So I was feeding the ducks foccacia the other day, (yes I really am that middle class), with baby dog sitting obediently at my new Ted Baker boots, for once not trying to chew them. Darling daughter was scooting off on her micro scooter towards sons one and two, who were tussling for a stick with fat dog. Looking at my little family, for a moment I felt dangerously self congratulatory, wrapped up as we were against the January cold and sucking in that feelgood fresh air. Picturing in my head how when we got home we would all huddle around a board game in front of the fire, then I would whip up some organic vegetable pasta, the tv would remain off, the children would not complain.
But oh, how deluded can one woman be. Sons one and two remained in harmony for approximately 2 minutes. Son two sat down in the mud and cried saying he had run out of energy to get home. Son one started complaining loudly about son two being stupid, the park being boring, and how long had he earnt on the computer as a result of his small amount of physical exercise?
After trying to placate the boys (mostly by shouting, I confess), I locate fat dog and baby dog rolling in mud, sharing the remains of a dead magpie. Darling daughter, clearly feeling she’s missing out on my wrath, rolls her micro scooter in the direction of the lake, and joins son two in crying saying her ears hurt.
By the time we got home, me carrying a kicking son and daughter alternately on my hip up the hill, son one reluctantly dragging the mucky canines, I was near to tears. Resisted opening wine at 11.30am, but tv flicked on, pizza shoved in oven. Dogs forgotten about and left to smear mud all over newly shampooed playroom carpet. But I did get them out on a walk, right? Little victories, I tell myself. Little ones, every day. That’s what gets me through.