as someone administering a COVID test would to a child. Looks like Olympia’s moved on from her previous career plan of being a manicurist.
“Good, thank you,” Williams says when it’s done, wrinkling her nose the way we all have after having those cotton swabs tickle our brains.
“The new normal kid games lol,” the tennis champ captioned the post.
A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams)
We don’t know whether to laugh or cry about the idea of preschoolers knowing the ins and outs of our pandemic life these days. In the end, we have to accept that it’s probably quite healthy for children to feel like COVID-19 tests, however uncomfortable, are also quite normal and not so scary. With dolls like a new Doc McStuffins that encourages hand-washing and mask-wearing, as well as hero first-responder dolls, children can take in these bits and pieces of the real world without panicking about the big picture the way we parents might. Children are so resilient and adaptable when we give them love, support, and ways to play — which is how they learn best.
Only one word of caution — let’s maybe just pretend to swab noses instead of really putting things up in there. We don’t want this “new normal” to involve trips to the emergency room for foreign objects lodged in nasal cavities.
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We’re still not safe from the virus yet, but these cute kids face masks should tide you over until the vaccine comes.
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