This is a little diary of our fourth week in social isolation, home learning, and with all of us on “holiday” this week. We were supposed to be in Whitby fossil hunting, eating fish and chips, meeting old friends and mooching about.
See what happened in week 3.
Large boy came to tell me he couldn’t get back to sleep at 7.10am. Unimpressed. I didn’t go back to sleep. Himself did, loudly. In the morning I helped small boy make an Easter spoon craft decorated as a tiger (huh?) while large boy wrote about books for his Cubs reader badge and did a book report too. Then I painted the playhouse and shed with wood stain to protect them from the weather. I hadn’t realised how faded they both were.
After a long shower to scrub off the orange stains, we had pancakes for lunch with bacon and cheesy mushroom creamy sauce. Except small boy who had a fried egg and large boy who had cheese instead of sauce and I didn’t have any bacon.
We went for a walk after lunch, hunting more wild garlic as large boy has decided to make pesto (well it was my idea but he agreed) and we need more for the recipe. Once home the boys played outside and I played Lego Harry Potter on large boy’s switch. He moaned about “she hasn’t even asked” from outside and got a talking to about being rude and telling someone directly when you have a problem with their behaviour (yeah I know I’m not a good model going by last week’s experience with my arsehole colleague but I’m going to try harder too).
Pizza for tea as we were running low on everything, then another attempt to persuade the boys to sleep in later than 7am.
Well they lasted til 7.20am when small boy’s singing woke up large boy. He was very sensible though and stayed in bed til half past and then went downstairs quietly to put TV on. Thus I slept til 8.15am, feeling more human – probably also because I didn’t have any alcohol before bedtime.
I did the big supermarket shop, hopefully enough for 10 days, only missed out on plain flour and filled pasta. The problem was when I got home and put the bagels in the bread bin I realised I’d forgotten to buy bread. To ensure peace and quiet while I unpacked, the boys were sent out to draw pictures on the front drive as the rain had washed it off.
We had lovely oatcakes for lunch and then chilled out for a bit. I went for a run while himself took the boys for a walk. My run was brilliant, not too warm and I was feeling good – smashed three PRs! Rather than getting showered, I went and planted my seeds (having obtained compost from the supermarket) and decided to try putting them in the porch rather than on the kitchen windowsill. It gets really warm in there so hopefully they’ll like it.
I’d promised the boys we would paint rocks so we got out their collection of smooth stones and the paint pots for a quiet 45 minutes. Their creations were as abstract as ever, I did the traditional rainbows and monsters. Leaving himself in peace to troubleshoot some scalextric cars.
Home made burgers followed by easter eggs for tea and then it was suddenly bedtime. One of those days where I felt like I didn’t stop, but achieved loads so didn’t mind too much. In the calm of the evening, I was fretting about going back to the arsehole at work. Still don’t know how to handle it and its overshadowing our holiday.
Wait what? How is it Wednesday already?
The boys were pleased with breakfast, after Tuesday’s supermarket trip their supplies of chocolate pancakes were replenished.
In the morning we emptied the garage and chucked out loads of stuff, organizing the rest. The garage was unpacked by my father in law when we moved in nearly 5 years ago so (like my kitchen) nothing was where we would have put it. Moving some stuff to the shed and playhouse gave us lots more space. In the course of the morning we put small boy on large boy’s old bike – no hesitation and off he went.
After lunch (cheesy scrambled eggs on the last of the bread) we finished tidying everything away. Himself vacuumed the garage floor (carpeted with an old living room carpet by the previous owners) and the ceiling and every nook and cranny he could find.
The boys took this opportunity to build a massive hexbug track, designed to reach between their bedrooms so they can send messages to each other attached to the hexbugs’ backs. Its brilliant and super cute.
After our daily walk the boys played with their bow and arrows we’d found in the garage while I sprayed lacquer on their painted rocks and himself discovered that his scalextric track power extension was missing a cable. Soon the boys requested a water fight, broke one of the pump action guns, sprayed small boy in the face and got water on the drying varnished rocks – ending in tears of course.
An early bath to wash off the mud and warm up small boy, then sticky chinese chicken with rice and veggies for tea. Followed by some more lego Harry Potter for me, then bed.
Hallelujah! A mini lie in for the boys, both slept til 7.30am, progress at least. After breakfast large boy and I made wild garlic pesto – hopefully contributing to 3 Cubs badges. Then the boys all continued with their scalextric and hexbug tracks while I cleaned the kitchen.
Some more Lego Harry Potter (I may be developing an obsession) and then lunch, an uncomplicated day. Himself and large boy made their first foray into proper Airfix – just the first couple of steps – while small boy and I played scalextric. I discovered that I can hold the trigger in my left hand at the right pressure to keep going round and round, allowing me to swipe Twitter with my right hand. Bad parenting!
Last week one of the reception mums gathered photos of each child in their class, each holding up a word. She’s made a collage and shared it with us all, it’s made page 3 of our local paper!
Playtime outside for the boys while I had a cider and himself indulged in white Russian. I made bolognese pasta bake for tea and the boys even ate it without too much trouble. 8pm crept past us and we felt guilty at ten past when we realised we’d failed to go out and clap.
At last I managed a lie in past 8.15am! But then had to get up and dressed for our first mummies zoom virtual coffee. It was so lovely to see everyone’s faces.
Large boy and I went for a run, he did 2km and then I dropped him home before doing another 5km myself. I went through the town park and up past school, then down to the river and up the big hill I thought impossible when I started running. It was hard, but I didn’t stop and felt pretty proud at the end. When I got home himself was trying to make a video of all his scalextric cars. It took quite a while…
I’m not really sure where the afternoon went. There was an Alexa disco at some point, more scalextric, and some colouring. I spoke to my grandma for half an hour, played some Switch, and helped himself make an early dinner of chilli chicken pancake wraps which were yummy. Suddenly it was 6.30pm and we found ourselves cuddled up for bedtime TV.
Himself and I watched The Siege of Jadotville, another good movie, Netflix for the win.
How did it get to be Saturday so quickly?! Two more days til the alarm goes off at 7am and we’re back to work. Doubtless with a big bump. I slept in til gone 9am, what bliss! After my first daily caffeine dose, I braved my work laptop and printed off a timetable for the kitchen wall. The boys love routine each and predictability, we might not follow it,
I finally published a book review blog post that I’ve been adding to slowly for several weeks. It was a nice one to write as I had a clear idea of how I wanted to write it.
It had rained overnight and the day looked quite grey, we had optimistically left the play tent out so it had blown in a flower bed, rather wet. Nothing to do but leave it there til the sun dries it off. While drinking my coffee, I watched a blackbird gathering moss for its nest in our hedge. I want to chop down the leylandii but at least they’re providing a home for wildlife.
We had a do-nothing morning (apart from bravely opening the work laptop to print a schedule for next week), soup for lunch and then an afternoon walk when the rain stopped. We saw one of small boy’s class mates and had a distant, brief chat. Back home we started a game of monopoly. Small boy hasn’t got the attention span yet, so it was large boy, himself and me playing.
We paused monopoly while I made dinner, then finished off. Large boy roundly thrashed me and himself. Then a bit of a later bedtime and mooching in front of TV for the grown ups. At our bedtime I started Hidden in the Fens by Joy Ellis, I’ve been reading the series for years and a bit of escapism is needed after the thought-requiring dictionary.
Last day before back to work and home learning (I refuse to call it home schooling, we are not attempting to replicate school at home).
I forced myself out of bed at 8.15am, my mum’s advice from my teenage years, so that 7am on a work day went feel as bad. But this left me feeling heavy and sleepy. I triggered my determination though and did an 8km run, getting slightly lost on a new route to the canal and then beat my time up the hill of doom. Jacket potatoes in the oven for lunch then a nice long shower.
When I went to put the washing on I realised I couldn’t see part of the dial on the machine. A retinal migraine was starting up. For me, the centre of my vision goes blurry and then a line, a bit like a weather front on a map, progresses out and across the left half of my vision. Luckily, I don’t get headaches during or after these and the optician says not to worry unless they get more frequent. Two or three times a year is just mildly annoying.
After lunch I worked my way through the 7 emails from large boy’s teacher with attachments for the week’s work. I printed everything off that we needed and labelled it for each day, so that when I stop work to set them off I can just grab a pile rather than needing to figure out what to do first.
An afternoon walk for the boys with himself, a video chat for small boy with a friend and outside chalking of my patio all lead up to a haircut for himself. Just a number 2 all over, I’m not brave enough for anything more complicated.
Just before tea time, the reception work for small boy arrived in my inbox. A fully detailed timetable, with so much to consider. It rather overwhelmed me. I know it’s only three 20 minute activities a day but the pressure of the written down expectations was all a bit much. After we’d eaten, I printed out all the worksheets and figured out how to fit the work in around my meetings. Hopefully at least.
That’s week 4 all wrapped up. Hope everyone’s ok. What have you been up to?
Stay home, stay safe. XXX
See what week 5 brings