Your life is a comedy zone.
This is how it happens. You are having a lovely, mopey morning, after a scrumptiously romantic evening. You are a little bit tired. Still in your nightie, with maybe just a teeny smudge of last nights mascara under your eyes.
The baby is giddy with irrational glee because the gas man is coming. Snot is running down his face and you haven’t got round to dressing him yet, but you take time out for cuddles and tea in between chopping up veg for the soup and baking a heart shaped cherry cake because it is Wednesday and that is what you do on Wednesdays. Nightie or no nightie.
You hear the tumble dryer stop spinning so you open the door to your tiny little laundry room, and reach across to pull the towels out, when behind you, you hear a little voice say "Bye Mummy" and see the door into the kitchen slam closed. And that’s it. You are locked in laundry heaven. And yes it smells deliciously fresh in there, but now your two year old has got the run of the house and who knows what he is going to do…
You panic. You bang in a crazy fashion on the living room window in an effort to prevent your son drawing on your precious farmhouse table, then almost sink to your knees in grief as you watch him apply that ball point pen to the walls instead. You consider going out the back door, through the yard, down the passage, through your next door neighbours garden and out down the side of your terraced little cottages, past the church, and around , to your front door. But your feet are bare. and you are in your nightie and who knows what the old dears going to the parish luncheon club would make of that.
By now the little monster in your living room has got a bag of potatoes and is practising his basketball skills throwing potatoes at the mirror above your fireplace. You are close to hysteria, foreseeing glass and blood and God knows what all over your nice new Laura Ashley rug. So you tap on the window again. Your son looks up, then drags a chair across the room so he can press a wet kiss onto your screechy lips, through the glass. The child who never kisses you. You try in best calm mommy sotto voice to tell him how to open the window so you can try to squeeze through the window, and get into the living room. You try not to think about how that might look to any passing bin men, but it is pointless anyway because your son has selective deafness and when you say "Open. The. Window. Finley!" , he hears, "I’m going to tell you a Thomas Story" and gets himself settled in the armchair ready for mommy to entertain him.
You think about crying. There are potatoes everywhere. You watch your celiac ridden son go into the kitchen and fetch the wheat sodden cherry cake, then climb on top of his little vintage desk ,a squashed bit of cake dangerously close to his lips as he shouts at the top of his voice "I’m stuck, I’m stuck" Because he is, but not half as damn well stuck as you. So you try to send a telepathic help message to your Mum. And as usual she comes up trumps.
There is a man standing in your living room. A beautiful man. A man with a beer belly and a beard. And you love him, and hell, who cares who he is, and what he is here for. You bang on the window like a mad woman, and this lovely, lovely stranger , steps over the potatoes and the upturned chair, picks your son out of his desk and comes into the kitchen, and lets you out of your almond scented prison.
You want to hug him like a long lost friend. But you don’t because maybe he has got a gun hidden in that there beer belly. And anyway what sort of crazy person let’s themselves into other peoples houses? You try to look stern and scary. But you are not even scaring your babba, who is jumping up and down in demented excitement, because "Look Mummy, it is the gasmans. Yey, it’s the gasmans. I show you where the gas is Mr Man. I show you…"
You shake a little bit. Then you switch on the kettle and resolve to tell your grandchildren about the day the gasman saved your life.