It was the last week of school. The summer holidays were fast approaching and my boys were looking forward to 8 weeks of freedom. I, on the other hand, was feeling a tad emotional, stressed and a small degree of dread, nothing a glass of wine couldn’t fix. Pup was graduating from nursery and Tink finishing up Primary 3. There was also the possibility of beginning a new school in August; a daunting prospect to any parent. We were all looking forward to what might be to come; a new adventure, sunny days, late nights and lazy mornings. Then the unexpected happened.
After a year and a half of being lucky enough to avoid this pandemic, Covid finally caught up with us. Instead of days out and family fun time, we enter isolation: 10 long days of being unable to leave our home. 10 long days of being the only female surrounded by testosterone fuelled madness. 10 long days of surviving isolation with kids!
What a great way to start the summer holidays!
At first I didn’t really know what to think other than F***********K. During lockdown and thereafter, we managed to stay healthy and avoided the infamous bug. You also had the freedom to roam, granted not too far but, you could at least go for a walk. No such luck in isolation. It’s a bit like being a play piece in monopoly. “Go to Jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not go to the shops for any wine.”
Yep. That was my main concern. Do I have enough of the vino to get me through? I think I might develop a bit of a problem after 10 long days of surviving isolation with kids. I started to think, how can I pass the time? How can we make it through? How can we ensure we are all still alive when we finally are permitted to venture outside, possibly looking like some sort of mole men, allergic to the sun, having spent too long inside, adjusting to the dark? Ok, so I might be a tad dramatic here. We do have a garden and, on some very rare occasions, Scotland does actually get some sun.
Then Tink tested positive.
One Mum’s Reaction to a Positive Result
I will admit I was not prepared to have a positive result. I mean, I’m surprised we even achieved a successful test let alone able to get a result that did not read, “Unreliable.” It came as a surprise.
When that little message came through, my first thought was, “I blame his dad.” You know, because who else am I going to blame. He tempted fate by wishing for time off. His own tests kept coming back negative.
In all honestly, I kept my calm, even arranging tests for the Hubby and myself. I have made the conscious decision not to test Pup. If we test positive, we will all be isolating until 5th July anyways so, there is no point putting the wee man through it, right? Instead, I went full on Mrs Hinch and disinfected everything in sight, even going as far as spraying Tink with antibacterial hand sanitizer. He seems to be unable to resist the urge to keep his fingers out of every single orifice in his body.
10 long days of surviving isolation with kids is certainly a dirty business.
Keep it Clean
It is an uphill struggle to keep the house clean, especially with children. They spread their dirt everywhere.
Due to the timeframe of when Tink came into contact and when we were notified, there was no point trying to isolate separately. If we are going to get it, we are going to get it. There’s nothing that can be done about that so, the best thing we can do as a family is wash hands and surfaces regularly and minimise the fallout.
So far this seems to be manageable but, kids will play. Bedrooms have been trashed through sheer boredom. Besides cleaning, I also need to parent and find ways to entertain the little monkeys. 10 long days of surviving isolation with kids will be made even longer by the continuous use of the phrase, “Mummy I’m bored.”
Keep them Busy
With their dad able to work from home, I need to find ways to keep the boys entertained, busy and away from their dad. After all, boys are destructive. In just a few days they have broken my ornamental elephant, lost Tink’s ratty catty toy and flooded the bathroom, amongst others.
Holding their interest is certainly a challenging business.
So far we have made cakes, watched a movie and played outside. They have also been enjoying playing with the Trackmaster and building Lego in their rooms, letting me iron and grab a coffee in peace. Yeh ok! It was a wine. I’ve also gotten really into Sudoku. It’s not only the kids who are bored, one mum is too.
I’ve tried to think up a few ideas to keep them busy, knowing full well that isolation will probably carry on a little longer. On the agenda for this coming week we have garden picnics, water play and a family cake decorating competition. The added bonus of this is that other family members can take part too and, we can then chat and show off our creations over WhatsApp video.
For some ideas on mess free activities to keep kids busy click here.
We are now half way through day 6 of isolation and my kids are border line feral. The Hubby and I have just completed our home PCR test kits. If all is well, we can re-enter the world of people by Tuesday 29th June. Otherwise, 10 days begins again…
Bring on the wine! I’ll either be celebrating or commiserating another 10 long days of surviving isolation with kids.
Wish me luck. I’ll update you in due course.
And… in due course… We tested NEGATIVE. In the words of William Wallace, aka Mel Gibson, “FREEDOOOOMMMMMM!”
One Mum’s Top Tips to 10 Long Days of Surviving Isolation with Kids
- Ensure a good supply of wine is readily at hand
- Keep anti-bac close by to spray anything and everything in sight at least 10 times a day
- Line up your Tesco delivery well in advance, we will need to re-stock that wine
- Schedule hand wash breaks for your darling little cherubs as, most likely, they will say they have washed when, in fact, they actually have been picking their nose or scratching their bums
- Plan activities to keep everyone entertained… queue the wine
- Invest in some good puzzle books… feed the boredom
- Take advantage of sunny days and the prosecco
- Don’t worry about getting fat, there will be plenty of time after to shift the iso-weight
- Embrace the noise, it will get LOUD
- Control mess by confining play to bedrooms. The lounge is my sanctuary.
- Check the wine supply
Please note, this is my take on isolation, one stressed out mum to another. If you do develop symptoms of Covid-19, please be aware, alcohol is probably not a good idea.