The Fat-Faced Blues

Come downstairs to find a lorry load of teeny slugs sloping their slimy way a round your kitchen for the second time this week. Sprinkle with talcum powder whilst resisting the urge to vomit. Wipe with kitchen towel and resume Mommy tasks of the morning. Head upstairs to wake sleeping child. Try not to look shocked by how much his face has swollen overnight and half carry his mute sleepy little form down into the living room where you debate what foodstuffs will not set off the screeching pain that usually accompanies this swelling. Decide on a cup of hot chocolate fortified with spray cream in absence of anything more solid. Make it look pretty and deliver it with a ta da!  Have long debate about going to school that results in small child taking to his bed and grown Mummy slamming a door and feeling deeply ashamed of herself. Phone your own Mum. Phone his Daddy. Have a little whinge. Force feed him ibuprofen. Dread tomorrow when hospital will jab his little face with a needle full of dye to identify by ultrasound the damage to his saliva glands by something you now understand to be a form of Crohn's Disease.

Lead child high on Calpol into car and gently question him about a little frown that seems to be etching itself into his forehead. Stall car when he tells you quite matter of factly, that he is stressed by a combination of things: namely a wicked step-mother, a lost spelling book at school, and impending visits to hospital for ugly things like biopsies. Feel like you are failing him. Stop car and clutch him to your motherly bosom and apologise when you realise you have clutched his swollen cheek to said bosom. Arrive late to school to find children meditating in the playground. Hand child and long list of instructions over to whispering teacher and get in the car to cry all over again.

Decide  retail therapy is the only answer. Make a quick list of all the things you cannot possibly live without for even a moment longer and head up the motorway with the yellow diesel light flashing up a storm. Decide reckless is the only way to be. Resolve to redefine your definition of reckless to include more daring tasks than travelling without a full tank. Feel panicked all the same. Arrive at destination with banging heart. Sit in car and ring Mum to reports contents of "stressed" conversation with child. Ring child's father to report contents of "Wicked Stepmother" conversation and demand he does something about new wife's ice tinged  interaction with the gorgeous gift that is your little boy and her new step-son.

Switch phone off, have a little cry, then lock car and head in to spend money you definitely haven't got. Buy a lamp for the laundry room that sets the parts of your soul that remains un-bruised, a-singing. Buy yet another new feather filled side sleeper pillow, and a cosy teddy bear fleece pillow protector. Buy a new waste-paper basket for the bathroom, a pair of floral slippers, six pints of milk and two ice buns. Feel a little better. Eat ice bun and feel positively tickety-boo. Catch sight of yourself stuffing last piece of ice bun into gurning mouth and feel ashamed. Drive home.

Set garlic and onion bagel on fire. Run outside with burning bagels dangling on wooden skewer. Put crispy embers out with hose. Stand in the garden and laugh at yourself. Tell yourself you are eating too many carbs anyway. Eat ice bu in smoky kitchen and tell yourself pink iced carbs don't count. Make up the bed with the new teddy bear fleece pillow and lie down, clutching your phone in case school decides to send child with fat-face home. Worry that sleeping in the middle of the day means you are bonkers. Worry that sleeping in the day is not the only sign of impending madness. Feel a bit stressed yourself. Run a bath. Have a cup of tea and sit down to type up your day and make sense of your crumbling world on virtual paper. Type and knit. Drink more tea and stroke the cat.

Decide you (and only you) can fix your little boys world. Breathe again.