Go back to work, don’t go back to work. Go outside, don’t go outside. Whatever you do or don’t do, ‘Stay Alert’. Anyone else confused? I definitely preferred ‘Stay at Home’ – that’s a clear instruction. ‘Stay Alert’ is as clear as mud. It conjures up the image of millions of beady-eyed meerkats bobbing up and down all over England looking for an invisible predator.
My one take-away from Boris’s address is that my children are not going back to school any time soon. This is a huge relief to boy number two who had a self-inflicted run-in with my hairdressing scissors late on Saturday evening. It’s resulted in what could, at best, be described as an extremely creative haircut and has served as a salutary reminder not to be tempted by that ad in every hair salon window – ‘free haircuts: models required for trainees’. Boy number two is now wearing a baseball cap, permanently, even in bed. If he removes the cap for just a second, boy number one is merciless. Returning to school would be overwhelmingly traumatic for him right now.
I have been trying – largely unsuccessfully – to get the children to do more chores driven by my fantastical (misguided) notion that my family is just like ‘The Waltons’. Even loading and unloading the dishwasher involves negotiation more suited to a large-scale international incident. The boys think they should only have to load and unload items that they actually use. I point out that if I applied the same logic to everything I do, nothing would ever get done in the house. They ignore me and continue to bicker over who used what saucepan for yesterday’s late-night pesto pasta. Apparently they are STARVING despite the perfectly good supper I cooked two hours before.
Boy number two was given the task of hoovering upstairs. Obviously he moaned about child exploitation and obviously I ignored him. Except to tell him to direct his complaints to someone who cares. For a bright child, not normally fazed by technology, it took an inordinately long time for him to work out how to switch on the hoover. This hurdle cleared, he actively enjoyed his first foray into domesticity. Not a lot of vacuuming took place. Instead, boy number two spent a good twenty minutes with the hoover suction pipe attached to his hair and to his sister’s ponytail whilst laughing hysterically. Sadly, for boy number two after Saturday night’s barnet botch job, the hilarity of hair hoovering was definitely a one-time experience.
Chores are maybe too lofty an ambition so in the meantime domestic drudgery remains my domain . It appears to be ageing me rather faster than I’d hoped. How do I know? This little gem from my daughter. On the 75th anniversary of VE day, she asked me what I did on actual VE day. Just a tad before my time, even if I look old enough to have been there.