I am still enjoying documenting our week, getting my camera out every day just for a couple of minutes and noting down how I feel as this lockdown progresses. This is such an odd time, nobody knows what they are doing and the ‘right thing’ looks different for all of us. Some families have a strict schedule, others play it by ear each day and both of those are perfect for them. I think we fall somewhere in the middle but as we relax into this and admit there is nothing else we can do, our day is relaxing at the same time. Here is the short paragraphs I wrote at the end of each day.
It was the first day that the children really wanted to go in the garden at all which made me happy. I had made the decision not to do a proper school holidays as I felt like we were only just settling into this new routine, and as we do very limited academic work anyway, I think they will still enjoy some structure, baking and crafts. They know what to expect now when I tell them to get dressed ready to start the day and things seem to run a bit smoother. We made Easter cards today which all 4 took part in happily and whilst the day had its fair share of stressful parts, it went ok really.
It may look at times like I know vaguely what I am doing, like we are settled and calm but know that my house looks like a bomb exploded and I don’t have the energy to tidy it up once the kids are in bed. The three casualties in our house have been the big TV, a dining chair and my full length mirror. Our house is chaotic and I can’t see any signs of that changing. Usually I try and photograph around it, but today I got in the middle of it. Quickly discarded toys all around, probably some crumbs if you look hard enough, but also a little girl who knows she is loved.
We changed the plans we had for the day based on mood and spent more time in the garden instead. Initially the children were reluctant to go out there but as the days go on and the weather warms up things are changing. I had to go to the shops for our weekly food and I picked up some giant chalks which we used to draw all over the front of the house and our driveway. We drew a hopscotch out on the pavement in front of our house and watching out the window as adults stop on their daily exercise walks and have a go really makes me smile. I think this spell of warm weather is making everything feel a bit easier and I am desperately hoping it continues.
I had decided early on that we weren’t even going to attempt anything that resembles school today. I feel like I am settling into being at home, learning how to make this work and we needed a day in the garden, more freedom to play and less routine. A parcel from Nanny arrived early on with some bug pots which was perfect. They caught a worm and an ant in them and loved watching them move. We still managed some Easter art and a long shower for each of them but I realised how much more settled I feel at home with them for someone who has always spent every waking minute out the house before. It is a new way of being, a new set of expectations but it is nice.
Technically it was Good Friday but Ed is working all the hours under the sun and every day feels a bit the same at the moment. I had asked the children to plan their own schedule for the day which Dylan pretty much did on his own and he wanted lots of Art time so we found some bits to make and colour and had a day of free play. I tried to encourage some reading but they all picked up baby board books (I should probably re-home them when this is all over!) and so we moved on. It felt like a more successful week in terms of temperament and I feel like we are all getting more comfortable with this new normal, but we didn’t do any of the more academic things I had thought we would. As the week has gone on, I have seen them each play more, create more, follow their interests more and often step away from the TV in the evenings when we have it on to play instead – something that never happened after a day at school. I know there are going to be ups and downs, after all, we don’t know when this is going to end, but at the end of the week I feel positive about how we are coping, privileged to be able to go through this with space and a garden and lucky to get this time with my small people whilst they are still this sized.