Local parent, researcher and writer, Maddie Wallace, continues her daily diary describing the experience of self-isolating with her children in Southsea. Today, Maddie looks back at the first Mother’s Day in many years that she hasn’t seen her mum.
Well, that was a weekend and a half, wasn’t it?
I’m sure many people didn’t get to see their mothers. Every Mother’s Day I really feel for my friends who’ve lost their mothers and have to endure that pain again one Sunday in spring. I think a lot of us can now appreciate how horrible it is not being able to see your mum, but at least we’re still lucky enough to be able to video call them.
It was also very tough not being able to spend the day with my oldest, H. I did see her. She dropped some lovely presents off to me, arriving with her boyfriend M and a beautiful roast chicken courtesy of his parents. We sat outside in the sun on the wall, the requisite distance apart, while I opened my presents. Z is out of isolation, so he’d been able to go to the shops and get potatoes, and I received two bags of vegetables on Thursday from a university colleague and his wife. While we were eating, the kids and I went through everything on our plates and counted how many people contributed to the contents of our dinner.
7 people. 7 kind, caring, wonderful people brought us bits and pieces that went into that roast, and M’s dad cooked us a tasty chicken from Bransbury Park Butcher’s that was far superior to anything I could’ve rustled up. Z helped me peel the potatoes, finally mastering the art of using a peeler; he was so proud of himself. S and A did the washing up afterwards, and we all had some more of S’s chocolate birthday cake from Saturday.
Of course, it wasn’t idyllic and calm at all. A gets very emotional about changes to her routine. Coming back from her dad’s always involves a day of meltdowns and screaming. Most of Mother’s Day was spent fire-fighting various situations as she exploded emotional projectiles all over us. It takes a day to re-establish balance in the house, especially because she often believes her brothers are teasing her when they aren’t. She went to bed angry and I sat and cried. It was exhausting, and once she was in bed, I had to let go of how much I’d missed my own mum and H all day. Not being able to hug your own child is tough.
S took the changes to his birthday on Saturday on the chin. No friends for a sleepover, no going to the Escape Room, no social contact – but it didn’t stop him doing back flips. One of his presents was a Stylophone Synthesiser and he hasn’t stopped ‘composing’ (I use that word lightly) tunes since Saturday afternoon when he got home. Sometimes he plays it like an electric guitar, which is my cue to leave the room with the dog and the kitten.
Speaking of the kitten, he’s a prick. He spilt my Mother’s Day glass of red wine all over the living room carpet, and he did the same with a glass of squash all over Z’s bed. Apparently just so he could relax on it without the pesky duvet in the way.
I do have a question though: why am I still getting junk mail through my letterbox and salespeople at my door? You’d think that would stop now. I saw all the reports of Snowdonia being overwhelmed with people at the weekend, and Memed Portsmouth posted a picture of the crowded prom in Southsea on Sunday. Friends on social media are reporting large numbers of people out for the day with the family at Ocean Retail Park over the weekend. From someone in isolation, I can tell you that this is pretty shocking.
If you live in Southsea and don’t have transport to get out of the city, Eastney Beach is a vast open space, even when the tide is in, where you can maintain social distancing while getting some exercise and fresh air. We went there yesterday and didn’t come within 2 metres of anyone. People were being very sensible and respectful. Apart from the dog. She rolled in fox poo. How she managed to find that one pile of poo on the beach is beyond me, but she did.
Happy Mother’s Day from the dog: what a twat.