The Coronavirus lockdown has had a massive impact on everyone, with school closures and e-learning being one of the most talked about. But, while trying to combine working from home with homeschooling is proving highly stressful for many parents, it can be easy to forget the impact that it has on our little ones.
This poem, written by Lucy Short at UK-based children’s charity Selfa, touchingly outlines the experience of school closures from a child’s point of view, putting many of the gripes and misgivings that adults might have into perspective.
A little poem from us to you. You CAN get through this and you WILL get through this. We're here for you if you need us! Stay safe 💛 x #homeschooling #COVIDー19 #coronavirus #StayHome pic.twitter.com/fiRfheVt2a— SELFA Charity (@SELFA_Charity) 23 March 2020
The first stanza highlights the heart-tugging conversation all parents have faced in explaining to their children that they are no longer able to do the normal activities that they used to enjoy: “I’m supposed to be at school today,/ But Mum says I can’t go/ ‘It’s our turn on the bikes,’ I said/ But she hugged me and said ‘No’.”
The poem goes on describe the current lockdown from a child’s point of view; her father is working from home and on the phone all day, but she doesn’t mind, and she’s excited about the novelty of being able to watch TV. She learns to cook, finds insects in the garden, talks to her grandma on the phone and overall seems to enjoy spending more time with her parents.
But it’s not all positive; she misses her friends, gets bored of the TV and has a moment of sadness where her mother has to comfort her: “‘It all feels a little strange today,/ Not just for you, but for me./ It won’t be like this forever, my love,/ Just you wait and see.’~
But it’s the conclusion that makes this poem so perfect for reading to our little ones at the moment; it puts this temporary period of restriction and strangeness into perspective, imagining the time when the child does go back to school and reunites with her teacher and friends, and everything goes back to normal. The final line reminds us that this unprecedented period is something other children will be learning about for years to come: “Gran came round for tea today/ And said something to me:/ ‘You must remember this time, my dear,/ ‘Cause they’ll teach it in History.’”
Read the poem in full below:
I’m supposed to be at school today,
But Mum says I can’t go;
‘It’s our turn on the bikes,’ I said,
But she hugged me and said ‘No’.
I get to play at home today
And sit and watch TV,
Dad’s been on his phone all day
But it doesn’t bother me.
Mum made us ring Gran today
And said that I had grown.
I told them both my favourite joke
And Gran laughed loud down the phone.
No-one’s playing on my street today
And I’m getting bored of TV,
I got a bit upset and sad,
Then mum sat me on her knee:
She said, ‘It all feels a little strange today,
Not just for you, but for me.
It won’t be like this forever, my love,
Just you wait and see.’
Dad came off his computer today
And helped me read my book.
Both our tummies started rumbling,
So then he taught me how to cook.
I played out in the yard today
And found some bugs within the grass,
My neighbour saw me through her window
And waved at me through the glass.
Guess what? I went back to school today,
And all my friends came back too,
My classroom looked exactly the same,
And my teacher said ‘I miss you.’
Gran came round for tea today
And said something to me:
‘You must remember this time, my dear,
‘Cause they’ll teach it in History.’
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