DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Enjoying our ‘new normal’ routine...while it lasts

September 6th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

Steaming school clothes, bags and even shoes is as exciting as it gets around mine these days.

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Week 25 and I’m luxuriating in the sound of silence and am busy steaming anything that moves in my house

• HELLO silence my old friend, you’ve come to (not) talk to me again…I’m paraphrasing a bit from Simon and Garfunkel this week as I try to quell my absolute giddiness at being properly alone for the first time in almost six months. I thought I might be a bit emotional now that my little colleague has gone back to play-school but nope, I can confirm that I’m mainly deliriously ecstatic at the fact that I no longer have to angle my computer’s camera during Zoom calls to avoid the general mayhem going on behind me; that I don’t need to have a mountain of buttons ready to dole out during important phone calls even if it’s 9am, and that I don’t have to type with someone sitting on my lap while making encouraging noises about them colouring inside the lines. I mean I know deep down it won’t last, it can’t, sure we’re small fry against a global pandemic. But for now, my God, it’s absolute bliss. What time is Home and Away on again?

• There is a bit of readjusting to the new regime though isn’t there? At our playschool you can’t just drop and go anymore, you have to queue up for a temperature check, so if you’re wearing something a bit dodge there’s ample opportunity for the other parents to take it all in, although the masks are a bit handy in that regard, and the 2m distancing is also helpful if you find morning chitchat a bit tiresome. Speaking of the temperature check though, it literally makes me hold my breath every time, even though I know we’re in the clear (a bit like when you’re asked to blow in the bag). No back packs are allowed either and neither are your kids favourite toys, regardless of how much of a fit they have. Let’s be honest though, I’d walk on hot coals while singing Twinkle Twinkle if it gave me a morning alone to crack on with things (in Summer Bay).

• My four-year-old is a bit of a devil though for trying to sneak in her treasured Ninjago lego figures. I nearly have to frisk her at the gate. I mean once upon a time you’d feel bad if your child gave someone lice or the vomiting bug, but now the stakes are an awful lot higher. You really don’t want to be the one who takes a pod down, or closes an entire facility. Having said that though, we’ll all probably have to temper our reactions a bit as positive cases in our immediate circles are almost inevitable no matter how careful we all are. Let’s remember to not make people feel worse then they already will.

• Anyway, who I mainly feel  bad for right now are older members of families or those with health issues as they have to tuck themselves away again, away from the lights of their lives, from the people who give them vitality, from those who keep them going. When restrictions were lifted, it was great that once you limited your contacts, you felt safe spending time with grannies and granddads and the like; but now that younger family members are back among their school population, there’s a much wider risk to consider. Let’s try not give in to the fear though  - invest in the warm jackets and hot water bottles, don’t pack away the garden furniture as we would normally around this time of the year, and let’s all do our best to stay in touch with those that matter to us.

• Straight up, I’ll admit to being absolutely steaming last Monday night, also on Tuesday and again on Wednesday. It’s not something I’d usually be so quick to fess up to, but in a crazy Covid world it’s the done thing. We’re all now manically steaming anything we can’t wash overnight including heavy school jumpers, school bags, lunch bags, shoes… even the dog if she’ll stay still long enough. I have to say though I was a bit surprised to hear that some schools have banned kids bringing in their own sanitisers on the grounds of safety and for fear they may ingest it. Surely anyone who knows the first thing about kids knows that most of them won’t touch anything that’s good for them?

• Bluster aside, I’m feeling a bit, I don’t know, bored to be honest. I know that makes me sound like a petulant teen but I can’t help it. Playing by the rules means spending a lot of time at home and spending too much time on Instagram means I want an entirely new home. All I can see is a long Winter ahead with nothing much to look forward to until new episodes of The Crown drop on Netflix in November. Also, not wanting to scare anyone, but I’ve been reliably told the Covid test is way worse than a smear test. Keep washing the hands. 

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