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We're all missing something right now, even if it's that McDonald's breakfast we haven't had in months but now really fancy because we can't have it. I'm definitely missing a lot of things and because I never know if or when I'll ever miss these things again, I thought I would share. I'm not going to talk about the people I miss because that's a whole different story and potentially a can of worms, so I'm just going to concentrate on the 'stuff' for now.
Firstly, I'm missing how my toddler's swimming lessons made feel guilty for how much I've been eating. However much you can hide eating cake non-stop with a baggy t-shirt or your favourite hoody, that swimming costume time left nowhere to hide. If I had a particularly bad week, my swimming costume sure let me know. I know the other mums really didn't notice or care, but there was nothing like my 'ugly Tueday' as I called it to make me rethink my diet. I know I shouldn't be so hard on myself, but on the one day a week I leave the house knowing I look a total mess because any effort I make will be destroyed by the end of the class for sure, every little thing in your favour counts. I have tried wearing my swimming costume at home (for the paddling pool) but the couple of magpies watching on did nothing for my guilt levels.
I'm also missing coffee dates. I always hated going to a coffee shop before I drank coffee because really, why do I want to pay so much money for a person to put a tea bag into hot water. But, since a lovely person introduced me to coffee a good few years ago now, I love coffee shops. It's not just about the taste of that freshly brewed coffee, or how good my post swim latte always was, it's the people watching and the chat too. Even my son to loves coffee shops. For us a coffee date is the perfect mix of caffeine, being out of the house and the chance to be nosey. We've tried to re-create that coffee shop feel at home, and my Tassimo machine makes an alright coffee, but the endless episodes of Waffle the Dog while I sit in trakkie bottoms with no makeup on doesn't even feel like a budget hotel.
Is anyone else missing being in their car too? I know not everyone will be, our amazing key workers out there are having to travel, but I'm really missing it here. It's not about the freedom, although the freedom to just go anywhere would be really nice. It's that feeling of being in the car on a sunny day with the window down and the tunes up. OK, I have a child in the back, it's not quite as much fun as it used to be, especially as I'd normally have the aircon on, but you get the picture. Unfortunately for my little boy the car is the one place I really get to enjoy my favourite songs, no matter how cheesy, and I really get to sing. Thankfully he's learnt to sleep through my singing. Singing in the house with the windows open really doesn't have the same effect and I'm sure the neighbours hearing is already suffering from the few times I have sung.
Another big thing for me is missing a normal walk. I know we can exercise, but my usual 'get the toddler to sleep' route is so popular with dog walkers and families that I think I'd have to be up at 6am to avoid seeing people. I'm always seeing people. If your walking route is empty then you are probably thinking how lovely it would be to walk past someone and say hello like normal. But, let me stop you there, nothing about seeing other people is normal right now. You see, when I come across another person on my walk we do the Covid Cha Cha, and if you are used to seeing other people too then you may well know it. It starts with the 'you could have the virus' stare, moves into the 'keep away from me' sidestep and finishes with the 'we're almost clear' quickstep.
I'm so terrible at the Covid Cha Cha that I've not been doing the nap walk for a while, but I dusted off my dancing shoes and finally braved it again today. We had a testing start with around five people to avoid, all with varying knowledge of the current dance craze. But, my bravery paid off and the walk had a strong finish with the toddler falling asleep and me keeping any dance moves to solo all the way home.
Lastly, I couldn't talk about things we're missing without talking about space, because no matter what we think about the people we're living with, we all need a bit of space from time to time. I feel guilty for putting this in because I know there are people with far too much space right now, people that could really do with some company. I really feel for those people, if only we could all balance it out. The problem with being in lockdown with a toddler is that any space you once had because of help, or relaxing between activities, or just the ability to go out is gone. When you need to have words with your naughty child, you feel listened to by a conference call, when you need a wee with the door open because that's the only way of keeping a track of your child, everyone is listening, and when you just want to feel sad because it's all feeling too much everyone is looking at you.
It seems strange to miss all of this doesn't it. But one day this will all be over, we'll be back drinking great coffee while singing at the top of our lungs on the way to the coffee shop. Even the things that life feels difficult without will be back. So remember, this is all for a short time in the big scheme of things and together we'll get through.