Along with millions of other parents out there, we are cooped up indoors with the kids running riot wondering how on earth we will cope with potentially weeks of isolation.
My sons preschool is closed and I’m home with him and my 20 month old daughter and I’m not gonna lie people, mummageddon may very well be on its way.
When I first heard about the prospect of schools closing and having both kids home all day I thought “how hard can it be?” He only goes 3 hours a day so its no biggie. We do it at weekends! WRONG! I failed to factor in that those sweet 3 hours are clearly when my son expels unimaginable amounts of energy and no doubt terrorises the teachers like he is proceeding to do to me now! Its been 5 days and he is bouncing off the walls like a caged animal. I genuinely have never seen such madness.
My daughter is clearly lapping up this excuse to join in on the reign of terror and get away with waging war against me. Its a continuous onslaught! This is how it basically goes….
5:30am both kids are now in the bed. My sons feet are up my back and my daughter has latched onto my boob but they are asleep. I’m seriously uncomfortable but I can cope with this and go back to sleep.
5:55am I am being given chest compressions by a 20 month old baby who wants to bounce on my chest repeating “heylo mammy”
6am both the kids are awake and are in cahoots for today’s mission to destroy. The mantra has progressed into “mumma mumma mumma mumma….” as they chant in unison, giggling away, enjoying the power gained in numbers. I am awake, but I’ve been breastfeeding on and off through the night, I’ll be damned if I’m getting up first. Dad has had a pretty good run of sleep, he needs to get up. I whine and moan at the kids to leave me be.
6:10am my partner eventually admits defeat, he is awake and there is no hiding it and takes my daughter out while she screeches “nooawwwww I want mammy”. He beckons to my son to join them, my son refuses. He knows dad is already carrying his sister and this is his chance to continue mission mum terror.
I say “don’t you want to go and play with daddy and your sister?” I try to make it sound like he’d be seriously missing out. He looks at me and smiles the smile of a child that sees your weakness.
“NO, I want to stay with you”. Gahhhhhhhhhh!!!
So I say “are you going back to sleep? I’m going back to sleep, so unless you intend to sleep and be quiet you should go with daddy”. He lays dormant for about 5 minutes. Enough time for my partner to pop head round the door then close it and almost enough time that I start to drift off. Then the inevitable squirming begins. Its slow at first then a full blown preschool ninja kick propels the bedcovers completely off of me and he cocoons himself in it, rolling round and round.
I am up, he has won. Damn it!
Its 6:20am my partner is on the sofa and the entire living room is in disarray. He leaves to make coffee and my daughter instantly wants to be fed again. I sit down and my son asks “what are we going to do today mummy?”
This is roughly the beginning to all days. The usual preschool routine is a rush to get ready and out the house, but now by 8:30 when breakfast is done and everyone is dressed its game on to provide the days entertainment. I underestimated how much of the routine breaks up the need and pressure to entertain. And man, days are LONG!!!! The weekend is different. Its novel, both parents are home and we go out places and do things. This is a new uncharted territory. Like a school holiday, but without being able to go anywhere or see anyone or the ability to count down the days to keep you sane. So basically like no holiday at all!
My partner needs to work from home, skyping into meetings, in our little 2 bed flat with no office or work space. I have to attempt to keep the kids entertained and quiet? Hell no this isn’t going to work….
They know daddy is home, they want daddy, they need daddy like they have never needed him before. They escape at every opportunity to make a dash for the bedroom and ambush daddy mid Skype…. I don’t want to be that woman off the news frantically trying to get her kids out the room- you know the video, we’ve all seen it and laughed so hard at her expense. But her kids came off looking cute and sweet, mine would be like wild beasts bulldozing in to reap havoc.
Thank goodness for the garden! The saving grace in this hell. Fun can be had outside. Yeah the kids are now screaming out there but at least they are using up some energy and I can watch from the living room with their voices somewhat muted. In fact I could even make a cuppa, and go to the toilet.
Yes I shall use the bathroom! Only no, how very dare I? The moment my arse hits that seat I can hear the screams. She is crying, he is calling me incessantly. I can hear their wellies running down the corridor treading mud through the house. I am greeted by a crying toddler with a snot trail down her nose mingled with the mud that she has clearly chosen to eat in the literally split second of me leaving. My 4 year old son is shouting giving me a full running commentary of the events that have unfolded, because so much can happen in 30 seconds! And what was the terrible event that beheld my darling children that I couldn’t be spared a piss in peace? You just wait for this….. They had found a yogurt coated raisin from the day before and they were both so starved and deprived they were fighting over it. Yes, I kid you not, a dirty, squashed half yogurt coated raisin!
End of day one. Its 7:30pm and the kids are asleep. The house is a s***hole, toys are everywhere, food and mud is mushed into the floor. There are mugs of cold tea ¾ full that have been reheated in the microwave and still not been drank. No washing up has been done. I am at least thankful I did a load of washing this morning and got that out first thing so it will be all dry by now. Better go get that in really…. oh you have got to be having a laugh…. its pouring down out there!!!! Why?!?!
There is only one way I’m going to survive this real life mummageddon. I absolutely have to lower my expectations and turn my attitude on its head. When else in life will we get an opportunity to have so much time together? These are times when great memories can be made. Its an opportunity for us all to have fun. While I see it as a task to entertain rather than enjoying the fun myself I’m going to lose the plot and we will all be miserable.
Stay strong and look after yourselves. Hard times ahead.