1. Alec does his usual bucking and back arching when I try to put him in the pushchair. I hate forcing him in -- it just seems impolite, and a mean way to make him co-operate, and I don't like the way it says 'might is right'. I pick him up and start to tell him all the nice things about going in the pushchair, when he points to the backpack. "Do you want to go in the backpack?" I ask him. He hasn't got the hang of yes and no yet, so I try dropping him in, just to see what he does. He slips in beautifully, all smiles now. I get my head patted all the way to nursery. When we get there, Nicky comes to take him through to the baby room and he goes off in her arms without any complaint -- that's never happened before.
2. I use the time to have an aromatherapy massage. My beauty therapist has set the room up with soft pink lights, and it looks very warm and inviting. Her work leaves me feeling incredibly vulnerable. "But you're safe here," she says. "You're safe." And I am. She works on a spiritual level, I think, as well as the physical. It did me a lot of good. On the way home, people keep bumping into me -- all the shieldy, get away from me baggage that I normally carry has fallen away.
3. ...and there's another cough and a little cry from my poor snuffly baby the bedroom. "I give up," I tell Nick. "I'll bake this cake tomorrow." As I put my foot on the bottom stair, the crying stops.