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Lockdown. It has been the bane of our existence for multiple reasons: some are now unable to take to the town and get white-girl-wasted, while others are now struggling for money as the furlough scheme reveals that most employers don’t actually care about their employees. Although, for some individuals, lockdown has meant returning to the nest that they once flew from, entering the family home and having to deal with their worst enemies: siblings.
If you find yourself in this situation, then you’re in luck because this is the perfect guide on how to survive lockdown with siblings (kid-tested and FDA disapproved).
Step One: Put Down that Pillow
If you’ve stumbled across this article, you’ve reached the end of your human tether and are ready to sacrifice your siblings to Baphomet for some quality piece and quiet. Pillow in hand, a gentle caress to tell them everything will be okay, and the conviction you’re saving them from a possible zombie apocalypse is not the way forward (after all, if they’re younger they probably run slower and then THAT can be the way you save yourself in a zombie apocalypse – if you catch my drift). No. Instead, I say ‘put down that pillow,’ gather some resolve and read the rest of this guide for some neat survival tips to get you through corona.
Step Two: Keep them Busy
Like a horde of vampires ready to drain your life, siblings will only flock to you when they’re either hungry or bored. As sexy as Twilight makes it seem to be a vampire’s plaything, when they’re your siblings it becomes less cute and a lot weirder (some Game of Thrones s**t right there). Keeping them busy is your best bet, especially if that busyness is happening in a completely different room to which you currently occupy. From watching a film to munching on sweets (we’ll cover that later), there are lots you can do to keep them occupied while you sit down to do some work and end up TikToking your struggle for the 1,000th time.
Step Three: Find a Safe Place (Usually the toilet)
I pulled this leaf straight from my mum’s book. There’s one place where kids usually don’t want to hang out – the toilet – so this is a great place to find haven. It offers you both literal and figurative reprieve from all the crap bogging you down. Plus, with the ability to lock the door, it’s an unconquerable barrier (unless your child channels some Jack Torrence energy and axes down the door). The only drawback… the toilet is everyone’s safe place, and before long you’ll be greeted to another adult banging down the door conveniently preaching they need to use the loo for the fifth time that day.
Step Four: Don’t Meditate…
You are not the Buddha or Mahatma Gandhi, and the peaceful protesting of your siblings’ bulls**t will only escalate the issue. This should only be considered if there is a likely chance they’ll wipe each other out in a Hunger Games style battle when left unsupervised.
Step Five: Play Sleeping Lions
If you’re tired and exhausted from that constant ‘Can we do this?’ or ‘I want to play that,’ why not suggest the adult-favourite sleeping lions? Ensure you play the lion first, and as your siblings insist you moved and poke and prod you, catch up on some shut-eye before the inevitable boredom and frustration prompts them to leave you alone. Plus, if you’re lucky enough and do fall asleep, you can dream of happier times of when lockdown is over and you can go out on the lash again.
Step Six: Exercise
Aaaaa exercise, we all dream of that amazing six-pack, chiselled body, or defined physique and now seems the perfect time to get that rocking bod. Don on your sweatband, get those trackies and firmly secure those running shoes as you drive 5 miles into the countryside with your siblings, turn the engine off and bolt out of the car. Using the motivation of having a bunch of attention-thirsty needy beings chasing you, you can pump in enough adrenaline that is scientifically proven to match the equivalent of being murdered. After all, subjecting yourself to coming home is the absolute equivalent of murder because both circumstances have happened unwillingly.
Step Seven: Play Games
It’s always fun to play a game you know you’ll win, because let’s be honest, winning is fun. So sit down, set the rules and watch as the light diminishes from their little eyes as you thrash them at Mario Kart or Monopoly for the sixth time that week. Even if you’re bad at games, the Adult knows the rules and so can change those rules to ensure your ultimate success until the siblings eventually get bored and mutter sadly with a disdained look that they ‘don’t want to play anymore.’ Because that’s when you know you’re the real winner.
Step Eight: Bribery
My personal favourite. Nothing works better than rewarding (bribing) kids to sit down and be quiet. From the moment they wake, offer them sweets in return for silence, and gladly watch the kids as they squirm in excitement for the reward (it’s still bribery) of good behaviour. But hold on, there’s more! Is it late at night and you never actually had sweets? Well, rely on the fact that you’re the adult and you’re a massive hypocritical being that will find any reason that deems them ‘naughty.’ Did your siblings shout a bit too loud? Did they accidentally hurt one another? The list is endless for what you can punish them for. Now it’s their bedtime, so perhaps they’ll have better luck tomorrow?
Step Nine: Early Nights
As modern day life denounces the use of chloroform, you must find a new way of temporarily silencing the children. So instead of letting your siblings stay up late, become the parent for once (you do this all the time to your own parents’ hatred, but they never stop you) and get your siblings into bed for some delicious slumber at the latest of 6pm! This becomes even better if they can tell the time and you enforce a time at which they are not allowed out of bed till (I recommend 12pm).
With these steps, you’re ensured to have some quiet and survive lockdown with your siblings. While some may call some of these steps extreme, you can call them ‘personality-training’ to get over your own moral ambiguity of doing any of these. And if you’re ever eventually arrested for the treatment of your siblings – just remember… this article never existed!