DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Lockdown 3: Twigs, treats and tears

January 17th, 2021 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

Lego, lego and more lego is how we’re getting through our Lockdown 3 days. That and lots of walks where I never hit my 10,000 steps. Funny that! And not even a glass of wine to look forward to! How many days are left in January again?

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It’s Week 44 and with no school, we’re passing a lot of ‘quality time’ with Lego, looking at twigs, and trying to figure out why Mum opted to do ‘dry January’

• I HAD a dream (not in a Martin Luther King way) the other night. I was out and about in a really busy, crowded place, no one was wearing masks and no one could tell me if we had been vaccinated or not. It’s the Covid-19 version of showing up for the wrong Leaving Cert exam, or my recurring pre-wedding one where I was walking up the aisle in a short dress and I suddenly realised I hadn’t waxed my legs. I suppose you don’t need to have letters after your name to say that I’m possibly feeling a little anxious, veering towards being totally strung out? To be honest, I’m feeling a bit of everything, depending on what time you ask me… worried, put-out, fed up, angry, resilient, up for it, over it, tired. As well as still a bit bloated from Christmas.

• I don’t think anyone is finding Lockdown 3 easy regardless of the knowledge that we’ve a vaccine. In my more unreasonable moments (of which there are many), I feel convinced that people who live alone must have it so good right now. All that silence, all that time to put into yourself, or to just nap. Not to mention the joy of walking into a room and finding it in the same state you left it in 10 minutes earlier when you tidied up – the bliss. Or what about those who don’t have to work from home and home school? No juggling, no feeling like you’re doing a half-arsed job of everything, snapping at small people and then feeling so guilty. As a parent of an only child I sometimes declare I must have it the absolute hardest of all as I’ve got to double up as a playmate 93% of the time. Beat that if you can! But you know what? Silence is a proven form of torture, and if you’re not working you’ve possibly got financial problems, and lots of kids means lots of squabbling. Back to the Lego it is for me, then, with fresh perspective.

• One thing, though, that I am going to keep in mind this Lockdown when WFHWS (working from home without school) is that I’m not Bill Gates. The world of industry and commerce is not going to come to a halt if I don’t answer an email in 10 minutes. Nor am I going to try to dish up lunch, make a phone call, and expect my child to come to the table at the same time. Left to my own devices, I’m spectacularly bad at turning off my devices. I don’t know how or why I decided I was so important in the scheme of things – I’m definitely not!

• I’m gone mad for the online shopping again. It’s what I do when I feel a bit jittery – I start imagining that I need all sorts of nonsense. I’ve virtual baskets full of relaxing body oils, over-priced candles and life-changing serums. I’m nothing if not predictable. I actually nearly bought a black hoodie for €320, as an investment piece, after reading some fashion editor had declared it as the nicest she’d ever worn. Hah! That’s probably because she got sent a free one! Send help or disconnect my wifi please (the hoodie does look super luxe though).

• It is a bit unbelievable that now we’re going through things a second time in a pandemic, isn’t it? I remember my three-year-old turned four just before things kicked off last March. She has lots of cousins who all came and helped her celebrate and it was a lovely messy, chaotic afternoon. I joked shortly after that if it had fallen just a week later, I would have gotten away without hosting at all. Be careful what you wish for – looks like she won’t be having one this year.

• Sorry for dragging the mood down but it will probably be the same for holidays. I haven’t got the courage to book anything yet. My sister who is usually pretty plucky is also playing it safe and is only committing to buying an awning for the tent so we can leave the door open when (not if) it rains. May the lord do for us.

• At least we’ve had lots of blue skies to get us out and about. Although I have to say going for walks with kids is really just about taking very slow steps, stopping to examine a stone, taking a few more steps, marvelling over a twig, throwing that twig into a puddle, falling into a huge puddle, and going home again. Also, am I the only one who doesn’t have the stomach for Operation Transformation this year? God, call me a b**** but I don’t need to see people crying in their underwear right now. That’s what I feel like doing myself most mornings.

• I am still on dry January, though – purely because my husband is. Most evenings go a bit like this around ours –  Me: ‘Wouldn’t a little drink be lovely now to relax?’ Him: ‘We said we wouldn’t. Have a green tea instead.’ Me: ‘Oh I know but I was just thinking that one gin wouldn’t hurt, there’s only a bit left in the bottle.’ Him: ‘Just don’t think about it’. Me: ‘Why are you making everything so hard? Why are you being so mean? Is it because you hate me?’ Cue my dramatic exit from the room before returning 10 minutes later with two cups of green tea, apologising for my behaviour and asking if there’s anything on Netflix. This is normal, right? Or at least the new normal? The only option is to nod and agree. 

• I’ve never been a great one to face up to serious things. So this week’s inane ramblings is my clumsy way of trying to sidestep all the serious things happening around us right now. The seriously ill in hospital, those who have lost their lives, people who can’t grieve properly for them, all that pain. The immense loneliness lots of people are feeling, the long days to fill alone, or those who are trapped with people they don’t want to be with. The burden of financial stress, keeping businesses afloat, having to let staff go. Frontline workers feeling completely overwhelmed and burned out, getting sick themselves. If you’ve got anything at all left in your tank  this week, try to top up someone you think might be running on empty.

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