I haven’t posted in a while and that’s because everything is pretty similar to what it was – but recently in the UK they’ve suggested that we might be coming out of lockdown, so the world might start returning to normal. I’m not sure what normal is any more or whether we want to return to it…
Honestly for us I think lockdown has been kind of a breeze. And I’m fully aware that is steeped in privilege. We are very very lucky to have jobs which haven’t been stopped, and we can work from home, and we are all healthy and only have one – non school age – child. So for us we’ve had to get used to a new normal, but that new normal has been pretty nice.
Of course it’s not all rainbows and butterflies! We’ve had our fair share of short temper (me) and long working hours (T). It’s definitely been interesting to see how everything has fallen into the gender roles – I do most of the childcare and cooking and all the grocery shopping. I earn more but I work less (unfair for T!) so it makes sense that I do more of that stuff but… it does make me think sometimes I need to do a bit more to smash the patriarchy!
I feel very lucky to have outside space. We have a large (for London) terrace that’s small garden sized (with no grass to maintain, hurrah!). It means we haven’t had to leave the house other than to walk Dog or buy groceries during lockdown. Actually we have limited the outside trips for B and he hasn’t asked to go out. He’s happy at home and on the terrace.
B has adapted remarkably well. It’s like he actually prefers lockdown. He loves being at home and he doesn’t want to go back to nursery. He does admit to missing his friends a tiny bit when prompted but he really doesn’t want to go back. They’re thinking of opening in June but whilst we can stay home we will be keeping him home until we can reassess later in the month.
B’s language has come on in leaps and bounds. He’s 3 and I suppose talking to mostly 3 year olds vs talking to two adults probably helps. He’s really enjoyed being home and the increase in imaginative play (we are both tired trying to keep up with that) and a lot of physical play too. Luckily a while ago we bought a little climbing frame that is usually indoors and we have that inside and outside. We have a paddling pool and ball pool too. So for London we are doing pretty well.
We have not really limited screen time. He has his kindle which allows age appropriate games and the iPad which doesn’t! And the Osmo which is an add on for the iPad. All of the screen time has actually been pretty educational for him I think. He definitely learns language and concepts from it. I realise he’ll be saying something that he learned from a show!
A lot of his favourite shows are educational – Blaze, Blippi, and the latest favourite, Blue’s Clues. (Also special mention for Bluey which I love for modelling happy healthy relationships!) And the games he plays are all very interactive and educational so I am quite happy with them.
I know a lot of parents have tried to limit screen time during lockdown but I haven’t seen any detrimental effects. If anything it’s another thing to help entertain an only child if we are both working. I’m not worried about his social skills really as I think a lot of these shows and games model good social interaction. And I figure we all need downtime and I tend to read a book for that and he can’t read, so a bit of relaxation and tv doesn’t do any harm.
The other great thing is that lockdown allowed us to do relatively pain free potty training! It’s amazing how quick it was. I really thought it would be horrendous but it was pretty quick. The first day he didn’t get it until the evening but the subsequent days he knew what he needed to do, and then it was just learning about how long it took to get to the loo. We’ve had hardly any accidents and we dropped the m&m rewards within a few days and he didn’t even notice.
So it’s been so much easier than I had feared! We just wouldn’t have had that time to concentrate on him full time without lockdown. I assume there will be some regression when he returns to nursery/preschool but I hope the habits will be well embedded by then.
Nurseries and schools are reopening on 1 June dependent on their ability to set up for the new post lockdown period. But we won’t be forced to send kids back. Personally I feel it’s too soon to go back. I understand why it’s happening – economy driven. But I think there is a danger of a second wave. And I’m just not willing to risk our family especially B… I know that others have made different decisions and what is right for them and I don’t think there’s any blanket right answer, but for us we aren’t going to take that risk until we understand how the infection rate is going.
For those who have been following a while, Briony has had the bad news that her latest chemo isn’t working. I’m really worried about her and it’s hard now because one side effect is her hands are sore / numb so she can’t really communicate by message either. It’s very unusual for me not to speak to her every day via WhatsApp so that’s strange. I’ve dropped a few care packages off and they know we are here for her, but it’s a tough time for them especially when we are also in lockdown so can’t go round and comfort her. It feels really weird not to have spoken to her for about a week and I’m worried also that she’s not in a good place because she tends to withdraw when she is feeling bad about treatment. But I don’t want to push.
I am really hoping her next scan will give a new plan of action for her. I read the book Radical Remission that she lent me and it is all about healing cancer through various other means (as well as conventional medicine) so I hope she can find something that works for her. It’s just a really strange time and I don’t know what to do to support.
Another thing that has kept me going during lockdown is my weekly Lockdown Ladies drinks. It’s a Skype drinks session I organised in the first week and it’s been really fun. We have a joke optional theme every week and it gets quite funny. (Big Hair week was good!) People dip in and out but the funniest thing is they are all my friends who mostly didn’t know each other and now they do. We are talking about doing a proper meet up in person once lockdown is over.
I think one good thing about lockdown is it makes you more intentional about connecting with people. I call my best friend overseas on the phone a few times a week when I’m walking the dog. Before this I rarely spoke to her on the phone – we would just WhatsApp and I don’t know when we got out of the habit. But she’s isolating alone so I felt like I should call her and it’s been really nice just to chat more than we did before. (When did people stop calling each other? I used to call people all the time!) I’ve also sent a lot more letters and gifts by post and become very appreciative for the postal system!
Other than that, not a great deal of news. I’ve been doing my usual waxing and waning on the diet. It’s not very interesting to blog about! I have another target next week I’m hoping to hit so we shall see!
Also I have been baking cakes for the NHS. One of my neighbours is furloughed so is volunteering at my local hospital and she doesn’t bake so asked people if they’d like to bake something. They did! So she’s had loads of bakes from eager neighbours! It’s nice to think we are doing something for the front liners especially as we feel a bit helpless during lockdown, and it’s the hospital where B was born. I’ve got my baking mojo back a bit and it stops me eating it all myself!
The rainbow is the symbol of lockdown and “we are all in this together” and we love a rainbow anyway, so this has been very rainbow themed!