Day 22

School has given all of us a big dose of normality that we needed. Today had a sense of ordinariness that was almost at pre-lockdown levels.

We all sat and watched Karen O’Leary’s show on the Papa Kainga/Home Learning TV channel – mostly because Rev G and I love her, being big Wellington Paranormal fans. She is her usual deadpan, funny self.

Then the children have their morning meeting with their class, and are given a quick lesson, with various assignments pertaining to the lesson to go off and do.

Today’s lesson is on the water cycle of evaporation-condensation-precipitation.

Master D is given the task of ‘painting’ with water outside to watch the evaporation process. Fortunately it is a warm and sunny day. Miss E joins in and they have a ball. They make all sorts of shapes, and chalk around the outline.

Voila! Evaporation

Master D discovers that when chalk gets wet, it turns into ‘paint’, so both children spend at least 30 minutes painting with chalk. Very Montessori!

Miss E gets a harder task – making the water cycle in a bag. We take a break for lunch, she is very into fruit smoothies at the moment.

My Mindfood magazine arrives in the mail – fortunately they are not part of the media stable that has recently closed due to the Pandemic. I have never been so glad to see it in my life! It’s always a good read, but I am particularly grateful to get it at this time because it always has a decent puzzle section: crosswords, code-crackers, quizzes, even colouring in! I have a new appreciation for all of these; I find myself unable to read more than a few pages of a book at the moment due to lack of time, and my brain being overloaded. Normally I am a voracious reader, but the pandemic has reduced my brain temporarily to mush.

In the evening, Master D goes on a rambling monologue about burglars. I realise that this is how his anxiety is manifesting.

“You’re really worried about burglars at the moment,” I say. “What would help you feel safe right now?”

He really thinks about it, and then gives us several suggestions. One is that he and Rev G will check that all the doors are locked when he goes to bed. He also suggests putting mousetraps all over the house so the burglars will get snapped. (Can you tell Home Alone is one of his favourite movies?) We compromise, and say that Rev G will put them outside the house where the burglars won’t see them until it’s too late, mwahaha.

He also suggests that we have zombie costumes at the ready to scare burglars if they get in. We solemnly promise him that we will make zombie costumes at the next family night. And we honestly will. If it makes him feel safe, we will do anything in these extraordinary times. I may have to find an old bed sheet to cut!

Master D sleeps right through for the first time since lockdown began. We are grateful for the uninterrupted sleep.

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