Saturday, March 30th…
Enjoy a long-scheduled brunch with friends over Zoom, during which we feed the kids approximately 2 dozen Hot Cross Buns to sit still and chat. Still, it’s good to talk!
Saturday nights are pizza and movie nights in our house and, by some miracle, we have managed to find tomato-based sauce for the topping! End the day feeling incredibly thankful for the food we normally take for granted- and the wealth of movies now available on Disney Plus! (I am, however, emotionally unhinged by Toy Story 4 and need a good dose of Iron Man to numb the pain…)
Today is Husband’s birthday and he has requested a full English breakfast and a lemon meringue pie. The pie takes two attempts and I fear we’re making a real mockery of the depleting larder this weekend! Husband opens his gifts, (namely tickets to a cancelled event from me, and stuff I found lying around the house to make up for it!) He then heads upstairs to broadcast a Church service via Facebook Live. The eldest child is granted access, so long as she is helpful and quiet, whilst the stair gate is firmly locked against the other, less predictable (and often naked) offspring. They play in the lounge, I begin Pie-Version-Two, and all is well. Until the noise.
Upon investigation, the noise indicates that Child No.2, “The Boy”, has jumped the stair gate and is now in the office, making various requests and comments during the Live Church broadcast. Pants. I do a kind of uncertain jig at the top of the stairs, discerning how annoyed Husband sounds, how disruptive The Boy appears and how greasy my unwashed hair feels. In the end, all things quickly considered, it is my Harry Potter Onesie and furr-ball slippers that tip the vote; I decide against an intervention live on air and throw the Birthday boy to the dogs!
Thankfully, it turns out it was cute and people liked it! Just as well, really…
After a “relaxed weekend”, I find myself unexpectedly excited to find that it’s Monday again. Turns out the ‘home school’ structure is good for us all. Who knew?!
Evening: Husband and I have a crack at Iron Man 3. He insists it’s the next one to watch in our intended Marvel Marathon… he is wrong. One mysterious reference to The Avengers movie and I am disproportionately peeved, considering the current state of the world…
“You’re not still sulking about Iron Man 3 are you?!”
“Yes. You had ONE job!”
(Actually, he seems to have many and is far, far busier than I expected him to be with all of the churches locked shut! Of course, that’s not the point. Nope; my stomping and cupboard slamming has absolutely nothing to do with the fact he’s stopped self-isolating and is going out into the germ-festered world to work his key-ness every day… nothing at all… ruddy Iron Man!)
Husband leaves at 8.30am and the ensuing school day is light on work, heavy on play. The kids’ imaginations are intense, the laughter is raucous and I am enjoying every minute. A text asks how we’re coping and I have a shocking realisation… honestly, at the moment? I think I like my Lockdown life way more than my normal life! What’s up with that?!
So. Wednesday was huge. Wednesday will go down in history, I am sure, as that time I made either the biggest parenting win or fail known to my poor six year old. I’m still undecided which, but am sure she’ll tell me in years to come…
Here’s the deal. Yesterday was mostly play, and so when she asked to read a new book at bedtime, I happily obliged. She went to the shelf, (of panic-bought boxsets), and chose- to her thespian parents’ delight- a collection of Shakespeare Stories for Children. Excellent. She knows Matilda the Musical! off by heart and was intrigued by the references to Romeo and Juliet. Amazing! Best place to start, right?!
No, you’re right…. I didn’t think this through.
We read the whole book and she’s captivated. Utterly enthralled. (At one point, during the fight, she asks, “What’s wrong with them? Do they not know God?!” I mean, I am living the Christian-Actor-Mother’s dream here! Does it get any better than this?!) And then we get to the finale… and they haven’t softened it, and it is what it is and it is not about Gnomes. And her little face drops and she can’t believe it and she asks me, “WHY?!”And I tell her it’s a Tragedy, (and then quickly realise that a lesson in literary genres wasn’t quite what she had in mind). And so we talk broadly about love and hate and how the families are brought together in the end… and she’s sort of OK with it, except to say that it’s a terrible ending and he should have written something else. Phew. She sleeps.
On Wednesday my six year old daughter has a face that can only be described as “melancholy”, for the entire English lesson. Her bottom lip is out and her cheeks are blotchy. She wants to read Romeo and Juliet again. I say I don’t think that’s a good idea; at which point the tears start. And they don’t stop! She is howling. Sobbing. Her little heart breaking and demanding to read it again because she must know WHY?! I apologise to her, profusely: “It is quite famously THE saddest story ever written and I should never have read it to you at your age, I’m so sorry!” “No!” She protests, “Don’t say that- I LOVED it! I want to read it again!” She can’t concentrate on anything else. So we watch Gnomeo and Juliet- MUCH better ending, with a little reference to the original. But that’s not good enough. She BEGS me, sobbing, to read the Shakespeare version again. I tell her about the comedies instead; selling up the love stories with happy endings. So much so that, by the time Husband comes home for lunch, she is clutching a copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and insisting that we read it right this moment! I tell her we will later, after lunch; I offer her pancakes- pancakes with Nutella and Ice Cream- FOR LUNCH. She shouts, and I quote, “I DON’T WANT CHOCOLATE PANCAKES, I NEED TO READ MORE SHAKESPEARE NOW!”
I kid. You. Not.
Husband reads to her while I make lunch. A bit of Bottom and his donkey head and she seems to recover; eats her pancakes and then skips off to play. It hasn’t been mentioned since….
(Until therapy, 2040.)
Went out for the first time in 2 weeks. (To the chemist, to order a repeat prescription, as the phone has been permanently engaged for 3 days). Felt a bit like Rapunzel in Tangled. Both here, walking to the chemist:
And here, in Heron Foods next door to it, buying some “essential” Ben and Jerry’s…
Meanwhile, the youngest has done a poo on her sister’s carpet. And stuck a princess crown on it. Tidy.
Husband’s day off! The Boy was feeling left out after the doll’s house project, so we’ve been upcycling a chest of drawers together…
Again, both pretty proud of it!
The Eldest had an online dance party with her BFF and my god-daughter, whose lovely, beaming little face proved that it will take more than house arrest to keep a good kid down! (Though I’ll bet no one tried to introduce her to tragedy this week…) Happy Birthday, Mini Mate!
Over tea Husband confesses that he’s found this second week at home much harder; which I think is funny, as he’s been in it a lot less?! I confess again that I am still at the point of enjoying it more than I should… I mean, having had a month indoors with tonsillitis before Lockdown even started, I should be going stir crazy right now. But I’m not. At all. In fact, it’s the opposite. I feel more free and less anxious during a global pandemic and social lockdown than I have done in months! Huh?!
So. At the end of this week I am still thankful; still wondering, after Shakes-gate if I’m a parenting genius or a mean old shrew; and still considering if I am now permanently anti-social or just enjoying a much needed break from ministry life?!
Time will tell. For now though, best just to go with it!
May God bless you and keep you. Thanks for reading! xxxx