In these strange times I am made very aware of how lucky I am to have so much outside space to roam in, and the weather has helped so much. But to be honest the first couple of weeks I had a major meltdown as I’m sure many others did.
Just before ‘lockdown ‘ ( I hate this word, can we call it something else please? ) I got sick, like Flu. So we had to go into quarantine in the yurt for two weeks. Then the childcare stopped, the support network had gone, and I was exhausted, with a run down immune system. I tried to carry on for a couple of weeks , through my sons weird birthday, explaining why he wasn’t having friends over for a party anymore, eating a cake my mum had sent in the post, trying to get on with jobs to do at home, just keeping a very active now 4 year old entertained , the usual cycle of cooking, cleaning, feeding the wood burner with wood etc . One low point was literally setting the pizza on fire whilst crying watching the news and my son crying for an hour over the lack of pizza for dinner and shouting at me to go back to the shop to get another one. The burnt remnants lay outside the yurt. I think we ate cereal. Then, I bailed.
I am very lucky that my parents have a small rental place next to the house so I could quarantine there, and keep at a safe distance to my folks in the garden. My dads on the ‘endangered species’ list so had to be careful. I was nervous that my son wouldn’t keep at distance and imagined having to come straight back home again. Amazingly my son understood not to go near them or go into their house. I was worried this would be very stressful but he was a star. Children amaze me. So I’ve been here for nearly 5 weeks now.
Im super grateful for the time with my son, the space and my wonderful parents. Days are blurring into each other, and I must admit I am getting a bit bored. There’s only so many times I can play baddies and goodies and mummies and babies, my brain is fuzzy as every time I try and do something like writing – I get the deafening mummy, MUMMY, MUMMY, MUUMMMY call to action.
I do love the extra time we have together without the daily routine. We make up stories just before bedtime. ( Which has got later and later!) Leo’s stories have a simple recurring plot of sorts, normally involve bums, and some type of fatal accident. Dark comedy genius in the making.
Not a naturally routine person, we are now waking up late, the days consist of mostly getting dressed by midday, accept the warmer days where clothes are optional, running races that im NEVER allowed to win, make believe games that are a tad repetitive, painting and making things with the attention span of 5 mins each, things being destroyed by baddies, me being hit by baddies, me loosing my temper with baddies, my parents looking after baddies while I get on social media and you tube and watch something really important, TV bedtime, fights about bedtime. And repeat ,repeat repeat.
We’ve built marble runs, endless sessions of pushing in the garden swing, my lego efforts have been broken multiple times, and I have to admit I’m not happy with how my son plays with my childhood dolls house. I set up the furniture and dolls just so, he comes in with an oversized lion teddy and destroys the place. Im wondering how different it would have been having a girl!
The tantrums are still as impressive as ever. And I feel this whole situation is affecting his behaviour. He is hitting more than usual and I’m finding it hard to keep up my gentle- parenting stance. I have become ‘shouty mum’ in ways that don’t really work. Empty threats abound. On one ‘trying to get him to get to bed evening’- I cant remember the details, but I’m sure it involved him hitting me. I let him ‘calm down’ in the bathroom… so he said “well I’ll wee on the floor then”. And he did, pissed all over the f**ing bathroom floor. Leo 1 mummy 0. One window has been broken and there is now plenty of crayon all of my parents holiday rental. ( Sorry ! )
Amongst all of that we’ve been able to help with the vegetable garden, seen our seeds grow and explored some beautiful places. Ive managed a couple of zoom meetings and online offerings i.e. yoga classes, even a shamanic ceremony. Most get interrupted by my son leaping on me at some point but at least I tried. I find the screen connection strange, like I want to climb into my phone where all my friends now seem to reside. I have had late night catch ups with old friends and travelled down memory lane together. I have also gotten around to writing on here to whoever reads it, in an attempt to feel productive in some way. ( I am writing this on my laptop which currently works rather cumbersomely with two keyboards, both which now have keys missing so I have to go between both of them to write, thanks to my cheeky son.)
I’m very grateful to my parents and am nervous to get back to yurt life alone. I have a nagging voice telling me to go back to get on with all that needs doing at home and my garden. Is this the beginning of the end of yurt life? Am I secretly loving the ease of indoor toilets, my own shower, electric heating and free baby sitting. ? More importantly how will I emerge from this cocooned state? What have i learned and how will i support myself and my son going forward? How has this affected him and what more can I learn about how children process their experiences to help his emotional world?
‘We are in the same storm but our boats are different’. For some this has been a pleasant time, for others it has been stressful, or lonely and exhausting. How can we be gentle on ourselves, and soft in our expectations of ourselves and others? This is also, a global experience, and on some level it is connecting us, reminding us how interdependent and related we are to each other and the planet. Let us be mindful as we emerge. How do we want life to be and what would we like to change in our selves, our own lives in relationship to the land, animals and people that are our community. And do we respond and act with love or fear?
For now I am looking forward to Leo having friends to play with again. As am I. And it will be nice to see the cat.