This afternoon, the children made a potion out of my Fresh Pink Jasmine cologne, Dior toning oil and expensive edible glitter, then summoned me hither and thither with raucous commands, as gentle and melodious as a nestful of baby vultures. Once they were mercifully confined to bed ("No, I will not smell your feet". "No, you cannot have a wind turbine in your bedroom". "Yes, that is a rude word, please do not say it again. Yes, I did say it, but only when I stood on the slug you had brought into the kitchen".) I vaguely corralled the filth into a dark corner with someone's abandoned sock and sunk into the sofa to think dark thoughts. Sensing my momentary availability, the weepette padded over to its bowl, selected a large piece of food in its dainty jaws, brought it over to the sofa and crumbled it on the floor for me with weird, trembly dedication. Getting up to aim a kick at the weepette and clear up the bonus filth, I stood on the screaming rubber chicken, terrifying myself and waking the children. Wherever I position myself the rubber chicken lurks ready to frighten the crap out of me, defying all laws of the physical universe as I understand them. String theory? Schroedinger's chicken?
Worst of all, I was supposed to be at a shiny, pink themed beauty awards ceremony tonight but all my babysitters have exams, damn them. I bet there were free things, and Flemish barbie women to laugh at. Curses.
I am thankful, however, for the following small mercies:
1. Our tadpoles are all still alive, despite the fact that their bucket now contains a slice of ham a dinosaur and a landfill's worth of plastic detritus, and that the dog frequently tries to drink them. One of them even has tiny legs. Gross, but fascinating.
2. I have managed to be sufficiently boring and tetchy today that the boys have actually played with the weepette. One might imagine this to be a regular event, but no, juvenile human and canine have a long-standing policy of completely ignoring each other in this household. Today they came together in a heartwarming display of cross-species harmony, barking and tail pulling. I can't pretend the dog was delighted at this turn of events, but at least he's tired tonight.
3. I can make Hummingbird cupcakes in my sleep now, handy since I sleepwalked through most of this afternoon. They are almost insultingly easy and require absolutely no baking skill whatsoever. Another perfect batch, another step along the road to clinical obesity. Mmmm, buttercream face.
4. Lashes, who reads constantly but only strip cartoons, read an Actual Book (George's Marvellous Medicine) in an hour today, told me in detail how brilliant it was and asked for another. Again, this is probably a product of boredom and parental neglect. I am all in favour.
5. I calculated today whilst sourcing my anti-histamines (the drowsy silver lining in my hayfever cloud), that from my front door I can - literally, and I do mean literally (how annoying is it when someone says 'literally' and means 'not even slightly literally') - walk to three different pharmacies within two minutes. Ah, Belgium. I am almost tempted to become a hypochondriac or prescription drug abuser just to take full advantage of the neighbourhood amenities. Pharmacies are only outnumbered in the two minute walk radius by bakeries - FIVE within two minutes of my front door. Chocolate shops are a respectable, but far from exceptional, three. Seedy bars: three (a little disappointing, but one of them has a mangy, balding Bichon frisé that bites, so counts double). And new for Spring/Summer 2010 a bookshop/newsagents/café that is open 365 days a year. All I need is a cavernous and well-stocked hardware shop and I would never need to leave my street. Perhaps I ought to open one myself. Hardware and cupcakes, maybe.
Anything keeping you going today, or are you throwing in the towel?