This life online.

We’ve got no choice. We’ve taken the COVID lockdown in our stride. (Sort of, if only you ignore the constant anxiety gnawing at the edge of your consciousness). And collectively we have improvised, found ways to somehow continue with the regular everyday stuff of our lives.

Screen time = bad? Pffft. Everyday social interactions hopped online overnight, and to maintain human connection in the absence of physical proximity, we are sticking our kids in front of the very screens which we kept saying reduce… social interaction!

Here’s how we have embraced the great virtual push in our house.

Surely social distancing meant we could skip playdates for a while? Nooope. They’ve just become even more awkward for parents. You follow your kid around the house with a phone while they shove their toys into the screen to show them off to their friends, a monotonous cycle of one-upping each other.

Suprisingly this still works almost as well as the real thing, with Tom (coach) yelling at you over the livestream as you struggle to not collapse on the living room floor midway through burpees.

*The fitcamp Superman/J-Lo instruction is only for deadlifts, apply to normal posture at your own risk.

Loads and loads of people are doing virtual story times. Our favourite is Oliver Jeffers on Instagram (probably because his stories speak to adults as much as they do to children).

A bunch of kids shyly looking at the camera while their parents nudge them to say something. Its a lovely way for the kids to keep seeing (and remember!) their friends. Not perfect. Who’s talking? Whose baby is crying? What are the parents supposed to do? It’s awkward.. but nice.

P.E with Joe Wicks. Need I say more. He says he’s doing it for the kids. But I suspect it’s the parents who are more into it (or at least that’s how it is in our house).

I’ve been doing some sessions for communication and public speaking recently, and I was amazed at how seamless the switch was from in-person to online coaching sessions. I guess the same rules apply whether it’s in person or digital. And given that we don’t know how long we are going to be stuck at home, this one is probably particularly useful!

I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of online classes for children. I just didn’t think it was the right medium for them. But I’m happy to be proven wrong. The school teachers have been doing short videos for phonics and maths on Tapestry, the child happily follows along, mainly because it is so exciting to communicate with his teachers in a different way. We’ve also tried out Twinkl’s phonics lessons – great as well. These don’t substitute in classroom experiences though, but we have to make do.

A cup of tea and a chat, are just as good on video call.

I have picked the middle of a pandemic to leave one job and start a new one. The timing is, to say the least, odd.

But life with all its mundanities continues, even during a pandemic. And so do big life changes.

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