Lockdown rolls on over the weeks. At first I quite enjoy the change, it’s nice being a little out of routine and not constantly having to dash here and there. I enjoy having the boys at home and we make the most of the sunny days, building dens in the garden and playing.

But after a while the novelty wears off and boredom sets in. We get bored of doing the same old stuff day in, day out, never going anywhere or seeing anybody. I take them out for a daily walk because they are rather like dogs and if they don’t get exercise, they are appalling. Ruari in particular is like a great Labrador, lolloping about the house all clumsy limbs knocking things over, playfully nipping at his brothers and winding them up. But months down the line, I have run out of fight, or more specifically nag and one day it takes us three hours to get out for our walk because nobody listens or does what I ask. Homeschooling ground to a halt three weeks before the end of term because I just couldn’t nag them anymore and any concerted effort ended with me teetering on the brink of a migraine so it just was no longer worth the strain. So we sort of drift from day to day with me breaking up endless arguments, dishing out food and working myself up to getting them out for a walk.

“I’m going to have to get them some sort of garden play equipment” I say to David one evening. We haven’t had anything for a couple of years since the boys held a Lucha Libre style wrestling match in their pants on the trampoline and ended with Ruari bursting through the net. Because we bought our trampoline in Australia we could only get a replacement net from there and to do so was about the price of a new trampoline so we just got rid of the trampoline and didn’t end up getting anything else. I debate about the best piece of equipment to get and after looking at climbing frames, I am put off because it looks highly labour intensive to construct and we’ll only have to take it all down and rebuild it when we move in the next year.
“Why don’t we get a new trampoline?” suggest David “this one looks quite good, it’s spring free…” he goes on to extoll the virtues of this trampoline he has found.
“But, it is quite expensive.”
I take a sharp intake of breath when he tells me how much it is but really I’m past caring if it just gives me a bit of a break from being the constant source of entertainment because my children are seemingly incapable of entertaining themselves. If I am not involved at all times, they just argue. Great screechy, wheely arm arguments. I find this hard to get my head around having grown up an only child, DESPERATE for a sibling to play with. However, I was very good at making my own entertainment for hours and hours. Yet here are my children, with their very own ready made playmates that I obligingly popped out for them but the woman constantly mopping up wee from around the loo is the obvious source of fun and merriment. I don’t understand.

Days later David calls me
“I’ve ordered the trampoline.”
“It’s not coming until the end of July
“There was also a £150 charge for them to come and construct it but given we’d spent so much already, I didn’t know whether we should.”
“PAY IT. That’s a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of the bloody thing, We may as well go all in and save ourselves an argument.”
My memory flits back to the construction of the first trampoline. Done on Christmas Eve in the dark in Australia once the boys were finally down to bed. We finished about midnight and were not on good terms. Peace and goodwill to all men was not our sentiment.

Excited, we go to tell the boys.
“Boys, we know you’re really fed up and also sad that we’re not going to Cornwall this summer so we’ve bought something really fun for you.”
“NINTENDO SWITCHES?!” they whoop.
“Er no. We’ve bought you a trampoline!”
Am incensed by how ungrateful they are and why they are always so obsessed with loathsome gaming consoles.

Well if anything, I shall use it to rid myself of the “lockdown tyre” i’ve acquired around my middle; homeschooling my children has resulted in stress eating large quantities of white bread and Dairy Milk (not together). Hot toast and marmalade has provided huge comfort in these difficult times.  However, armed with a sports bra and a packet of tena lady, I am determined that I shall bounce myself back into shape. Also, David has bought a cover for it for Winter so I may put that on and retreat into it with a book and a bottle of wine for some peace.

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