If the virus doesn’t kill me, Co-op box wine will. that was the line I typed, half way through the first week of lockdown with a not quite yet 9 month old. Back when Zoom calls were still a novelty and I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t just a bit of a crap Christmas every time I opened my full fridge, staring at it’s contents with glee, wondering what ‘little snack’ to chomp on next.
I’m still blaming that first week of marmite peanut butter sourdough binges (yes that’s a thing, might have gone a bit wild in the isles in Waitrose pre-lockdown and got middle class ideas of grandeur) for my extra three chins. That and the entire Dominoes I ‘panic froze’ on day one. Nothing to do with the gallons of box wine, new found discovery of a chip shop that serves Halloumi kebabs with contactless collection and general lack of exercise, obvs.
Whist part of me was of course terrified for the apocalypse, worried for friends and family and praying I wasn’t carrying the cov there was a certain Je ne sais quoi about it all. Staying up till the early hours by myself drinking crappy box wine to Taylor Swift videos (but with no judgemental bottle trail to tell me how much I’d drank) was a sort of nod to my wilted youth. With nowhere to be the next day or hangover to conceal on some wholesome motherly activity I began to relish in the excuse to act like my house was an all-inclusive resort. Booze served after 5 in the week, 2 at the weekend and I hadn’t quite decided on bank holidays… the novelty of this soon wore off and I no longer started to pour myself a Gin & Tonic at the start of the Downing Street broadcast. It’s like the alcohol has given up playing hard to get with me and now I only wanted it out of boredom or sadness like the sympathy shags of days gone by.
God, it was like I’d been preparing for this my whole life. Working from home and being a bit of a general slob any way it was like everyone had come over to the dark side with me and I was welcoming them into my humble world. There was no guilt for not being able to go to baby classes, we could do them all online! And we did, music, baby ballet, baby rhyme time at one point we even took up baby French… my daughter was on her way to being bilingual by the time the air ports were back open again and thanks to my new found talents for cooking up baby lead weaning recipes I had to be en route for Lockdown mother of the year surely?
I’d shed emphatic tears at the claps on a Thursday, check in on people and watched the news more than I had done so far in my adult life. I took time to plan meals for my family and thought of all the projects I could undertake with this new found ‘time’
That was then.. now all baby based entertainment has been handed over to Netflix while I rock in the corner to ‘wheels on the bus part 4.’ I’m in a deep and meaningful relationship with Just Eat and have near enough completed Amazon out of boredom. Needless to say the scales I bought have been tossed in the corner after I discovered the only happiness in life is food and the next person to tell me how great Joe Wicks is, is getting blocked. My baby is starting to look like the love child of Boris Johnson as she sits and makes demands with her overdue haircut and her right arm is covered in scratches from where she’s been antagonising Jeff the cat (my sympathy lies with him not her) If we were to bump into a health visitor they’d think things had got so bad she’d taken up some kind of baby self harm and to be fair I wouldn’t blame her.
I’m being dramatic… the last people we need to feel sorry for is the babies right now. In the beginning I was worried and felt bad for her, like is she wondering why we’re stuck in and she’s not round her grandmamars, she must be bored right, will this scar her for life? Now I’m like sod that, she’s 10 months old, hasn’t got a clue what day it is and has snacks and the undivided attention of two housebound parents on tap- living the dream if anything. Whereas boredom and mundanity is beginning to take a serious toll on her mother.
I have a confession that’s really really bat shit but might make your laugh (or just think I’m even more of a weirdo)
So the other night, I just couldn’t sleep, the insomnia was killing me and having watched all four series of Man in the High Castle in less than three weeks, I’d run out of binging material. Probs for the best as I dreamt the Nazis took Peaches (the youngest of our cats) and was beginning to wonder if a life under Nazi rule would be better for me than all this as at least I could leave the house and as a blond baby maker would be quids in. Obvs this was the crazy talking, and we all know my vote lies on the left, before anyone brands a swastika on the door.
Anyway, two glasses of pinot in, reminiscing about having a newborn who couldn’t move, I remembered that pumping always used to tire me out. For those that are not accustomed with the glamour that comes with this, by ‘pumping’ I mean the act of using a breast pump to extract milk from your tit to grant freedom in the form of a bottle. Or at least relive the pressure from your throbbing lady udders.
My portable one was long gone but I kept the hospital grade electric beast for ‘emergencies.’ Hadn’t quite thought these emergency situations through yet… I dunno an escaped rouge cow lands in the middle of the street in need of relief? But never the less the box remain on top of the kitchen cupboards, next to the food processor gathering dust..
So I balanced my five foot four point nothing self on top of a chair to in an attempt to reach the bloody thing which hit me on the nose on the way down and then sat and squeezed my tits for half an hour
Problem was, I managed to get a few tiny drops out. So then I was filled with the adrenaline of oh shit what if I’ve started my milk again (google tells me that would take a lot more work) and then I was like doesn’t this burn calories, could I just pump while I eat cake to cancel or out? (again, a long shot)
So then I watched fatal attraction and shared a bag of Cheetos with the Barry (first born cat) and started getting a bit angsty thinking yeh I know she’s a crazy bitch but should they really be shooting a pregnant lady? I mean he was silly, should have wrapped his willy! Decided to call it a night before I wrote something stupid on Facebook, woke hangover with a small beast crawling over me and sore tits but thought at least it’s a slightly different day. `
Over the next 48 hours, things took a turn for the worst. Not only did my body continue to produce milk (after it dried up when I went back to work, thanks tit god) but I decided to watch ‘After life’ a programme that I’ve always avoid because I don’t like Ricky Gervais. Think he’s a bit of a see you next Tuesday to be honest. I put part of this down to a couple of mates from uni constantly speaking like David Brent back in the day but the other part is he’s a bit of an arrogant sod. I mean the credits say it all ‘from the mind of Ricky Gervais’ who says that? I mean I’m presuming it’s from your mind and not your foot mate! Maybe I’m just jel…
Anyway, it turns out it’s pretty good. And there I am shedding a tear. A glass and a half of chardonnay in, having managed to make my body think it needs to lactate again and forgetting to take my anti-depressants two nights in a row (because I was too tired to go downstairs and get a drink to take it with and forgot there’s a mild come down involved) watching a comedy about a guy whose wife has died of cancer, realising I’ve been a bit of a fat selfish prick.
If anything, it’s a combination for emotional disaster. But luckily my child is a nob and woke up, her father, also a nob, chucked her in bed next to me and I spent the past two hours spooning her and her stuffed polar bear to sleep. Meaning by the time that was all over I wanted to just sleep instead of drinking Chardonnay and stalking people I used to hate online.
Taken up any new hobbies on lockdown? I dunno, knitting, jigsaws, cross stitch?
Yeh, got my tits to work again mate…