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  • Mismatch Theatre


By Jo Constable.

The very worst part about being pregnant during a pandemic?

Not being able to join the millions of other daytime drunk parents pretending to have the wherewithal, patience or the correct memory of a verb in order to home school competently. I mean, I have all of those but I have to manage it without the seemingly mandatory glass of *enter your choice of poison here* to make it bearable or increase my tolerance of the child-monster I created.

You see, drunk people are only fun when you yourself have been allowed to enjoy the wonders of wine, or gin, or even a strong mouthwash, and children are basically small drunks. Irresponsible, unreasonable and can go full 0-60 on the spectrum of loving to abusive in the blink of a weary eye. So really, alcohol should be as imperative to the forced homeschooling parent as pens to write equations, YouTube to remind yourself how to teach a fucking equation and snacks to bribe the tiny demon to give a shit about said equation.

Frankly, I’m not sure how professional teachers aren’t all full blown alcoholics, or maybe they’re just better at hiding it.

Although I’m certain (or wholeheartedly hope at best) that the real teachers don’t have to put up with my son describing what stuff he’s just found in his belly button or asking what the weirdest poo you’ve ever done is. NB - teachers - if he does do this I can only apologise, blame his father and increase my donation to the end of year whip round. Although, to be honest, the boredom of a sober lock down has negatively affected what I would deem to be interesting and the fluff that came out of his belly button was worthy of a ten minute discussion (oh yes, most of homeschooling is done in his pants… don’t judge me, I’m just picking my battles, and I bet most people have had a work zoom call whilst being only presentable from the waist up.) and if you’re interested I once did a poo that resembled my brother’s dog.

It was a bloody surprise to find out I was pregnant, but the pandemic wasn’t exactly invited either - not that I’m comparing my sweet, innocent unborn bundle of unprotected sex to a worldwide invisible killer of hundreds of thousands of people but combining both together has truly fucked my waistline for the next few years.

I suppose I should be thankful that my child is not of the sex education year groups, as I feel it would be highly hypocritical to teach the importance of safe sex when my own enormous belly is proof itself that the pull out method really doesn’t work. That’s how long ago school was for me, I can’t even remember the basics. Remind me how I’m qualified to teach my child in lieu of real school?

The plus side - of course - is that I don’t have to go out to work, so have managed to delay maternity leave for a couple of weeks, although if the world miraculously starts working properly again and I get called in I will be screwed. Even if - somehow - I manage to fit into my uniform, and magically squeeze out the front door, I don’t think the shopping centre needs everyone’s long-awaited (probably Irish) coffees to reverberate with my every foot stomp like the warning of an imminent arrival of a T-Rex in Jurassic park.

Post pregnancy will be strange too, my baby will think all humans present with a weird, white, clinical face covering, and god knows how long it will be before he knows about the existence of other babies. All the things that kept me sane the first time I did this parenting malarkey are now closed. What I would give to pay a quid to get into to get into a musty church hall for a lukewarm coffee, whilst allowing my wee bairn to play with germ and dribble covered headless dolls and broken toy cars. Ah the good old days… actually in hindsight, it’s rather shocking we haven’t all been taken down by a virus already.

Anyway, aside from my swearing and dark humour coping mechanisms to drag myself and both my born and unborn family through this weird time, I am obviously unwaveringly grateful to our NHS, who are not only the front line heroes against coronavirus but also manage to keep maternity appointments all relaxed and flowery so as not to panic expectant mums - I don’t know if you’ve heard but we can be hormonal and unbalanced and Jekyll and Hyde style mood swingy.

Actually, thinking about it I’m surprised my son hasn’t started writing a blog himself about the torture of lockdown with a heavily pregnant mother. Maybe he would have; had I accurately managed to teach him what a sodding verb is.


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