What could be nicer at the end of a long day, after an even longer week, to come home from work to find your husband rustling something delicious up in the kitchen, seemingly without using every pot, pan and ingredient in the house, while your toddler son, all freshly bathed and in his PJs, runs over to give you a big welcome home while hubby pushes a large glass of red wine in your hand and tells you that he’s got it all covered so go and put your feet up?
I wouldn’t know actually.
My working week ended with a mad dash to Patisserie Valerie to pick up a birthday cake for my sister’s other half, something I promised my sister I would do (as she is still in Malta but sadly not sending more text messages about Brad Pitt) but I then got completely sidetracked in M&S at lunchtime buying all the ingredients for steak night (steak. red wine. done.) that I forgot. Crisis averted in the end though and I made a mental note to pour myself an extra large glass of wine when I got home.
After working my way through the Friday night rush hour traffic, I made it to Zachy’s nursery in time so that he wasn’t the last child to be collected. There is nothing more likely to trigger an attack of WMG (Working Mother Guilt) than arriving to collect your son from nursery and finding him sitting in reception with a solitary nursery worker in her coat.
“How was he today?” I asked one of the staff looking after him that day.
“He was ok” she said in a so-so kind of way.
Here we go…
“He throws a lot of tantrums if he doesn’t get his own way” she added
I understand this, he is 22 months old and hasn’t quite worked out how to express himself articulately and politely yet. He is too young to understand that he can’t always have absolutely everything his beautiful little heart desires. But, surely all the other children behave this way too?
“No” she says
I hold him closer to my chest, he knows we are talking about him.
“He likes the attention.” She is still speaking.
“Of course he does, just look at all the cuddles he gets from Mummy” pipes up someone from the cheap seats at the back. I sense she is only trying to make light of the situation so I resist throwing her a ‘look’.
“So, is it over toys?” I ask “Is he snatching them from other children?” “Is he pushing or shoving?” “Is he the naughtiest one here?”
“No” she says. “It is just when he can’t do what he wants to do, when he wants to do it, then he throws himself on the floor kicking and screaming.”
Oh, is that all… I think and breathe a secret sigh of relief. I have definitely seen other children do this in parks/supermarkets/cafes/home and not batted an eyelid.
“I’m sorry” I mutter as I pull his jacket on and start to make my way out.
I get all the way to the door when she runs up behind me and apologises for making me feel bad. She reassures me that there are far naughtier children at the nursery, that they love having him there, how very sweet he is, I am not to worry etc etc blah blah blah but the damage is done and the WMGs are bubbling over. The image of the red wine glass I conjured up in my head earlier gets bigger.
The last leg of the journey home was quite uneventful, apart from a momentary blip when Zachy dropped his lego car to the floor but I averted this crisis too with a raisin oatcake and two verses of The Wheels on the Bus.
At last, we arrived home. I lifted the little squirrel monkey out of his car seat and wrestled with my handbag, his nappy bag, the steak night bag, the cake bag and the lego car to the front door.
This is kind of what I had in my head at this point…
Oh well, maybe next week then…
How do you like to unwind at the end of the week?