Full lockdown: how not to kill your kids & banish the baking!

Full lockdown: how not to kill your kids & banish the baking!

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 31, March, 2020

The Mummy Diaries

IT’S ONLY week two of proper isolation and I’ve already drank my lockdown reserves of red wine and eaten the kids emergency stash of chocolate. Although I did manage to turn my guilt of eating the kids chocolate into a game. “Let’s play look for the chocolate!”

It took up an hour or so before Jamie realised there WAS no chocolate. Ooops, naughty Mummy!

We’ve managed to complete the Joe Wick’s PE fitness class every day and it’s going well, I feel AMAZING! Well, I will feel amazing after I can climb the stairs again, and stop using my exercise in the morning as an excuse to eat my own body weight in junk! But what was really worrying me was the crazy stuff I was reading on social media and online. I mean seriously?

One article in The Times of Israel entitled, ‘Step away’: How to not kill your kids during coronavirus lockdown

Which to be honest, I thought was kind of funny. So I read it. And it’s not so funny. 

“You will no doubt want to throw your children out the window at some point. That’s normal,” psychologist Moira Mikolajczak told TOI. 

“What isn’t normal, is to do that,” she warned, as she urged parents to give themselves a break.”

Okay. So this made me think I would definitely be in the running for mother of the year award! Well, maybe in Israel! Jeezus!

Oh and this headliner also caught my eye.

A MUM has divided opinion among fellow parents after revealing that she is charging her kids for snacks during the lockdown.

I didn’t know whether to be appalled or thinking I’m missing a trick here! If I started charging Jamie and Lily for snacks I’d shortly be moving next door to Prince Albert of Monaco! [Maybe not, he’s got Coronavirus – Ed]

So, positive, positive positive!!! No, that’s not my Covid-19 test results.  I’m talking about positive – mental – attitude. I’m doing well; so far I’ve got the mental attitude.

Thank goodness it’s been a better week weather-wise and I have managed to get Jamie and Lily out in the garden for more than half an hour a day. Jamie has started asking to go out and see people, he wants to go to the beach and he keeps asking to go in the car. It’s so difficult. I mean how do you explain to a three-year-old that we can’t go and see anyone or even go to the beach? I don’t want to scare him either so my tactic so far has been to just divert Jamie into doing something that will take his mind off it and explain that we will do all these things soon enough.

Monday morning and our itinerary went out of the window – as usual! The kids were happy to do the workout with Joe but then after that the plan was dumped, as Jamie was happy building his train set and Lily seemed content pottering in her wee kitchen. I’ve realised that it’s great to have a timetable and use it as a guide but in general, it’s best to let the kids do what they want to do and have some ideas up my sleeve when things go to pot – which usually happens at least once daily!

Now I say it’s best to let the kids be the guide but in Jamie’s case, I had to rein him in a bit. What is Jamie’s favourite thing? Food. Whether it is cooking it or eating it or both. So last week, for the sake of keeping everyone happy, we baked. We baked a lot. Monday we made scones. Tuesday we made a chocolate cake, Friday we made fairy cakes and Saturday? Saturday I stood on the scales and I could have sworn they said, “GET OFF!”

Fox. Ache.

So, to come up with some new ideas. Preferably cooking, but maybe we’d resort to some healthier options? Well, that was the plan anyway…

Tuesday. We had made it through the morning with no issues, but as usual, the psycho section of a toddlers brain seems to kick in around 3 or 4 o’clock. Okay, time to pull another trick out of the bag to divert a meltdown.

“How about we make carrot and apple muffins?”

‘’Yeeeeeeees!!” Jamie roared.

“Mussssins!” Lily squeeled.

“Okay.” I said quietly while trying to restore some level of calm before my kitchen is destroyed yet again with some concoction of flour and eggs.

Twenty minutes later and Jamie and Lily and sitting in front of the oven in anticipation of the muffins rising.  I’m on my hands and knees wiping fricking dough off the radiators and sweeping up carrot peelings which are apparently “TOTALLY GROSS!” I didn’t want to explain that this was what was going into the muffins so they might not notice. HA!

An hour later…

“Mummy yuuuuuuuck!!” Jamie roars from the front door.

“No musssins, no!” squeels Lily.

“Come and try some, they’re yummy.” I said while taking a bite. Well they were eatable. Kids just don’t understand what’s good for them.

By Thursday, the kids had had a good week and the weather was still holding out for them to be getting a change of scenery in the garden. I even managed to make myself a cup of tea at some points. By the time it was bedtime, they were exhausted after playing most of the day outside and getting the fresh air. I think James was relieved to hear that we had been outside most of the day and we were all on better form.

“How did you all get on today?” He asked after getting home.

“Oh great, the kids have been happy playing outside most of the day. I’ve been back and forth, got plenty done.” I replied.

“Did you hear from anyone?” He asked.

“Just my sister this morning and then I saw the neighbour next door for a minute.” I said.

“What do you mean? Were you chatting?” James enquired, referring to the neighbour.

“Er, no. We were all outside in the garden and I heard the neighbour go out into their garden. Jamie dropped his spade and said, “Aw shit.” Then Lily echoed, “Aw shit.” after him. I couldn’t see the neighbour but he must of heard. He was probably thinking those kids need their mouths washed out with soap!!”

Another proud moment. I wouldn’t care but he knows it’s bad as Jamie turns to me and says, “Naughty words mummy.” And looks at me like I’ve said it!

By the time Friday night arrived, I was looking forward to getting the kids to bed and putting my feet up with a cup of tea and a healthy muffin (seeing as how I was now on a minor health kick.)

“Do you want a cup of tea and a muffin?” I asked James.

“Er, okay. You not having a glass of wine?” He asked.

“No, not this weekend. There’s no point in me doing all the Joe Wicks stuff and then wrecking all my hard work at the weekend.” I replied. “Do you want a muffin then?”

“Fair enough, yes please.” James said.

I made the tea and put the muffins down in front of James who lifted one off the plate and took a bite.

“Jesus Christ, what are these!” He roars while half gagging.

“They’re carrot and apple and there’s no need to be like that.”

“They are rank altogether.” James said while taking a gulp of his tea.

“Mmm, well they’re not as good as chocolate cake or scones with butter and jam but they are healthier. Something needs to be sacrificed.” I said.

“Like taste, you mean?” He says sarcastically.

I took a bite and tried not to show my disgust.

“Wine? Doritos?” James asked.

“At the top of the cupboard!” I replied.

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