My little one didn't mind the bread so much. Picture: Gerry Cupido
My little one didn't mind the bread so much. Picture: Gerry Cupido

The lockdown diary of a single mom: Week 4

By Gerry Cupido Time of article published Apr 20, 2020

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It’s a grey and gloomy day in Cape Town and we can feel winter slowly creeping in. 

This is usually the weather we would enjoy being indoors, all snuggled up under the covers, watching movies while enjoying a wholesome cup of soup. 

But we’ve been indoors for so long now, does this weather still inspire the need to stay indoors? 

I’m sure that at this point most of us will seriously consider dancing in the rain instead. 

So what was your past week like? Mine has once again been a bit of a roller coaster ride. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is how things will be for a while to come. 

Firstly, I have to admit that I think I’ve become addicted to baking.

I know I’m not alone in this because all I see on social media are people baking. 

It doesn’t even matter what it, all I know is that I must bake. 

Chocolate brownies, basic biscuits, scones and easy cakes, I’ve done them all. Expect one, bread. Just a basic bread. 

I’ve never baked a loaf of bread before but according to all the recipes, I needed yeast.

I soon discovered that yeast has become baking ingredient gold. When I went to the shop I would dart to the baking goods section only to find empty shelves where yeast would usually be. 

One afternoon I discovered a shelf filled with boxes of yeast at the corner shop. The sachets glimmered like gems. I got so excited that I unashamedly bought six sachets. 

I had already done my research and watched many YouTube videos and having decided on Jamie Oliver’s bread recipe, I was now ready to make my first bread. 

Under the watchful eye of my daughters, I started what seemed to be an easy process. 

The 14-year-old stood there watching, occasionally laughing but mostly shaking her head and repeatedly saying, “Mommy that’s not how you do it” followed by “Mommy WHAT are you doing?”. 

I quickly realised that things were definitely not going according to plan. Jamie’s dough definitely didn’t resemble a wet lump of sludge.

Visibly defeated my daughter came to my rescue and advised me to add more flour. She assistant in this manner with uncontrollable laughter and little moral support. 

Very long and sticky story short, the so-called dough made it into the oven and came out looking beautifully golden on the outside and it had even risen to the occasion BUT it most certainly didn’t pass the taste test. 

The bread looked better than it tasted. Picture: Gerry Cupido

This rather unpleasant baking experience cured my baking obsession, and I’ve only baked one batch of brownies since. 

My compulsive need to bake was my way of coping with and avoiding what I was going through on an emotional level. 

The process of baking is calming and seeing and tasting a successful product rewarding (the bread excluded). 

But even with all the baking to distract me, I still had my quiet moments when I could feel myself unravelling. That familiar feeling that you know is creeping up on you and no matter how many baked goods you churn out, you know it will catch up with you.

Sensing that I wasn’t coping, my beloved parents suggested that they look after my little for a while.

Trying to work while trying your hardest to keep depression at bay and give your attention to your little girl was becoming challenging and a risk to my mental health.

With my little one off to her grandparents, it's just my teen daughter with me at home. 

As mentioned before, I was missing my 16-year-old son terrible. This past weekend he came home and my heart filled with joy to see him again. 

The teenagers happily, okay sometimes not so happily, keep each other company and entertained. The dynamics in the home has changed of course. 

For now, our home is fairly quiet, with the occasional sibling squabbles. But when baby sister gets home, that when things become a bit exciting/rowdy! 

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