THE RETURN OF SCHOOL is a mixed bag, isn’t it?
For me it’s a curious mixture of stress and silence.
Summer vaycay over.
Back to school for our feral kids.
Find the house under the summer debris.
Remember quite how much work is entailed in the simple act of getting the smalls places, remembering all the things, and keeping everyone fed in between.
We were 15 days into school starting when our plans came to an abrupt halt.
We’d moved through the ‘inevitable meltdowns’ stage that a routine change gifts us, and into the ‘bliss of a well structured routine when it starts working its magic’ stage.
I’d started exercising and resurrecting bits of myself that had been locked in the summertime vault.
On week 3 of them being back to school, I decided it was time to look at jobs. I’d dropped them off at school without drama. We were settled in. Now was my moment to resurrect my career!
I came home, made a cuppa and opened the laptop… I knew it was pushing my luck. Every other time that I get a brainwhiff of returning to work, one of us goes down hard and my plans are shelved …. This time would be different.
The mobile rang.
All the kids in the smallest’s class were being sent home from school: Someone in the class had tested positive for Covid, so they all had to quarantine and be tested. I had to go back and get her.
I didn’t even get to drink the ‘optimistic tea’.
And so began the fun experience of being locked in the house again with a healthy child.
She did all her school work at 0600 on day 1.
She didn’t want to craft or bake.
She bounced and talked.
Her voice volume was set to loud and she needed to tell us everything.
She spent a happy day with a mate on skype who was also quarantined…. they did random shit with each other, all the time keeping up a non stop convo via my laptop.
They jumped on the trampoline
Played dress up
That last one was a bit weird, but they seemed happy …..
We took her for a Covid test near Schipol airport….I was so busy distracting her and soothing her worries on the way that I accidentally missed a turn, didn’t pay attention to gmaps and drove into a ‘do not enter’ part of the airport.
2 security cars then tailed me to the actual corona test site, where they waited to check I was going in to get a test and not out to perform some sort of midday illegal airport sabotage.
She was positive. (with ‘Rona’ as she called it.)
Me, the boy and the fella all negative.
The advice from the health centre was to isolate her from the boy.
“Keep her separate and wipe down the doors. Use a separate toilet” the helpful lady advised.
“Try to maintain 1.5 meters from her”.
“Have you met kids?” I asked.
The kids were mystified. How was the one with the positive test not sick.. and the sick one didn’t have Covid …You could see how their brains froze and glitched on this anomaly.
My lovely daughter decided that she wanted to give us the ‘Rona’ too. We got used to being chased and licked by a determined 6 year old. At one point she and the boy were on the sofa playing a game where she kept mashing a ball into her pits and rubbing it in his face hollering
“You got the RONA now”
They maniacally shrieked in glee.
‘Getting Rona’ became their game.
‘Keep her isolated’, my arse.
The boy struggled to breathe and coughed and wheezed and did very well at being ill.
We tested him again.
Then we just kind of fell into a youtube-snacks-non-stop-what-day-is-it-have-I-showered pit of despair.
The long suffering neighbour commiserated over the garden fence and assured us that the riot in our home and the endless garden tears were fine and we would survive it…..
Then yesterday I saw her in the front garden with 2 very large suitcases. She had decided that she would go on a sudden impromptu holiday.
A yoga retreat at that.
She looked a bit frazzled. – I can’t help but think that she may have finally cracked.
The smallest ended her quarantine today and returned to school.
The sigh of relief in the neighbourhood is palpable.
The boy is still here with me.
Waiting for another Covid test.
Muttering away to himself about Minecraft.