A light tickling sensation on my arm, and my eyes peel open.
Thing 2 stares at me intently wearing a clown wig; he rubs my arm again. “You should get some water gel,” he tells me, “to make your skin all smooth.”
My response is a bit defensive; I’ve been quite regretful of youthful sun exposure of late, and titchily say “Yeah my skin IS smooth thanks.” He looks at me kindly. “BUT,” he asks me, “does it bounce back like it USED to? Does it bounce back like it did when you were YOUNG?”
“Gah!” I say, dragging the blankets over my head. The influence of a television advertisement, no doubt, but I still feel a bit precious. “Mum?” he whispers though my bedding barrier, “Thing 1 is bringing you breakfast.” I feel somewhat relieved at this, hearing a milky bowl of muesli arrive at Thomas’ side of the bed. I pop my head out; I’m pretty thirsty. In comes Thing 1, and it only takes me a split second to realise that what he is carrying is NOT cereal, but something on a plate.
Thick-peanut-butter-on-toast-like, even. With very minimal margarine.
Dry, gluey, peanut butter on toast.
I slap a grateful smile on, and try to work up some saliva for that first appreciative-parent bite. I chew a piece from the side of my toast, which sticks immediately to the roof of my mouth. “I’m a BIT thirsty, ” I speculate in a muffled, dry-peanut-buttery kind of voice. “It’s ok, Mr 7 is bringing you a drink,” Thing 1 says, patting my hand, “a good drink, you’ll like it.” He leans in and whispers in my ear.
I stare at him in horror. “Wine?” I manage, before the delivery arrives, and he nods, pleased. As Mr 7 arrives with the largest glass I own, I hear Thing 2 down the hallway, “the bottle was empty,” he tells his brother, “so I smashed it in the recycling bin”. He has thwarted my plans to return it to its home, and I want to cry with thirst and all other kinds of disappointment.
So, ladies and gentlemen, my children are the real and actual reason I am sitting in bed with a glass of wine at 7.30 in the morning.
With it, but not drinking it.
Well, not just yet, anyway.