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Parenting a six year old

So, the last time I blogged regularly, I had a 2 1/2 year old child who had just had their first trip abroad to France. Now, that child is 6 and is in their last term of their second year at primary school.

It’s been an interesting time, not least because a big chunk of 2020 was spent stuck at home. Days before the UK went into full lockdown in March 2020, our childminder closed and initially I spent time at my parents’ house in York for childcare. When that became an impossibility, I had the joy of working at home whilst trying to keep a four-year-old entertained for four months.

In some respects, I was lucky; my child hadn’t started formal education yet and so home-schooling wasn’t required, but it was hard; taking awkward phone calls for work whilst your child is demanding attention isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. A lot of CBeebies was watched, as were various Netflix and Disney+ shows. Indeed, my child watched so much of Jake and the Never-land Pirates on Disney+ that Jake became their imaginary friend for a while. I had to do this on my own as my wife is a front-line NHS worker, and had no choice but to carry on going into work throughout the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, she contracted Covid-19 in April 2020 and was very ill with it, but thankfully made a full recovery.

Fortunately, in September 2020, my child was able to start school, and settled in well. The school wasn’t our first choice – indeed, it was actually our third. Our top two choices where schools that were more convenient for us, being as they were on our commute to work; this third choice of school was further away in the opposite direction to our workplaces. However, whilst it may not have been our first choice, in retrospect, it was probably the best choice for our child as it has much smaller class sizes due to it being comparatively under-subscribed. We were also fortunate to get a place in the out of school club.

We were also blessed with good fortune in January 2021, when the country went back into lockdown and the schools closed. This time around, the government widened the categories of key workers, meaning that I qualified as well (and our HR department responded very quickly to my request for a letter confirming as such) so we were able to get a key worker place and avoided two months of home schooling. Thankfully, apart from short periods due to possible exposure and ‘having a cough’, there’s not been so much disruption to their education this year.

Despite a rough time in 2020, I’m still enjoying being a parent and we have a lot of fun as a family. We have regular days out, and our child now has regular out of school activities on Saturdays too. Most importantly, they’re happy and healthy, with a group of friends.

We still only have the one child at present; that could change in future but we’re still waiting for my wife to take her driving test before we consider having another.

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