Slightly Mad Mummy: Entry 5

When not charting the adventures of Flexi-cat, Slightly Mad Mummy’s alter ego, Betty Books is solving Covid-19!

The streets were deserted, the schools were bereft
Because of the virus all pupils had left
Although happy at home in her shed by the bed
At first Betty was grumpy, it had to be said
She knew it pedantic but she could not let go
Of the early faux pas by the W.H.O.
“A pandemic” she’d shout, very loud and ignoble
“Epidemic is wrong, ‘cause it’s clearly gone global!”

This grump caused delays to her Covid reposte
But she pulled herself round so the war wasn’t lost
(Her volte face was helped by the eventual admission
That “pandemic” was the only correct definition)
And though busy already, hard at work on her theses
On phantom limb syndrome and trailblazing prostheses
She added to her work a search for a vaccine
That would unlock the lockdown of Covid-19

But why did she bother to do this, you ask?
When learning at home was her favourite task?
She was right in her element, calls made to and from Cern
But she found out some info she couldn’t unlearn
She had set up a hide in the front living room
And had watched human nature (when not busy on Zoom)
She watched their behaviour, saw what people did
As reactions to lockdown because of Covid
For ‘tho Betty hadn’t probed human psych much before
She self-requisitioned, you know, just like the war
What she saw was amazing, convinced her to try
To invent a vaccine so no more had to die
But besides that she did it for parents, as well
For she saw that for many this lockdown was hell!

Every parent started out with such joy, with such hope
But the terror kicked in and they struggled to cope
They were all loved to bits, the start had good intentions
But kids are the most exhausting of inventions
(Some were happy at home and their kids were inspired
But happy or no, all the parents were tired)

She saw many a parent that was stressed and distraught
By the effort it took for their kids to be taught
There were battles a-raging, more were lost than were won
Education at home was not always such fun
The truth was that although all the kids were quite happy
Parents were done in, and were getting quite snappy
Of course they enjoyed their whole fabulous brood
(to suggest otherwise would be wrong and quite rude)
But after so much time some they started to ponder:
“Perhaps absence at school makes the heart grow much fonder…?”
By the end of a month parents wanted to know:
“Are my children allowed to be put on furlough…?”

And so all through the town teachers’ values they rose
To the sound of “can this all end now, do you ‘spose…?”
Parents rationed the questions, you know, just to stay sane
But they just never stopped and they asked them again
All the queries, the talking, the noise and the snacks
“The schools MUST reopen: get them off our backs!”
“This incessance is inhuman, they’ve just gotta go
It’s supposed to be lockdown, not Guantanomo!”

Parents ended up, (Betty feared that they would)
Exercising to get as far from the kids as they could
It didn’t flout any rules, it was government-backed
And they all made sure quite sure that they couldn’t be tracked
So they all got much fitter, beat personal bests
Just so they could give their poor ears little rests

It became quite apparent, from what Betty had seen
That she had to be quick and invent a vaccine
(The wine after lunch, a particular worry
They needed some help and she needed to hurry!)
She knew what Newton did when at home due to plague
So she cracked on with her work (though her notes were quite vague)
She got out her beakers, her test tubes and stuff
But the cure was elusive, this virus was tough
So back to the whiteboard and books Betty went
And out popped an idea so superb; heaven sent
The cure needed power, a tough vaccination
And what more power could there be than parents’ desperation?
Collectively fraught, needing kids back at school
Yes, it seems, desperation’s a powerful tool

So she harnessed the might of the parental wishes
Making stuff grow in pots, and test tubes, petri dishes
The tears of fatigue, of headaches and more
Were used in the mix, became part of the cure
It was clear it was potent, a valiant foe
Against Covid-19 and the stay-at-home woe

 So she sent doses out, rubbed in antibac gel
(From her own ’18 vintage that had worked out quite well)
It was sent round the world, taken by one and all
‘Til the crown of covid was beginning to fall
Until all were quite safe, back at school and more sane
Hoping that no pandemic would come back again

Who’d have thought that those tears that were desperately shed
Would turn into the cure; become useful instead
The tears kept on coming, of relief, liberation
This really was a life-saving vaccination!
Just as stress was about to go full supersonic
Betty saved one and all with her curative tonic!
Whether phobic or not of the new Covid jab
The consensus was in and they all thought it fab
Just as parents worldwide thought they’d go mad, for sure
Betty saved them from that coz she found them a cure!


In this series we invite members to share their thoughts and lived experience with us – perhaps through an article, advice, sharing their careers, a piece of fiction or a poem. The HLP Diaries are fictional tales of parenting children with high learning potential. If you are a Potential Plus UK member and have an anecdote you would like to share then we’d love to hear from you: email