No masking the deep cracks that are starting to show

May 23rd, 2020 11:40 PM

By Emma Connolly

If anyone was still in any doubt that too much TV will turn your child into a devil creature, I have conducted a non-scientific study and can vouch that this is true.

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Week 10 and I’m officially overwhelmed, over ‘it’, basically bate out from the whole thing and in need of a good blast of Brexit

• NOW, I’m not one to complain but… oh god, can someone make this agony end? Or can we at least stop talking about the possibility that schools might not be fully open in September?

• It’s just that here’s how my working days go right now and yeah, I’m kind of over it: get up a little early to set up an interesting arts and craft/activity (at the very least an attractive colouring book); child somehow spots this on route to breakfast; launches into it with gusto; by the time 9am comes she is officially done; lash something else together; child can smell my desperation a mile off; I tell her I’ll be fired and we won’t have any money unless she behaves; get a good 10 minutes done before I cave, hand out a treat (which of course can no longer be called a treat, just a regular snack), have one myself and turn on Netflix. Resist the urge to lie down with a cool cloth on my head and drift off to the sound of cartoons, and plough on. It’s only 9.30am.(Note to boss: I’m obviously hamming it up a bit here for our readers. My day is nothing like that)

• Spend the morning shouting up to the TV room, with vague threats like ‘just one more episode’ or ‘I’m nearly done now;’ at lunchtime retrieve the child who has morphed into a devil person (there’s definitely something in all those studies that say too much TV can change your child’s personality) and spend lunchtime trying to coax her out from under the couch, eat something, get some fresh air, before cracking on, and repeating to myself ‘let’s do this’ while silently crying.

• On the day my husband is at home, I tell them both to behave like I’m not in the house. I close the office door and get stuck in with joy because I actually like my job. I usually get a 45 minute run, before the four-year-old barges in with something like ‘Don’t tell Daddy I’m here/Let’s have some girl time/Can I watch Frozen on your computer.’ That usually prompts a major over the top outburst from me where I tell my husband that there’s nothing for it, I’ll have to hand in my notice, cue tears from me, followed by a family hug and promises from us all we’ll try harder. I return to the keyboard with a fresh coffee and resolve that it will all be ok, until it happens all over again 20 minutes later.

• So yes, I’m not one to complain, but it’s hard keeping your s*** together these days. If the person I rang by mistake three times in 20 minutes last week is reading, maybe now you know why! And while I know I’ve loads to be grateful for, and it’s not like I’m a brain surgeon, and people are way worse off, in this exact moment in time, I’m feeling bate. My wine glass is topped up (so is everyone’s going by Drinkaware’s new research) but my cup is empty. And you can’t pour from an empty cup. So please don’t talk about schools not opening in September. It’s a case of one day at a time. Sweet Jesus.

• I feel way better now for just sharing that – lightened the load. So, handbags have become a bit obsolete haven’t they, since lockdown? I’m not too sure when mine last saw the light of day. Same for my diary. Although I should keep a closer eye on it as I’ve missed a few birthdays and I generally have no idea what date it is.

• Shoes are also a bit dispensable a lot of the time too, aren’t they? The child is pretty much permanently barefoot these days. It actually worked a charm as she doesn’t like walking on gravel, and the patio is surrounded by it, which meant when she was outside she was pretty much marooned, within my sight, and I could work away. Yeah, it turns out two months of quarantine will toughen up your feet pretty lively. Gone for dust. She’d probably walk over hot coals to get out of the place at this point.

• Speaking of which,  the fire pit arrived and I love it. Except that it’s just a bit smokey. Didn’t read the small print properly. Even after 15 minutes sitting outside at night (pretending we’re not perished and are having a great old time), we end up smelling like a bonfire. Google told me to mix water and vodka, spray my hair, and the smell will evaporate. Era it’s not actually that bad. Actually quite authentic. Be a shame to waste the vodka. Besides, a shot would be more useful to heat us up.

• Have you noticed that people are getting a tad tetchy and reckless? There are ‘splinter’ WhatsApp groups popping up with comments like ‘What did she mean by that?’, ‘Was that a dig at me?’ sort of thing. The temptation to tell people (mainly your boss/ the bank) to get lost on email is also strong. Take a walk around the house before you hit ‘send’.

• I don’t know why I was surprised to read the announcement that my local Summer festival was cancelled due to Covid-19, or why, in the grand scheme of things, it made me feel a bit sad. For my whole life, the end of August has been about the merries, the Fancy Dress, the dome, and of course John Daly’s chipper – they’ve all been the top priority at some point over the years and August just won’t feel the same without it. In it together, I know.

• Although, I’d definitely have given the chipper a swerve this year. Quarantine has reminded me that I’m not good at exercising alone. I never have been, it didn’t matter how many Davina McCall DVDs I bought (I’m old skool). I will go for a walk sure, but I definitely won’t do that type of workout that has you dripping in sweat and buzzing with endorphins and I miss that. So do my thighs. But look at the effort poor Adele must have put in and the lambasting she got? Rumour has it she lost 100lbs. 

• Anyway, bring back Brexit, I say. Even if only for a few days, for some light entertainment. God knows we need it. As if my week wasn’t challenging enough, the impossible only happened – we ran out of loo roll. I guess that’s what you call the ‘new normal’.

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