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Caring during Covid-19: Annabelle’s Diary (Monday)

My name is Annabelle and I am a mother and parent carer for my son Vincent (5 years) and daughter named Vala (11 months). Whilst he is still on the waiting list for a diagnosis assessment for the second time, he has been characterised as Complex Special Needs. Just like any regular parent, you do anything you can to help your child. But in our household, it can mean anything from helping him dress, reminders to eat and being gentle with his baby sister. Every day is different, whilst it can mean the same routines and reminders, it can also hold hope and a new possibility. Even when we struggle with his behaviours and traits at times, we still wouldn’t have him any other way.

Monday.

Ever heard the phrase ‘It must be a full moon outside tonight!’? Well my children were definitely suffering with moon madness today and it didn’t help that it was in fact, a full moon!

Kicking, spitting, slapping, hitting, you name it, it happened. I think the worst ones were when Vincent kept getting angry at Vala for trying to take his toys. She succeeded in nicking one, but not without a big blob of spit running down her face. Every time he was sat on the sofa and she’d be playing on the floor, you’d just see this foot slowly making its way toward her head to push her over. And Vincent doesn’t exactly have small feet! It would only take a small push.

After lunch, we headed to the fields again with the football. Time with the football personally was divided into ten minutes each time. But when Vala had the ball, I knew it’d be a matter of time before Vincent tried making a grab for it, so he and I had to run around in circles.

A very suspicious looking letter awaited me in the mail when we came home, a personal letter from the NHS. Apparently, I had been listed as a high-risk person if I ever caught Coronavirus… needless to say I phoned my doctors surgery to have them double check it wasn’t a mistake.12 weeks isolation and distancing myself from everyone in my household? With an 11-month-old breastfed baby and 5-year-old son whom I care for, how do they propose I do that? Luckily, I did receive a call back from my surgery. It turned out they had made a mistake, along with 50 other people not needing a shielding letter.

Don’t get me wrong, I take this very seriously. And I won’t deny when I get sick, it always feels worse than it should. Mostly down to the fact that I rarely get sick. For instance, last year I had flu for the first time in my life and I thought I was dying!

None of the moon madness subsided, even during the night. Vincent had an asthma attack whilst sleeping and Vala kept throwing up undigested food. We think that was due to her cold (and trying to eat everything she can at the moment). I didn’t get into bed until 1.55am, and my final thought of the day was ‘I wonder if I can catch a nap tomorrow’.