Diary of a demented mum: 'That's what happens when the mother stays out all night'
YOUR friend wins a weekend in a many-starred hotel and restaurant. Her husband can't come, so joy of unbelievable joys, she invites you.
You throw a few things in a bag and the two of you plunge, shrieking with laughter, into the late Friday evening traffic, headed for two whole nights of unbridled girlie time.
There are long, wine-sodden gourmet meals, profound conversations that linger into the early hours, delicious sleep-ins and not a child in sight. Good Lord almighty, you haven't had this much fun in years.
Sunday evening the two of you stagger home. Your head feels like it's been pounded with a mallet, your body screams for sleep, your stomach alternately churns and shrieks for food.
You invite your friend in for a cup of tea, but the Wolverine meets you at the front door. You blink -- for a minute there, you thought she had an apron on.
Your friend prods you. She has an apron on, she whispers hoarsely.
The Wolverine leads you into the kitchen where she feeds you both home-made soup and some truly gorgeous quiche. Wow, is all your friend says as she departs an hour later.
Your daughter tells you to go for a nap; she'll wash up. Choking with pride and gratitude, you grab some shut-eye. What a kid, you think.
Later you check that the school uniforms are ready for Monday.
That's all done, reassures your husband.
The Wolverine waves a hand from the laptop where she is ostensibly researching a school project. "Definitely all done," she too says reassuringly.
Monday morning you notice her wandering around half-dressed, searching, she informs you ominously, for a clean school shirt.
But I thought you did all the uniforms, you wail at your husband.
He shrugs. The Wolverine, it transpires, hadn't actually gotten around to handing up anything to be washed.
Suddenly she reappears, now fully clothed. Good girl, you tell her as you hand her a mug of hot chocolate.
"I think she found that one lying on the floor of her bedroom," your husband confides.
"What?" you shriek. You interrogate your daughter.
Yeah, jeez, so it's dirty, so it's been on the floor of her bedroom since at least Friday, so what? No need to get tied up in a knot about it.
But you're going to school wearing a dirty shirt, you moan.
The Wolverine sighs, charges upstairs and returns with an armful of grimy shirts which she thrusts at you.
See, she says, rolling her eyes. That's what happens when the mother stays out all night.