I feel like life in lockdown is a bit like a Charles Dickens novel: It is the best of times, and it is the worst of times. Yesterday I was exhausted and defeated, whereas today has been a great day. I am trying to just accept the daily roller coaster ride of emotions.
A kind local is spreading joy by taking daily walks dressed as the Easter Bunny. This small act of kindness rejuvenates me. The kids and I wait out the front, chalking Easter Eggs on the footpath, sweeping leaves, gardening etc. It is a warm, cloudless day.
Miss E shrieks: There it is! There’s the Easter Bunny! Oh, hoppy Easter, Bunny!
We don’t actually ‘do’ the Easter Bunny, so the kids know it’s just a person in a costume, but they are beside themselves with excitement all the same.
After we wave goodbye to the Bunny, we take the cars out of our garage, giving the children lots of flat space to ride their bikes and scooters. They are calmer for getting their wriggles out.
We have our daily family catch up, complete with out crazy hats. I’m enjoying being silly, and these challenges help to fill some time.
In the afternoon we go on a Stations of the Cross prayer walk. It is thought-provoking, and even the children come out with some heavy stuff to pray about and to be thankful for.
Miss E says she is still terrified that “Mummy and Daddy will get the virus and die”. Spare a thought for all the children around the world who are dealing with these scary times. It’s a lot for young minds to comprehend, and the fear is a very real one. I just heard 1000 people died in the UK today.
We have dealt with our children by telling them the truth, and doing our best to explain how the virus transmits (thank you Nano Girl!), and focusing on how we can keep ourselves safe, and that lots of helpers are working on a cure etc. Apart from the first day where I wanted my children to understand the gravity of the situation, I keep them away from the news. Their reality is that they are safe and well and their needs are met.
We check in each day to see how they are feeling – little ones need constant reminders that all is well, and they are safe. I try to check for their understanding too; young children often interpret things wrongly and I don’t want any needless worry to add to their stress.
My children have been as up and down as I am. The first week saw lots of meltdowns, now we are seeing them just getting thoroughly sick of each other – especially poor Miss E. Her little brother won’t leave her alone. Master D’s anxiety is manifesting by not wanting to be by himself, and short of tying him to his bed to keep him away from his sister, we are having little joy with enacting ‘quiet time’.
I try to have patience with the children’s outbursts and meltdowns, and most days I do – just not yesterday! They are directly related to the weather. On sunny days when we are able to get outside for large chunks of time, the kids are happy. On rainy, blustery days they have lots of meltdowns. They need that stimulation of being outside.
On our prayer walk we chat with some neighbours around the corner who are decorating the outside of their house with Easter eggs because they had ‘nothing better to do’. They point us in the direction of more Easter art in the neighbourhood. I love the creativity that is born out of boredom.
I am grateful for a good day.