Archives for the month of: February, 2021

I can not remember a time when I have so willed a half-term to be over. I think I have had enough of all this!

I have achieved several things these holidays, lots of needlefelting, lots of walks, started a new crochet project, had a 16 year olds birthday, and yet the days have dragged. Today is Saturday the first day with any promise of sun, it is already half way through and I am delighted, willing the hours to speed by until bedtime. My son and I have walked to the Triangle to get ingredients for his Scouts zoom meeting and to go to the bakers, I am now just sitting waiting for enough time to pass so I can start cooking lunch. I am fed up with this lockdown.

The fractured nights sleep doesn’t help- all the thoughts that only occur at 2-am rushed into my head- are we doing right by the children, is it healthy to let them watch youtube all day, should we do more family things, why do we have so much stuff, why isn’t all the work done from the extension, why haven’t we painted the kitchen. what are we going to do with the pinball machine….. and so on. All the small things- if they were big things I would have thought about them at a sensible time. So today I am tired and waiting for the day to be over whilst berating myself for wasting time. Sometimes I just need to be nicer to myself.

We are all back to our remote ‘school’ on Monday and waiting for Boris’ announcement about schools- which has supposedly already been leaked and supposedly already been opposed by the unions. I will happily risk a spike in cases for the children to be able to be back at school. I know that going on about mental health sometimes makes mental health worse, but honestly, why wouldn’t we want to let children go back as soon as possible, can’t we see the effects? The rise in more serious covid cases in children maybe might be linked to them being penned up for the last 11 months?? The good news is that the vaccine has- amazingly- reached the groups they were aiming for, let’s get the children back. Please.

I have been very wrapped up in all the things we can’t do in the lockdown, without realising how much more freedom the adults have had than the children. We have only our internal sense of law to govern us- I justified a 20 minute to drive for daily exercise for us all- they do not have the choice or the authority to decide on things like this. My husband has been in the office 2 days a week, I have been at school 4 days a week and supermarket shopping weekly, my children have gone nowhere they could not get to by walking from home- except for the one walk on Thursday where my son met a school friend and they walked and chatted for an hour,( my daughter has done the same- once- whilst I went shopping near the friends house).They have not complained, or questioned and they have done this with no idea as to when it will end or what the end will look like. Let’s get them all back on the 8th March and lets stand on the doorstep and clap them, the 10 million school children who have helped save the NHS.

Advertisement

The first day of half-term, husband gone to work in the office and we are at home, just relaxing. There is something to be said for not being able to go anywhere, it makes things slow done a bit. A normal half-term would make me feel we have to go somewhere and going somewhere means being out by 10am which means hectic and grumpy breakfasts and grumpy children taken somewhere they might not have liked to go……although in normal times we would probably have gone to town and had coffee, not too onerous really. It is 10 30, both children up and dressed. Daughter is making a paper mache pig mask whilst watching you tube, son is possibly just lying on his back staring into space. He is the one most affected by this whole thing.

But today is a good day because it feels like that we are nearing the end of this crazy time. Maybe I am a bit too optimistic, but right now things are looking positive. The amazing news is that the 4 main groups- the very old and the very vunerable have all been vaccinated with their first jab- the expectation now is that there will soon be less people going into hospital and society can start to reopen. We need to remember we are in lockdown so the NHS don’t get overwhelmed.

Today is a good day because, whatever else might happen, both my children have done the longest and most intense half term of remote learning they will probably need to do. The term was 6 and half weeks long- even if they don’t go back on the 8th March the next half term is only 6 weeks long. They have taught themselves amazingly- I can honestly say I have not done a thing and yet they have been to every lesson (I think) and spent most afternoons doing something useful- my daughter is a mean touch typist now. It could have been a gruelling 6 and a half weeks for them, they have been nowhere except for walks around the local area and an occasional car ride. We forget this don’t we- that they have had no say in this and have been much more restricted than the adults. Part of me thinks I have been teaching them compliance to the law, part of me cries inside that this past year has so restricted them. The main part of me is amazed that they have just got on and done what they needed to do- no complaints, no questions, no avoidance. Amazing.

Today I can look out of the window, after the rain has stopped and see Spring starting to arrive. We have had a small patch of primroses for months- but now we have daffodils and crocuses (crocuii?) and even more bulbs springing up. The bird feeders are teaming with birds (mainly sparrows) and ever so slowly leaf buds are appearing on the dormant hawthorns and sycamore. Things will look better in the Spring.

And so I sit here and type, considering where my daily exercise will take me today and hoping my son will come with me. Yesterday we walked through gently iced woods. It took twice as long as he kept stopping to play with the ice or marvel at the way the ice crystals had formed. I forget, that underneath all the maturity he has shown by getting up each day and doing his lessons, by obeying the rules, by just being himself, he is still a child and still craves novelty. Hmm, today is a good day because we are one step closer to being able to let our children start doing all the things they should be able to.

So here we are, one week away from half term. And we are going to make it. Tamsin has a Sixth Form Experience day today, Peter is basking in the afterglow of a good parent’s evening. Covid parent’s evenings are great- all appointments done in 35 minutes without leaving the comfort of our own home. This is definetely something to be continued. Of course there were still the complaints from parents about appointments not being long enough and there weren’t really enough appointments- we were only allowed to choose 7, but as parent’s evenings go this was one of the best.

I have no idea if my children are thriving in lockdown but we are surviving and surviving well. I know they have too much screen time – and yet they don’t seem to mind- they even choose to stay on screens in breaktime. It is silly isn’t it, all this worry that they will be come hardwired to need screens. They didn’t need them constantly pre-covid, they were on them constantly in Lockdown 1, then they went back to school for a term and managed without constant screens, now in Lockdown 3 they are back on them again. When they return I think they will be ok, they adapt, maybe better than us.

The other effects are possibly less easy to shrug off. Teenagers should not be in the house all the time, just allowed out for a daily walk! They should be going more than a mile from their home, they should be able to be go and see friends and get dragged out on family walks with only the promise of a hot chocolate to cheer them up. Who knows what a reclusive generation we are raising. I think this must also apply to adults. I had a dream about going to the cinema last night- it was like a nightmare, so much to worry about. When we were allowed out in the summer I was not too keen on going out.

So we sit tight and wait. Week after next is halfterm, it is my daughter’s 16th birthday- we will be banned from the lounge while she watches a film with friends remotely. Somewhere in that week we might drive to a place and exercise, and wander round with apprehension and watchful eyes in case anyone gets too close.

We are nearly there ( I am of course ignoring the fact there is at least 2 more weeks of this after half term- I am not expecting son to go back this term.) and it will all be OK.

Stay home, keep others safe. x