Saturday 28 March 2020

Covid-19 Diaries - Lockdown Day 13 & 14

I hesitated. Was I really going to do this?

On the other side of the gate I could see the playground. The wind had blown away the red and white tape put up to worn off passersby. What passersby? It was against the law to be outside except in transit to a supermarket.

But there were no police about and it had already been two weeks of lockdown and I was running out of ideas. Sometimes a mother has to make tough choices.  

I took a deep gulp of fresh free air and opened the gate. Quietly and stealthily, like a ninja without any of the fancy tricks, I hurried down the steps to the park and along the border of the playground. If the police caught me now they would deduce from my lack of shopping bag that I was not out foraging for toilet roll.

I reached the seesaw. I had made it.  

No, I was not about to rob a seesaw. It was what was beneath the seesaw that mattered to me. I lowered my important piece of equipment: a pink Hello Kitty bucket. Then, with my bare hands, I shovelled the gritty, pine-needle filled sand into it as fast as I could.

I confess I felt no remorse for my crime when Sol dug her hands happily into it later that day. Oh glorious sand! Who cares about the mess in these days of lockdown? Let the children play! There's PLENTY OF TIME to clear up. 

Her adorably fun but also methodical father introduced a sieve to the proceedings. As I got on with some work in my home office, the pair of them converted my low-grade quality produce into sand fit for the Caribbean.

A success. And not the only one this week. In a moment of feeling slightly insane, I had thrown every soft item I could find into the corridor of our flat. Sol had happily jumped up and down on it for a while.  

And then there had been the smiley face episode. After repeatedly asking after her millipede friend (RIP), her father had drawn a smiley face on his finger and wiggled it. That had made her laugh. Then he'd drawn one on hers and she'd wiggled her finger back at him. Simple pleasures!

Every day of lockdown presents a new challenge and I'm so inspired by the parents around me. Only yesterday, a fab mum called Annie, posted a picture of an oven she had made for her toddler out of a chair and some old curtains. A sailor (and sail maker), she's also using her excellent sewing skills for making masks for health workers. Go Annie!

While some of us were flagging, Becca, another mum in the Whatsapp group, shared her reflections which made us feel much more positive:

"Before all this, I never really had the time to do all the arts and crafts I am doing now, coming up with different ways to entertain the pair of them, I would never have taken the time to make playdoh or think to spray some shaving foam into a tray and dye it blue (our latest activities) not because I have never wanted to do that sort of stuff, but because I am constantly on the go all the time, even when we all have the day off together, we would be rushing about just trying to get out of the house to enjoy the day. It's quite nice to just stop and appreciate the time at home a little bit more, and not always being on a time limit.

That said I cannot wait to have our freedom back! I am counting every single day down. But I think I will always make sure that we take the time, and just slow down a little bit more and do a few more things at home."

Tomorrow there will be sand and songs, animals baths and building blocks, owls in pushchairs and bears in hammocks. We will keep inventing. We will keep communicating. We will keep singing. We will keep striving to make this new lockdown life as rich as possible for our little daughter - and for each other.  

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


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