20 minutes later my daughter, not one to tiptoe when stomping is an option, made her way noisily to the bathroom. We went through the usual routine of teeth, toilet, giggling and a bit of a performance. "You'll definitely be well enough for school tomorrow" I said firmly, "this hasn't been a very good day, has it?" She didn't comment but looked at me intently the way she does: seeing my thoughts, reading my feelings, taking note.
Both kids were home sick today, and I was ill too. As I work until 3pm every weekday and never get anything done, I thought this might be an opportunity to catch up with phone calls, bills and stuff. How wrong I was. The children wouldn't play together, they whined and battled over everything, I felt rough and achieved nothing, and we were bored and irritated all day long. I spent 14 hours seething and cursing under my breath, wishing I was anywhere but here. But then later, as they snuggled their tiny bodies down to sleep, I felt awful for not making their sick day more enjoyable.
Does every parent find parenting as confusing as I do?