Swearing. It's a funny old thing. We all do it (don't we?) Okay, maybe some more than others but we've all got a favourite expletive. Mine happens to be bollocks. It can be a satisfying and necessary release when you bang your funny bone or a barely audible expression of irriation when you realise you're out of loo roll.
But I had no reason to swear whilst on the school run the other morning. We were on track. It had been a remarkably peaceful morning and I felt cool, calm and in control. This mothering malarky I thought to myself, I think I've finally nailed it.
So, big boy in the front seat and the trio behind me. Just your average Wednesday morning. Lots of chit. Quite a bit of chat and then, after a perfectly timed pause and delivered with impeccable intonation from the rosebud mouth of a certain little lady in the back -
'For fuck's sake'.
A beat. I gasped. Jake gawped. Louis and Theo swivled their heads to stare in admiration at their sister and comrade. Something big had just happened. They had no idea what, but they knew it was huge. And then again, this time preceded by a big, weighty sigh. 'Oh, for fuck's sake!'
Jake looked at me with eyes wide, my face no doubt a picture, his full of absolute glee. His day was already made and it was only five to nine.
'Don't react, don't react!' I whispered manically to my eldest but it was too late. They knew, the three of them knew they were onto something and they were going to make it good.
It was like The Frog Chorus for the duration of the journey to school slash nursery. Diversion tactics failed miserably and once Jake was safely in the playground and no doubt already relaying the morning's little incident to a captive audience of ten year olds, I put my foot down and we made our way to nursery. That's Ella, Louis and Theo's new nursery by the way. Did I mention they'd started a new nursery? This was day three. First impressions and all that. Coats on pegs, I kissed them goodbye and scuttled out with barely a backwards glance, got back in the car and slammed the door.