Marie Louise McConville: Little ears during lockdown are making life a whole lot more complicated
Having kids - it's an amazing experience, isn't it?
At the beginning, it's very sweet and precious and new and then, as each new stage ends and another arrives, so do a new set of challenges.
And, let's face it, there's always advice on hand - wanted or not - but no-one could have pre-written adequate advice for having a four-year-old and five-year-old in lockdown.
Like many, so far we have had to just simply find our way through it, taking each day at a time, trying to pre-plan for any problems that might arise.
I had thought our biggest issues would have been keeping them both occupied and keeping Abbie up-to-date with homework and to be honest, they have both been little stars.
Of course, in a quiet lockdown, when they are only seeing each other and their parents week-to-week, what could possibly go wrong amid the peaceful tranquillity?
Well, quite a lot actually because it seems that while the lockdown has put an end to lots of things, the grapevine isn't one of them.
Lying in bed the other night, I was surprised to hear a text arrive on my phone, because it was quite late.
When I checked, it was from our lovely neighbours and it went something like this - "Abbie gave a wee whisper of a secret over the fence today". Big congrats on baby number three.
For a minute I was totally confused and then I realised that our little Abbie and her favourite little neighbour, had been chatting through the garden fence, and obviously gossip had gone into overdrive.
Immediately, I jumped out of bed and honestly, my fingers couldn't work fast enough for me to send a reply to let them know that no congratulations were needed and there was definitely no new baby news.
The next day, I asked Abbie about what she had said and she told me that she "really, really, really" wants a baby brother or sister and she promises she will look after it "all the time". The conversation ended with a very long and angelic sounding "Pleeeease".
When I explained about how a new baby needs lots of care and cuddles and might cry a lot, she wandered off, deep in thought.
She returned to the kitchen some time later to announce she "really, really, really" wants a puppy and plans to call it Max.
As someone who is petrified of dogs, I found myself being backed into a corner.
Again, I tried to explain that a dog needs a lot of care and attention.
For the time being, the conversation appears to have paused (thank goodness) but if the experience has taught me anything, it's that kids can be little rascals and we must now watch every single word we say in front of them both.
Lockdown just got a whole lot more complicated.
TV presenter Davina McCall is to return to host a special Big Brother 20th anniversary show.
The 52-year-old presenter will be joined by Rylan Clark-Neal to look back over the show's history.
Big Brother: Best Shows Ever Show will allow E4 audiences to get their reality fix for the summer revisiting some of the juiciest, most memorable Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother episodes.
Speaking about the show, Davina said: "I love the show with all of my heart and can't wait to share it with a whole new audience. And of course, all you diehard fans out there...It's good to be back. Big Brother's missed you".
Congratulations to you all on making it to the brink of week 10 of lockdown.
Ok, so we might all look a bit different and weigh a bit more and we may have lost a bit of our minds through the process but we are here - hooray.
It's hard to know what the next few weeks will bring but what we are certain of is that we have made it this far and we will make it to the end.
That said, I'm not sure how successful the home-schooling has been.
For the first few weeks there was lots of enthusiasm to get started and keep going but now, its eased off a bit.
So, how about introducing the kids to Dr Chips?
Kids can study science, engineering and computing with Dr Chips every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10am.
On the website, parents can access `Daily Doses' covering everything from teaching kids how to code, make musical instruments out of household objects and how cyber-security works through video lessons and quizzes.
Kids can access the links on Dr Chips' website to watch him demonstrate the activities.
While some lessons require a laptop and internet connection, for others only a pen and paper is needed.
For further details, check out www.drchips.weebly.com