Sunday 22 March 2020

Covid-19 Diaries - Lockdown Day 7 & 8

I can imagine the estate agents' spiel of the future. All those negative points about a flat being turned into positives.

"Ah, yes, here you have a long dark corridor, perfect for lockdowns with toddlers... they can race up and down it on their tricycles... yes, very narrow, perfect for an obstacle course. If it was wider they might avoid doing it. "

"Ah, yes, these random pillars may cut the room into a rather unmanageable shape for a sofa, however they provide perfect posts for stringing up a hammock when you can't take your children to the swings."

"Small terrace? Oh, not at all. Didn't you hear about the French athlete who ran a marathon on his 7-metre balcony during lockdown?"

The lockdown has been extended. THREE MORE WEEKS TO GO.

Keep breathing, keep breathing. I almost burst into tears today because it's Mothers' Day today in the UK and my mum was due to fly over. I drew her a card. It represents the rich inner life she has encouraged me to build all my life and which I'm calling on now. 

I know I am lucky. Our home is a safe space. I read a post by a friend in the UK's National Health Service who mentioned how worried social workers must be. How they must be wondering how they will keep the people they normally care for protected when their safety structures are taken away. It gave me a lump in my throat. 

Looking after our mental health is so important. Staying present is key. We may be confined but we don't have to be disconnected. Draw, write, sing, cook, play. List everything you are grateful for. Pick up the phone and talk to friends and family. 

I was feeling stressed this morning. We had done so much with our little daughter and the day was barely beginning. She had taken all her little animals to the swimming pool. It had been good fun for her but two changes of clothes later she was ready for the next activity. 

We found a balloon. (For the record, we are anti balloons because of their environmental impact. HOWEVER, since we had it...) We blew it up and she took it on the baby bouncer for a while. 

We read her books. We played music and danced. She pushed owl around in her buggy.   What next? I thought. How was I going to find the energy to keep on creating new challenges, new games? How? How? How?

And then I washed her hands at the sink and she laughed and waved at the frog on the bottle of washing up liquid. "Hola mem-mem!" she said. (She calls frogs mem-mems, we don't know why). And it dawned on me that she was teaching me to be happy with the simplest things. 

If a little frog on a washing up liquid bottle can make her smile, we will be alright. More than ever, it's about noticing and appreciating the little things. So keep breathing, everyone, keep breathing; we've got this.

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

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