I am missing my humans now.
I have always been a people person, I love company.
If left too long on my own I will go crazy.
That is not to say I am comfortable in my own company, as a single woman I kind of have to be. I am happy on my own, writing or reading a book or listening to music and like most I enjoy a little bit of solitude sometimes, but not all the time.
I am at my happiest when I am with the people I love.
Now, some would say that I should be just fine, because I live with two of the people I love most in the world. Tom and Elsie. My two slightly irritating but generally not to troublesome teenagers. However, this is not the case…
It is not the case because since lockdown I have discovered that my teenagers are really shitty company and worst of all I am worried that this is my fault. How did I manage to bring up two whole human beings who can barely have conversation or find any interest in anything outside of their own world?
Before all this I would have said I had good kids, they are no bother and never get in to any serious trouble, if you don’t count Tom’s endless after school detentions, they have good friends and are well mannered (most of the time) and people like them, but now I am concerned that they are turning into animals, they eat, they sleep and they go to the toilet and that is about as much as they can muster on a daily basis, unless you count tik tok and snapping and gaming, which I don’t. I don’t count those as activities because you barely have to move a muscle to do them.
They have turned into sloths.
I am not entirely sure Tom has cleaned his teeth since the 23rd of March!
It is Sunday and if it wasn’t for the now weekly ‘Saturday night, quiz night’ with friends, I don’t think I would have had a conversation the whole weekend, with the exception of a nice long chat with my friend, over a virtual coffee and some toast. The weekends seem both long and short at the same time and time in general just seems different somehow. Already we are in May and it feels like the year is slipping by slowly but quickly. How can a day be both quick and slow? How does a month go by unnoticed practically?
April. What happened to it?
Tom had his 14th birthday in lockdown.
It was on Monday and so I took the day off, so we could celebrate at home, just the three of us. It was the earliest they had both been up and out of bed since lockdown began. I have found that the hardest thing to keep an eye on is the time they go to sleep at night and the time they get up in the morning. I am at work every day so I have no idea what time they get up, but I would hedge my bets that is not before midday. I also am in bed reasonably early on a week night and so I am comfortably wandering around in the land of dreams way before both Tom and Elsie and once I am asleep I take some waking, so I have no idea if they are still up. Well, when I say I have no idea I have every idea that they are up and I am pretty sure it is way past midnight before they even think about sleep.
Well, what do you know, Elsie has appeared for chat. She has been looking at wallpaper while she was lying in bed this morning and now wishes to discuss with me the probabilities of decorating her bedroom, while we are in lockdown and ‘well we can’t do anything else can we’, she says. Well, aside from me working on average 45/50 hours a week at the moment, no love. I have all the time in the world and just as much inclination. Jesus! If this doesn’t make me lose what little train of thought I had, nothing will. I try not to glaze over as she continually shows me endless pictures of patterned wallpaper and discusses the pros and cons to each. I mention that she should design a mood board around the things that she knows she wants to keep or have and work from that, choosing colours etc. This is a purely selfish attempt at sending her off to the lounge, so can I make some attempt at finishing this blog. I think it might work… I probably have half an hour at best, before she back with more ideas!
Right, where was I?
I have an awful feeling that Elsie’s bedroom is going to monopolise my day.
Anyway, back to Monday and Tom’s birthday.
Tom had asked for a basketball hoop for his birthday his new favourite obsession. I had been prepared for this one and ordered one well in advance of his birthday, most unlike me. It had been sitting in the shed for a week or so now. What I didn’t plan for was how we were going to assemble the bloody thing, because usually I would call upon one or other of my friends or family for some assistance and they would normally be very happy to come and help out, but this year it was going to me and and Tom and possibly Elsie, but probably not.
Elsie likes to play the role of supervisor and that just pisses me off, especially when I am usually holding something heavy and trying to screw or unscrew it at the same time. her standing over me saying things like, ‘I think you should probably take this screw out first’ and ‘be careful you don’t drop it’, gives me the right hump.
It turns out the erection of the basketball hoop was going to be no different.
After laying out all the pieces in the yard, ready for assembly the sudden realisation hit me that a middle aged midget and a cack-handed, Kevin and Perry sized teenager were probably not going to find this easy. However, the thing that made me most anxious was the fact that because of lockdown, everyone is at home. My neighbours are all out in their gardens, enjoying the unusually lovely weather and the reason this makes me slightly anxious is because I know there is no way I am going to erect this hoop without losing my shit, at least once.
I swear a lot. It is one of my bad habits.
Over the years I have managed to curb my swearing when necessary, but the urge is always there, simmering away inside me, a boiling pot full of profanities just waiting for someone or something to take the lid off.
The basketball hoop was the thing that took the lid off.
It took us almost three hours to put the bloody thing up, it was heavy and cumbersome and just downright bloody awkward. We used the wrong screw in the bottom part of the stand and obviously didn’t realise until we got to top part, this was only realised when it took us ages to work out why the only screw we had left wasn’t long enough to appear out the other side of the pole and after holding the weight of it for what seemed like a week and trying to read the instruction again for the twentieth time, Tom noticed our mistake and gingerly told me from a safe distance what he thought the problem might be. He is very good at gauging my mood, Tom and knowing when he should stand well back. This was one of those times. So, after much huffing and puffing we began to dismantle the sodding thing again.
Urgh! I have had enough now!
I learned that my upper body strength is practically non existent at this point. My arms were screaming in pain.
Tom and I had exchanged more than a few cross words throughout the whole painful procedure and I’m pretty sure the neighbours were no doubt becoming fed up with my quiet but ranty swearing.
Elsie showed her face a couple of times to see how thing were progressing, but when came out the second time to point out that we hadn’t got very far, she got the worst death stare I could muster and was told in no uncertain terms that unless she coming out with coffee or to actually help I did not want to see her again, thank you.
She came back with a coffee ten minutes later, which I think saved all us.
It is at times like this I wish I smoked, as you can’t drink at 10 am.
Eventually, we got the bloody thing up and it is a fine looking bit of kit. Tom was as pleased as punch, that is until thirty minutes later while attempting a slam dunk, he bent his finger middle finger right back, it instantly swelled to twice it’s original size and put him out of action for at least two days. Our delighted high-five at the satisfying completion of said hoop a short lived triumph.
Happy bloody birthday!
The day was saved by Tom’s favourite dinner, meat and chips and a binge watch of Friday night dinner, not the most exciting birthday in all his fourteen years and memorable for all the wrong reasons but somehow we got through it.
I hope we are free of all this in September as the thought of Elsie having a birthday in lockdown is one I can not contemplate.
I need to get off this island.