As I looked out my bedroom window last thing before snuggling into bed the other night, I saw the small blinking light of a plane moving across the sky. It held my attention and I watched the red dot pulse its way through the darkness, alone. With only the bright ISS for company. A sight that was so common – and usually multiplied five fold – four weeks ago felt so foreign. So strange. So out of place with how life feels now – tied completely to home and a half-mile radius around it.
I feel the same feeling when I hear the sound of a train carrying through the air. It snaps me back to my commute – a journey I haven’t made in 6 weeks now. A commute which use to feel so tedious but is now missed in a bizarre way. The last time I ever escaped the rat race for such an extended period was when the Littlest Z arrived in our family.
Lockdown has gone so fast thus far and yet it feels strange to even think back to life “before”. Every change seems to happen overnight right now so there is no time to mentally and emotionally prepare before we are thrust into yet another new way of living; it’s all about dealing with our response to events now. Even with the school closures we only had 46 hours notice such that whilst that last day of school runs was normal on paper, it had an eerie and sad feeling to it; everyone was on edge by then.
Back at home, it feels we have hit a little bit of a stride in these last two weeks. Our work and childcare routine has settled as much as think it ever will so we are only having to tweak and adjust the routine where something urgent comes up. Last week Sam had two days of leave though which definitely helped take some of the pressure off and gave me some time to catch-up. The routine is working but it is non-stop on every single day. The only relief this last week has been that it’s the “Easter Holidays” so we have felt a little less pressure to school Little H.
Some of my colleagues (and Sam’s) have been furloughed in this last fortnight which feels strange too. With it, it has brought a renewed pressure to “deliver” for those of us who remain; or perhaps it’s self-inflicted but it’s there non-the-less. I feel I am, on average, more productive than I am typically in the office. I have such set windows of time during the day where I can work so I try to focus and make the best use of that time. Some days though I just crash – but I guess that’s just life and is inevitable for most of us given the circumstances.
The girls are both doing really well considering the amount of change happening around them. Little Z remains unfazed by everything. As far as she is concerned, life is awesome: daily walks, plenty of food, even more playing, naps, lots of outside time – it’s all normal for her and I sometimes feel she’s living her best life right now. Her only grumble is she wants to see her baby cousin! It’s been a relief that she doesn’t noticeably miss nursery; I can only hope that she settles back in issue free when they can finally re-open but we’ll cross that bridge when we are finally allowed to!
Little H has been up-and-down but a little less so than the first week. She is finally realising that she won’t be at school for quite some time and on a few occasions she’s said “I miss my teachers.”. There is nothing we can do about that so I just have to comfort her and reassure her that it won’t be forever. It must be a difficult message to hear at such a young age. She has had ups-and-downs with her learning too so we are trying to roll with what she wants to do, to a degree. Having two weeks for holidays has definitely allowed her to do a little more of what she wants. Next week will be interesting when we try and introduce more tasks into the mix. That said, her school sent her a pack of more activities in the post at the end of week 3 and the response was real enthusiasm. So perhaps the reminder that activities are coming from her beloved teachers will inspire her more.
All in all, a strange time. Not good, not bad. Just different. The availability of food has improved so that is one worry which is subsiding. And we are enjoying not having to dash out of the house during the week to get to the various places we need to be. Daily family lunches and slow mornings (for Sam) and afternoons (for me) in the garden are refreshing. We are in a privileged position right now to still have an income, to be able to stay safely at home, still be permitted out for daily walks and also have plenty of fresh and nutritious food. I know that the coming weeks of lockdown will have its challenges but I feel, I know, we can face it. I am bone tired though that’s for sure!