Thursday 26 March 2020

Covid-19 Diaries - Lockdown Day 11 & 12

12 days in lockdown. Countless books read and games played.
She was starting to get restless. 

Conversation last night with my toddler suggested she was growing weary of self-isolation and confinement. She had not set foot outside of the apartment block in 11 daysShe paused from shovelling chicken soup into her mouth to discuss our future plans.

"Parque wee-wee?" she asked, hopefully.

I felt a lump in my throat. "I would absolutely love to take you to the park swings, but they're closed."


"Again, there's nothing I'd rather do more than take you up a mountain, but the mountains are all..." I swallowed... "closed."


I took a deep breath. This was sad.

"I'm so, so sorry but all your amigas and amigos are also... closed."

She repeated the facts back to me to make doubly sure she had understood. "Parque wee-wee cloz... Uppamantin cloz... Amiga amigo cloz..."

"Yes, all closed."

She pushed her chicken soup away. She had suddenly lost her appetite.

That night I lay awake wondering what I could do to make this temporary existence the best possible one for my little daughter. I had to get her outside, if only for a moment. And that's when the rubbish idea dawned on me.

Not that my idea was rubbish. I mean that it involved ACTUAL RUBBISH. After all, she couldn't go to the supermarket, but she could accompany me to take out the bins.

The very next day I put on her little coat and her little boots and I took her little hand and I told her about our very important mission. We slowly climbed the three flights of stairs and, as a precaution, I opened the door to the apartment block with my jumper sleeve pulled over my hand.

It had rained and the air was crisp. Sol bent down and poked her finger into a puddle of water. I didn't rush her. I let her examine every detail of the pavement before we crossed to the recycling bins. I set my bag down and handed her the first beer bottle. Then I picked her up so she could drop it through the hole. It made a satisfying crash.

"Boombala!" I said.

She hesitated, then, "More..." 

I gave her another bottle. She dropped it through the hole.

"BOOMBALA!" I said, louder.

She grinned. "More!"

I passed her another.


She laughed. "MORE!

That's how we came to spend a happy few minutes outside in the big beautiful world. And later instead of asking for the park, she looked at me with hope in her eyes and said, "more boombala?"

And this time I didn't have to break her heart by saying the bins were closed.

I may not have any more empty glass bottles NOW but I accept the challenge of relieving beer and wine bottles of their contents so we can return once more. As Sol tested the puddles with her non-waterproof boots on our walk back from the bins, it really hit me. Life is the small things. Life can still be wonderful.  

Thanks for reading. You can find me on my Facebook Author Page or on Instagram.  

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