Cut to Tuesday. Due to Circumstances Beyond My Control, I'd let work build up a bit and deadlines were fast approaching. I needed to get some writing done quite desperately. Now, I can do admin with Rory in the house - no problem - but trying to write a feature while he jibber jabbers at me is nigh on impossible. Only one thing for it: it was time to provide him with an activity that would keep him quiet and busy for at least half an hour while I bashed away at the keyboard.
The sort of activity that keeps Rory quiet and busy tends to be messy in the extreme. This was no problem - we've recently progressed to doing pretend cooking with added water. A couple of old towels on the floor contains all the mess so it only takes 5 minutes to clear up. He loves it.
An earlier culinary adventure. Yes, he's still in his pyjamas. Judge me, go on.
So, I gamely set out the towels and the saucepans and the spoons and the whisks and the Tupperware pots full of out of date things from the kitchen cupboards. His ingredients for the day were water, flour, brown sugar, mixed herbs, instant mash flakes and Coco Pops. He threw himself into it with a whoop of joy and I cracked on with my article.
After about 20 minutes of peace and quiet, I could tell that he was getting restless, so I gave up and saved my work. As I'd hoped, all the mess was contained on the towels and we tidied up in record time.
Some times later we decided to go into the garden to play. I had some trouble getting Rory's shoes on. BECAUSE THEY WERE FULL OF MASHED POTATO.
"Rory, have you put mashed potato in your shoes?" I asked, in utter disbelief.
"Oh yes," he replied, nodding happily.
John From Next Door chose this moment to arrive home from his holidays. Yet again, he was presented with a charming domestic scene courtesy of my problem child and I and exited his car to me bellowing the Boy for Sale song from Oliver Twist whilst trying to scoop mash out of a shoe with a teaspoon.
"He's put mash in his shoes," In offered by way of explanation, hyperventilating a bit.
I think he said something along the lines of "boys will be boys", but I didn't hear because I was crouching on the floor rocking and whimpering "why why why why why?" "
"I must never do that again, must I mummy?" asked Rory, standing contritely in front of me.
"No, you must not." I agreed.
He sighed. "I'll put it on the list," he said.