The day started with Bill heading down the stairs only to pound straight back up them again and order me to stay in the bedroom. “Just stay here, don’t move. You don’t want to know. It’s destroyed. It’s bad.”
I tried to question but he darted off back down again and I did as I was told. Snuggling into my duvet a little longer I laid back and listened to the lyrical sounds of muffled banging, the vacuum cleaner roar, an exasperated daddy, and petulant children being ordered to help clean up.
It went quiet again and Bill stuck his head around the door. “Okay. Would you like some waffles?”
Nervously I joined the family downstairs and glanced around trying to ascertain what might have transpired. Downstairs was suspiciously over tidy. The kids were puffy eyed and still settling their emotions, but playing nicely together in the playroom.
“Sorry if it smells a bit cheesy.” Bill said as he worked away mixing batter in the kitchen.
I sat down in the arm chair and plucked a Goldfish cracker out of the cushion crease. I noted that the plastic tyres on Bea’s cosy coupe were no longer clean and black, but instead heavily encrusted in crumbles of orange dust.
My observations took me to the giant container of Goldfish sitting on the counter, glaringly out of place by being not high on a shelf where I had thoughtfully stowed it out of reach the night before. Full to the brim yesterday, it now merely rattled emptily with a couple of lonely occupants.
Bill poured hot water into the cafetiere and then left the room, awkwardly carrying the heavy bathroom step stool back to its proper home, smiling wryly at me as he did so.
*Beep!* The waffle maker sang.
Two demure, angelic small children pretending to be kittens padded back into the room and smothered me with love, and hugs, and kisses, and almost started to strangle me with affection before being plucked off one by one by Daddy and plopped down in their seats at their table to devour their breakfast.
Bill handed me a hot butter and maple syrup laden giant waffle and a large mug of coffee.
“Happy Mother’s Day!”
Thank you Bill.