The most stressful thing so far in the pandemic lockdown…

Look, it might night sound like much, or something that is even very important, but it’s certainly the most stressful thing for us all as a family during this most recent Level 5 lockdown period here in Ireland. As I’ve mentioned before our little boy, who is 5 by the way, is Autistic, he’s also very strong willed, strong and stubborn. One thing that he hates above all else so far in life is getting a hair cut, he doesn’t like people messing around his ears too much and the buzzing noise of a hair trimmer freaks him out.

Unfortunately during this form of lockdown it’s not possible to get a visit from his hairdresser, who is brilliant, but still struggles a lot to get any sort of shape to his hair before he completely loses the plot. It is what it is, but I hate the distress it causes him, his poor little heart rate goes through the roof (and to be honest so does mine, although he had relaxed a little over time and she can at least get a job done on it without us having to hold him still) do as you can imagine, that causes my heart rate to elevate quite rapidly and higher than a fast 10KM walk, which can’t be good for either of us. I know mammy feels the same, so a simple thing of cutting hair causes so much stress for the 3 of us, it’s crazy.

Anyway, it’s been coming, his hair was growing longer and longer, and the fringe was annoying him most getting in his eyes, but generally all too long for him and bugging him, so you can’t put it off indefinitely and with the lockdown period set to be extended Today was the day. We have managed to do it ourselves once, wasn’t great, but not too embarrassing to be out in. His preschool reopens tomorrow finally, so decided to give it another shot but that may have been a mistake.

We have a special children’s hair clippers, that’s quieter than most, so as not to affect children that don’t like noise around their heads, but still he hates it, and because he hasn’t been having regular cuts – and obviously as we don’t know what we are doing – it’s a big struggle from second number one. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m well used to using clippers, have been cutting my own hair for nearly 20 years with one, but that’s so not the same as trying to cut someone else’s hair, someone that’s wriggling, moving constantly, getting upset and just doesn’t want to do it. So starting off, I was the one calming him down while his mother tried to cut, but she has no experience at all with clippers and wasn’t comfortable doing the job, so I took over and asked for guidance, as I was cutting backwards effectively. The job just has to be done quickly, and get the main sections as complete as you can, so for this one, the fringe had to come up quite a bit. Also different than doing my own as I use a No.1 guite, effectively just the blade, and today we were using a 12, so not scalping him. Tapering I don’t do, trying to do it when the subjects head is bobbing around trying to get away from you is a million times worse, poor little guy.

It sure wasn’t looking Salon styled, no it certainly wasn’t. But needs must. in reality I was getting as stressed as he was, and that’s not good for someone with heart issues, his mother thankfully doesn’t have those issues, but just as stressed, and she was supposed to be guiding me, but that’s hard to do when you are hoping to get him not to have his ear cut off, we don’t need a Van Gough without the Art 🙂 So to de-stress it may be another session on the Treadmill tonight, we will see

So I tried to get as much of the bulk off as possible, tidy it up a little, bring the fringe back up so it wasn’t near his eyes (if only it had been straight) and the most difficult, get the bits around the ears. I’d give that bit a 6 out of 10, and the end result in how it actually looks, well more like a 3 maybe. I don’t think people have any idea, and I do know so many children that hate the idea of haircuts, and get upset when placed in the situation, but multiply that when the child has Autism and is very strong on top of it. hey it’s done for another couple of months (even if it will start looking even worse in a couple of weeks – you have to laugh. The funny thing is that he calms down quicker afterwards than I do, what’s that all about 🙂 we will try and sort out a couple of little bits when he falls asleep tonight, otherwise he’ll be in the lockdown haircuts of shame…… poor little guy, it’s as bad as the old days where mothers put bowls over kids heads and trimmed around them.

In the battle of man vs hair, this time hair and little boy definitely won….. he was back happy and laughing watching Blaze and the Monster Machines and we were both in need of either a lay down or a large drink. Until the next battle… he may be a little embarrassed about the hair, but come on, covering your head with a bear is not the long term solution 🙂

So what’s in the plan for 2021…. your guess is as good as mine

Apart from personal hopes and aspirations for this new year it would appear that everyone is staking their house on the recently available Covid Vaccines getting us out of this horror scenario, and they well might do just that. But something in me just makes me scratch my head. Look let’s all hope that we are on the road back to some form of normality, it’s what we need. What I have found bizarre over the course of the last month or so is how Governments have decided to give the information out to their nations subjects.

Lets take the countries close to me here in Ireland. The UK was the first country to start the rollout of the Vaccine, and that’s great, doesn’t require the amount of bluster that has been made of that, but the more worrying thing for me was that once they started telling people they made them thing they’d have it in a couple of days, and that it’s all sorted. Now, sure lifting peoples spirits and helping with mental health is great, it’s important, but there like here in Ireland it looks like that was the trigger to people no longer taking the precautions seriously, it coincides so closely with onslaught of the new strain it’s a massive problem. The numbers for new cases and deaths have now approached 10 times the daily totals back in March at the 1st lockdown, with the problem being the amount of people that are going to get sick before the vaccination rollout catches up with the numbers….. capacity can’t be there for healthcare and a massive vaccination program alongside taking care of the increasing hospitalisations, it’s the same staff doing both. Hospitals in this region are either at or close to capacity should their be any spikes from here we are all in trouble, so lets just hope it comes back under control.

I’m sure that after a bit of time they will get on top of the problems, but it does take time, so people, please continue to follow the restrictions, keep safe and keep others safe.

For me my mother will be vaccinated soon, which will be another weight off my head, but there have been more cases and deaths in nursing homes….. let’s hope that’s the last of the Covid related deaths, touch wood. We face into a new week with the uncertain and unknown of starting virtual learning with a 5 year old autistic child, the main uncertainty of course being how he will take to it, if at all. We”ve already put together some ideas if hw won’t interact with it, but we are hoping his abilities with a tablet with help immensely. But aside from that we would love to be able to take him to visit his grandmother, it would certainly be great for her.

Me, well I had a really bad December, no beating around the bush, no pretending I didn’t, I fell back into bad habits, the exercise regime almost ground to a halt for a few weeks and Chrismas saw a lot more overindulgence than it should or than it will next year. It’s one thing to have a treat or to loosen up a bit over the holiday period, but it’s another to be stupid about things. pulling a muscle somewhere certainly wasn’t helping, made it easier to just not get out and that then increases the Devil on your shoulder. But we live and learn (hopefully) have managed to get things back under control diet wise and back out walking again, just have to build up again bit by bit, so should be back to normal this coming week weather permitting, and if not it’s time to make use of the treadmill. and I will make use of it. I’m trying to get back into reviewing some music again, so headphones on, music or audio book and an hour on the treadmill should do it, will help focus the mind too. If it turns out to be too much to take on right now I’ll have to stop away again, time will tell.

There are definitely somethings in life I’m going to have to sit down and thing more about for the long term and the good of my health, or what’s left of it ;-). things that at the age of 50 I didn’t think I would have to, or should have to. But whether stress of perceived, or brought on by myself or it’s just actually brought on by what I do, maybe it’s time for something with a little less strain, I already know there are certain things I can’t do, so perhaps it’s time to put a little more focus on what I want to do in parallel with what I should be aiming for. That’s a very difficult thing to contemplate, but though calls could also make things a lot easier. With some more health issues in the family and the loss of another friend over Christmas it all gets put back into perspective again.

We’re already pretty sure that our trip to Kerry in March is out of the question, I’ve ruled out Festivals until at least July, so will be another quet 6 months. We are trying to tie down some days for Donegal around then, because hopefully we’ll at least be able to get around this country more easily. Weather should be good then too, so will get the camera setup sorted for that. (The pic is from our Donegal 2019 Trip)

Speaking of music, the vaccine programs have gotten people pretty excited about the restarting of live shows, and I really can’t wait to go to a Gig, but realistically, summer time at the earliest. There are so many things that need to be falling in place before it can happen, I’m positive, but not thinking too short term about it, when it happens so many of us will be back in a happy place, it will be amazing. But one step at a time, one bridge at a time to cross.

So to everyone, stay safe