Here we are 6 weeks into Lockdown. 6 whole weeks. I should have been in Paris this weekend with Curly Locks and Titch, drinking ALL the wine and eating ALL the food without a child or husband in sight. Yet, here I am, the kids are in front of the electronic babysitter with their millionth snack of the day and I am hiding in the kitchen with a coffee.
So, what’s been happening over the past few weeks?
A few days before Lockdown Braai Boy got in from work, poured me a glass of wine then told me he might be deploying the following week. That’s ok I thought, we’ve survived deployments before and we will again. Then the day the schools closed Braai Boy told me he might be deploying the next day. It was all too much, what the actual hell was happening? Told I would have to home-school and couldn’t escape to the play park, then told my husband might deploy but no-one could say when or for how long. Argh! I had a cry, did the whole woe is me thing, then gave myself a kick up the arse. Good job there was wine in the fridge.
Guess what? Yep that’s right, Braai Boy is still here. His bergen is packed and in his office, his other bag is in the spare room packed and ready to go. Will he go? Won’t he go? Who knows?
Now, you know I like to be organised, I love a list, I love to plan but with all the craziness of Lockdown I planned absolutely nothing, not one little thing. I was definitely not one of those who set out to learn a language, teach my kids Astrophysics or find the answer to world peace. My sole aim entering Lockdown was to make sure that my family were happy and healthy. That’s it.
It didn’t take long for us to fall into a routine. My kids like a routine, it doesn’t have to be rigid, jeez no way, that would break me. Routines have got us through all of Braai Boys deployments. A routine makes the kids feel like they have control, they feel safe when they know what’s what and right now in this bizarre time it is exactly what they need. For them it’s control, for me it’s Groundhog Day!
Our day typically starts at stupid o’clock. I have 3 alarms: Braai Boy, Wee Man and my radio alarm. 0545 Braai Boy gets up to go for a run before work. I try to go back to sleep. 0630ish Wee Man bimbles in and stands at the side of the bed waiting for me to pick him up and give him a cuddle. I try to go back to sleep. At 0700 Braai Boy leaves the house and my radio alarm clock goes off. That’s when my day officially starts.
And boy, do some days feel long, the bickering, the snacking, the keeping busy and of course the supposed home-schooling.
The bickering normally starts at breakfast. One of them doesn’t like the other one staring at them. ‘Stop iiiiiiit!!!! Maaaaamaaaaaaaaaa, he’s looking at me!’, ‘Well, don’t look at him’, ‘but he’s opposite me I can’t help it’, ‘well, close your eyes’, ‘if I close my eyes I’ll spill my flakes everywhere’, ‘well, go and sit at the bottom of the stairs’, ‘there’s no table in there’, ‘well, sit on the floor and hold your bowl’, ‘but I’ll spill on the carpet and you will tell me off’, that’s when I turn my back, take a deep breath and put the kettle on as I wonder if Braai Boy has a pair of ear defenders in his bag upstairs.
If the kids are dressed by 10am I am winning. They have stopped wearing ‘proper shoes’ and have only worn crocs or wellies since school finished. Onesie days are a common occurrence. Miss Sassy will only brush her hair if I threaten to cut it off. The threat works because she has seen the state of Wee Mans hair after I went at him with Braai Boys beard trimmers (his hair is now very short and very uneven and he shouted ouch a lot). There’s not a day goes by when the kids haven’t made dens somewhere in the house. The trampoline has never been used so much (best Christmas present EVER Grandma!). Screen time is unlimited, Nature documentaries count as home schooling, right? Surely everything narrated by David Attenborough is educational. I downloaded a few educational apps on to their tablets in the hope the kids would use them. They don’t, but it makes me feel better. I’ve even taught Wee Man how to use the remote control, I may live to regret that.
I’ve hidden in the toilet to get a moment to myself. That worked until the kids worked out how to unlock the door from the other side. Like some kind of thriller where you see the lock slowly turning then a voice slowly whispering ‘Hello Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’. I’ve taken to standing in the kitchen drinking a coffee with the hoover on to drown out the kids bickering. I don’t actually hoover, I literally just stand there with the hoover on.
I do a happy dance round the kitchen if Braai boy is home before 8pm, if I get a food delivery slot or if the kids are asleep by 745pm. Fair to say there’s not been much happy dancing round the kitchen but we can’t have everything.
I set out to keep the family happy and healthy and so far I’ve succeeded.
Who needs a kid/husband free weekend with good friends in Paris, anyway? MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!