Let’s just clarify something. Harry is my world. He is my reason for being. He is my true purpose. I cannot imagine life without him in it. Well, that’s not strictly true…
Occasionally, just occasionally over the last eleven weeks I have allowed my imagination to take a little social-distanced wander. What would lockdown be like without children? How would my days differ?
I have, of course, instantly chided myself as Harry is my everything, but wouldn’t it be glorious… I dedicate this lockdown list to: 3 things I would enjoy most about lockdown without little people.
One – Lay Ins
My days are currently running at 34 hours long. Or that’s what it feels like. I post images of me out running at 7am and people are like “ ooh, you’re so dedicated to get out at that time.” It’s not dedication. It’s me running from demands to make a the third train track of the day, from having to watch ‘Jojo and Gran Gran catch the bus” on CBeebies for the fifth time that morning and it’s me attempting to release some feel good chemicals that trick my brain in to believing it’s not been up since 5:13am.
Can you imagine, not having a toddler alarm that brutally stamps on your sleep and drags you from the warmth and comfort of your organic air-sprung superking? I didn’t spend weeks researching the perfect mattress with hubby to have the opportunity to laze on it snatched from my horizontal grasp. Yet daily, the chorus of “mummmmmmy huuuuuug” pierces my dreams and shakes me awake and vertical. I don’t even have the chance to look back longingly at my perfect pit.
Oh to wake with a yawn and a stretch, naturally coming round after a good eight hours slumber. That would be living the dream. And can you imagine, the pure joy that would be making a coffee and taking it back to bed.
And what if you were able to lay in until gone 9am? My day would suddenly feel a whole lot shorter. The morning would not stretch from here to eternity. I might even be able to stay up past 9:30pm in the evening. To be quite honest though, it would be like Utopia to manage a 7am rise.
Between Harry and the coo-some pigeon nesting below my bedside window, the reality of staying in bed past 6am is sadly beyond my grasp.
Only ten years till he’s a teenager and I have to forcibly remove him from his pit.
Two – Books
Last year I completed the ‘Popsugar Reading Challenge’ to consume 40 books of the widest range of genres you could imagine. Then I started a blog. And a Facebook page to share the blog. And an Instagram account to promote the blog. Yep. I sold my soul to social media. And reading this year? It’s been limited.
Last year I was a veritable library. I devoured books at a rate of knots. Even with a child to entertain. Any free moments would see me with my head stuck in a novel from ‘Washington Black’ – the story of a plantation slave initiated in to the world of science, to ‘The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break’ – following the life of the beast 5000 years out of the labyrinth, living in a trailer park, flipping burgers.
But imagine if my days were my own. Instead of spending my hours covered in everything from ready-mix paint to masking tape, trying to find 1001 uses for an Amazon box, I could be coiled on the sofa, escaping in to limitless worlds through my backlog of books.
Over the course of lockdown, my lunchtime nap breaks have allowed me to get through two books: ‘The Charmed Life of Alex Moore’ and ‘Nasty Pasty.’ The former a strange tale of shaping destiny. The latter, a comical tale of Pasty Wars and gourmet chefs in Cornwall.
Had lockdown have been a solo endeavour with no distractions, I can envision many a day, sprawled with my head buried in a book and a cup of tea in hand. No chance of me completing this year’s challenge, that’s for sure.
Three – Box Sets
In our house we are not allowed to watch box sets. I’ll rephrase that. In our house we are not allowed to watch box sets together. It’s a clandestine solo activity usually reserved for evening golf-widow sessions or nursery days. Husband is of the mindset that anything that’s a series just rambles on to infinity and beyond, losing all point and purpose. A controversial opinion but one that I’ve found pointless to argue. So whilst we indulge in the full riveting inventory of ‘Escape to the Country,’ in our strange lockdown reenactment of Groundhog Day, I dream of how it would be if I had time during the day to indulge in some televisual pleasure.
I put my hands up to it – there have been times in my life when I’ve been a binge-watcher. You’re not single for the majority of your adult life without losing yourself in a good few hours of TV. You know those times where you squeeze in ‘just one more episode‘ and suddenly find it’s 1am and realise you’re going to have eyes like a mole for work the next day.
I can remember back in mid-noughties, prone to attacks of the tonsils, there was one particularly nasty glandular episode that had me off work for three days. I managed to plough through the entire series of ’24.’ Yes folks, twenty-four hours of binging on Keifer. An entire day. That was with three days off work. Lockdown has had me isolated for 83 days. I could’ve smashed through the following fifty-seven series of it, or whatever the current count is it, by now. I have to agree with Christopher in some instances. Know when you’re on to a good thing and know when to call it a day. Some things are dragged out longer than is good for them.
But to delve in to some Ray Donovan, to curl up with some Californication, to finally peruse some Peaky Blinders… Sadly, so long as there is Thomas the Tank Engine in the world, the chances of me watching some TV that doesn’t bust my buffers or fizzle my firebox is a big, fat zero. But one can but dream!
Lockdown with a toddler in tow has been challenging – I’m not a bakery, I’m not in to sugar-coating! I’ve had to draw on every ounce of creativity, pull out all the energy reserves and park the sighs as he demands that I push the freight train whilst he races the passenger carriages again. Their energy is relentless, their concentration span limited and their moods unpredictable.
But not once have I been short of company, the cuddles have been on tap and I’ve learned to appreciate moments of solitude more than I ever thought possible. There will always be books and I pray there will always be libraries. When he’s older and hanging with his buddies or surgically attached to a console, there’ll be plenty of boxsets to catch up on. And sleep? Let’s face it, I’m never going to claw back the lost hours of the last 1042 days since the sleep-thief arrived in our lives but frankly, there’s no one I’d rather have spent lockdown with.
If you could choose anyone else to lockdown with who would it be?
Have you locked-down alone? What have been the biggest challenges for you?
How have you found isolation with little people? What have been your highs and lows? Drop me a comment!