8am: Boyfriend dashes gleefully out of house, into car and speeds away for 3 days of “work events”.
8.05am: Right. No wallowing. Seize. The. Day.
First achievements: take child to nursery and pay National Insurance at post office on way.
8.07am: Where is National Insurance form?
Was on coffee table. But appears to have been replaced by a plastic tambourine and half a chewed oat cake.
Small blue shoe hurtles past my leg and disappears into the dishwasher.
Felix: “RAY RAAAAAAAAY!” (rough translation = I would like raisins. Immediately.)
Will find form later.
8.10am: Strap toddler into buggy and trudge up rain-battered hill to a soundtrack of increasingly furious “RAY RAAAAAAAY”s.
Mentally pen tweet to Cara Delevingne urging her to make umbrella hats fashionable. If anywhere, Bristol – surely?
8.20am: Wrench child from buggy, who is now screaming because he doesn’t want to get out.
Where the hell is his right shoe?
Ah yes. Dishwasher.
8.23am: Watch in disgust as angry toddler transforms into giggling angel in the arms of nursery lady.
8.25am: Stand like a lemon waiting for my child to look at me so I can wave goodbye.
8.30am: Give up and leave.
9am: Check emails.
Email from the inflight magazine editor who insists on calling me Rachel. She’d like a 2-page feature on Bristol’s sustainable food scene.
By lunch time.
9.30am-12pm: Bash out food article while becoming increasingly aware I forgot breakfast.
12.10pm: Phone rings – Felix’s nursery.
Nursery lady: “Felix seems to be touching his ear in discomfort. Is it ok to give him Calpol?”
Me (without thinking): “Oh god go for it – he lives off the stuff.”
Nursery lady: “Oh… ok.”
“Also, while I have you on the line, we can only find one of his shoes.”
Me: “Oh yes – he only had one on today.”
Nursery lady: “He came to nursery with one shoe?”
Then, feeling like I need to expand but not really sure how…
“His Dad’s not here.”
Oh god that sounds all wrong.
Nursery lady, suddenly sounding very sympathetic: “Ah ok, well, glad we’ve not lost it.”
Me: “It’s in the dishwasher!”
Nursery lady, laughing awkwardly: “Dishwasher! Ha!”
12.20: Make lunch with contents of fridge.
12.30pm: Sit down to rather yellow lunch of scrambled eggs, half a tin of sweetcorn and a Babybel.
12.33pm: Picture boyfriend mocking my crap lunch-making skills.
12.35pm: How dare he laugh when he’s probably eating steak and drinking cocktails right now – almost certainly with pretty girls.
12.40pm: Realise it might be a little unreasonable to get annoyed with an absent person’s hypothetical reaction to my lunch.
12.42pm: I bet he is with pretty girls though.
VERY LOUD HAMMERING ON FRONT DOOR
Open it to see a flustered-looking delivery man.
Delivery man: “Phillips, yeah?”
Me: “No, sorry.”
Delivery man: “Is this 23b?”
Me: “It is, but…”
Delivery man: “Then this is yours.”
Tries to hand me a huge dome-shaped parcel
Me, not taking it: “But that’s not the name of anyone who lives here.”
Delivery man: “They might have got the name wrong.”
Me: “Or, the address.”
Delivery man: “Look, are you going to sign for this or not?”
Me: “It’s not mine.”
Delivery man: “Maybe someone else who lives here ordered it. Sign for it and ask them.”
Me: “They definitely didn’t.”
Delivery man: silently staring at parcel looking slightly sad and confused
Me: “I’m… I’m really sorry.”
Delivery man: sighs and goes back to van
12.32pm: Email from inflight magazine editor.
Thanks so much for your article. I’m afraid we’ve had a request from a client to use these pages for advertising now, so unfortunately we can’t include your piece. It might fit into an issue next year though. I’ll definitely keep you in mind. Regards.”
12.45pm: Angrily make tea.
1pm: OH GOD it’s 1pm and I’ve so far earned NOTHING.
1.15pm: Make more tea.
1.30pm: Start on story I’m working on for a children’s reading scheme.
1.35pm: What rhymes with fluffy?
1.40pm: Huffy, stuffy… muffy?
1.45pm: Desperately apologetic phone call from accounts department of publishing company who’ve not paid an invoice I sent in July because someone somewhere along the line spelled Davis Davies and sent the whole system spinning into a state of utter confusion.
2.15pm: Make tea.
2.20pm: Turn on radio for motivational music injection.
*Enthusiastic burst of chair dancing*
2.23pm: Spill entire mug of tea – narrowly missing laptop, but utterly soaking paperwork including… National Insurance form!
Form rips in half as I peel it off desk.
2.45-3.30pm: Flick aimlessly between Facebook, Asos and Twitter.
3.35pm: DO. SOME. WORK.
3.45pm: Someone, somewhere, has made a photo album of pieces of cheese that slightly resemble European countries.
4pm: Ok. Housework. Just get something DONE.
4.30pm: Bins out; washing hung; dishwasher on.
Oh shit – shoe.
Dive into steaming dishwasher to retrieve one baking-hot and decidedly shrivelled tiny shoe.
5pm: Decide to just accept the utter unproductively of day and collect Felix early from nursery.
5.20pm: A grinning Felix, his top half covered almost entirely in yoghurt and pink paint, flings himself lovingly at me as I walk in. Aaaah.
Am told he’s had a “very productive day!”
Nursery lady: “He’s painted you a picture of a parrot!”
*hands me piece of paper with three pink splodges on it*
“And he’s done lots of holiday role play!”
On closer questioning, discover “holiday role play” means he spent an hour and a half putting on and taking off a pair of sunglasses.
5.25pm: Felix dissolves into spasms of sheer despair and grief when he realises we are going home.
5.30-6pm: A relatively calm bath time comes to an abrupt end when I won’t let him play with a razor.
Somewhere between 6pm & 6.30pm: Both fall asleep watching In The Night Garden.