Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Me & Mine In March



Well...March certainly felt like a long year, didn't it?!

I don't think there are many of us who expected things to go the way that they have so far in 2020, it's all been a bit like living in a really bad science fiction movie.

It probably seems a bit strange to be doing a Family update post but I love having these to look back on and - like it or not - this is life right now.

I keep thinking about how we're all living through a historical event. There have been so few moments in time when a pandemic has brought life across most of the globe to a near halt, so it's surely going to be something that children are reading about in text books in the future.
I think it's important to document how it felt, how we handled things and how - at least for the fortunate ones - life went on, albeit differently than we were used to.

So for the sake of our own memories...here's how things have looked around here during the last few weeks.

As a family, we'd already been self-isolating for almost 2 weeks when the strict lockdown measures were introduced a week ago here in the UK, so we're now 3 weeks in to living like this.

We're fortunate enough to not have had the virus ourselves (to our knowledge), but as i'm immunocompromised due to my medications we took the decision to follow self isolation measures just to be safe. For those first two weeks, we made sure to get out every day for a little bit of fresh air.

We went each day to a nearby green space because it's usually very quiet with barely anyone else around, its safe and enclosed so the children can run free and play (and there is no play equipment for them to touch!) , and it's right opposite the sea so the view is nice and relaxing. We'd only spend around 45 minutes or so there, and - on one of those days - I decided to take my camera out with us to snap these photos.

The kids were wearing some new clothes they'd been sent (they were from Lindex and are SO cute! They wash really well too, I'll definitely be buying more from them!), it was a lovely sunny afternoon and it seemed like a good opportunity to get some pictures - since I rarely bother to take my big camera out with us anymore.







Sadly since the lockdown measures came into place, we've started to restrict our time outside even more than we already were and now we're only going to this place once a week. It's tough as we don't have much of an outside space (We have a small back yard which is just about big enough for the kids to go up and down the slide in, but not big enough for them to run about or play in really - and if all five of us try to sit out there, it feels very hemmed in),  and with 3 boisterous young children, it's definitely challenging being stuck at home all the time.

You might think that, as we're home educators anyway, we'd be used to it but actually one of the things that we love most about the home ed lifestyle is the freedom it gives us. No two days look the same when you home educate, and the kids are always out and about at their various activity groups and clubs, going to home ed social groups or having play dates.

We usually go out somewhere pretty much every day,  so to be suddenly stuck at home feels very alien to all of us. Up until today, the kids hadn't really questioned it - they often ask if we can have a PJ day at home, so they've been thrilled to be allowed to have them more often than we usually do. But today things seem to have shifted, and they seem to be feeling the urge to get outside and back to normality more.

Sailor told me today that he misses the park and the cinema, so he's going to look for a shooting star every night to wish for the coronavirus to go away. I told him I'd join him in making that wish!

One thing I've tried to focus on during these past few weeks to help me get through is gratitude. It's certainly not always easy to practise gratitude during difficult times in life, but that is exactly when it's most helpful to do it.

Each night before bed, I've listed all of the things I'm most grateful for - things that I used to take for granted. Like a safe comfortable home, the money to buy the food we need, and the thing I've been most grateful of all for over the past few weeks - the fact that the kids have each other for company.

As much as they bicker and fight (and believe me, they do!), I think they're so lucky to have each other to play with while we're so isolated.
We've had two of their birthdays to celebrate in the last week, which has certainly felt very different to previous years - but having three children means that you always have enough people for a party!



As all three of the children have had their birthdays in the last 6 weeks, I thought I'd include some updates here on how they're all getting on.

Tyne turned 7 years old on March 26th. We had planned a celebration with his friends at the local Battlefield Live - an outdoor army themed laser tag sort of place, and he was so looking forward to it.
We've had to reschedule of course, and so we celebrated the day with an army-themed birthday party at home instead - as well as some teddy bear making!

I think the juxtaposition of those two things - armies and teddy bears - perfectly demonstrates where Tyne is at in life right now. Part of him is desperate to be a teenager and he loves to spend his time playing video games, watching his favourite YouTubers and talking about aliens and Area 51, while there's another part of him that is still so little - collecting teddy bears, believing strongly in all of the magical elements of childhood and asking to have a lullaby sung to him each night before bed.

He's always been full of curiosity and a passion for learning, and none of that has changed. His love for history is as strong as ever, although he seems to be taking more of an interest in science fiction and geography now too.
He still wants to be a police officer when he grows up, just as he has done since he was 3 years old - but he also wants to be a famous YouTuber too, of course! (Show me a kid who doesn't these days!)

He loves being with his friends and going to his various clubs, but also loves time to himself as well. He's a bundle of energy and fun, and he's rarely in a bad mood (but when he is, boy will you know about it - he definitely gets his temper from me!).




(Camo sweatpants, Lindex)

As for Noa, she turned 5 on March 31st - and in some ways I feel as though she never really gets any older. I don't know what it is about middle children, but I feel the same way about my sisters middle child too - somehow it feels like they always stay the same age?!

With Noa it feels surprising to me that she was ever only 4, as she seems like an older child in so many ways. She's as full of sass and attitude as ever, and I honestly fear for how I'm ever going to manage her when she gets older given how much she already talks back and has an answer for everything!

It's been almost a full year now since she told us that she identifies as female and asked us to change the pronouns we use. It's strange because I almost forget sometimes that it hasn't always been this way and find myself feeling surprised when people still refer to her using male terms.

She would have started school last September, but as she wouldn't be compulsory school age until next term we haven't started any formal learning with her yet - she just does the occasional bits of phonics, counting and writing practice. (She also goes to some social clubs, and has just started going to an EYFS tutor once a week too.)

She's a completely different kettle of fish to her big brother, and has none of the same passion for learning that he has always had - she is really not interested in any particular subjects just yet other than languages! (She asked to learn how to speak French, so this is something we're trying out and we plan to send her to Spanish classes when things get back to normal as there are some local groups for home ed children.)

She does love dance, gymnastics, acting and anything related to music and fashion though so I have a feeling that she may be more of an artsy type than an academic - which is fine with me. We definitely want to look into some groups for her to go to that will encourage her and follow her interests.

As for her hobbies, they currently revolve around playing dress up, watching Disney movies (She's starting to be more interested in live action movies like The Descendants and Zombies than the Princess ones though) and putting on shows in the living room.

Noa is a bundle of fun and never fails to make me laugh!




And as for the baby of the bunch, Sailor turned 4 back on February 12th (which feels like a lifetime ago already!).

He's still as easy going as he ever was, he's usually in a happy and chilled out mood, and rarely gets stressed or agitated (or maybe it's just less noticeable because he's the youngest and his older siblings mood swings and outbursts are always worse?!). He's always been my "easy one" and - thankfully! - still is.

He's full of questions, like all 4 year olds, and right now he's super curious about how the world works - always asking things like "Why do we need to have the sun?" and "What would happen if the moon didn't come up?"

He loves playing with Noa and is still as close to her as ever, infact they've even started to sneak into each others beds of a night and cuddle up together lately. He still loves playing dress up with her and is still happy to be dressed as a Princess for their games, but lately he's also started to play with Tyne far more often too.

They both love playing rough and tumble games, especially wrestling - they regularly have their "brother off!" challenges which basically involve wrestling each other to the ground until someone cries "Muuum!" - exhausting, but cute to see them bonding and playing together more!





(Dinosaur t shirt, Lindex)

So that's us in March. I hope that the next time I write one of these posts in the Summer, that all of his lockdown and virus talk will be behind us and things might be starting to look a bit more normal again.

Fingers crossed!




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1 comment

  1. I'll keep everything crossed that this is over for the summer! I'm struggling with lockdown which is very odd as I spend a lot of time at home as my 'normal'... I guess I just can't handle not having the option to go out and do stuff!

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