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    Back to school feelings

    The children’s school has been great at helping them process life in a COVID pandemic, without dwelling on it or scaring them. For their schoolwork today they are asked to draw a picture and write about how they are feeling about returning to school next week.

    Master D gets to work and draws a picture of himself and a friend driving a robot each. I’m not sure if he was trying to make a statement about the increased use of technology in the classroom or the perhaps the perils of artificial intelligence (as one of the people in the robots doesn’t look too happy)? I’m sure one of those options is correct. Deep, Master D, deep.

    Miss E draws a thumbs in the middle (neither up nor down, my little Roman historian). She writes that she doesn’t feel that good about going back to school.

    Worried about her anxiety, I ask some probing questions before she finally reveals her reticence about school…she won’t be allowed to trade Pokemon cards anymore.

    Yeah, I think my kids are gonna be fine.

    We potter about. I make two batches of cheese scones – it is a pain to be gluten free. We are cheese scone addicts I confess, although I must make a batch of plain ones after discovering you can actually buy clotted cream in NZ now. My mother has been waiting to try it for her entire life after reading about it in books.

    Our mail brings a nice surprise for me, a supermarket voucher as a thank you for participating in a university study. I ALWAYS participate in uni studies whenever I meet the criteria as having run several studies at uni myself I know how low the take up rates are. I am also part of a pay-for-taking-surveys site, which is an easy way to make some free money. You won’t get rich, but I have made over $100 this year already just by taking a few minutes each day to take part, and I think that’s not to be sniffed at.

    I spend the afternoon refreshing my social media skills, and taking a few free courses as research for my new job that starts next week. There are some cool new tools I have discovered which will serve me well.

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    Level 3: Day 7

    Master D wakes up multiple times in the night. He is scared. He is hot. He needs cuddles. It takes Rev G and I back to the newborn days, and not in an ‘Aw, how cute is it that he needs us?’ way.

    We’re exhausted.

    Rev G is kind and lets me sleep in, and as I try to get going in the morning, it is clear that I am still not over the bug we’ve all had. Rev G got it first, and it lasted for days. I’m so tired I can barely think – just how Rev G was last week!

    Unfortunately for him, my lack of energy means he has to be on the kids today. He has work to do, so you can imagine Rev G’s stress levels and tiredness from the interrupted sleep! After lunch I lie on my son’s bed as he keeps up a stream of consciousness monologue while he colours in an activity book. He just needs company.

    Master D’s room needs tidying quite badly, but neither of us has the energy to do it. I lie there, trying to summon up the willpower for a cleaning frenzy. It does not magically appear. Does anyone else feel like they’ll have to do a massive clean when all of this is over? I find it almost impossible to keep up with the daily tornado of detritus my children leave all over the house.

    Miss E does her schoolwork, some of which is just using reading and maths apps on the laptop. Although we normally don’t let out kids near apps, today I am grateful for these, as they are keeping her happy and occupied.

    She has had her ups and downs over lockdown, but has mostly taken it well. She is keen to do schoolwork, and is generally just a good, sweet kid. I know she is still scared about the virus, but that anxiety has lessened considerably, and she has adapted to our new normal without too much complaint.

    Master D is a different story. Although his behaviour has been better over the past few days, his anxiety is still quite evident. He is just over it. He’s angry and just wants to get back to playing at school.

    Master D finishes his colouring, so we snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. At the moment he HATES being alone. Even though I’m not 100%, I can at least give him some one-on-one time, and my presence.

    I eagerly watch the 4pm update from our Prime Minister. I thought she was giving us details of what Level Two will be like, but that is being left until Thursday. Still, she is in talks with Australia about a Trans-Tasman bubble – perhaps our planned trip to the Gold Coast in July may still happen? I live in hope…

    I am still confident we will move to Level Two some time next week. Now the end is in sight I have noticed I’m more able to do more high-level thinking, even despite my tiredness today. My word puzzles are easier to do, I’m back to watching my favourite murder-mystery shows, I’m back to reading books. I feel peaceful.