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Team Underwood Lockdown. Part 9

Updated: May 9, 2020

Saturday 2nd May

Oh my god the bloody lingering smell of this damn dead rat. It really is the whiff that keeps on giving. Just when you get a brief moment where you think its gone and you are over the worst, the wind or temperature changes and you realise its just entered a whole new stage of decomposition. I hate to refer to it as "sweet" because that suggests its in someway nice and my god its far from nice, but it turns out the smell of death is kind of vomitously sweet. Who'd of thought it aye?

Apart from inhaling the fumes of festering animals corpses, the day was spent getting the last of the unpacking and organising done around The Shit Shack. More of the rear garden was cleared, more things were hung on walls and semi necessary bits of crap were found places to live for the next year. The rear and front gardens were fenced off so that Alice could safely charge around in the back garden without me having to worry about her making a bolt for the road out the front. Alice, thankfully is not what we call a "Runner" in the Special Needs Community, if she was she'd probably be dead by now. In fact it almost sounds humorous referring to kids like Alice as "Runners" but for the parents of these kids, to have a "Runner" is fucking terrifying. It can and often does result in serious injury and even death, so whilst I make light of it, I am eternally grateful its one trait Alice didn't get. She is stubborn as hell, has the temper of a premenstrual bear, swears like a sailor and regularly brings me to tears but she never runs off. However, if her ball went into the road or she was simply curious about something she saw across the street, she could well wander off with no regard for danger, so shes now safely contained in our back garden and that makes my life a lot easier.


Sunday 3rd May

I'm running out of adjectives for rotting smells and synonyms for rats, so I'll just confirm that the bastard mutant rat is still dead and decaying in our wall.

But just when I thought vile smells might become less of a feature in my life, my husband has now started on the damn Sour Dough craze. I don't know much about it, don't care to know much about it and my knowledge of anything bread related extends to the fact that at almost 48 years old, I still don't like crusts and thats it. However, what I have learnt this week is that Sour Dough smells of vomit. Actual vomit. Not "vomit like" but a smell so similar to vomit that it makes you ask your children if they have puked somewhere and were too afraid to fess up.

So the bedroom smells of death and the kitchen smells of puke. All I need now is for someone to take a crap in the living areas and we have a full house. Happy days.

Apart from the endless assaults on my nose, today was a good day in that it was uneventful. Days where not much happens and few things go to tits are quite rare for us, so it was a pleasant change. Mad Alice is 100% back to her lunatic self. Sure shes still incredibly hard work and probably what a 'Normal" would consider absolutely feral, but in our world of perpetual chaos and lunacy, she is pretty much back to baseline and bloody hilarious to be around.


Monday 4th May

I mentioned in the last Blog update that I made the decision to keep both kids home for another two weeks. At this stage, here in Western Australia, we are encouraged to send our kids back now but for next few weeks its optional. I'm taking the option not to risk it just yet.

With another two weeks of trying to educate a near illiterate son and wrangle a hyper active squid of a daughter single handed Monday to Friday, I decided that I needed a chat with Georges teacher. It was a surprisingly productive meeting and we now have some plans in place to get him caught up and where he needs to be. At the end of Fridays meeting I had her sit with George and go through everything concerning this weeks on line learning, so that my involvement could be minimal and I could focus predominantly on keeping Alice out of trouble/hospital/young offenders home.

Turns out George paid no attention whatsoever.

His teacher called him on his I pad at 8.15am as agreed. George missed that call as he was in the wrong App and had his notifications turned off. This did not bode well for the day.

First lesson didn't happen at all because George didn't have the passwords that he assured his teacher on Friday he "definitely" had.

Second lesson he couldn't find the link on his I Pad and assured me he had absolutely not been shown where to find it. I found it for him. George suddenly remembered he had in fact been shown where to find it.

Third lesson was Times Tables speed tests. He couldn't find the damn link again. I found it. George suddenly remembered he had been shown where to find it after all.

At this point his new Beyblade got delivered in the post and it was at the exact same time that I concluded he was completely unteachable. Fortunately for George though, he's good looking enough that it doesn't matter. Afternoon schooling was playing with Beyblades and tomorrow Ill educate him on how to get by in life on looks alone.


Tuesday 5th May

With the assumption that George could now manage his own breakfast and begin his on line learning single handedly, I deiced not to set the alarm and slept in with Alice until nearly 10am. It seems I have found another advantage to Lockdown, lie ins. Of course its not with my husband (nor can I even remember that last time it was) and it involves a wriggly 8 year old either lying on top of me or kicking me in the back, but its a lie in of sorts and I take what I can get these days.

The weather has suddenly turned today and in rather dramatic fashion. In WA our autumn apparently began on 1st April but it seems the weather didn't get the memo. As such we've had the most amazing extended summer and have been wearing shorts and hanging out on the beach right into earlier this week. Today Autumn arrived all at once.

We knew a storm was coming because it was on the news and we knew it was going to be a good one, but at 5pm, when Greg finished work, it still hadn't arrived, so we took our chances and went for our daily 5km family walk. Epic mistake. Just as we were the full 2.5km from home the heavens opened, the wind picked up and the sky went black. Poor George was on his scooter in a T Shirt and board shorts and Alice was in her buggy with no rain cover. I at least had sweat pants on but I certainly wasn't dressed for a hurricane. By the time we got home we were all frozen solid and drenched to the bone. Our faces stung from the side ways bullet like rain and poor Beargina was a sodden mess of wool lying in a pool at the base of Alice buggy. No one was happy (least of all Beargina) except of course, for Alice who thought is was the epitome of a bloody good time.

I threw the bedraggled kids in our minuscule shower and a soggy woolen bear in the tumble dryer, while Greg raced to Bunnings (hardware store) to get bricks and rope to tether down our now levitating trampoline.

Now we just wait, batten down the hatches and revel in the excitement of waiting to see where the house is when we wake up in the morning. Assuming anyone sleeps tonight of course.


In COVID news the US seem to pretty much be of the view that is all a hoax and unlike the rest of the world, they just need to pretend it isn't happening and get back to normal, despite having just over 70,000 deaths. They also have Murder Hornets now invading their country too so I'm guessing a plague of Locusts is just weeks away. The UK is fast competing for No2 position in death stats and China wants to start a war with anyone who says they are lying about all things COVID. Australia seems to have kicked it in its ass , but I still worry we are counting our chooks before they hatch. Oh and some Chinese researcher on the cusp of finding out how and why all this shit has gone down, conveniently got murdered today.



Wednesday 6th May

Holy shit what a night! From 6pm right through till gone 8am this morning the house felt like it could lift off at any moment. The walls shook, the floors creaked, doors banged and our roof was pelted with branches and debris all night from the ridiculously huge and over hanging trees from next door. On one side we have an elderly neighbour who uses the property as her holiday home and because no one has lived in our house for many many years, she has not bothered to do anything about her gigantic trees and shrubs that over hang our property. We met her a few weeks back and politely mentioned that now our house was lived in, she would need to get everything checked, made safe, and cut back. Whilst she made all the right noises in agreeing you could tell we'd pissed on her fireworks and she wasn't happy. After several large branches falling on the roof last night and both our front and rear gardens being literally covered with parts of her trees, Greg called her up for a chat. Again she suggested she was onboard but apparently its partially our fault because our roof tiles should be made of tougher materials and 15 years ago she had to cut back a hedge in our garden so we were just as much to blame. The fact that we only moved in three weeks ago and the type of tiles on our roof have no bearing whatsofuckingever on her trees raining shite on us all night, was lost on her. Eventually she said she'd make some calls and her appointed tree specialist will come out on Monday. So that will no doubt be interesting. Watch this space.

Other than clean up the worst of the tree branches, we did very little today. The gale force winds went on throughout the day and the temperature suddenly dropped too, so we were pretty much confined to barracks in track pants and watched TV. Alice spent the day carrying her collection of Tupperware and empty cereal boxes (her current obsession) from room to room and now informs me she wants to wear glasses. So her extensive collection of sunglasses (last years obsession) have now all had the lenses popped out and she wears each one in turn. The fact that they are all bright colours and funny shapes means as she wobbles her way round the house singing while decked out in rainbow coloured plastic specs, she looks like Shirley Temple and Elton Johns love child after one too many tequilas. Its really is rather cute though.


Thursday 7th May

The excitement of approaching the end of this Lockdown is beginning to creep in. I'm starting to think getting some alone time might just a be a possibility. Nothing flash or fancy, just a shower with out a child sat at my feet trying to scrub my legs "Now you all clean Mummy". Or sitting on the toilet without the inevitable words of "Its OK. I can watch. I get my I pad", followed a few minutes later by a punch to the crotch with a fistful of toilet roll and shouts of "NO! I wipe you!! I wipe you!".

I wrote a Facebook Post a year or so ago about how I was sat on the toilet bleary eyed one morning, after yet another night of being up all night with Alice. I had my head in my hands and she wanders in freaking out and shouting "Mummy! Mummy, my hands smell yuk. Peeease help". Not so much now, but in the past smells and textures could upset Alice quite badly, so something she didn't recognise on her hands could be a big issue. In an attempt to avoid a monstrous meltdown (all the while still sat on the loo), I dutifully told her to come closer and let me sniff her hands so I could identify what it was. Of course I thought it would be soap or coffee or butter or a million other things she shouldn't have her fingers in but always does. But no, it was, indeed, bloody "Yuk". I recoiled back on my toilet seat and said "Jeez Alice that IS disgusting. What have you had your fingers in" to which she smiled from ear to ear and said "I put them up my bum".

And that is how so many days in this house start. Not always with fingers up the bum, but many variations of equally far fetched and WTF type situations. The only difference is that pre Lockdown, no matter how bad a day starts, by 9am I can refind my calm with a quick walk on the beach, a lie down in silence or a coffee and a good cry, once the kids are at school. Right now I'm starting to fantasize about silence, coffee and crying alone after the morning school run.


Friday 8th May

OK thats it, Ive buckled, George is going back to school on Monday. Firstly, it seems hes missed about 5 years of education while actually attending school, so several months at home missing yet more, can't be good. Second, all his on line work he appears to have done by midday so then we just have to listen to him laughing his ass of at benign drivel on You Tube all day while he eats endless snacks in what I can only assume is an attempt to completely fill his fluffy Onesie to bursting point with child. And thirdly, Im just done. If you don't believe me, stick a fork in me and you will see I am in fact 100% done.

I still won't send Alice back until the 18th as per the original plan, but I actually think a staggered start might also be a good way to get her back in the habit of getting up on time to run George to school. And of course allowing her stay at home for another week buys me a little more time to tackle the left over "Fuck You"s from her UTI induced Tourettes of last month. That said she certainly does know how to use it in context, for which I am a tiny bit impressed.

It occurred to me today that she may have to complete some sort of "What I did on Lockdown" type project on her return. Can you imagine what her COVID Diary would look/sound like? "Well I attempted self genital mutilation with a plastic play table and ended up in hospital with a lacerated Cha Cha, my new best friend is a crocheted bear called Beargina, I had E coli in my bladder, I learnt to say "Fuck You" multiple times a day and I now wear toy glasses with no lenses in but I still ask my Mum to clean them regularly for me so I can see better".


As at the close of this week the dead rat smell has almost gone but no sign of any Sour Dough bread yet.


Weekly summary on COVID is that the entire state of Western Australia (about half the size of Europe, although only a population of 2.5 million) now has just 9 active cases. Only one diagnosed in the last week, despite widespread and easily accessible testing. Australia as a whole is doing great and deaths are still below 100. Next week we begin to emerge further from Lockdown, so lets see how this plays out. I want to be confident, but somethings tells me otherwise.

Across the globe, America is on the brink of civil war. White are shooting blacks for jogging. Blacks are shooting whites because they cant sit in McDonalds. Redneck whites are up in arms because they can't get their mullets trimmed and all the while they sail swiftly to 80,000 dead. The UK continues to not know what it wants to do. Europe has pretty much just said "fuck this for a laugh, lets just get back to work" and people in New Zealand are complaining that not enough people died so clearly there was no need for a Lockdown at all.











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Tara Reilly
Tara Reilly
08 mai 2020

What a week Team Underwood! Glad the decaying rat is less smelly. But most importantly I'm so glad that Alice is back to her usual self xxx

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