Here we go again

Lockdown take three. Here we go again.

It’s hard to believe that we are back here amidst the restrictions, the worry and the feeling that this is all just never-ending. What an absolute mess. How is it that as a country we have got things so wrong? My brother lives in Vietnam and tells us that life is back to normal there, and all of my family in Israel have now been vaccinated despite some of them not even being vulnerable. It doesn’t make sense. But, the point of this blog post isn’t to rant; instead, it’s another attempt to find ways to make best of it and share the madness I’m experiencing as a mum to two young boys.

The first lockdown seems like yesterday and a distant memory all at once. For us it was two-fold: there were the pre-Wilf days where being at home as a three was novelty, followed by the post-Wilf days where reality hit us and we got to grips with a newborn, isolation and a huge lack of sleep. But we made it through and did our best to see the positives along the way.

With the second lockdown, we held on to the fact that Christmas was around the corner and that was something to look forward to for us all. A new year also meant a fresh start, so like many, we were very much ready to welcome 2021. Yet here we all are, having begun the year in a worse state than the previous one. Still, we try to find ways to be hopeful.

On the first day of lockdown round three, we woke ready to be brave and brace ourself for the road and madness ahead. But, by 10.30am, after the usual getting ready battle with our four(going on fourteen)-year-old, it’s safe to say I was already completely wiped out and ready to scream into a pillow. No matter how much we will ourselves to be positive and keep calm, there’s no doubt that these little people pick up on the fact that things are different and we’re anxious about something. We managed to turn the day around though thanks to a lovely walk which blew the cobwebs away – we reset and reboot. I have also come to realise that if I need anything or it’s time to get ready, addressing Theo as Ryder (“Ready for action, Ryder, Sir!”), then everything we do becomes a Paw Patrol mission and my life gets made ten times easier. I’m also now quite fed up of being Skye or Everest and being bossed around, but needs must, and I’ll go with the flow if it means keeping the peace.

We’ve decided at the moment to keep Theo off forest schools and pre-school given that infection rates are so high. We have the added luxuries (ha!) of me being on maternity leave and Andy working from home, plus we are allowed a support bubble given that Wilf is under one. For this reason, it seems safer for now to not jeopardise anyone’s health, especially given that there is no real ‘need’ to send him off. Would we be bad parents if we send him when he can easily be at home with us, or are we bad parents for denying him time with his peers? We’ve gone round and round in circles asking ourself these questions and know that there probably is no right or wrong. So for now, week by week, we will review things and decide what’s best… mainly driven by how mad we all begin to go.

So far though, it’s been a fun week, albeit completely non-stop. My fitness watch told me that I had walked nearly 5km by lunch time which says it all really – that’s a lot of running around, clearing up and fetching snacks! Once again, I’m learning to go with the flow and fill our days with activities at home. We’ve baked, done online yoga, made a Planet Earth and moon, searched for E.T out on our walks and played drums on a cardboard box. And of course, there has been a very healthy dose of Cbeebies thrown in too.

Compared to the first lockdown, Theo is so much more grown up, more reasonable and also unreasonable too. He is a little boy, no longer a toddler, and my goodness does he know his own mind. This really does make him the best company, but it also makes him quite a challenge at times too. And also, this time around, we have our second little one who seems to be equally as full of beans and bonkers. Newly nicknamed ‘Danger Wilf’, at nearly nine months old, the days of sleeping strapped to me in a sling are long gone. Instead, our eyes have to be everywhere as speedy Wilf crawls, climbs, cruises and attempts to walk. I remember people saying “Just wait until you have two on the move!” and I can now completely see why. We seem to be forever darting to catch Wilf or mediate between the two of them as Theo is also going through an ‘I don’t really want to share’ phase. It’s all fun and games.

The days are all a bit groundhog already and it’s safe to say we are absolutely desperate now for freedom and normality – whatever that is. But meanwhile we plan to try and stay as sane as possible whilst keeping the little ones happy and fed, the house relatively respectable and our minds as clear as possible. Thank goodness for evening wine, escaping into books at bedtime and spring on the horizon. You never know, we may well just make it to a full year of being in and out of lockdown, and with a bit of luck, by Wilf’s first birthday, we may actually be able to celebrate with our nearest and dearest. Here’s to hoping.

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