This 5-year-old who is already over virtual school is all of us
Kara McDowell/Twitter

Can you believe it already mid-September? This isn't the back-to-school season any of us thought we would have, we're busy making appointments for flu shots and there has been a lot of hard to hear news this week.

Our kids are adjusting and so are we and we're heading into a stressful election season.

So let's take a break and take a look at some of the good news stories going viral this week.


This 5-year-old who is already over virtual school is all of us

Most kids only started logging on for remote school a few weeks or a few days ago, and already they have had it (and so have parents).

Virtual learning has been rough, in part because it takes one of the best parts of school away from kids: seeing their friends. But it's also frustrating for a lot of younger children, who don't have much experience using technology, and for kids who have trouble focusing for extended periods of time.

Mom of three, Kara McDowell, from Mesa, Arizona, perfectly captured the struggle in a now-viral photo of her 5-year-old son Graham. The photo, which McDowell snapped on Graham's third day of school in early August, shows him lying across his chair with his head dangling off the side. She shared the photo on Twitter with the caption "My Kindergartner on a 40 minute video call is a total mood."

The tweet has almost 9,000 retweets and more than 58,000 likes.

"Everyone thought it was funny," McDowell told Good Morning America. "I think if you're in school or working from home and doing anything over a long video, call you can relate to being totally over it."

Graham attends virtual school full-time, from 8 am to 1:20 pm. McDowell added in a later Twitter reply that, according to the official schedule sent home by the teacher, Graham is supposed to be online with no breaks from 8 am until 9:45 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday, he doesn't get a break until 10:05 am. Parents responded with laughs and horror, because who can realistically keep a 5-year-old sitting in front of a screen for that long?

Parents and other Twitter users loved the tweet (or hated it?) for how relatable it was. One parent wrote, "I am experiencing this right this second with a third grader. And today's only a half-day."

Another said "This NEEDS to be a 2020 meme."

One thanked McDowell for sharing the image, writing alongside a crying emoji, "I always feel like a failure of a mom when my kindergartner shuts down during virtual class!!" To which McDowell responded, "NOOOO! This is no one's fault!!! It's a terrible situation without a good solution!"

Though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that students return to school in-person for the fall, many schools offered a virtual option. Others reopened only to have to close and move to remote learning after a spike in coronavirus cases. It's been tough for parents, teachers, and kids, and photos like McDowell's capture that.

She shared another tweet after the first one went viral with another photo of Graham smiling and holding a stuffed animal up in front of the screen. "I've gotta say, teachers are trying their best!" she wrote. "For balance, here's another pic from the same day. My Kindergartner happily sharing his stuffed animal during show and tell."

Remote learning hasn't been easy, and it probably won't get any easier, but everyone—including and especially kids— are trying their best.

Little girl announces mom's surrogate pregnancy with beautiful viral photo

Ariel Taylor is pregnant... but not with her own baby. Taylor is a surrogate, something she has explained to her 5-year-old daughter in a perfect, age-appropriate way.

Her daughter Scarlett is now going viral thanks to a photoshoot she participated in announcing her mama's pregnancy.

Taylor posted a picture of her daughter holding a letter board reading "My Mom is Pregnant But It's Not Ours".

"There are many things in my life that I am proud of, but being a surrogate is at the top of my list," Taylor explains.

Her daughter was only 18 months old when she gave birth as a surrogate the first time and Scarlett will be 6 when she delivers that baby's sibling next year.

"I am so proud of how loving and caring she is and I hope that by watching me grow these babies for others, it teaches her the many ways families can be created and that every journey to parenthood is beautiful and special. We are so happy for my Intended Parents who have their second baby on the way," she explains.

According to Taylor, "no matter how you become a parent; surrogacy, donor, step, adopted, foster or naturally, your family is beautiful and you are so deserving of love and happiness."

We 100% agree.

This WFH mama gets real about her CNN interview: 'Just so I'm being honest'

Gretchen Goldman is a scientist and a mom, and this week those worlds collided. She showed exactly why so many parents feel like ducks right now: Our heads look calm but the bottom half is paddling furiously to stay afloat.

As the research director for the Center of Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Goldman was called upon by CNN to discuss a controversial appointment to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

On TV she looked great. Totally professional. She wore a blazer and the wall behind her was worth of @RateMySkypeRoom. If she hadn't tweeted the behind-the-scenes chaos no one would have known that this mom of two wasn't even wearing pants yet and was literally surrounded by toys during her live hit.

Goldman posted a screenshot of her recent CNN interview alongside a wide shot of her Washington, D.C. living room while she was on air.

She tweeted "Just so I'm being honest."

In an interview with Deseret News Goldman explained that she and her husband are working while taking care of their 2 and 4-year-old sons during a pandemic and they're basically "just trying to put out fires" all day long (that explains the missing pants).

Her experience is so relatable and needs to be seen.

"I wanted to be honest about the situation that we are all struggling with now. It almost felt disingenuous to act as if I have this home studio and everything is great," she told Deseret News,

"So I think I just want us to be honest about the reality of the situation and make it more visible that parents are dealing with these challenges right now."

Hundreds of thousands of people have liked or shared the post because we get it.

Kristen Bell's husband Dax Shepard shaved half his head to match 7-year-old daughter ❤️

Last year Kristen Bell, Hollywood's most relatable mom, gave her daughter Lincoln, age 7, permission to get one of those cool undercuts where half the head is shaved.

"She just woke up one morning and was like, 'I need to shave this whole side right here,'" Bell explained at the time. "I was like, 'I've never been, nor will I ever be, that cool to shave the side of my head.' And she did it, and she rocks it and she loves it."

Well, now her dad, Dax Shepard, is rocking an updated version of the look, too.

The father and podcast host broke out the clippers this week and he now matches Lincoln.

Bell documented the process on Instagram, captioning the video: "I love this man so much. He wanted to twin with our daughter."

Jo Yurcaba is a writer and editor living in central North Carolina. They cover women's health, LGBTQ+ rights, and politics. When they're not writing, they're usually riding horses or eating lots of southern food.
https://twitter.com/JoYurcaba