Western Bay's Lockdown Diaries

July 31, 2020

We started the series with a reflection from the start of lockdown from our newly appointed psychologist Hillary Clarke*. Next up we have our single person adopter Karina’s humorous and authentic piece on her lockdown experience.   Enjoy!

 

“Initial paranoia set in that I would be pulled over by the police for driving my little one to sleep, as the lockdown lead to a big disruption to her resting times and it was the only way I could get her to nod off.

Or that my neighbours would report me to SSD or the police for leaving the house at night.  I remember reminding myself to simply cry if I was pulled over and go for the sympathy vote.  Looking back I laugh at this fear, I wasn’t exactly high on the local wanted list, so didn’t really need to worry so much!

The loss of playgroups meant that I felt the need to purchase a lot of things from Amazon in order to entertain a toddler whose attention span was about 20 mins on an activity – at a low point I worked out that was a lot of activities to fit into just 1 day!

At one point there were deliveries most days and I could easily start my own playgroup with the amount of equipment and inspiration from Facebook and Pinterest – however a great deal of the activities resulted in one of those photos you see on social media – one showing what it should look like and the other photo showing some kind of disaster/explosion of colour/food etc – thankfully my little one didn’t care and simply loved getting messy!

Heatwaves and Mishaps

We were blessed with amazing sunshine and a heatwave, so I felt that a paddling pool would be a great edition to our playgroup equipment – I didn’t read the size properly and it would have fitted a large family rather than just us 2.

The first task was to move the heavy patio table and chairs to fit the ‘pool’.  Sadly the glass top fell off the table and landed on my foot.  I was slightly relieved my little one was having her nap, so that her first words weren’t the expletives that came out of my mouth!

Over the course of the day my foot doubled in size and I couldn’t weight bare.  My panic was how we would get out of the house for the daily exercise walk around the block – there was no way I was going to miss out on us escaping the house!  Regular photos of my foot was sent to friends and one friend checked it with her neighbour who was a GP- I didn’t want to waste the NHS’s time on my silly accident!

After a week the limping eased, but found that you can become very creative in carrying a little one, cooking, cleaning and entertaining my little one whilst hopping around the house.  I ended up giving the pool to a friend and bought a mini toddler fun pool – this took just 5 mins to blow up and then another couple of weeks to encourage my little one to go in it with water as she wasn’t sure about it!!

Mid way through lock down I realised that when I consider my next house move I will definitely check out the places that you can walk to from the house, as this was something I certainly didn’t think about when purchasing my house!  Walking a similar route every day became very tedious whilst getting my little one to sleep for her afternoon nap, however it was so comforting to see similar faces who were all on their daily walks.

Clearly we are all creatures of comfort walking at the same time every day.

As sleep changed for my little one and we could escape the house twice a day, we did more walking when we went out.  She became a local celebrity, as she would say hello to everyone, including dogs, cats, flowers and trees (her new words) and would then wave and say goodbye about 10 times to each person/animal/object – it was lovely to see her make so many people smile and some elderly people on our street would make sure they were sat in their garden for our toddle past so that they could see her.

Picking daisies also became her ‘thing’, sadly we don’t live near many green spaces, but the main road had pockets of grass in front of peoples drives.  This became our playground sitting and picking lots of daisies and buttercups, whilst having the sweet smell of fumes from cars and lorries driving past and drivers smiling and waving at my little ones excitement at finding a daisy!

Bonding and Attachment

Lockdown really helped our bonding and attachment, there were so many simply wonderful moments being called ‘nummy’ which later morphed into ‘mummy’, her cheeky personality coming out more and more, for example offering me some of her dinner or snack and then at the last minute putting it in her own mouth and finding it hysterical that she had tricked me.

Seeing her determination to put on her own welly boots and take them off (which she quickly achieved), being adamant that she can use an adult fork (which she can!), learning noises that most animals make, learning to walk backwards, desperately trying to properly jump (still in progress) and finding pure joy in splashing in puddles and getting muddy – to the point that i would create puddles in the garden as she would spend hours in the mud, making things in her mud kitchen and moving pebbles from one side of the garden to the other!

 Challenging times

Lockdown did bring a lot of challenges, tears and frustrations.  Questioning my sanity on becoming a single adopter, the lack of 2 way conversation, no break or escape from the house, feelings of just not being enough for my little one and worries for her emotional needs as she had been through so much already in her little life.

As lockdown eased it brought about new challenges as my little one understandably struggled seeing family and friends.  We re-created how we managed this at the end of the adoption introductions, but my little one was incredibly clingy, wouldn’t let me out of her line of sight, sleep deteriorated again (but there was no fear of being arrested this time) and seeing her simply confused with the world.

Thankfully taking things slowly has helped her and this week we went to a playground for the first time in around 4 months, it was wonderful to see the pure joy in her face going on a swing and a decent slide and climbing frame, she had her freedom again!”  Karina Baldwin, 38 from Swansea.

**Names have been changed to protect identities, these stories however are real life first hand accounts.

What do you think of our latest #LockdownDiary let us know on our social media. Feeling inspired by these real life stories of real people adapting to difficult times?  Visit here for more information on adoption.

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