the lockdown diaries

The Lockdown Diaries | Week 6 | The Home Haircut

[On March 16th, our family – like many others in the UK and around the world – started what we’re currently being told will be 12 weeks of social isolation, in a bid to help flatten the curve, and stop my immunocompromised husband catching coronavirus – along with the rest of us, obviously. I, naturally, decided to document the experience in diary form… ]

I wish I could say week 6 of lockdown got off to a quiet start for us, but that would be a blatant lie, because we actually kicked off this week with Max dramatically throwing up all over the living room (And himself, natch…), while I ran gagging to the bathroom to join in. Super.

Thankfully, Max was absolutely fine just a few minutes later (We think he was just guzzling his drink too fast…), and, other than regretting publishing that blog post in which I made the astonishing – and totally incorrect, as it turns out – claim that having a baby had totally cured me of my fear of other people’s vomit, so was I. The living room rug, on the other hand… well, let’s just say we’ll never look at it in quite the same way again…

Me and Max, April 2020Thankfully, however, the rest of the week wasn’t quite as bad as the start. I mean, there WAS that moment when I came across Max’s changing bag in my dressing room, and almost burst into tears when I realised I might never use it again, because it’s not like we’re going to be going anywhere, is it? There were many, many moments when I read articles talking about how unlikely it is that a vaccine will be available this year, and it hit me again that my little boy might not be able to start nursery with the rest of his age group: that he’ll be part of a generation of children who miss out on things that most people take for granted, and that, by the time a vaccine IS available, he probably won’t even remember what it’s like to do simple things, like go to a shop, or ride in a car. 

There was also the moment on Sunday morning when he suddenly turned to Terry and said, “Daddy, do I not have friends?” and we realised that he sees other children on TV, and in books, talking about their friends, and he’s starting to wonder why he only ever sees me and Terry, and no one else, ever.

There were those things, yes. Those things made this week very bleak, to be honest: one of the worst so far, in fact, in terms of depression, and anxiety, and feeling like I’m grieving for the life we’ve lost, and which we don’t seem to be any closer to getting back again. I’m not going to say any more about those things, though, because every time I publish these posts, I get comments from people telling me I just need to be positive and try to enjoy the pandemic a bit more, and while I realise those people are trying to be helpful, it always feels a bit like I’m being told to shut up , and no one likes feeling like that, do they? So, look, here’s a photo of a toddler with a garden hose, taken just a few seconds before he drenched both of his parents with it: 

Max playing with the garden hose

Here is also all the proof that you will ever need that giving a toddler access to water is NEVER a good idea. EVER. (But also, when it’s week 6 of lockdown, and there’s still no end in sight, you kind of get to the point where you’re willing to risk a soaking, just to get five minutes’ peace, right?)

Speaking of Things That Are Not Generally A Good Idea, meanwhile, this was also the week Terry got out his clippers, and had a go at cutting Max’s hair:

Max has a haircut

It actually turned out better than I was expecting: and, even if it hadn’t, we didn’t really have much choice, because, in addition to being part of a generation of children who grow up without soft play and, well, friends, Max is also destined to be part of a generation who grow up having their hair cut by their parents: OH THE HUMANITY.

Max;s new haircut

(It’s OK, he’s fine: his hair is still there. Will Terry ALSO be able to turn his hand to removing my extensions when the time comes, and then cutting the hair underneath, is the question?) (No, seriously, it’s a real question: what do I do about my extensions, given that I’m probably not going to be able to see a stylist until next year? Answers on a postcard…)

So. I’m pretty sure I had something more to say about week 6 of isolation, but I’ll be honest: I spent an entire hour this afternoon playing Max’s new favourite game, which involves lining up all of ‘ The Guys ‘ and then loudly and repeatedly telling them to BE QUIET because Piggy, Miaow and Slinky are all sleeping (No, ‘Slinky’ is not the name of a soft toy: it’s an actual slinky . Which gets tucked up in “bed”, and then everyone has to talk in whispers in case it wakes up.), and part of me is dead inside now. (Seriously, though, it was literally a FULL HOUR of sitting on his bedroom floor listening to him going, “EVERYONE HAS TO BE QUIET! MUMMY, YOU BE QUIET! GUYS! BE QUIET! MUMMY, TELL EVERYONE TO BE QUIET!” And yet, the only person who was not quiet? Was Max…) So I’m going to leave this one here, and then go and wait for it to be late enough for me to reasonably open that bottle of wine I have chilling in the fridge.

How was your week?

 

Amber

COMMENTS
  • Fi

    REPLY

    Kids are weird. But very funny. I got a video chat from my little niece (4 last Saturday). She has not yet mastered holding the tablet so you can see her so I didn’t even know who was calling me to start with. Then I spent a lot of time looking at the ceiling in her bedroom whilst she repeated that she was having a private video chat in her bedroom (because that’s what her older sister does), showed me her books, ‘read’ me a book about teddies and then tided her bedroom. It was… interesting?

    April 27, 2020
    • Alice

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      when we do video chat my daughter likes to run around showing the person on the computer her books, her bike, etc….. not much chatting gets done.

      April 27, 2020
  • Alice

    REPLY

    I have no health anxiety issues but I really really can’t deal with vomit. Fortunately my daughter has only ever had one evening of vomiting, hope it never happens again.

    Interesting what Max says re friends. My daughter would usually be at nursery, she has just been with her parents and a nanny (as we still have to work) – but she really doesn’t seem to mind at all, I think she always preferred playing with adults anyway! She has been asking for a haircut but I’m not going to attempt it, will wait until she can go to a proper hairdresser.

    April 27, 2020
  • Alice

    REPLY

    when we do video chat my daughter likes to run around showing the person on the computer her books, her bike, etc….. not much chatting gets done.

    April 27, 2020
  • You’ve really made me think a lot about the different between toxic positivity and validation/hope. I’m really trying to take that onboard and be more thoughtful about my responses to anyone who’s struggling. I’m really grateful to you for that. I’m a “fixer” by nature, and I’m coming to realize that not everyone (actually NO one) is sitting, waiting for my knee-jerk answer that will magically make all their problems go away. Sometimes all you’ve got to offer is moral support and letting the person know you care about their problems. Which I do, Amber, about this awful situation, which is TRULY worse for you than most of us, even if you DON’T have someone in ICU, blah blah blah as the internet barrage will all say.

    I cut my husband’s hair for the first time ever last week (my first time cutting ANYONE’S hair!) with scissors and clippers. He told me exactly what to do (been watching his stylist for years), which I did, and it looks pretty good – even his mum said so. And as it all blew off the porch, I like thinking that bird’s nests in the whole county are now lined with his silvery locks.

    Anyway, hang in there girl. What else can we do?

    April 27, 2020
  • Sacha la Bastide-van Gemert

    REPLY

    ❤️

    April 27, 2020
  • Gai

    REPLY

    Kudos to Terry! He did a great job on Max’s hair! Max’s comment on friends saddened me–poor little guy. He sounds like an extrovert, like his Dad, and I think those personality types are having a tough time with the isolation bit. Everyone’s having a tough time, but introverts are more used to, and more prefer to spend time by themselves or with limited numbers of people.
    Hope you can continue to hang in there, and post your thoughts (maybe have Terry screen and delete the too happy-talk ones?)—at least as the weather improves you can spend more time in your garden?

    April 27, 2020
  • maddie

    REPLY

    I will admit I saw the title of this post and went “Oh no, she didn’t” because I was terrified the Time of Removing The Extensions had ARRIVED. When I realised it was Max’s hair I felt both relieved and stupid. He looks, as ever, adorable.

    The grief of the pandemic is something I can’t get my head around. I find myself crying at the smallest things – the jam ran out and I don’t have the energy to go to the store and get more. I have all these beautiful dresses I won’t get to wear. I think my dog thinks people only exist on the other side of a video call. I miss being in a loud bar and then coming home and shutting the door on the outside world. It all hurts, and I don’t want to be positive. I don’t see why we should have to be and I am grateful for your posts, which are lovely and sad and wonderful.

    Sending you and your family lots of love. xx

    April 27, 2020
  • Jenna

    REPLY

    I cut my husband’s hair yesterday with the clippers. I told him it was a bad idea…I told him I can’t cut a straight line with scissors…I warned him at least a doze times. There is only one slight bald spot behind his ear. And the fading at the neck….ummm?

    Well, I warned him. 🤷🏽‍♀️

    April 28, 2020
  • Lori

    REPLY

    I soooo understand sympathetic vomit response. My daughter at the age of 10 months projectile vomited straight into my smiling, open mouth without any warning whatsoever. Needless to say I was scarred for life. My husband however thought it was kind of hilarious. We are now divorced. Go figure! And as for not feeling able to express your feelings without the “happy people” reprimanding you(and they are) please be true to yourself. This is an insane, scary and dispiriting time. And those people well meaning I’m sure, who tell us to “lighten up” surely don’t understand what it’s like to have a family member for whom Covid would be a death sentence, and how that changes everything, even haircuts! I’m verbally distancing from friends who have children the same age as mine(25 and 28) who are flaunting California’s stay at home orders. I find it unbearable to listen when my 28 year old(she grew up) asthmatic daughter is now in day 4 of quarantine because she was severely exposed while nursing a patient with Covid. It’s your blog, your life and your experiences that keep us reading. Please continue to share. Stay safe.

    April 28, 2020
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