Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

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COVID-19 Distance-learning: Day 6

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I suppose it was inevitable. There was always going to be a bad day – and today was it. 

DS and I got through last week powered by the novelty of home-schooling, the joy of technologies newly discovered, the exhilarating freedom of video-chats and the excitement of swimming in our own pool after ‘school’ – not to mention the stern figure of DH working from home for the first time in his life.

But today it all went to pot. DH disappeared upstairs to work, and DS had to reach inside himself and yank out enough 11-year-old enthusiasm to get dressed, brush his teeth and start his maths lesson alone. 

It didn’t help that DD’s now on Easter holidays and prancing about in silk pyjamas eating waffles and making Tik Toks… DS, on the other hand, had to begin his day with a two-day maths project that he claimed not to know how to do, followed without a break by the continuation of the Shakespeare project. I mean… poor guy. The closest I get to liking Shakespeare is watching Upstart Crow.

So, I helped. But apparently not very well. We did the maths project: so far, so good but, during English, there may have been tears. There may have been a stand-off that led to sulking on the sofa. There may even have been both of the above – but, eventually, DS sidled back up to me and wrote three really rather good paragraphs straight off the cuff without any input. So, what on earth was that drama all about? Was your day any better?

Phrase of the day: ‘I just want to go back to school!’

At the moment we’re reading:

Land of Stories (Book 2) – The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer (DH is in charge of that)

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (different to anything I’ve read in a while)

Save The Cat by Blake Snyder (‘the last book on screen-writing you’ll ever need’ – let’s hope!)

Anyone else watched it?

COVID-19 Distance-learning: Day 4

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DS has discovered Zoom. I’ve no idea what witchery this is and prefer to keep it that way, but Zoom appears to mean that my boy can fill his iPad screen with the happy little faces of his classmates and chat with them about all the things that fill their 11-year-old boots with joy. Fortnite, obviously, and what they want from the Item Shop, and Minecraft and Tik Tok and crushes and how boring the Shakespeare English project is, I imagine, not that I’ve been listening in. Not at all.

            And I have to admit, it appears to be a wonderful thing. They’ve had a little pet show where they’ve paraded their pets for each other; I think there may have been a dance-off involving Renegade (if you’re that way inclined, you can learn it here); I’ve heard rumours of a talent show… and today I found DS video-chatting with a girl in his class as they did their maths together. Props to the switched-on class mum who got them all interacting in these strange times. 

            But, of course, I’m not used to having a son videoconferencing at the dining table. Oh no I’m not. 

            ‘Mummy,’ DS said today as I pottered about the kitchen singing along to that self-isolating version of ‘I Will Survive’ that’s gone viral. ‘Mummy, you do know everyone can hear you?’ 

            So, of course I went over to say hello to DS’s friends. 

            ‘Hi!’ I said, waving happily from behind his head and doing a little dance move of my own. Tik-Tok-famous, here I come!

            ‘Who’s that?’ asked a lovely girl who’s in our house so often I sometimes think she might actually be my own daughter (she’s not).

            ‘It’s my mum,’ DS said in a resigned tone, and then I caught sight of my image on his screen: post-exercise hair, no make-up, dark eye bags accentuated by the dreadful angle, several more chins than I thought would ever be possible on a human face, and a strangely grey skin tone – I should be glad his friend didn’t associate that face with the, cough, ‘real’ me.

            ‘Enjoy maths!’ I chirped, diving off the screen as fast as I could while DS shook his head sadly at me.

            ‘Oh, Mummy,’ he said. ‘You’re really going to have to learn to stay away when I’m on a call.’

Phrase of the day:

‘Mummy, you’re good at English. Can you give me five ambitious conjunctions?’

At the moment we’re reading:

Land of Stories (Book 2) – The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer

Those People by Louise Candlish (not far to go now)

Save The Cat by Blake Snyder