Friday 13th

It was a perfectly normal school run. We were late, we’d had various arguments over breakfast about Child Two’s sudden short-sock famine and the fact that, as there is no kitchen, we can’t have cereal and are still eating off paper plates. Sometimes these arguments seem like a familiar dance, where we all know our parts and move smoothly through the steps, without it descending into real irritation.┬áIt was all fine and we were in reasonably chirpy mood by the time I’d zoomed them to the school gates – when disaster struck.

We have a replacement car while our lovely Evie has her scratches botoxed at the garage. The replacement car – a cuddly Panda – has never heard of central locking so, when getting stuff out of the boot, the girls have to take the ignition key then hand it back to me when they’ve shut the boot. This morning, I’d parked too close to a tree, so Child Two couldn’t get out. I moved the car up, they took the key, opened the boot, Child One started to hand it back at an odd angle through the back passenger door, and Child Two, not seeing what her sister was doing, slammed the door. Hard. On Child One’s arm.

Thank God it wasn’t her fingers.

Don’t worry, I told her, you’ll have a nice day at home, we’ll stop off at the little M&S garage and get some frozen peas to put on it. When I twisted my ankle three weeks ago, I bought some frozen peas, but TL had cooked them up and served them for supper before I got a chance to put them on the swollen bit. They were very nice, actually. This time it would all be fine.

Of course, the M&S garage didn’t sell frozen peas. The closest I could get was one of the new foil-wrapped Crunchie ice creams, which Child One dutifully applied to the throbbing arm. ‘You can eat it later,’ I soothed her. She looked at me with the scorn of a teenager who now knows ice cream is the gateway to cellulite and – yikes – ending up looking like your mother. ‘There may be some sort of frozen veg at home,’ I said hopefully.

The freezer turned out to be a bit of a wasteland. Well, the whole kitchen has been a no-go area for months. So she’s upstairs now with frozen lasagne sheets clasped to her arm.

Hope your Friday 13th is going better!

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