Penville Blog_Quarantine photo by isaac-quesada-unsplash

Unsplash photo by Isaac Quesada

15 April 2020, Wednesday

Sophia at 19 months

I wake up and daddy brings me to the living room while mummy stays behind on the bed. The living room is very bright because it’s very bright outside and I can see the tall buildings and old buildings and cars too but they’re tiny.

I get a book from the bookshelf, a blue book and daddy’s book and I know this is daddy’s book because it doesn’t have nice pictures inside like my books. Sometimes I like other books. Some of the books are heavy and they just fall on the floor. I grab mummy’s hands and lead her to my bedroom and to sit on my day bed. I open the page but something catches my attention. I go to my wardrobe and open the drawers and see my winter clothes. Mummy keeps them hidden but I like to see them so I sprawl them on the floor.

Today, I changed nappy three times. Mummy says, Your poop is solid, it’s likely the banana you had today. I don’t know how my poop is related to bananas but I ignore it. I read my book while I lay on my changing mat and mummy changes my nappy.

I eat my lunch and daddy enters the living room. He’s usually in their bedroom which is always closed and when it’s closed, mummy says daddy is busy. Sometimes he opens the door and I look at his computer and stuff and sometimes there’s another person on the screen. Dad says he’ll teach me to code soon, whatever code means. Anyway, he speaks to mummy about his boss, something about performance. Mummy says, Did you get fired, he says, Why would you think that. Mummy says, Because you don’t usually come into the living room unless you have something important to say. He says, No I’m not getting fired and it’s funny that’s the first thing you think about and mummy says, I’m already running the numbers in my head, and I wonder how numbers can run because they don’t have legs, but mummy continues, If we can afford to live if you lose your job and with everyone losing their jobs these days because of the virus. I wonder what virus is but I already hate it because it’s also why mummy won’t let me out of the house. She says, There’s virus outside, we can’t go out.

It’s 3 in the afternoon and I know this because mummy’s alarm on her mobile goes off. She says, Medicine time! And I open my mouth for the syringe. It’s a big word but mummy always says it so I have memorised it. I like it. Mummy says, Let’s give daddy some snacks, and she hands me a plate of chocolate chips brioche while mummy makes tea. We knock on daddy’s door and he answers after I knocked a hundred times. I give him his plate and he looks happy, and mummy says and I also say, See you later dad, and I go back to the living room and question mummy why she didn’t give me a brioche too because I like it. She hands me a piece but she bit on it first. She does that with everything she gives me — grapes, apples, bananas. It’s her bad habit I suppose.

I keep asking mummy for green grapes and she gives me 5 at a time. I don’t know why she gives me a few when I see that there’s plenty in the fridge whenever she opens the fridge. She stands up from her computer every time I finish my five grapes and I ask for more. I watch Wiggles while I eat my grapes.



16 April 2020, Thursday

I stand on mummy’s side of the bed and point to my pyjamas. This.

She asks if I need a nappy change and I say, Ya. She stands up right away and I’m surprised because she was snoring before.

We head to my bedroom where she changes me but she tells me first that she’s putting me down then puts me down. I like it when she tells me what she’s going to do, even if I already know what she’s going to do. I have memorised it.

When I finish, I see a pair of green jumpers and trousers. The trousers have a tag on it, and I try to wear it but mummy stops me and says, No, don’t remove that, I’ll return it to the store, and she says, It’s a shame you missed St Patrick’s, and I wonder who Patrick is because none of my friends is called Patrick. But I know why we missed Patrick because we can’t go out and see this Patrick because Virus is outside. I still don’t know who Virus is but he sounds like a monster so I don’t want to go out either.

I sit in the brown chair in the living room next to the bookshelf. I ask mummy to lift me up to reach a book. I browse and think and then I spot the book with mummy and daddy’s pictures on it so I ask mummy’s help to get it. Mummy sits me on her lap while she’s playing with my blocks. I let her play with my blocks sometimes. I turn the pages of the book and I see a picture of mummy and daddy that looks familiar. Hmm, I’ve seen these before. Ah! I point to the pictures on the wall and she says, Yeah, they’re the same picture! Mummy looks happy so I do it again. I point to the book and then to the wall then back to the book and mummy laughs so I laugh too.

I spot my purple jacket on the sofa so I decide to put it on. Mummy taught me how to do it. First, place the jacket on the floor, then insert my arms into the holes then raise my arms over my head and then slip into the jacket. But this time I can’t do it. It’s frustrating. Mummy helps me and tells me to find where the hoodie is. She points to the hoodie and I stand next to it. I do it again, insert my arms into the holes, raise my arms over my head and then I slip into the jacket. Success!

I grab mummy’s hand and lead her to my bedroom. I browse the clothes in my drawers but I can’t reach the others so I ask mum to help me. I stand facing her, raise my arms and she lifts me up. I see all the clothes now so I pick them up and throw them on the floor. I don’t know why mum keeps them hidden in the drawers because the clothes are so pretty so they should be displayed.

I go out of the room while mummy lies down on the big bed in my bedroom, not my smaller daybed but the other big bed where Nana and Grandpa sleep when they visit. Mummy looks upset, her face is ugly. She says, My tummy is hurting, let me lie down for a bit. In the hallway outside my room, I see a container with some water in it, and a dial so I play with it and a blue light turns on and then off whenever I play with the dial. Mummy turns it on when we go to sleep at night; it spits smoke and she says, I cough when it’s not on, and she lets out a big cough and I feel it because my head is on her chest and I like it there because it’s nice and soft, and I wonder why she doesn’t cough when there is smoke coming out because you cough when you smell smoke. Anyway, the container with some water in it and a dial is plugged in but there’s another that’s plugged in too next to it and it’s connected to a white box attached to a wall. It has blinking lights with buttons on the side. I press the buttons and the blinking lights all disappear. Success!

I go back to my bedroom and mummy is still lying on her tummy. She’s asking me what I did in the hallway but I ignore her because I’m busy looking at myself in the mirror. But I also see mummy in the mirror even if she’s not in the mirror. I laugh because it’s like magic and she laughs too and I laugh more because she’s forgotten her question.

I hear daddy come out of the bedroom where he’s tapping on his computer and stands in the door frame of my bedroom, his face serious. Why did you turn off my internet? I’m not sure if daddy is talking to me because I don’t know what he’s talking about.

The clock says it’s 3 o’clock and mummy gives me my yummy medicine. I’m not sure what it’s for but I hear them sometimes talking about my forehead. It’s not as red anymore, they say, but I don’t mind mummy touching my forehead because it’s nice. Then I give daddy his afternoon snacks on a plate: pancake this time with slices of bananas, a chocolate spread that daddy seems to like a lot because he eats from the container, and some melting butter on top. Mummy carries the tea while I knock on daddy’s door and balance the plate in my other hand and the plate shakes but I keep knocking. He opens, grabs the plate from me and thanks me with a big smile. I think he’s forgotten about Internet already.

Mummy says I can call Nana and Grand Dad after shower, but I get excited and ask that I call Nana now. Dad rings Nana and pretends that she doesn’t pick up. I know what they’re doing so I insist for Nana. Nana picks up but after a while, I already want my shower so I wave, Bye, and some flying kisses, and daddy lets me press the red button on his mobile.

I call Nana again after shower. Grand Dad sings, Old McDonald Had a Farm. I know he wants me to reply E-I-E-I-O but I’m not in the mood, but I think for a moment and then I say, E-I-E-I-O. As I expected, they giggle like little kids. I don’t know why they like that song so much. I’ve already outgrown it. But sometimes I still like it.



17 April 2020, Friday

I had my din-dins and my shower already but daddy hasn’t come out still. I wonder why he’s busy all day so I grab mummy’s hand and together, we go into the bedroom. Mummy says, daddy is still working. But I already finished my food and shower so why is he still working? Daddy has too many gadgets on the bed. I see something interesting and I put it around my ears. There is a stick attached to one end and mum says, “Hello, call centre?” I don’t know what she’s talking about but she looks happy so I shake my head with the stick dangling near my mouth and she laughs.

I ask for milk and then mummy and daddy sit on the sofa with me. They watch a man talking on the telly and some people laugh when he says something and then he says something again and they laugh and mummy and daddy are laughing too. I wonder what’s so funny.

I finish my milk and I ask for another. Mummy gets a big bottle of milk from the fridge and pours it into my milk bottle. Then she turns on the kettle and waits for the loud sound. I think that’s when the normal water turns into hot water. I say, Hot, hot, and mummy copies me and says, Yes, hot, hot but she sounds different. Then she pours water from the kettle into my milk bottle with the milk from the fridge. Usually she just mixes powdered milk with the hot water. Sometimes I don’t finish my milk because I feel full already and I turn my bottle upside down and I squeeze the bottle nipple until the milk comes out, sometimes on the table, sometimes on another container. Sometimes mummy sees me and she gets upset and says, Don’t waste your milk, it’s expensive, but she doesn’t say that about the milk from the fridge.

I drink my second bottle on mummy’s lap, but it’s not comfortable and I can’t find the right position. She tells me to go on daddy’s tummy but I’m not feeling it. Daddy switches the telly from Netflix to Youtube and he plays my favourite song. I see mummy sneaking to the bedroom so I cry aloud because I don’t want her to leave the room. I don’t like it when mummy is not around. We all sit on the sofa again and daddy plays Red Hot Chili Peppers. He lifts me and carries me in his arms while I hear, Hey now, you gotta make it rain somehow. That plays in my head while I nod off on daddy’s shoulder. They feel slightly firmer because he’s doing the push-ups, but I could be wrong. I think I’m just sleepy.

(To be continued)

Quarantine Diary of a One-Year-Old Part 2


Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. […] (Continued from Quarantine Diary of a One-Year-Old Part 1) […]


  2. […] Quarantine Diary of a One-Year-Old (Part 1) […]



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About hellopenville

Writing is my one true north. (The other is eating spaghetti. I make the best pastas in the whole world I swear!) I have been writing since age 10. I remember being in another school a lot because of Campus Journalism contests. I was a grade-school copyreader, headline-writer, and feature writer, who emerged to be a college editorial writer and eventually a TV news writer. However, I have always been an insecure artist. These constant condescending thoughts always stopped me from creating: “No one would read this.” “This has been written before and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not interesting enough and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not relevant, or factual, or trendy enough and therefore no one would read this.” But I learned to risk to write even if no one reads it, than not to have written anything at all. To resist writing is to resist truth itself, to betray that which comes freely to you when you do not allow it to be manifested through you. I didn’t think writing was serious work. But every time I thought about writing, it would make me nervous. It would rattle me and frighten me. I would shake the ground under me. Aren’t dreams like that too? Read more at


2020, Writing


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