How my new baby’s first weeks and lockdown blurred together

How my new baby’s first weeks and lockdown blurred together

In the middle of another sleepless night, it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s what

When was 12, I’d go to batmitzvah classes every Friday after school, and the highlight was breaktime, when we would sit crosslegged on the carpet while a formidable lady called Suzanne told us that day’s plot of Neighbours. One day she entered the room with unusual solemnity. She said there had been a terrible bomb at Lassiters and everybody had died, and Neighbours had finished forever. She waited a minute or so before breezily admitting she’d missed the lunchtime showing and so had no idea what had happened, but the joke was lost on us, a gasping room of pubescent Jews for whom Neighbours was our true religion. My main memory of that day is the thought: I have missed something important, we have suffered great loss and time cannot go backwards. Anyway hi, I’m back from maternity leave, I trust nothing has changed?

No, no I jest, I jest! My sense of taste and smell may be compromised, but my sense of humour, never. Pandemic. There’s a pandemic on. Instead of the calm birth and relaxing maternity leave I had planned, littered with pretty cakes and galleries and bawdy chatter about tits, I left work as lockdown started, had a baby at its bitter height and was sent home the same day to wait for death or Ocado, whichever came first.

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Author: Eva Wiseman

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