I was minding the Small Thing for a few hours while The Antiquer ran a 32k race. Insanity, I know. And who'd be mad enough to run 32ks? Anyway, I digress. We'd had an active morning, me and the little person, and I thought it was time for her to spend some quality time playing by herself, so I instructed her to buzz off while I read the paper. A lovely, peaceful calm descended upon the haus.
I realise that parents the world over know nothing good can come from a lovely, peaceful calm but I am but a novice at these things. I think I'd gone so far as to put the paper down and stare blissfully into space, when my reverie was broken by the ringing of the phone. Twas The Antiquer telling me he was on his way home, that we'd wrangle Small Thing into some clothes and get out for pancakes.
"How's she been?'" he asked.
"Terrific!" I said. "We've had a lovely morning."
"So she's been okay?"
"As good as gold."
It was as I hung up the phone that she came up behind me and yelled, "Look at me!"
It wasn't that she'd coloured her eyebrows in brilliant blue, or painted between them in fluoro yellow. It was even the giant purple bags she'd scribbled underneath her eyes. I think what got me was the big black beauty spot that touched the corner of her mouth and extended over most of her right cheek.
I think it was just about then that I got the first inkling that the rest of the morning wasn't going to be so pretty.