Lockdown part 3….Week 15

This week has felt like what I imagine the new normal may be the foreseeable future. My youngest daughter returned to her childminder for the first time since the last lockdown started and my eldest daughter had her first day at pre-school. I cannot remember the last time I had to put my alarm on which was a shock to the system as we have enjoyed relaxing mornings, eating breakfast in pyjamas, instead I was running around like a headless chicken getting the girls up, dressed and fed before putting them in the car at 8am. Thank goodness it was light and sunny! I didn’t know how my eldest would be on her first day as she has spent the last 6 months with me and her sister and before starting preschool she went to the same childminder as her sister, but she took hold of her teachers’ hand and went straight in. I spent the day wondering how she was and if she was ok but when I went to collect her in the afternoon, she had a smile on her face and her teacher said it’s like she has always been there. I was very proud and a little choked at how well she had coped and adapted, it made me realise that children can be more resilient than adults!

This week parents of pre-schoolers in England were waiting to hear what Primary School their children had gained a place at and although I was resigned to accepting whichever school this maybe I was starting to get fidgety in anticipation of the news. I had my hopes on a small village school rather than my local school which is very big but as it wasn’t in my catchment area, I didn’t get my hopes up. When I woke up on Friday morning, I checked my emails and saw the notification and was so happy and relieved to see she had been offered her first choice! I still can’t believe that my youngest daughter will be starting school in September!

…..

Whilst both girls were in childcare, I used the opportunity to go to a clothes shop with my Mum for the first time since lockdown and felt reassured that they were limiting numbers in store, so it felt safe and pleasant to look around. I certainly wouldn’t have been queuing to get in and can’t even imagine how crowded it must have been in the likes of Primark! I haven’t really missed going into shops as it kind of feels like the new normal to not be able to do so many things. The highlight of the trip was when a woman asked us if we would mind watching her new-born baby whilst she took her daughter on the escalator as her daughter hadn’t been on one for so long and found it exciting. Her baby boy was fast asleep and looked so peaceful and content, I stood and looked at him with a sparkle in my eye, I could feel myself getting broody, but I soon snapped myself out of it! It was lovely that the woman felt able to ask us and trust us even though it was only for a couple of minutes.

….

I finally managed to hand in my case study (2 weeks early) for my counselling course and have been working my way through my last assignment of the year which is due in 10 days’ time. At times I’ve felt like spitting the dummy out but know it must be done. The final hurdle before finishing the first year of the course is doing a 10-minute presentation to the rest of the group and anyone who knows me knows I don’t like talking to groups of people or attention being on me so this will be a challenge for me especially as we must talk about ourselves.

….

I have been sticking to my Noom plan and I am 2 weeks in…let’s see how I get on this week.

I caught a bit of Jamie Oliver’s, Keep Cooking Family Favourites and found myself rolling my eyes when he kept telling viewers to add a ‘kiss’ of oil…please! If I were cooking with my children and told them to add a ‘kiss’ of oil they’d look at me as if I’d lost the plot!! Now I’m all for exposing children to new foods but when he was making the aubergine salad, I kept thinking that my girls would look at me as if to say what’s that and why are there flowers in it, his son didn’t look too impressed when he was trying it either!

Lockdown part 3….Week 6

What an exciting week we’ve had!! We woke up on Monday morning to snow!!!!! Well, I don’t know who was more excited…me or my girls?!! When I opened the curtains, I was so giddy as soon as I saw it! I have longed for snow and been envious every time somewhere else in the UK has had snow. I was beginning to think we were the only part of the UK to not get any.

It was fair to say we never got dressed so quickly in our lives and we went straight out into the garden! It was my youngest daughters first time in the snow and my eldest was only just one when she first experienced snow so couldn’t remember. It was magical! We all loved it!

We made a snow owl, snowballs, snow angels and caught snowflakes on our tongues!! My youngest daughter soon took after her Mummy and loved having snowball fights…. we walked to my Mums and had a compulsory snowball fight!

There were lots of giggles and a very memorable day! It brought a much-needed distraction and joy during these cold and dreary winter months.

On top of the excitement of snow, once we’d worn ourselves out, we did this weeks http://totbop.co.uk dance class. I have to say it was my favourite dance class so far (not that it’s meant for me!!).

By now the girls know the warmup and cool down routine, then came this week’s first dance which involved lots of silly moves and balancing and we all found it hilarious, we enjoyed the music section where we learnt hand moves including mashed potato!!

This week’s story time was ‘Under the sea’ and we all thoroughly enjoyed swimming around and being sea creatures (I swear my legs are aching from being a very enthusiastic jelly fish!!) (of course, this led to the girls wanting to watch The Little Mermaid afterwards!).

Then came our favourite section – Tot Bop Boogie and this week featured one of my favourite songs, ‘This is me’ from The Greatest Showman, it’s fair to say the volume got turned up and Mummy threw herself into it!! (I do sometimes wonder what people may think if they look in the window but then again, I don’t really care if people think I’m silly!)

But the highlight of this week’s dance class has to be where it shows you a video of this week’s Tot Bop Boogie winner which was my daughters!! To see my eldest daughters’ reaction was very heart-warming! She looked at me in amazement and said, ‘It’s me!’ I was lucky enough to catch her reaction on camera!

The icing on the cake came when the doorbell went and when I answered the door I saw a gift bag on the door step. I couldn’t see anyone and I had no idea who it was from. Inside was an envelope saying ‘Please open me’, and inside the card it read, ‘Just a note to say, that a present can brighten a day. So, whilst there is snow on the ground, get tucked up nice and warm, with a gift you have found – A neighbour.’ There was also a beautiful notebook and chocolates inside. Well, I have never been more touched by someone’s generosity and thoughtfulness! It put a huge smile on my face and made me feel warm inside. I only wish I could thank them!

It’s definitely lifted my spirits this week as I have to admit that I am starting to feel a little despondent about lockdown and feel I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. All this talk of if or when people can go on holiday but for me personally what I crave more than anything is to be able to go and see a few close friends and to be able to give them a hug. I’m not too bothered if cafes, pubs, restaurants, cinemas etc stay closed but to be able to go to their house or for them to come to mine would mean the world to me.

Knowing that they only live a few miles away is incredibly hard especially when I know that some people are breaching lockdown rules. I am lucky to have my girls and my Mum and to have technology, but nothing can replace seeing someone in the flesh and being able to hug them in person.

I imagine when the time comes there will be some happy tears and some very long hugs, in fact I don’t think I’ll want to let go of my best friend!!!!

I’ve got to share something that made me smile this week…my Mum isn’t really a fan of musicals and therefore isn’t keen on one of my girls favourite Disney films, Frozen. However, when I was having a moment of frustration my Mum stood in front of me and started singing the lyrics to ‘Let it go’, best of all she did the actions too which was hilarious!!

I had my counselling course as usual on Thursday which I am now starting to really enjoy (I think because I feel less nervous) and I am starting to come out of my shell. Even my Mum has commented that she has seen I have changed, in the sense that I am stronger and surer of myself which is massive for me.

It definitely gives you a boost when working with new people to practice your counselling skills and to be told positive things. I even volunteered to go first this week which is not like me at all! I normally avoid it and put it off.

I found it harder to be the client this week as I am still getting to know my new triad and being a private person it’s a big deal for me to open up and I was nervous to share things, but I did, and I was surprised what came out of it.

So, although there’s still a long way to go, I am starting to channel my inner self.

I suppose I should touch on the fact that it’s Valentine’s day on Sunday…. this is something I always feel a little odd about. Part of me has always loved the idea as I am romantic and like the idea of being spoilt but I can’t recall a time where I was spoilt. I’ve exchanged cards before but in my previous relationship I think I was given cards out of feeling it should be done rather than genuinely wanting to.

I’m not sure if I would ever want to go for a meal on Valentines day because it’s heavily commercialised and I feel it’s kind of rammed down your throat in terms of expectations of gifts, romance, love etc and also because I don’t think I’d feel comfortable being seen out with someone of the same sex especially when surrounded by lots of loved up couples. I guess it makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

I don’t like the fact that you can now buy a Valentines card for everyone from your parents to your children, friends or pets! I find that odd. Of course, I love my Mum, my girls and my friends but I wouldn’t choose to get them a Valentines card but each to their own. I have however got a large handprint heart in my window as in was suggested it would be a nice thing to do in our village…and we did spot one other house that has decorated their window with hearts on one of our walks this week.

This week I will leave you with this…..

Tot Bop Boogie of the week winner!