It's mad to think that last week I was in such a wildly different headspace to the one that I'm in this week. OK, during this whole pandemic, I'm pretty sure that I'll be going back and forth between the two a lot, but this week, on the whole, has been really really great!
So I must admit, after slating the Instagram mums who come up with messy ideas to entertain your children, I actually tried out a couple of things that didn't end up being complete shit shows (hurrah)!
We got out the paints. The short lived joy was lovely, before body painting, leading to tantrums ensued (whilst being covered in paint) and therefore, so were my patio doors. However, the joy (while it lasted) was lovely.
OK so I tried painting. Not exactly a revelation but I'm still calling it a success.
We also made stress relief balls from 2 balloons which must've been hiding, as they escaped the fate of all the other balloons in our house (see previous post), and some out of date cornflour.
Sam's been AMAZING. Although we get our long holidays away each year, since Nel has come into our lives, Sam still ends up working a lot, and often goes away to work events for weeks at a time. If he's not doing that, then he'll still be out the majority of the day for things relating to work. When he takes Nel, I'll then go and crack on with things that I don't get a chance to do when I have her. Often, she'll go to her Granny's for the day, or to Nursery, so Sam and I can get a rest together. Therefore, for a large proportion of the year, we don't constantly spend every single day together as a family (totally the norm for most families, I know). However, since being forced to all spend every day together, I can see their relationship evolving and it's the loveliest thing to watch.
He mucks about with her, uses her as a weight when exercising, takes her to the back of the garden to start bonfires with her, chases her around the house, jumps out on her, plays hide and seek... . I sit sometimes at our dining table, which looks out into the back garden, and watch them both making each other laugh. It all sounds so contrived, but honestly, this quarantine is bringing them both together so closely, it's just lovely. Nel often still wakes in the night, and it's always been the way that it's me that gets up to see to her. In return for this, Sam's been taking her downstairs and letting me have a lay in in the mornings. Not that I ever get back to sleep, as all I can hear is Nel shouting "DAD DAD DADDA DAD DAD DADDA DAD DAD DADDA" on repeat. She absolutely idolises him, and everything she does she wants him to watch her do it.
We took her out to go foraging for wild garlic this week, which she LOVED. We went to a place near the River Eden, so whilst Sam and I picked the leaves, Nel was looking in the river, and shouting "quack quack" at the duck she found (her new favourite animal impression). We also took her to a quiet beach for a kick about with a ball (Dettol wiped before and after the visit)! We came home, we made the wild garlic into a pie, and then used up some overly ripe bananas by making banana bread (apparently the whole of the UK is just baking banana bread whilst in quarantine? I feel like i've been doing this for years finally a claim to something??).
She's so genuinely happy, obviously having the usual toddler tantrums, but as a whole, totally naive to this Corona madness we're all finding ourselves acclimatising to. Instead she just lives each day, with no expectation of what's happening tomorrow, or how long this will go on for. It's refreshing and makes it a bit easier to not just self wallow; having a little ray of light like our Nel during all this just makes it that little bit easier. I mean, sometimes I do fantasise about doing this child free - I'd definitely just nap a lot, be drunk all day and watch whatever I wanted, instead of Peppa Pig and Mr Tumble, but given the choice, I'd pick Nel every time. My chubby, perfect, little cherubic baby.