The kids have been talking about our fake trip to Paris since Tuesday. Which was cute, until they burst into our room at 6am and screamed, “IT’S PARIS DAY!” at the top of their lungs.
Still… we did it!
We made macaroons (without a piping bag- wouldn’t pass in Paris!); took the Eurostar, did a city tour, sat FROW at Fashion Week and then dressed up and had a go ourselves! Designed some clothes, hit the museums, did the cancan and then cooked Ratatouille from scratch. We also agreed that this was fun, but, having used Husband’s only day off 2 weeks in a row… also declared it exhausting. Decided to have a week off travelling next week! Ended the night with the movie Ratatouille, and then a late night online 80s party for a friend who is shielding. All good fun, all good fun, but…
Today I feel tired. And emotional. Very, very emotional. The UK Blessing video is released today and that just about finishes me off. We spend a long time praying for almost everyone we know, singing the song over them and longing for them with an intensity I’ve managed to avoid thus far.
Gosh, it really is week 7 isn’t it?!
All Age online today and we’re making sheep out of boiled eggs. Look after your sheep all week, just like the Good Shepherd…
Call my friend to pray in the morning, as is the new usual, and it’s encouraging to hear how much difference a week has made. Today, I definitely need it more than she does!
The kids have no interest in school work. We try, but the eye rolling is at an all-time high and the sweet, polite begging to “just play” impossible to resist. Which would be lovely… if I hadn’t finished my book. Or ran out of sanding sheets. Or started this week’s blog. But I have. So… Honestly? I don’t really know what to do with myself.
I clean and tidy, but it’s futile. The mess in one room while you’re cleaning another grows and spreads like Covid- and in this case, reinfection is evidently possible! And of course, nobody wants your attention until your hand is down a toilet; once there, everything needs tying, sorting, fixing. It’s an absolute waste of time and energy today.
So, there we have it. For the first time in 7 weeks, I am officially bored!
To the point where I actually whizz up a beach out of washing up liquid in a sad and desperate attempt to lure the perfectly happy children out to play with me!
For five full minutes, I feel like I’m winning at life… and then… “Is it ok if we play now Mummy?!”
I am praying continually this morning, but am fighting against a much larger feeling of despondency. Today offers no projects and no structure … I’m really not sure I can cope with much more of this!
Wake up to learn that 30 MPs have written to The Telegraph to campaign for Churches to reopen. Feel rather gutted for Husband and all of his colleagues, who are working harder than ever to connect with people and serve and protect their community, in the safest way possible. Feel even more angered that our own politicians seem to have no idea that Churches are largely run by volunteers- elderly and vulnerable ones at that! That leaving ministers to deep clean buildings and police funeral attendance, solo, is unrealistic and unfair. Mostly, I feel upset that this conversation is even being raised now, in such a confrontational way, when so many deaths are still being recorded.
Later, while chatting to our next door neighbour from the front garden, I witness this uncomfortable conversation with another child from down the road:
“How come you’ve been to school?”
“Mum’s a nurse.”
“But your Dad’s at home?”
“He’s going to work again next month.”
“Right… are there many of you in school?”
“Yeah loads of us! It’s brilliant. We work for three hours then play outside all day!”
(Child, next door): “You should just come here. We’re not bothered about the virus anymore. We have loads of people round to play!”
(I am standing right here. 2 metres away. Adult says nothing.)
“Can I come and play in the back garden?”
Adult: “Yeah it’s OK with me. Just ask your Dad first.”
Other Child, returning 3 minutes later: “Yeah he says it’s fine!”
Adult: “OK… just wash your hands.”
They disappear into the house and Face Time him 5 minutes later from the bedroom.
Adult, to me: “I’m fed up of this lockdow.”
Of course, I am way too British to say anything. So I nod, collect my children, go back in the house and seethe to Husband later. To their credit, the kids stay quiet outside and only ask once indoors why the neighbours are allowed to play with other children while they are not? The News talks of reopening schools on June the 1st and I think… seriously?! If this is how other people are treating lockdown now, how on earth are we supposed to believe it’s safe to let our children mix with them again?!
I now have an internal dilemma about the lack of learning at home this week, versus the strong desire to keep my children at home until September.
“Who can add a single hour to their life by worrying?”
Lord, grant me peace!
There’s a lot more structure today, which is nice, but the school writing tasks still feel much like dentistry…
After an hour of tooth-pulling I need to escape. So do they. So we do.
Outside is good.
We run wild, and even find a stream – with no less than 5 shopping trolleys and a wheelie bin!
Who ever knew that even the sight of rusting metal could be so refreshing?!
Finally, a good productive day!
We have moved on from our exploration of space and are now learning about the oceans and seas. After shouting about running taps and accosted hoses for the best part of seven weeks, I seize this opportunity to teach them about water waste. (“Why is water precious if the world is covered in it?!” Regular question… now we have an answer!) The website Water: Use It Wisely has some great information, games and activities on it. By the end of the day, the kids have made posters and instructional videos about saving water around the house; the Eldest can be heard telling Husband off for leaving the water running while he shaves, and the Boy is filling up a jug to put in the fridge to save over-running the tap later. The usual left-over drinks bottles are poured onto the plants instead of the drain, and for the first time all week I honestly feel like this is a lesson nailed.
In the afternoon, the kids are desperate to make a bee café. (We watched Maddie Moate do it a few weeks ago!) Obviously, being a bit structure-and-project obsessed, I’ve been saving this for nature week! But… decide to do what the memes say for a change and follow their lead. I fully expect them to lose interest immediately but do you know, to my absolute surprise… they don’t! We end up gardening all afternoon, (first time in 11 years for me!). We pull up the weeds, tidy the rubbish, clear a space and make room for this beauty:
The plant pots are borrowed from our messy play store at church… filled with sticks and leaves and moss and things found in the woods at the top of the street.
By the end of the day, I actually feel quite accomplished!
And a bit snappy.
And… what is this?!
I’ll tell you what it is. It’s another period.
I mean, I didn’t intend to be quite so open about such things on this blog. But seriously. That’s two in a month. I mean it explains a lot, but… Two. In. A. Month. During lockdown.
Cheers for that!
I am nervous about today. I love the idea of sitting out front with the neighbours, being community and all that jazz. Our houses are all decorated and look the part. However, after this week… I mean, I’m trying not to judge, I’m really trying, but… you know… they’re-breaking-all-the-lockdown-rules-its-not-fair-who-do-they-think-they-are-honestly-they-could-be-riddled!!! Kind of thing.
“Mummy why are you crying?”
The 75 year V.E. Day Anniversary videos are so moving. So poignant and emotional. THIS is the generation we’re losing in droves, isn’t it? THIS is the generation we failed 10 weeks ago. These are the sacrifices people can’t be bothered to stay at home for!
Plus, you know, two in a month.
TWO IN A MONTH!
I had an appointment, see. A long-awaited appointment with a Menstrual Disorder Clinic. (I promise I’m not just unhinged!) But it was cancelled, naturally. Not rescheduled. Cancelled. “We will rearrange if you still need it, but you’re young; it’s probably nothing.”
Today, in my head, I’m one of those stories. You know…
“If only they’d caught it earlier…”
“If it hadn’t been for the pandemic…”
“Poor woman… those poor kids!”
“Who can add a single hour to their life by worrying?”
Game face on. Boil the kettle. Carry the garden furniture round to the front…
Just in time to see the infamous neighbours get into their car and drive off to a party!
I know. Don’t judge.
I mean they were probably just going for their daily exercise, right?
In novelty bowler hats… overnight…
So we sit out the front all afternoon on our own! There are parties around each corner, but our particular street has a lot of paved-over-garden drive ways. No one comes out. I try not to be sad about it. I mean, at least I don’t have to be polite-slash-two-faced?!
It’s a lovely afternoon in the end actually.
We Face Time some family members and the Eldest makes key worker scarecrows for the front garden! All her own idea and doing! What a lovely little soul she’s growing to be.
Plus, you know… there’s cake.
At the end of the week, it’s fair to say, I’ve felt all of the things. And I’m definitely battling most of the sins. And it’s funny, because normally when I’m aware of the overwhelming takeover of such things as fear and judgement, and anger and criticism and laziness and worry and complacency and anxiety… I’m also aware of ignoring God and not being held accountable or asking for help. This week, however, I have still felt close to God. Have still began each day with prayer; have read the Bible; have talked to God continually and asked for His help. Spiritually, I am in a good place. But still, the same battles come.
Which I think goes to show that one word here or there doesn’t cut it. That sin doesn’t leave you well alone just because you prayed. That faith doesn’t give you a free pass out of the darker shades of life; but rather, gives you the hope, strength, trust and freedom to give your struggles over to God, one step at a time. Again and again and again.
I pray this week, He is with you in yours.