I was having such a good day. Seriously. I could almost imagine my husband calling me from whichever European country he is in today and me telling him what a glorious day I'd had. I'd be positive, without a single moan. He'd realise what a lovely wife he has and return home laden with Parisian pastries.
But I'm not sure I can now. Things went awry late afternoon....(insert twinkly going back in time music here with cloudy edges around your peripheral vision - ala Balamory)
I started out triumphantly. Not only did I manage to make a cottage pie before 7am in a bid to get a headstart on dinner, I also managed to clean the kitchen, do laundry, catch up on email and get the children fed, dressed and out the house all without raising my voice once.
Then I was brave enough to ask someone to fetch son 2 from pre-school so that I could attend son 1's school poetry event. That person kindly agreed and I was filled with a warm feeling that I am at last getting to REALLY know people here. Know them well enough to do me a favour. I actually felt deeply, seriously part of a community. In my advancing years, this is something that is becoming increasingly important to me. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I grew up in a small village where you knew everybody's names (including all children and dogs) and everybody's business. You couldn't go for a walk along the towpath without stopping for a chat and very often a quiet beer (obviously as a child I wasn't the one drinking the beer. I was the one fetching it.) I think I'm trying to recreate that, only now I'd like to be the one drinking the beer.
I had a triumphant day at work where I think I might finally be on the cusp of doing some PR with a celebrity. It's a heady experience for me. I don't really do celebrities. I don't read Heat magazine (sorry Katyboo) and I'm not particularly clued up on who's gained a pound or dropped twins and is back in a size 0. So this is all very new and exciting. I also managed to speak to a solicitor who will help me get some proper, grown up contracts in place and he won't charge me the earth to do it. I got sent my business plan from Business Link and it all looks do-able if a little heavy on red tape. I was super proactive on almost everything in fact and came away feeling as though several of my to do things are now ticked. Always satisfying.
I then scuttled off to watch the poetry thingy at the school. I hid behind the other parents so my son couldn't see me and melt into tears. He joined in very well wearing a cardboard hat that I think was meant to be bear ears as they had to recite a poem about honey. It was very sweet and it made me feel all boingy.
I then got to have a cup of tea with the lovely lady who fetched son 2, which just helped rekindle my feelings of community love. And we all traipsed home to have a story and a box of smarties - because I was feeling benevolent.
Next up I did something I've been meaning to do for months. I called the tumble dryer company to let them know that although our machine tumbled, it didn't dry. The girl on the phone was about as clueless about tumble dryers as I am but she suggested that maybe I check the lint filter. I told her I cleared it after every cycle. But I did say that I didn't think it fitted in the slot very well. She suggested I might want to check it. I plunged my hands into the murky depths of the tumble dryer lint slot and discovered to my horror, a lifetime supply of lint that had squeezed through the ill-fitting lint liner. I told the lady I'd call her back. I then got a wooden spoon and spent several satisfying minutes fishing lint out and at last pulled out an inch size wooden block, which was the cause of the lint thingy not fitting. I felt like a genius (it really doesn't take much) knowing that I had solved a niggling problem and saved myself lots of money in the process.
By this point I was positively radiating good thoughts. However, it all came crashing down around us when son 2 refused to eat the cottage pie because it was 'gusting' and son 1 refused to eat the cottage pie because 'he hates it.' This resulted in quite a lot of bad behaviour - including my own in which I had to prove that it wasn't disgusting and ate enough for three people.
We moved up to the bath and son 1 decided it was appropriate to spit his toothpaste bubbles in his brother's eye. This was not a game. It was malicious. He was duly dealt with by being removed from the bath and plonked in his room. This was his cue to turn on the booster volume knob and let loose his lungs. Just when we thought it couldn't get worse, we discovered a small pile of half chewed olives that son 1 had left lying on son 2's bed. When I asked son 1 to pick them up and put them in the bin, you would have thought that I was actually asking him to fish maggots from the recycling bin and eat them.
And so the screaming continued. And little by little my shiny, happy glow got yelled out. Worst of all, I vowed and promised, promised and swore that tonight I would absolutely, definitely not be having a glass of wine. Whose dumb idea was that anyway? Not sure whether to be resolute and feel virtuous in the morning or simply say, sod it. I think I know which one I'm plumping for.