If my default response is anger, boredom is my Achilles heel. It is May, still. It is 10 degrees. It is grey and raining. It is Glasgow. It is lockdown. It is this flat. It is motherhood. It is numbing. It is never-changing. It is being productive. It is keeping going. It is staying healthy. It is daily walks in the park, whatever the weather. It is London having 30 degree weather again. It is not being in London. It is socially-distanced-socialising, one-on-one with the same two people for three months. It is having a baby with you at all times. It is counting the hours till the next naptime. It is being available for the auction countdown of every watched item on eBay. It is the rush of adrenaline as I come in with a winning bid at two seconds to go. It is the persistent, fruity smell of baby poo that lingers in my bedroom. It is the piles of crap I want to take to the charity shop. It is having nothing better to do but submit a formal complaint to Hermes following yet another delivery fuck-up. It is the same as yesterday. It is the same as tomorrow. It is waiting in a queue at the supermarket. It is waiting in a queue at the post office. It is going home again, parcels still in hand, because the queue stretches up the street and round the corner. It is waiting for Saturday night’s take-away to arrive with the excitement of a four-year-old anticipating her birthday. It is pacing the bedroom, rocking my baby to sleep. It is the downy warmth of his head against my cheek, as he rests on my shoulder. It is discovering that my bedroom measures 10 steps from door to window. It is discovering that it is 15 steps from door to chest-of-drawers to window. It is giving myself another 10 steps until I can put him down, whether he is asleep or not. It is another walk in the park. It is finding a different combination of paths to walk each day. It is finding hitherto unknown areas of the park. It is observing the diurnal unfurling and blossoming of spring, progressing at a different pace depending on the area’s exposure to the sun. It is lockdown. It is motherhood. It is discovering that there is not much to distinguish the two.
By Philippa Roloff