Another emotional rollercoaster of a week, both directly and indirectly. It’s been a real mix of highs and lows. I’m pretty sure yours has too.
The highs have included watching way too many films. It’s been film night in our house every day since lockdown began. This past week we’ve managed High School Musical, High School Musical 2, Petes Dragon (I loved this), a couple of Mark Wahlberg films once the children had gone to bed and The Avengers because J is superhero mad. There have been many more but I’ve lost track.
So many virtual conversations over Zoom which have given rise, in some cases, to some very overdue catch ups with friends and being able to keep regular contact with those we see all the time.
The children have been able to see their friends, think B actually has a better social life than me. Freddie was even able to see his very best friend in the whole world thanks to Zoom. Some of his friends are pre-verbal so video calling is amazing for him. We’ve agreed to do this again for them next week.
He is so much more socially isolated in general than our other children because his friends don’t live close by. They all travel into school from around the local area so he has been missing them terribly. Still asking me every day “Is it school tomorrow?” The answer, of course, is still no. His school have been great though and are continuing with contact and sending out the weekly news on a Monday. A paragraph with photos from each child so that they can see what each other have been up to.
Reprimanded by My 7 Year Old
We’ve had a virtual quiz, via Zoom, with friends whilst wearing silly headgear. All we could find at the last minute was Ollie’s cowboy hat and a fascinator. I’m very competitive so I wasn’t pleased we lost by two points. I’ll have my A game on for the next one. B was most annoyed at how loud we were talking. She came downstairs and told us off for keeping her awake. Oops. “We have to shout because it’s over the internet.” wasn’t a good enough excuse apparently.
We have also managed to play boardgames without any major tantrums. For anyone that knows us well, you will know this is a miracle. My children are also pretty competitive, so someone always gets the hump about losing. As it turns out, I’ve lost every game of Minions Monopoly to my 7 year old. She is delighted.
Resilience and Mental Health
Keeping on top of my resilience is still a work in progress. I’ve had times out of the house to walk the dog on my own which I’ve loved. I’ve even done P.E with Joe Wicks on my own when the children have wondered off. Fridays one killed my thighs. Again.
The lows have included trying to help my children cope. A friend of mine always say “you’re only as happy as your unhappiest child” and she is right.
One of my children was really struggling last week and this had a big old negative impact on me. After a week of challenging behaviour, I couldn’t handle it any more and ended up crying on the phone to their teacher. Honestly, get a grip woman.
Turns out PMT does not mix well with Corona Virus lockdown, homeschooling and children who are confused, fed up and missing their friends. Way too many hormones in the house.
Trying to support family member who really need you emotionally and sometimes physically. This has been a real test for me. I’d usually just head on over to whoever needed the support but of course I’ve had to accept I can’t physically be there so we’ve had to get creative. The children and I drew pictures and sent a big envelope to my grandparents to cheer them up. It did the trick so I’ll have them on the case with that again this week.
I’ve been so lucky that until age 40, all four of my grandparents have been alive. In the past two weeks, one of my grandpas died. Not form Covid 19, it was old age. I was able to go and see him and I made it just in time before lockdown at his wonderful care home. He left us the following day.
It was his wish to be cremated and this meant that none of us, including my Nanna who he was married to for over 80 years, could attend the service. We haven’t even been able to see her because her care home is now in total lockdown with the staff staying there to protect them. No one in and no one out. Incredibly sad for her and for us. This is an example of the human sacrifices we have to make to keep us all safe. This is one of the most challenging things about this current situation.
My Pops was one of my heroes. He flew the Lancaster Bombers in WWII. He flew in 30 operations, including the devastating raids over the D. Day beaches of Normandy and in the infamous Nuremberg operation where 95 aircraft were lost. His own Lancaster was attacked by a night fighter. Fortunately, they were able to corkscrew and evade the attacker.
Physical Distancing Not Emotional Distancing
Late at night, I decided I’d put my family, including my dog, into the car and park outside my Mums house in the morning. I wanted to be there at the time of the Cremation. I wanted to us to have some form of connection and celebration of his life.
We borrowed a great big Union Jack from a friend (hands were washed before and after collecting it from their door step of course) to honour him because all ex service men and women would have one on their casket. We arrived, opened all the windows and Ollie played my Grandpas chosen song at full blast. B held up photos, Freddie waved a flag and J and I hung the Union Jack out of the sun roof. Mum couldn’t believe it. We even did a family howl at the end so that Teddington was involved. Sounds weird. It is weird but the children and the dog love doing it too. You can just see his head poking out of the sunroof. The neighbours must have wondered what on earth was going on? We didn’t care.
Like I said, we’ve got to get creative. Creative about how we build our emotional resilience and maintain our health and fitness. We’ve also got to get creative with how we connect to people. How we remember and celebrate the lives of those we love who pass during this time of physical distancing.
Will see what week three brings. I hope you are coping as well as you can under the immense pressure I know so many of you are under.