This weekend has been devoted to forming a family bubble.
Time is a strange thing in lockdown. On the one hand, it seems to stand still. Groundhog Day has become a favourite film in our house. And on the other it seems to get totally distorted. I feel like the shops have been open again for weeks when it has just been a few days. Ditto bubbles. It’s not that I have been out shopping or bubbling, but I think it comes from writing about these things for weeks from home and not actually going out much. The outside world seems a strangely unreal place.
But this weekend we expanded our bubble. We went to my mum’s. We haven’t been for months, but we have seen her in a park and in a garden. The last time daughter two put on a bin bag to hug her. This time round we were able to give her a direct hug and go in her house and, crucially, use the toilet. All trips nowadays are organised around the lack of toilet availability with all children banned from drinking anything in the half hour before leaving.
We brought my mum back home for a sleepover. We got McDonald’s on the way back, she was blasted with K-pop and subjected to an endless K-pop vlog about making tea on arrival. Later in the evening we began the regular Saturday night task – trying to find a family film that everyone wants to watch. Only son only wants to watch Harry Potter [again]; daughter two wants to watch horror films; and daughter three likes a good rom com. It’s hard to find a compromise. I decided Free Willy was that compromise. The film did unite the entire family. No-one wanted to watch it, but, having made my decision, I wasn’t backing down.
After threats of Nintendo bans and appeals to family unity, people reluctantly settled down to watch Free Willy and almost enjoyed it. Everyone agreed that Willy should have most definitely got an Oscar.
The following morning was devoted to de-fleaing the cats – a highly entertaining pursuit for all those involved, except the cats, who did not appreciate at all being wet, shampooed and combed. It’s those small family moments that make all the difference.