Lockdown with James
Like many of you, when the word Coronavirus and COVID-19 began being discussed on the news I didn’t pay it much attention. It was happening in some town I’d never heard of in China and how would that affect my life here in rural North Wales? However, as a full-time working Mum, when the term “School Closure” started being discussed I suddenly sat up and started listening.
James, my four-year-old has been in some form of childcare, whether that be Nursery, with a Grandparent or more recently School, since he was 10 months old. Working in the very seasonal family business that we do, School holidays are our busiest time and means that Holiday Clubs are vital to making our routine work. All this means that at home baking, crafting and activities are not my strong point and the idea of James being home indefinitely filled me with panic! On our weekends, we would usually take advantage of the fantastic attractions that are on our doorstep – the Zip World Fforrest Coaster and TreeTop Nets are a firm favourite followed by making our own Pizzas at Johnny Dough’s in Conwy. With those activities off the table – what were we going to do, seven days a week?
In the run-up to Schools and Childcare facilities closing, I was glued to social media and was signing up for all the free at-home learning resources such as Twinkl (www.twinkl.co.uk) and scholastic (www.scholastic.co.uk). I downloaded countless activity sheets, colouring-in sheets, and other learning aids for his age group. I set him up a desk in our home office and planned to give him some structure day to day which he had become used to in his school day and hoped to be able to continue working myself as much as I could.
As we roll into week three of the Lockdown the reality is very much a different picture to the one I had envisioned. James is rarely out of his pyjamas, and when I tried to get him dressed into normal clothes he said, “what’s the point Mummy?”, I couldn’t really give him a reason so in his PJ’s he stayed! Our days are a cycle of setting up Hot Wheels tracks, building Lego, watching more Netflix than I’d like to admit, eating meals and just praying that the dog doesn’t get his teeth into the last remaining football which is yet to be popped.
There is no doubt that we will be eating Pizza again at Johnny Dough’s and jumping on the Tree Top Nets before long, but for now, we have to make do with this new way of living the best we can, try not to stress about how it is affecting learning or grades, and just go with the flow (that’s what I’m telling myself anyway!). The most important thing we can all do is stay at home, stay safe and keep adding to your bucket list of all the things you are looking forward to doing when this all comes to an end.