Lockdown With My Family in Southsea: Days 46-49, What Day is it Again?

Local parent, researcher and writer, Maddie Wallace, continues her daily diary describing the experience first, of self-isolating, and now of being in lockdown with her children in Southsea. We’re at Day 49, but who can even tell them apart anymore?

OK, own up: who stole the days of the week?

It no longer matters if you can’t remember what day it is anymore. Nothing different happens on a Tuesday or a Sunday or a Wednesday. Every day is a new day that may or may not go well depending on a variety of factors, including things like the behaviour of children and pets, the content of the news, seeing something on social media, doing or not doing yoga, whether it’s raining or sunny, having to go to the supermarket or tripping over the latest blanket fort.

Image by Maddie Wallace.

With all this calendar confusion, imagine my surprise at discovering on Saturday that Monday isn’t a Bank Holiday like it usually is. My mum dropped that mind bomb in a video call and then had a laugh about how she knew something I didn’t.

‘You see! Us oldies do know about some things!’

Yes, but not how to stay at home apparently. Like teenagers, elderly parents will invariably break the rules, deliberately misinterpret guidelines and take risks when your back is turned. Because they survived the Blitz, doncha know. And as with teenagers, you decide to take a step back and let them get on with it sometimes. I’m just trying to be grateful that they’re not in a care home right now.

I’m also grateful for my friends. So grateful. Beautiful people who’ve done my shopping, dropped off gifts at the door for me and the kids, donated a laptop to stop my sons fighting, been there for my wailing and panic attacks on WhatsApp, left me heart lifting voicemails, and been there for me in a socially distant and often virtual way, but still very present. The last three weeks have really taken it out of me, but I’ve also been reminded that it takes a village to raise a child. Or in my case, a tribe of strong women and a few good men. I’ve needed to lean on them lately and my village has stepped up once again.

I intended to get some work done this weekend: an outline plan for my thesis. That’s it, just a little plan. I can do that, I thought, foolishly. S and Z have gone to their dad’s for the weekend, or maybe the week, who knows. A has been occupied playing a new X Box game we downloaded on Friday while she was video calling her dad. She’s been asking us to get her this game for weeks, but she told us it was called Picnic. I couldn’t find it. S couldn’t find it. A got frustrated. We all gave up.

Turns out it’s called Pikuniku, and she’s been captivated by it this weekend.

She also made the 743rd blanket fort of lockdown on Sunday and was sat in there quite happily playing with her imaginary dragons, so I took the opportunity to creep over to my desk and work on my thesis plan. As soon as she heard the keyboard clacking, she appeared and sat next to the dog, looking up at me from the floor.

‘Mum’s looking boring again,’ she said, to the dog, before laying some more dragon eggs.

I thought she was doing yoga when she started this on Thursday. Cat stretch into child’s pose and back again. But no, this is her laying eggs apparently. What’s more worrying is that her enactment of this reminds me less of a bird laying and more of the queen xenomorph in Aliens. A hisses as well. Should I be worried yet?

Still, it’s better than what she was doing all day Friday. S was winding her up, so Z taught her to use the world’s most irritating response. And use it she did, all day, for everything.

‘What do you want for lunch?’

‘I know you are but what am I?’

‘Shall I make you some toast?’

‘I know you are but what am I?’

‘Ava, your behaviour is becoming a bit annoying now.’

‘I know you are but what am I?’

Give. Me. Strength


Maddie is sharing her lockdown experiences every day on S&C – you can find each day’s diary and all of Maddie’s previous articles for S&C here.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

S&C is managed and operated by a small team who work on a voluntary and freelance basis to run our website, social media and engage with local residents and communities. Like all independent news providers in the UK, we’ve been hit hard by the pandemic and are currently seeking funding to survive.

If you want to find out more about the challenges facing local independent news: visit the #SaveIndependentNews campaign website, get involved with S&C, donate, and help us spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. And if you want to know more about us, click here.