It’s been a little while since I blogged, the last time the world was a very different place!
We are now mid-pandemic and life has changed considerably. You see we are trying to shield my 4-year-old. It’s not quite as straight forward as you would imagine. The government advice on shielding seems to primarily apply to adults.
The advice includes gems like “try and maintain a 2-meter distance between yourself and your family members” and “try not to share living spaces”. I can’t really leave my 4-year-old in a room by himself all day, and we certainly can’t come close to keeping a 2 meter difference when he relies on us for all of his personal care needs. Never mind trying to explain that to his adoring younger brother who loves nothing better than snuggling up to watch cartoons together.
We very early on came to the conclusion that the only way to shield him was to practice shielding as a family. We are very fortunate that my husband can work from home, particularly as a key worker, so on March the 12th my eldest finished his last day in school and we’ve been home ever since.
Remarkably Thomas is coping really well.
He doesn’t particularly want to participate in therapy with me, but he is more than happy hanging out in the house with us and catching snippets of sunshine in the garden when the neighbours are indoors.
And my youngest has plenty to keep him entertained, a big garden and a ridiculous amount of toys that I am very very grateful for right now!
But my eldest? Oh, it’s hard for him. He celebrated his 8th birthday in April and was devastated not to have been able to have his friends for a party, he’d been planning it for months. He’s never been particularly fond of school but even he is now saying he’d like to go! We’ve managed a few online gaming sessions with accompanying zoom calls with some of his friends but it’s not the same.
As the rest of the country starts to come out of lockdown, we have been thinking about what comes next for us. Thomas is still shielding until mid-July time, but how long can we continue as a family, confined to these four walls with no human contact?
This afternoon my eldest sobbed in my arms about how unfair this all was, how much his misses his friends, and the things he likes to do outside of the house. So we have to find a balance, between protecting Thomas’s physical health and protecting the mental health of our other children.
So despite my anxiety, I rang the play specialist from our local hospice and requested an appointment, as I know he is missing her and would value some time with her, and I know that the hospice of all people will understand the importance of keeping Thomas