I’ve just finished reading my last blog post from March (and chuckling to myself… obvs) at how high I set my expectations, and how quickly they crashed around me…. and that was only the first week! The last 7 months have been…. well, I’m not sure how they have been to be honest but there was definitely a sense that we were all in the same shit storm but in different boats. I’m not sure that my first post back will be long enough to really capture the highs and lows of the past 1/2 a year and a bit and so I think that I will drip feed it when the scars have healed a bit…. I will say that a particular low point (and this only happened in the last week) was when I made a rhubarb crumble out of Swiss chard…. I definitely wasn’t winning at life that evening… and a high point was the lockdown cat… that I didn’t tell anyone about…. that went down well…..
When the kids went back to school, I think that the whole country breathed a sigh of relief… finally the little f**kers…. *I mean lights of my life*… were going to be properly educated again and they may actually start to behave like humans again rather than animals….. I felt 6 months worth of anxiety lift… slightly…
And then came the new life navigation…. HOW LONG WOULD THEY LAST IN SCHOOL BEFORE WE GOT THE DREADED PHONE CALL… To be fair to the wonderful school that my kids go to, they did so well to not have any major bubble closures whilst every other school in the area had bubbles bursting all over the place and I often saw stressed out parents hurrying to school, on the phone to their work trying to explain what was happening….. but then my luck ran out… It happened… THE BUBBLE HAD BURST….just two weeks before half term…. we were so nearly there…. I had the champers (well cheap Prosecco) on ice ready and waiting….
*PHONE FLASHES WITH SCHOOL PHONE NUMBER* (every parents worst nightmare)
Me – (In my head) – ffs…. noooooo…. please…..maybe it’s not THE phone call, maybe they are calling me to say what wonderful school work the kids have produced…*quickly remembers who my kids are and dismisses that idea*
*ANSWERS THE PHONE*
Me – (trepidation in my voice) Hello…
Overly cheerful (and lovely school staff member*) – Hi mum of small child, Isn’t it a lovely day today, you can really see Autumn coming out in the colours today……(great pre able set up with a positive before the negative)
I’m just ringing to let you know that a bubble has burst and your smallest one is part of that bubble and so you will have to come and collect him right now…. do not pass Go and do not collect £200…In fact don’t even bother to put your shoes on, just come down bare foot and TAKE YOUR CHILD OUT OF THIS SCHOOL for at least a billion weeks… but don’t worry because we have a super snazzy new online learning thingy that you will need a PHD to log into and you will have to sit next to the small child for the majority of the day while he is painstakingly completing all the fancy pants assignments, oh and the only time you may leave his side is to ply him with snacks which will be every two minutes.
Oh and by the way, if you have any inkling of getting any of your actual work done or even go for a wee between the hours of 8 and 3.30, think again, because that WILL NOT happen and the only way you can do any work or go for a wee after that is when you have picked up slightly bigger child (try navigating that when one is still in school and one is under house arrest) and they are having their allocated iPad time which may extend from 45 mins to eleven million hours…… ok Biiiyyyyeee! (Full disclosure, I MAY have exaggerated that)
Me (keeping my cool) – Oh that’s a shame, no worries, I will be down to collect him straight away. We are going to have a lovely couple of weeks together, just me and him, doing lots of learning and reading and baking and I am going to be an instagram worthy parent…. smug smug
Also Me (In my head and curling up into a ball and rocking) – NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not the smallest one…. anything but that….. I CANNOT be under house arrest with the child who CANNOT sit still and takes 40 million hours to tell a knock knock joke and whose writing is so small I have to get a magnifying glass out to look at his work… that is if he actually does anything at all… did I mention that he didn’t pick up a pencil for nearly the whole of the lock down period? He NEEDS at least two walks a day, feeding every 20 seconds and cannot remember what he has had for breakfast let alone what an adverbial phrase is… in fact I have NO idea what that is either…… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
But, unfortunately that is the situation that I now find myself in (along with a fair few other parents around the country) and the anxiety that sat on my chest for all those months before has reared it’s head again and is sitting quite nicely in my stomach (it’s moved for this anxiety period which is nice of it…. in fact, I think I might give my anxiety a name…. maybe Les…) and I try and imagine what the next few weeks are going to bring….. I might end up a whizz in the new fancy pants online learning portal and launch myself as a fancy pants online training type person to all the other parents who find themselves in the same situation…. or I might just muddle my way through it all, wearing my trousers that look like pyjamas with an elasticated waist…. either way, I think my best selling novel is going to have to wait.
Stay safe folks and don’t forget to open the curtains every day….
*Very, very lovely school staff