Quarantine Diary: Week 4

Sunday 12th April (Easter Sunday)

After crashing out utterly exhausted at 9.30pm last night, the kid was up at 1am and took an hour to get her back to sleep. Crept back up to my bedroom at 2am and 15mins later she woke up again and started screaming so I caved and just brought her into my bed, but we were both restless and slept very little the rest of the night. Woke up knackered again, but some good news – my lovely neighbour had her baby yesterday!

I managed to place a few easter chocolates around the living room and garden before I went to bed last night so we started off the morning hunting down chocolates (with a lot of help and pointing from mummy!) followed by the inevitable argument about how many she was allowed to eat for breakfast and by 9am a full scale sugar crash. We had a nice group call with some family and then a little bike ride round the park, and thankfully after that we both napped which helped a lot.

In the afternoon we ate lunch (and some more chocolate!), bounced around on the trampoline a bit, and called a couple of friends to say hello, and then dug out the paddling pool and drove it over to a friend’s house, as she wanted one for her daughter and we haven’t got space for ours now that we have the trampoline in the garden anyway, so I dropped it off for them to use (hoping it doesn’t have a puncture!).

Been watching the live stream of Jesus Christ Superstar on youtube this weekend, and it’s really good. Plus Mary Magdalen’s theme song is my perfect anthem for this lockdown – it’s catchy and has exactly the right message – “Try not to get worried, try not to turn on to problems that upset you. Don’t you know everything’s alright, yes everything’s fine, and we want you to sleep well tonight….”

Went to bed at 10.20pm so the kid decided to wake up at 10.30pm. Got back into bed at 11pm and the kid woke up again at 2am. Back into my bed again, but might need a new strategy tomorrow night – maybe I’ll move back downstairs again or sleep in her room for a bit and see if that helps. I just can’t be bothered with all the stumbling up and down stairs half asleep at the moment, much as I have been enjoying sleeping in my big comfy bed again.

Monday 13th April (Easter Monday)

Woke up absolutely exhausted again today. Kid was cross I didn’t get up fast enough so she kicked me and pulled my hair, which was not a great way to wake up. We came downstairs, did breakfast, and then I handed her some of her chocolate egg, put the Tinkerbell movie on the telly for her and lay down and napped on the sofa for an hour. Then we had some fruit and did puzzles. It was cold and windy in the morning but turned into a lovely day in the afternoon.

We watched a lot of tv all day, and I was still really tired but realised we would have to get out at some point so we went to the park – and made an amazing discovery! We explored a little path into the woods that we haven’t been up before, and it turned out it goes up the hill along a lovely little trail and pops out onto the golf course, which I always thought was private property, but it actually has a public footpath right through the middle of it! Plus at the moment no-one is golfing anyway, so we can go back and explore the greens at our leisure. So nice to have found a new local place to explore to help alleviate the boredom!

Was chatting to a friend about how long this might all go on for, and I’ve decided I can only cope with 3 week chunks of time at once. So in my head, we might have up to three more weeks of lockdown, and if after that it’s another three weeks then I’ll deal with it then, but my brain can only cope with the next three weeks, so that’s what I am working to at the moment. I also heard today that my mum’s sister has the virus, so am thinking of her and hoping she recovers quickly.

The kid didn’t nap today, and fell asleep in my arms while I was reading her a story so keeping my fingers crossed she sleeps through tonight…. Also, in spite of the overwhelming tiredness and general monotony of the days, today was a really special day, as earlier while we were watching cartoons, she put her arms round me and said “I love you mummy”. It’s the first time she’s ever said that to me, and my heart melted into goo. Such a special moment to light up such an awful time.

Tuesday 14th April 

She slept until 5.30am! Seven straight hours of uninterrupted sleep! I feel like a new woman! Colours are brighter, birdsong is more beautiful! If we go up to the golf course later I can’t promise I won’t start spinning around singing “The HILLS are ALIVE with the sound of MUSIC” at the top of my lungs. No wonder sleep deprivation is what they use to torture and break navy SEALs and marines…

We popped back to the shops this morning, although we don’t need much, only a few odds and ends for the meals I have planned this week, plus some bits for my neighbour who just had a baby (she is only 3 days old! So weird!). Relieved that there was hardly any queue and the shelves are now heaving with toilet paper and stuff. Everything seems to be slowly getting back to normal in terms of shopping, apart from the social distancing rules in place. When we dropped off the shopping we got to officially meet the tiny baby next door (from 2m away) and she’s so tiny and adorable! Very exciting indeed.

In the afternoon, armed with plenty of snacks, we went back to explore the golf course – so thrilling to run around in a totally new place for a change! And so happy to discover it right on my back doorstep! We meandered around and followed a couple of new paths to see where they went, and seeing as there is no-one playing golf at the moment I let the kid play in the sand bunker for a bit – it was a lovely day for a walk. I reckon the kid must have walked around 3.5km which is probably as far as she’s ever gone without being carried. Hoping it means she’ll sleep well again tonight…

All in all today was a Really Good Day, and we were overdue for one of those. It really does help to top up and recharge when you have a good day after so many difficult ones in a row.

Wednesday 15th April

She did it again! She slept until 6am! Another 7 hours of sleep for me! I feel SO much better now. Quiet morning pottering around. I made some soup for the freezer to use up some veggies, and we hoovered the floors, and I’ve been removing some of our stairgates and polyfilla’ing the holes.

Of course just like the last time I tried this, she managed two days without napping and then today a complete tiredness meltdown (though she wouldn’t actually nap). However we have powered through and walked to the refill shop in the park in the afternoon to get some wholemeal flour as we are planning to attempt making bread rolls this week using a recipe the nursery gave us.

I realised that she definitely was saying “It’s not safe” to her teddies, as she’s now said it to several other teddies and the cat, however it turns out it’s not Covid-19 related. I’ve caught myself saying several times a days “No don’t jump on the sofa like that, it’s not safe darling, you’ll fall off”, “Don’t play with the stairgate at the top of the stairs, it’s not safe, you might fall down the stairs”, “Mind your head! Careful bubba, it’s not safe to jump with your head right next to the table” etc. Apparently I tell her it’s not safe about 10 times a day, but mostly in an attempt to keep her alive, so I imagine most parents do that too.

Thursday 16th April

Another decent night last night – I’ve never been more grateful for sleep in my life. And I never thought I would define 7 hours of sleep as a luxury (in my youth I could easily sleep for 12 hours straight on a weekend, and used to think I couldn’t function on less than 9 hours).

Making a roast dinner tonight, which is quite exciting. I normally never make roast dinners, even though I love them, mainly because it’s a lot of faff for one person, and leftover roasted veggies don’t keep or freeze as well as other things, plus I just can’t eat a whole chicken/leg of lamb before it goes off. I usually just make my mum do a roast whenever we visit instead. However I’ve got some potatoes and parsnips that need eating (and I LOVE roasted parsnips and potatoes), and I discovered at Tescos on Tuesday that you can buy a half leg of lamb (I never knew they came in smaller chunks!) so it’ll be perfect for a roast dinner and some leftover lamb sandwiches. Very exciting. I have also gotten the recipe for gravy from my friends who are the Gravy Kings, as I can never make really good proper gravy and wanted to make a big batch for the freezer so next time I want bangers and mash or something I can just defrost some gravy. The gravy was EPIC, recipe is here.

The freezer is now literally heaving with stuff so we need to start eating some of the meals I’ve been making – the problem is cooking is a really good way to waste a few hours of the day when you’re stuck indoors all the time, so rather than eat all my ready-meals I would rather keep trying out new recipes! Nevermind. Another random piece of crap that I have ordered arrived today – a dinosaur-shaped sandwich cutter so the kid could have dinosaur-shaped sandwiches. Went down very well.

And in an interesting twist I discovered an untapped resource – the car! Today we just sat in the car in our driveway for an hour and the kid clambered around sitting in different seats, exploring and looking at everything. Astonishing what you can come up with to do when forced!

They announced another 3 weeks of lockdown today. Not a surprise to anyone, but I’m glad it’s only 3 weeks at a time as it fits with my ability to cope quite nicely.

Friday 17th April

Quiet morning. We are both a bit tired again and the weather is wet so not inclined to go out much. We attempted to make bread, using a recipe the nursery gave us, which was really fun and the kid loved it, though the rolls were very hard and flat! Lots to improve on next time around – it’s nice to have a goal like learning to make better bread! Later on we did some yoga, and then popped over to the cafe in the park to collect a couple of home-cooked takeaway meals from the cafe (Aubergine Parmigiana) – not for us, as our fridge is currently heaving with food, but for my neighbours with the new baby as a Friday night treat so they don’t need to cook.

My week (and a bit) off the booze was good – I don’t think it made any massive difference to my mood or sleep, as that is mostly dependent on the tiny dictator I live with, but it was good to have a week off just to break habits – otherwise I tend to have a glass of wine or gin and tonic pretty much every night without thinking about it. I have also discovered I really like alcohol-free beer, which is delicious and tastes almost exactly the same as regular beer (so far I have tried alcohol-free Peroni, which is yummy, alcohol-free Erdinger (YUM), and a nice American pale ale – all of which I would buy again.

Saturday 18th April

Day 28 in lockdown. We made it through another week. Four weeks down, three more to go (or possibly more). Looking at our death rates now (15,000 dead and counting) it seems such a shame the UK Government didn’t instigate a lockdown sooner. While at the time their rationale made sense to me (they wanted to wait until the peak in order to avoid people getting bored and leaving lockdown too early), but looking at how many people have died here, compared to Australia, New Zealand and other countries, it seems in retrospect to have been a very bad plan indeed. Especially as they have given the police the ability to stop people from going out even if they are getting bored anyway, so seems as though we could have locked down a week or two earlier and possibly saved quite a few lives. A sad thought indeed.

Today we puttered about again – played with the doll’s house for a bit, and a new floor puzzle road arrived in the post, so we played with that. Dug up all my remaining flower bulbs and moved them so I can establish a vegetable bed – planted out some asparagus, radishes, green beans and pak choi (the tomato plant I planted out last week didin’t make it). Called a friend or two, and chatted with some neighbours from the driveway. Then in a stroke of creativity I dressed up in my Where’s Wally costume and used the timer to take pictures of myself “hiding” in different rooms of the house. It was probably the most fun I’ve had in the last 4 weeks.

The kid seems to have dropped her naps completely now – we tried a couple of times this week and it didn’t work, but she seems to be sleeping better at night, though I’m not sure if it’s because she’s more settled into our “new normal” or the lack of naps. In other news I’ve got a really sore toe. I know, what can I say? It’s a pretty slow news week.

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