This blog has been a while coming. Like everyone else in the world, I have been through the standard grief process with the coronavirus – denial, bargaining, anger, depression and – not quite – acceptance. I was aware that putting my own fears out here onto this blog (on the off-chance that anyone actually reads it) could make someone feel worse or be construed as scaremongering – something of which we absolutely don’t need more at the moment.
So we are on lockdown, and we are home educating. And you know what? The home educating part (whisper it) isn’t that bad. We are lucky that our two are much more the “sitting down quietly and getting on with a task” children than “bouncing off the walls and trying to break shit” children. Although, admittedly YoungestGirl has started blaming “the wicked witches” for any of her naughty behaviour, and also appears to be being bullied by her imaginary friend – a tiny invisible mouse that repeatedly calls her stupid. I would be worried, but – hell – it’s small fry in the grand scheme of things at the moment.
EldestGirl especially only really needs to be set a task, and she will happily work at it for half an hour or so – longer if it’s drawing or writing. Unless it is telling the time. Trying to teach EldestGirl to tell the time is the closest I have ever come to committing an act of domestic violence. “No darling, ten to sixteen isn’t a time, is it sweetie? Shall we try again?”
Where we have been less lucky is health. Now, I’m not talking about properly unpleasant diseases. I’m talking about the daily niggles of childhood. In a normal 12 month period, I probably call the doctor’s surgery maybe six times – twice for each of the girls and probably twice for me.
In the last three weeks I have spoken to them approximately ten times, in addition to dealing with minor ailments not requiring medical intervention. Between them, the children have had:
- A vomiting bug – technically just before lockdown, but meant much of the last week of school was obliterated
- A UTI
- Nits. Whose children get nits in lockdown? My fucking children, that’s who. I am not sure what that says about our dirty family
- Cold sores. Both kids. Neither of them has ever had one before
- A vomiting reaction to the antibiotics prescribed for the UTI
- Eczema severe enough to require antihistamine and steroid cream
- A second, replacement course of antibiotics
- A moderate-to-severe reaction to the second course of antibiotics, causing EldestGirl to basically entirely swell up in giant white and red unbearably itchy blotches.
In the meantime, I’ve had a lingering sore throat, which really wasn’t that bad, but of course I was convinced it was the Dreaded ‘Rona and my demise was imminent. It is not a good time to be a hypochondriac.
Additionally, my parents have taken to nagging me via the medium of Skype about taking elderberry syrup, and have taken to passive-aggressively posting me dried elderberries.
TheBloke (TM) thinks he might be getting hayfever but I am unable to be sympathetic. I literally have no fucks left to give.
As an introvert, I’m not (yet!) missing the outside world so much. TheBloke (TM) and I both work out of the home usually, so we are used to spending a lot of time with each other – and also giving each other space. We are also lucky that the girls play together nicely most of the time (when they’re not vomiting or suppurating). Some days I barely see them, as they’re plotting things together in the playroom, like some slightly-neglected children in an E. Nesbit book who only turn up for food.
What I am enjoying less is how all the extroverts suddenly want to talk ALL THE TIME via the media of Skype, Houseparty, Zoom… a lot of the last month has been spent trying to find a vaguely photogenic corner of our house in order to make it look like I have things slightly under control. NOTHING IS UNDER CONTROL.
Anyway, happy EasterValentineChristmasBonfireNight. I’ve sort of lost track.