Simoney Kyriakou  

It never occurred to me I could be vulnerable

Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

The moment I realised I might be vulnerable was when I caught myself hiding from my toddler behind a fridge in the utility room, cramming a Fruit 'n' Nut bar into my face.

It occurred to me that I was doing a Boris Johnson. But then I figured that if I could feel the need to flee from the cutest two-year-old in the history of the world, then why shouldn't the Prime Minister feel the need to secret himself away from prying reporters.

The pandemic has emphasised just how easy it is for vulnerabilities to manifest themselves. It's not that I'm devoid of ideas to entertain my toddler; but without the usual two-days-a-week childcare from Nanna who is shielding, I have to juggle daycare and full-time work on the days he isn't in nursery.

There is glitter on my keyboard, paint on my notebook and I've put odd words into emails as I've been distracted while writing. I've had to tear myself away from home-made jungles and cardboard boats and switch from being a pirate to a pensions specialist at the touch of a mousepad.

I've been interrupted - constantly - by demands for cuddles, snacks and being told about buses being red and going 'brrrummm'. Did you know that? Apparently they do. And their wheels go round. All the time.

As an aside, nobody tells you that, for the first five years at least, children's conversation is repetitively boring.

There have been points where I felt like pouring boiling hot soup into my ears just to avoid having to hear the entire itinerary of trains from Sutton to Victoria via Mitcham Junction one more time. 

Quite why he has memorised that I don't know but it's like working in a train station: "Cheam, Sutton, Carshalton, Hackbridge, 'itcham Junction, 'itcham Eesfields, Balham, Clapp-am Junction and London V'toria. All Change For V'toria Line." Every day, from the moment he wakes up. And it often demands applause.

It's cute, yes. But if I had £1 for every time I have heard him say this, I could have bought Hargreaves Lansdown at its current valuation.

And pointing the remote at the back of his head and trying to mute him doesn't work, either, though absent-mindedly I have tried this at least 20 times in the past few months. 

Some advisers – and some adviser clients - will have had to deal with childcare and home-schooling issues of their own over the past 12 months. But this is just one example of how the pandemic has forced us to reconfigure our sense of who we are and how we live – at least in the short-term.

No two sets of circumstances will be the same, but at a hectic time, there are common consequences. Feeling vulnerable is one of them.

I need peace and quiet to get on with my writing. I need to have head space to set out my editorial strategy for the next few months. I find it embarrassing to tell people NOT to call me at certain times - a journalist should be available all the time, right?