I have hit an all-time low. Why is it that this lockdown is so much harder, even though there is much more hope than before? Is it the weather? The fact that we’ve done it all before? Is it that we’ve now completed Netflix, baked all the bread and would happily go and insert something into Joe Wicks if we a) knew where he lived, and b) were allowed to travel? Or maybe all of the above.
One positive is that this lockdown has dramatically reduced my expectations of what a ‘good day’ looks like. It was a pretty good day when I got to turn the calendar over to February, tell the family we were one month down, then wait for my children to finish beating each other up under the guise of ‘pinch, punch’.
It was a brilliant week when it turned out I had to go to the orthodontist, the supermarket and the doctor ALL IN THE SAME WEEK, instead of spreading out the exotic treats over the month.
The orthodontist was the easiest of the three. My teenager has finally had her braces removed and is now constantly licking her beautifully straight teeth and announcing, at half-hourly intervals, how slimy they feel on a scale of 1 to 10. She’s thrilled with the results. I am less thrilled, because you have not known fear until you have woken at 3am to see a wild-haired teenager standing over you in the dark, making demented sucking and hissing noises, in an attempt to tell you that their retainer is too tight.
The supermarket should really have been the easiest, because I only needed bread and milk, so I walked in rebelliously without a trolley, before spotting seventy-eight items that I also desperately needed, balancing them all in one hand, inexplicably refusing help when it was offered by the lovely assistant, then slowly teetering my way to the check-out, looking as if I was either rehearsing a tightrope act, or desperate for the loo.
The most difficult of my weekly tasks was the visit to the GP, because I was there for the dreaded smear test. Luckily it’s done by a woman because ‘let’s just get it over with’ is not a phrase any man wants to hear from a woman when she’s lying in that position, even if it is for a medical reason.
These days of course, the excitement of leaving the house to go to a doctor’s appointment is the equivalent of a seven course meal followed by a show, so I was relatively happy to go along, and even shaved my legs for the first time since about August. My husband may well have appreciated me doing that sooner, but there’s nothing like the fear of being judged by another woman to spur you on.
The highlights of the month over with, we are left with the delights of home schooling. My youngest has taken to FaceTiming a friend so they can do certain lessons together. The other day she was doing a history lesson, and I was in the kitchen which is underneath her room. I heard an almighty crash, followed by the sound of a herd of wild elephants thundering across the ceiling. I knew she was learning about Dunkirk and wondered briefly if she was attempting some kind of single-handed re-enactment. Of course we don’t have a boat, but she does have a lot of coloured sand inside some ornaments she got from the Isle of Wight, so I wasn’t ruling anything out.
The noise kept coming, so in the end I went to investigate. It turns out there was a perfectly reasonable explanation, which is that she and her friend were playing ‘It’. Over the phone. No, I don’t know how either.
Meanwhile my 14 year old has to make her GCSE choices next week. She has spent weeks moaning like hell about the fact that she is forced to do French. And she has refused point blank to consider Spanish as one of her options because she ‘doesn’t like languages’. Yet three days ago, she began happily teaching herself Korean over the internet, because she fancies the Korean bloke who sings her favourite song. I’m all for it, as long as she can teach me the Korean word for ‘gin’.
Bring on Bedtime!