You start off all bouncy and full of the joys of parenthood. Quite how you're in such a good mood is a bit of mystery, since last night numerous games of musical beds were played. But positivity oozes from your very pores. You pull on a dress you'd forgotten about and bounce down the stairs to your smiling children.
You have tea and toast. Both children have eaten breakfast and are dressed. You manage the school run without turning into a screaming banshee. Your positivity remains.
An unexpected invitation coincides with vague plans you've hand in mind for weeks, so you gleefully accept and spend the morning making new friends.
The smallest child has an unscheduled lunchtime nap, but even this is not enough to dent your good humour. It wasn't long enough to instill The Dread of Bedtime Battles and has left him refreshed and chirpy. Happy days.
The sun is shining.
Then it all goes tits up.
Your exuberance leads you astray into the realms of washing beanbags that are clearly marked 'Do Not Wash'. Pah, your over-confident, positive self says. You, little beanbag, are merely fabric and polystyrene balls. Of course I can empty your (evil) static little polystyrene balls carefully into a pillow case and carelessly throw you into the washing machine. Your grubbiness is harshing my mellow man, you must be cleansed to become bright and beautiful again.
The evil balls of static conspire against you. The fabric rebels inside the washing machine, tearing at the seam to thwart your attempts of cleansing.
You are left with an arse of a sewing job and a utility room that resembles the remnants of a cheap Santa's grotto.
As if this isn't enough, your now prolonged neglect of sleeping youngest child has resulted in a nappy that can no longer hold the weight of expelled fluids. The proof of this situation is glaringly apparent from the stains on your precious sisal carpet (yes, he fell asleep on the floor. So?).
Your stress levels are now rising. There is no time for a remedial cup of tea. The eldest child needs to be collected from school.
Both boys now feed off the negativity emanating from every pore and conspire to make tea time the thing of nightmares. Then, just when you think you'll have time to catch your breath by throwing them both outside to play and run off some energy, you hear your next door neighbour telling them off. For playing in the great, dirty mound of earth that they have 'temporarily' dumped at the bottom of the cul-de-sac. The youngest has his shoes off and is gleefully burying his feet in the dirt, just like we did at the beach. Joy.
The eldest child is now distraught at being told off by an adult who is not his parent. So you march one tearful child and one street urchin up the stairs for a bath at an ill-advised early hour.
Two hours, one semi-flooded bathroom, one failed attempt to remove urine stains from sisal and one mammoth hoovering session of evil static balls of doom later, the children are finally in bed. Asleep.
Then you see this: