It occurred to me, as I let my husband cut my hair, while Milk and Mayhem ran around the kitchen screaming ‘macaroni cheese!’, that I might find lockdown a little bit challenging.
‘It looks quite good actually,’ says my husband putting down the scissors, gingerly.
‘But you’ve only been doing it for five minutes. Most people spend hours at the hairdressers. I haven’t even had a cup of tea.’
I eye the scissors he has been using. He said he couldn’t find the ones we use for the boys’ hair, so he chose the big blue kitchen scissors, which we sometimes use to cut up pizzas or raw chicken.
My husband looks a little afraid as I jump up from my chair to look in the mirror.
My hair looks absolutely fine – if you’re not seeing anyone for 12 weeks – which is lucky because the whole country is only seeing people through computer screens or over the garden fence for the next three months and counting.
‘At least you don’t have to do the school run with it…’ offers my husband sheepishly.
It’s true. The schools have closed, and after the initial shock, everyone is now printing out maths worksheets and ordering glitter glue and pipe cleaners online, in an effort to be home schooling heroes.
It was something we all knew was coming, but we didn’t believe would happen. Like dawn, when you stay up too late with a glass of wine. Dawn always comes too soon.
My first ‘home-schooling’ dawn arrived with Mayhem crawling over my head to drink from my glass of water on my bedside table.
‘Is my hair made of circles or lines? Why is this water a bit warm? How do I make a triangle with my foot?’ he fires the questions at me as if I am on a quiz show against the clock.
I look at the time. It is 5am.
‘The thing is,’ I say to Mayhem, removing him from our bed, ‘the thing is I’m not starting the home school thing yet. Not quite yet.’
‘When are we starting the school at home thing?’ says Milk bounding into the room, dressed in jeans and his school jumper.
‘Where’s daddy?’ I ask, trying to distract them. It works. They seem to think it’s a game of hide-and-seek and rush off shouting, ‘we’re coming to get you daddy. Ready or not!’.
I know they will find my husband downstairs with Midnight, feeding him blueberries and playing cars on the carpet, which has recently also become a picnic mat.
Later I am sitting down at the kitchen table while Milk and Mayhem stare at me in expectation.
‘Are you OK teacher?’ they say.
‘Please,’ I say resting my head on the table. ‘I’m not a teacher.’
‘Are you OK?’ Asks my husband returning from his lockdown run.
‘I’m not sure PE with Joe is meant to be done with a one year old throwing soft toys and fruit at participants,’ I say.
The boys want to play Star Wars in the garden while Midnight sleeps in his buggy, so I write and drink tea. My husband opens the fridge and closes it again.
‘There’s nothing to nibble’ he says grumpily.
‘I guess nibbles don’t count as essentials.’
‘I guess so.’ He says. ‘I’ll ask the neighbours if they can get some chocolate.’
‘You can’t ask people to risk their lives for you to have some chocolate.’ I say.
But my husband can.
We spend the evening gawping at the news in disbelief and eating essential chocolate.
‘Life will never be the same again. Everything has changed.’ says my husband popping another piece of chocolate in his mouth.
The baby wakes up.
‘Not everything,’ I say heading upstairs for a sleepy cuddle.