25 minutes earlier I am at my desk grateful that my long day is finally drawing to a close. Though- is it really? I still have to pick up MM, go to the supermarket, cook something for dinner (oh good lord, what are we having for dinner?), battle with MM to eat said dinner, wrestle him into his Jarmies and convince him that, yes in fact, he does have to go to sleep. Then I can relax. Then I can breathe.
I get to daycare. Crap I am late. The guilt forms a heavy ball in the pit of my stomach. They have already moved his age group into the babies room, where all the kids with the parents who are late wait to be picked up together.
And there he is. My sweet angel (I am sorry I left you here all day). Wait, what is he doing? Oh dear. He's made a gun out of building blocks and he is going around and shooting all the kids in the head- one by one (see what happens when you leave him for so long). Quick, just get his bag and get him out of here before anyone notices. That's it, nearly there.... And then "Oh Just a minute- Before you go"... I inwardly cringe and slowly turn around. "Ms X from MM's room would like a word with you. There was an incident in the sand pit". Of course there was.
I convince MM to put down his "gun" and get him out into the hall where Ms X promptly pounces. I listen to her describe 'the incident' whilst hissing at MM to "use his walking feet" as he has broken free and is now running flat out from one end of the centre to the other bashing into and bouncing off walls as he goes. Ms X's lecture and my reverie are broken as MM hits his head and starts wailing. Loudly. Very Loudly.
I pick him up and rub his head, taking the opportunity to get out whilst I can.
Here we are again. At the car with his defiant eyes staring back at me. "I AM NOT HAVING MY CAR SEAT" he screams at me making it so high pitched at the end that he likely burst the eardrums of the all dogs in the neighboring two suburbs. And then the legs go and the kicking starts. Here we go. As I am doing my best to restrain him (within the bounds of the law of course), I hear the gate open and close behind me. Another mum. With her perfectly behaved child. Walking peacefully to their car. I feel the shame spread through me, burning the back of my neck and ears. "That's it!" I say in sheer desperation. "There will be no TV tonight and NO icecream". MM stops instantly- in time for me to hear the sharp intake of breath from Perfect Mum with her Perfect Child and the tut tut tutting. I could practically feel her disapproval in the air and her righteous "No wonder your child carries on like that- TV and Icecream?". I shake myself, snap out of it. I stop focusing on that, realising that MM is finally quiet and we can finally go.
"Is it time for icecream Mama?" asks my beautiful boy, looking at me like butter wouldn't melt in his adorable little mouth.
FI arrives home and takes one look at my face. He takes me in his arms and asks if I am ok. "I will be" I mumble into his chest. "It's just one of those days".