PROC’s Lockdown Survival Tips For Exhausted Parents
Even in a stress position with the blood drained out of your lower left leg, the sheer joy of being alone for a few minutes in the peaceful serenity of a dark, mould-infested wardrobe under the auspices of a very extended game of hide and seek, while a hapless toddler quietly checks under a Peppa Pig book for you for the fourth time, more than justifies the risk of gangrene setting in.
There’s only so much time you can get out of traditional kiddie entertainment like this though. If you’re quickly running out of ideas to keep yourself and your family from eating each other, read our guide to staying sane under the Dublin government’s lockdown.
Pouring Caffeine Into Your Eyelids
Every parent of young children needs to learn a few tricks of the trade and when your little Rebel minnions have been tearing around the house with a hurley pretending they’re Pat Horgan since 5.30am.
Firstly, you’re going to need to up your drug dosage significantly. Always leave your teabag in the cup for at least fifteen minutes and brew your coffee into something that could plug one of the huge new potholes on Grand Parade. Taste is no longer important.
As the lockdown period goes on placing caffeine tablets in your lower eyelids is an effective way to stay artificially (and sufficiently legally) present. As a parent, you already know that your appearance comes a distant second to survival.
Let Them Get Up The Walls
You have spent their entire young lives warning them about keeping markers and crayons well away from your beautifully boring, matt white walls. It’s time to let go of that former piece of domestic dignity:
“Love, would you like to scrawl an indecipherable clatter of uninteresting badly drawn shapes that are supposed to be ‘a village of robot dinosaurs’ on the suiting room walls? Knock yourself out, kid, – literally if you want. I’m going upstairs to enjoy a good old corona virus rumour on social media and I’ll be down to tell you you’re an absolute artistic genius in an hour or two.”
In a war, they say it’s the side that controls the information that controls everything. Rumours and inuendo can disrupt your enemy’s plans and mess with their heads allowing you to appear much stronger than you really are. If you are losing battles left, right and centre with your kids during the lockdown you need to make this war psychological.
Do a google search for “Can you give away your children online?” on your phone and leave it unlocked somewhere around the house like your own bedroom.
Like starving mice catching the scent of a warm camembert placed on an attic rafter, your kids (aka the enemy) will sniff out a reachable mobile phone within seconds (hoping to binge on the videos of some Instagram influencer langball/langbag) and before they have a chance to contemplate the shock of realising you are planning to put them up for sale, they’ll spot the open suitcase with some of their clothes placed inside. Caught in the headlights of your parenting ambush, they realise the threats you issued weren’t empty and the war turns in your favour:
“Mam, we were thinking of hoovering the suiting room for ya there, like. That ok?”.
Make the most of those visits to the jacks
A house’s bog is the sanctuary of every parent because (a) it has a lock and key and (b) you have a semi-legitimate excuse to be in there for a sustained period of time. The risk of piles is far out- weighed by all the amazing cat videos you can watch to distract you from the raging threat to global civilisation until the smallies start banging on the bathroom door. Be sure to eat plenty fibre to justify all those trips upstairs. Wink, wink.
Gatting In the Garage
If you have a garden shed or a garage you’re in business. Fake a leaking roof, a boiler that needs to be fixed or, if they are young and/or gullible enough, a dragon with a Dublin accent that needs to be slayed. To complete these heroic parenting tasks you’ll need to take a good warm jacket, a copy of the Echo and a bottle of pure Cork whisky into the garage for a bit of ‘me time’. Those dirty Dublin dragons can take a long time to carve into pieces.
Pretending To Be Unresponsive
As things get more and more desperate, acting out your own demise for a bit of peace sounds like a dark pursuit until you realise that most children under the age of six have no concept of what death is and, more importantly, a little morally dubious playing with their fears could win you up to half an hour of peace.
While there may be some initial confusion about why you appear to be unresponsive, young children, being the cold-hearted savages that they are, will see the sudden absence of authority as a golden opportunity to run riot.
Literally, walking over your ‘dead body’ they will immediately pull chairs up to the treat cupboard and devour a month’s worth of sweets and chocolate, binge on inappropriate violent movies and go through your wallet for cash. In exchange you get to lie motionless on the cold kitchen tiles with your own thoughts for half an hour which, if you’ve read this far, sounds like an absolute treat!
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As the lockdown drags on and patience grows thin among the population, Corkonians are taking risks and doing all sorts of things they would never have done before...