I officially have something in common with Michael B. Jordan. I’m loving living with my parents.
I flew to the UK to stay with my parents for Christmas, and a three-part-series of canceled flights has meant that I’m still here, more than a month later.
Despite the day-dragging boredom I’m experiencing now that the UK’s national lockdown has lasted for over a month, things are good. I’ve lived alone, or in shared flats with strangers for years. So, coming back home to bask in my parent’s company is something that I treasure these days.
Sadly, not everyone has this luxury, and I refuse to take it for granted. Plus, I couldn’t spend lockdown alone, let’s not be silly; I’m way too needy for that.
This being said, as much, as “Being home with my parents” is top of the list of things I’m grateful for in my Five-Minute Journal, my eyes were never trained for this number of consecutive rolls.
I’ve not yet experienced that unconditional love for someone that would make me want to spend every waking second with them. So, I’m still very much in the “get out when I’m in the bath — no, that’s not what mothers do” phase of my life.
I’m trying to work from my sister’s childhood bedroom; it’s got the best desk. A petrifying china doll called Esmeralda stares at me from the shelf above the bed, and I can feel her piercing eyes staring me down. I tried hiding her in the wardrobe, but it only made things worse. I spent a long sleepless night listening out for the door to open and decided that I wouldn’t mess with her highness. Back on the shelf she went.
Every once in a while my Dad will walk into the room with a random plate of pineapple. Every single time he goes to the store, he buys a pineapple. A fruit which none of us can be particularly bothered to chop up and eat.
By the end of the week, he worries the pineapple is at risk of going un-eaten all its life and decides to take one for the team. He chops up the pineapple, takes a piece, and remembers it’s just not his favorite fruit. He then put the rest into two bowls which he presents my Mum and me along with an explanation of why his vitamin-C-infused-friend is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.
Refusing to observe the stagnant demand for pineapple in our household, he’ll undoubtedly repeat his mistake again next week.
Breakfast is my favorite time of day. It’s sacred. I make myself a nice breakfast and sit down to read. My parents buy the Times (UK) because it comes with our favorite magazine. So, every morning, I wake up early to ensure I can make it through one article a day before I hear the dreaded trotting down the stairs.
Have you ever met an excited puppy? That’s what my Mother’s like from the second her eyelids pop open in the morning, to the moment they reluctantly collapse at night. I have to take care to descend the stairs quietly; one creak and she’ll be out of that bed like there’s no gravity.
I move in slow-motion to ensure I’m not setting any kitchen appliances down too briskly, and I stop the microwave before it has time to ping for attention. And yet alas, not one single morning has gone undisturbed.
For someone who knows all I’ve done is sleep since she last saw me, she always has a weirdly large list of questions in the morning. All rhetorical, thank God; heavens forbid I disrupt her momentum. It’s a Spanish version of this:
“Hi babe, how are you? How did you sleep? I barely slept at all. Your Dad was snoring, so I had to move rooms and I started to read, but that didn’t work, so I took a pill, and then I couldn’t sleep because I wondered — Ane, there must be another way. So then I googled and a really nice man called Matt gave me a few tips, and then I got to the end of the article and he directed me to a one-hour YouTube video, so I watched that. And then the sun started to come up and you know what I’m like when it’s light outside. Are you like that? Do you struggle to sleep when it’s light outside? I wonder if we should change the blinds. Oh, but the shops are closed because of COVID. Do you think the Amazon sells blinds? Shall I ask Alexa? Alexa….Alexa!…Aleeeeexaaaa!”
At this point, if I was Jim, from The Office, I’d look at the camera.
Thankfully, my Dad usually comes in shortly after, providing another living object to absorb my Mum’s sound.
“Girls, I cut some pineapple yesterday, here’s why it’s non-negotiable that you eat it…”
Hold on tight eyes, here comes a roll.