Redster: Six years and ten months
Cutester: Three years and eight months

Mummy needs a cuddle

Redster, urgently, yanking open door from garden: Mum! What’s 100 take away 36?

Babymother (after long, painful cogitation): 64. I think.

Redster: Thanks! *slam*

She begged me to buy her a maths problem-solving workbook on the first day of the school holidays, and the other morning at 7am, thinking I was the first to get up and could have fifteen minutes to pray, I crept into the spare room, only to find that she’d got there first. She was doing sums. Is this, I wonder, entirely normal?

The holidays started with a week’s camping. Since then, three days consisted of laundry, as far as I can remember. We’ve done a couple of play dates, a swimming lesson, and been to the park twice, but I haven’t planned something meaningful and worthy to do every day like I’ve felt obliged to do every previous August. This is partly because we are off very soon again for our holiday in France, and partly because the last term was stupidly busy and I had no time to plan anything, but a lot is because I have days when my weird hormonal problem leaves me too lethargic and foggy-minded to do much at all.

Today, for instance, we left the house once to go to the shops and post office, and other than that, we’ve been at home. I can then either feel horribly guilty about blighting my children’s childhood, which will cause me to bite their heads off and then cry, or accept the situation and watch CBeebies with them on the sofa while the dirt and mess piles up around us. It’s a no-brainer really.