As week 2 draws to an end, I think my boat is beginning to steady a little. The exercise is still at a low and the freezer tapas consumption is still high, but I think the reason we’re stabilising is as simple as….. I’ve laughed more. I’ve also done a few things I’ve never done before – like sing happy birthday from the other side of the street to a 70 year old colleague, and play three way charades on a WhatsApp video call. One was painfully hilarious, the other hilariously painful; both things pre-lockdown me would never have participated in.
Early on in the week I read a post by a local Headteacher and just like that my self-imposed expectations were lowered. She pointed out that this time isn’t so much about ‘home schooling’ but making home memories. In years to come our children won’t remember the work we set, the timetables we created, (and if anything like my eldest, they still wont remember their times tables either!) or the tears we shed because “they don’t act like this at school”. Instead they’ll remember the endless time we spent together, the daft things we did, the ludicrous games we made up, and the laughs we had doing it.
So as I watched the youngest diligently cut out the pre-marked shapes for his learning exercise, then snip the scraps into the tiniest pieces possible and have a ‘snow’ fight with his sister – I was ok with that. As I listened to them laughing and watched them taking turns I realised that while I would never ordinarily let that fly, right now- so what?! It’s not like there’s anywhere else for them to go.
They have done some school work this week, just to keep them ‘in it’, but as Eep says in The Croods “our world is changing, and if we want to survive, we need to change the rules”. Or something like that anyway. So instead of sticking to last week’s rules, frustrations, and non-existent timetables we’ve baked a cake together and licked the bowl, we filled the bird feeders together and guessed which feeder each incoming bird would go to first, we’ve coloured endless pictures to stick in the windows (we can barely see the bird feeders anymore!), and put two carrot tops in water to see if they sprout (true story, and still waiting). We learned some dance moves to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and left a bunch of flowers on next doors wheelie bin to cheer them up – but by the time they found them they’d gone a bit crispy in the sun and looked more like a macabre roadside tribute than a cheerful surprise. But it gave us all a laugh at least.
It seems to be working too, so far so good and all that! I’m more relaxed, they’re more relaxed, and no one has been sea sick. Yet. They’re also loving the extra movie time, and chance to watch their own version of trash on their tablets – 100% my ace card. And the way it’s looking I may just get chance to make a cuppa and ping off a few emails before the sibling love turns sour.