This is a little diary of our second week in social isolation, home learning, and with both himself and me working from home.
See what happened in week 1.
The kids slept in a bit with the clock change having its effect so I got a lovely quiet (well with BBC 6music) 45 minute’s work done before they got up. It was lovely to clear my inbox in peace. Then breakfast and home learning, we’re settling into a routine of maths, movie, literacy, play, lunch, then free form afternoon. Work was pretty productive and I banked an extra hour from 7pm, so I can be a bit more chilled the rest of the week hopefully. Himself is getting used to working from home, not enjoying it at all but adapting. He’s even making positive noises at the thought of moving the kitchen table up to the spare room so he can work in a bit more peace.
Another early start with the boys still in bed. However, it didn’t play out so well. Small boy didn’t get up til 8.15am and then was still eating breakfast when he was meant to be starting some writing practice and both the adults were meant to be in meetings for an hour. Oh well, writing supervised by large boy with a side of chocolate spread on toast. It took much longer but they both did surprisingly well.
The rest of the day they did maths, large boy wrote a book review and did some French, small boy practised RWI and they built lego monster trucks. I had a meeting with my manager late afternoon and was dismayed to hear all about her cat instead of discussing work matters.
Large boy had a huge meltdown at bedtime. He had finished his book and only (only!!) had 6 to choose from, except none suited. He got himself in a real mess and was sobbing because he didn’t want anything we’d got. Finally, much cuddles and soothing later, he decided to just go to sleep, choose a book in the morning and we promised he could choose a kindle book after he’d finished that.
Himself and I buckled to internet sensationalism and started watching Tiger King on Netflix. It’s so bad we were captivated.
I got up at 6am for a run, did quite well and was home, showered and at my desk by 7.15am. Super productive morning, I got fed up with other people dithering and sorted some stuff out. The boys ate breakfast and sat down to some maths, then off to play and watch a bit of a movie before writing. He chose his next book and spent quite a while reading it, even rather than playing.
After lunch himself had to go into work so I was back to dual working and learning. I have really busy Wednesday afternoons so they played outside for an hour, did colouring and origami, then lego building and screen time. While I made tea large boy called his best friend. Home made burgers for them, himself and I ate after when he got in late from work.
I called my grandma worrying she’d be lonely, only to find that she’d already had 4 phone calls from my uncle and cousins today. She’s a bit bored so I’ve ordered her a jigsaw to pass the time.
I spoke to my parents and texted a friend as himself got sucked back into work at 9pm. It was lovely to chat with my friend, she’s finding things just as hard as me which is so reassuring.
I got started early again and the kids didn’t emerge until 8am. Himself sorted their breakfast and then we did maths while I took a break. I was free 11 til 12pm, so I took the boys on a long walk. We spotted a red kite in a tree and enjoyed watching it take off. The boys seem quite tired this week, large boy’s meltdown on Tuesday and some full on dragging of feet during the walk are definite indicators. When we got home himself sorted lunch while I settled down to 5 straight hours of meetings. Great shared parenting for the afternoon, himself set large boy doing some geography which he loved. Small boy did his RWI YouTube with him too.
I had an interesting afternoon of meetings, the main feature being a surprise finalization of my objectives for this year with my boss. Oh well, no cat interruptions at least and I think we agreed on something achievable too. Pleasingly I’d put in enough hours again so there was no need to work on Friday.
After pizza for tea, I put on Sunday’s leftovers to make chicken soup for the weekend and then let two of the school’s teachers read bedtime stories on my phone. Too much eye strain for me already and himself was catching up on emails after a fractured afternoon.
Himself spoke to his parents while large boy finished his book (read in a day and a half so it clearly wasn’t that bad after all) and did his quiz. He’s on 6 times his target this term, again. Since he had held up his side of the deal with no fuss, he chose a How to Train Your Dragon kindle book to read next on the understanding that it’ll be a library book again next time.
At 8pm we went out into the porch to clap and bang saucepans for all the people still working to look after the sick and support their families. The boys were both still awake so they got up and joined in too. It was fabulous hearing everyone else nearby clapping and whooping and letting off fireworks even.
I had a lovely lie in, himself got in the shower while I lazed in bed, joined by large boy at 7.30am. We cuddled and got up at 8am to find small boy rousing himself too.
First thing after breakfast was maths as usual, then play and a movie while I called the travel insurance. We were supposed to be in Whitby at Easter with Sykes Cottages but they’re refusing to refund us. After an hour on hold (spent colouring a beautiful I Like Birds picture) a very helpful chap sorted us out with an online claim link and told us what to upload. That sorted, large boy did an activity pack shared by his rugby club and small boy did some great writing about bugs. Interesting spelling: “laddeebird” and #haz” and “buttrfligh”, but he’s putting his phonics in action so it’s fine.
We made birthday card covers for himself for Monday and later we stuck and wrote cards together. Then time for some fresh air.
We had a lovely isolated walk through the woods to our town park, round the edge and along the river and then up the big hill. When we got home we did some science – drawing round small boy and then labeling the body. The boys built their lego challenge and then we did RWI with small boy.
I made meatballs, parmentier potatoes and veg for tea with a cheesy meatball sauce which was totally yummy – large boy even had broccoli!
Once the boys were in bed, himself and I rented Le Mans 66 which we’ve been wanting to see for ages. It was brilliant, just fantastic.
We had a nice lie in and lazy breakfast, got showers and so on. Then the boys and I baked a chocolate fudge cake for himself’s birthday on Monday. Well I baked and shouted and got stressed by a snapped food processor (gorilla glue to the rescue) and a non-functioning mixer. Only after tipping the mix into a bowl and using the electric whisk did I discover it was just a loose part, hopes for an excuse for a new mixer dashed.
Cake out of the oven and we had chicken soup with toast for lunch. There’s been a miracle since my last attempt to serve soup and the boys ate it really well, and small boy declared it yummy. Win!
We went for a longish walk, full of griping and moaning and generally grumpiness for pretty much all of us. When we got home, I went to make tea but found the kettle surrounded by kids water bottles. I tried to put them away but the cupboard was full. Sucked into the hole, I emptied the cupboard and removed various cups and bowls we no longer need now the boys are older. This tugged at my heart strings, if last year had happened differently we would have been in the world of a messy freshly weaned boy3 with all those sippy cups back in use.
Feeling emotional, I settled onto the sofa with small boy to watch Up. But that twanged my heartstrings even more and I had a little cry. It was just what I needed, I felt calmer and less wound up than I had for days. I hadn’t realised that I was trying to hold my emotions in and instead it was coming out as snapping at the kids.
I iced himself’s cake and decorated it, hopefully the combination of white Lindor and grated flake will be a winner. We played some lego and then himself went to hunt and gather some chinese take away.
At bedtime I wrote down some words that had been on my mind for a day or so, my first ever little story for children. What a Noise!
We celebrated himself’s birthday a day early. I’d be working the next day so we moved up the presents and lie in. I made a bacon sarnie for him to eat in bed and he opened his meagre gifts (all those recent Scalextric cars make up for any deficiency).
It’s one of my best friend’s birthday the same day as himself, so I made her a coffee and cake voucher to post. I messaged out other friends to coordinate a birthday collage to send her the next day. She’s stuck up on a farm with a work-occupied partner, a grumpy 4 year old and a sleepless 11 month old. I hope I’ll brighten her day just a little bit.
I got dressed and went for a run before lunch. Himself helped large boy choose how to spend the money sent to him by his Gran for his school report – a new game for his Switch. We had cheesy scrambled eggs on toast for lunch and then did himself’s birthday cake. Afterwards, he took the boys for a walk while I did some cleaning.
I scribbled down my story on paper with some dreadful pictures and put out a post asking how to find someone who can actually draw to do nicer illustrations.
When himself came back from the walk, the boys and I started making their volcano for an eruption experiment to do in the week (bad idea, plaster of Paris is horrific stuff) and I tried to persuade them to draw around dinosaur shadows but it didn’t capture their imagination for long. I gave up and kicked off screen time. I went back to fretting about work on Monday, difficult colleague needs setting straight and it’s going to be very uncomfortable (at best).
I make chicken fajitas for tea, no spices added for the boys, and was amazed when they wolfed it all down. Large boy even had seconds. After dinner, himself was instructed to plan next week’s menu ready for his supermarket trip on Tuesday (I plan ahead).
Sunday night we spoke to our parents as tradition requires. They’re all well. My gran and grandma are fine health wise, the former having dementia and the latter being usually very positive but finding the current situation rather tough. Hopefully her neighbour is sorting out facetime or skype of something soon.
Another episode of Tiger King and bed. Night night.
See what week 3 brings.