Wow! Parenting in these lockdown times is fully wild! At first the idea of staying home – which mainly means being inside with apartment living – really freaked me out, but we are finding a way. It’s been a month now since schools, kindergartens and nurseries all shut and the biggest issue I see is trying to convince our children to return to school when they open again. Every time I ask N if he would like to go to school he replies with a resounding “no” so I am going to have my work cut out to get him to go back.
The most important thing though is trying to stay well as good health means everything. Sure, this whole situation is really frustrating, but the alternative is far worse. That’s not to say I am not envious of those folks who have the freedom to stay home and binge-watch Netflix while simultaneously doing online workout videos, baking fresh bread and cleaning out their sock drawers.
Life at our house is run on 3-minute intervals, be that playing hide and seek, jumping on the trampoline, playing pretend kitchens, squeezing fresh orange juice, playing cars, riding the scooter, eating lollipops, drawing, painting, and arts and crafts. Every day is full of action over here! I hear some people are having trouble sleeping during isolation. I do not suffer this fate. I am exhausted at the end of every single day! I will say a big thank you to iPads and Masha and the Bear as a little screen time can sometimes save the day when you have just had enough. There is a time each day where we sit on the sofa and just re-set for a while. I have not heard any “experts” dare to mention recommended amounts of screen time during this period! I wonder why!
As our regulations here restrict us to only leaving home once per day, we save our one trip outside for a walk around the neighbourhood each afternoon which is actually really lovely and not something we would have done as a family frequently in regular life. As we walk we chat and debrief the day, as well as greet all the neighbourhood dogs. It’s the highlight of my day.
In general, N is getting a lot more time with both of us, but especially his dad and the impact is clear to see. He has started asking/demanding that daddy do certain things with him that were previously things he did with me. For example, he now demands that daddy sits and has breakfast with him and if daddy tries not to, N goes and drags him to the table. This is a great result for me as I finally get to eat my breakfast in peace!
The biggest challenge is trying to get any work done which, frankly, is impossible to do with N around. We have worked out a timetable so that I can do some work in the mornings so we are doing better than others, but it’s not ideal for anyone.
In the midst of all of this though, N is a delight and a source of constant entertainment. His vocabulary has grown enormously and now he commentates on absolutely everything. He is really keen on doing everything for himself these days and so one of the most commonly used phrases is “Mummy don’t touch!” It makes me laugh every time.
He speaks full sentences, can communicate what he wants, loves to talk about colours and likes to count. He can now get to 20 in both languages, so that’s a gigantic leap for someone who four months ago was saying practically nothing. Some of the words he pronounces with a really Australian accent and others he is more English (my accent also swings because of the time I spent in the UK) and it’s so funny to hear him chat to himself and say a really Aussie-sounding “nice” (Aussies out there know what I mean!)
He’s growing again and is now in 5-year-old clothes and wears EU 28 sized shoes / size 10 UK, despite not turning 3 until July. Hopefully then the lockdown will be over so we can have a small party for him.
A couple of weeks ago we switched him to his big boy bed, expecting that there might be some troubles getting used to that, but actually he has been wonderful. He accepted his big boy bed immediately and once he’s in it and sleepy he doesn’t (yet) get out of it in the middle of the night and roam around. Long may that continue! This boy likes his sleep (like his daddy) so I expect that is the main factor. I don’t think I did any magic parenting to make him like this. Of course, if he’s not sleepy then he’s a total nightmare to keep in bed!
The next big development is that we will be attempting potty training in the next couple of weeks. I have some time off work and so I will be able to focus on helping N transition to potty life. I have been putting this off until warmer weather arrived and now it is getting more Spring-like here, and I have some ideal circumstances for it so I am going to give it a shot. I may well be writing here again in a few weeks saying it was a failure, but sometimes you just have to give something a good try and if it doesn’t work out, try again later.
Wish me luck!
(Some top class hiding going on here)