Secondhand Rose?

We are very much Secondhand Rose round here. LK is being clothed, in lieu of Granny going to the charity shops, by eBay. Sandals. Tops. Slippers. A sunhat. A sunsuit (I don’t recommend getting sunsuits secondhand – you can’t see where they’ve worn through, and LK seems to have skin that turns pink at a moment’s notice, unlike mine, which tends to brown easily).

A ‘new’ changing mat (because her first one is held together by so much duck tape, it’s grim).

A ‘new’ potty for downstairs: she is beginning to communicate that she has done, or wants, a wee or a poo. It’s hit and miss. Two nights ago it was miss-the-potty and hit-mummy’s-foot, then tell us she’d done a wee. Yes darling, I know. At least I wasn’t wearing socks.

A ‘new’ set of step stools to reach the basin, as we keep wanting the kitchen stool in the loo and in the kitchen simultaneously. All these things that you don’t need for very long, but which make life so much easier. Being at home all the time means that things we wouldn’t have bothered with at all, are now rather more handy (step stools, frinstance. And a newish mat – if you think, she has 4 nappy changes at nursery 5 days a week, which are now at home, so it’s getting more wear and tear, so it’s hardly surprising that it’s beginning to crack under the strain). I’ve also plumbed the hand-me-downs bags. We are doing well with those. Makes for some interesting outfits, though (the dress was new in the Sainsbury Sale about a year ago).

Managing to sell what she’s grown out of is more challenging. However, two of our NCT friends are having babies in the Autumn, so there’s somewhere to pass these things to. One of them is having twins. I have promised her all the LK stuff for a girl.

I have bought some new, new vests for LK. Baby vests seem to take a beating. Toddler vests, I suspect, likewise. And they tend to come in pale colours, so the beating is very obvious. The new, new vests will arrive in the Ocado order. Why yes. I brag. We have, after the initial panic (the one where I was so worried about feeding both LK and my parents, I sort of stopped eating, as though that would help matters, and lost about 9lbs in 4 weeks), got a reasonably regular Ocado order going again. I’d just signed up for a reserved slot in mid-March, we’ve been customers for about 10 years, if not longer. This seems to have given us a degree of priority: compared to other supermarkets where I’ve signed my parents up but cannot get a slot. Three weeks, we get the food delivered to us. The fourth week, my parents get the slot and we work our way through the freezer. My mother is adamant that my father is not to go to the supermarket, as he’s too congenial, and is also useless at remembering to wash his hands, use hand gel, use anti-bact wipes etc.

Going to the chemist for a prescription is pretty exhausting – I have to reward myself with extremely expensive chocolate (i.e. a bar of Lindor) from the display. Which then sits in quarantine for three days until I can eat it. So, tomorrow, I get the chocolate from Saturday’s trip for inhalers. It’s quite quiet in our large Boots, but there’s always the panic that someone’s going to stand too close, or that someone has touched something. I assume that everything is Covid-19 covered. See the empty carpark. Surreal.

Running, however, is easier. I have sussed getting through the level crossing gates with the buggy – I have a glove, and a plastic bag. Use the glove on the gate, the bag over the glove on the handlebars of the buggy. Sorted. My long runs – no buggy. So I take an old fruit bag, and bin it when I’ve got through the crossing on the way out, and a second for the way home. Easy peasy. It’s taken me weeks to get this sorted out and second nature, though. And people are so kind, wanting to hold the gate when I have the buggy and violate my 2 metre distance. The best bit about a run, and the level crossing, is the crossing guard. We love our conversations with Uncle Dave. He’s the only person we get to talk to other than each other. My god, it’s needed. And we can just pootle up to say hello, stand the other side of the tracks from him, and have a good old chin wag without risk. He’s a very convivial fellow. LK loves him, and waves enthusiastically when she sees him. She’s very disappointed when he’s not on duty. I saw a nesting moorhen on my last run. And a grey wagtail.

Finally, I’ve managed to set up Zoom Guides. 3/4 of the unit are joining us. We do one activity during our 40 minutes, and have to pause to go and #clapforcarers half an hour in. This week coming, we’re making bowls out of old magazines. Next week we’re going to try some backwoods cooking skills. It’s lovely to just have the contact with them. Our LiC is completely leaving me to it – I think she sees this as her get-out-of-Guides card, as she didn’t really want to be in charge of the unit anyhow. After a couple of years of being in the back seat, I’m ready to navigate, if not steer again. And – someone else is doing the accounts (and I hope it stays that way).

xxx