It is morning, and Henry has a cold. I spent all night traipsing up and down the stairs at two-hourly intervals, and when I finally turn on the light in the morning, there the explanation is: his entire face is covered in crusty nose-mess. He shrieks and thrashes when I wipe it. When he does this in the bath, a great tidal wave of murky water ascends the sides and soaks my pyjamas. He thinks this is hilarious, but then he is currently biting the head off a flannel duck, so there you go.
It is lunchtime, and he has discovered that he cannot close his mouth to eat and breathe through it. He shrieks and thrashes and snots. He waits until I have put a spoonful of orange mush in his mouth, closes his lips tightly, holds his breath and then expels the whole thing in my face with the force of a paintgun. I take off my glasses to wipe them, and find they were already spotted with bogeys.
It is mid-afternoon, and we are in Tesco. I am making a meal for a friend, and need ingredients. So far today he has yelled or blown raspberries or blown raspberries while yelling without so much as pausing for breath. He finds the echoeyness of the supermarket to suit this purpose admirably. I wipe his nose. He shrieks and thrashes. An old lady by the loo roll looks at me like she’s trying to remember the number for Social Services.
It is dinner time, and as I start making my friend’s meal, Henry will not be anywhere but my hip. I can’t hold him and use the oven (hello, Social Services) so I alternate sitting him on the rug (he throws himself back in feigned agonies), on the sofa (he makes a kamikaze dive for the floor) and in the car seat (he flips himself right out again and pokes himself in the eye with a chair leg). As Tim walks through the door, Henry is shrieking and thrashing with such singlemindedness that every conceivable surface has been covered in sneeze or sick. I choose this moment to knock into the cupboard and empty a barrel of maple syrup onto my head. Henry chooses this moment to force orange poop right through his nappy and onto his vest.
It is bedtime. It is an hour earlier than usual, but by Jove, it is bedtime. Henry is not very sleepy. He shrieks and thrashes. I leave him alone and listen to him trying to eat his baby monitor for fifteen minutes. Finally, he sleeps. I go in to check he’s not bent in an awkward position, and find his sheet stuck to his face. I don’t rip it off. It seems kinder.
Besides, I am crispy with maple syrup, and need a bath. Hosepipe ban be damned.