It's Day 4 (or thereabouts; I'm already losing the ability to reason and count above three) of the summer holidays, and my Boys - the little darlings - have begun to gang up on me.
They could at least have waited until Day 8.
Yesterday afternoon I was involved in some job or other (laundry, cooking, tidying, who knows? I've also lost the ability to remember what I did 5 minutes ago...), and could hear Boy #2 wailing inconsolably in the next room.
Now, Boy #2 does a good line in inconsolable wails, and pulls them out for everything from a nasty bump on the head to not being able to find his blanket, to not being tall enough to reach the book he wants. Bearing that in mind, and figuring that I had the whole summer to reach the stage where I would drop everything and rush to his aid at the first whimper, I decided to finish whatever it was I was doing (emptying the dishwasher? Putting away the shopping? It will come to me, I'm sure...) before going to check it out. Let them know who's boss, right? And besides, if it was really serious I was confident that Chief Tell-tale Boy #1 (more of which another time) would come in and find me.
5 minutes later I finished what I was doing and arrived at the scene of the crime. Boy #2 was sitting on the floor, distraught because he was unable to do his shoes up. Not life threatening, I think you'll agree.
I knelt down next to Boy #2 as his brother looked on, and not having a tissue about me, used my hand to wipe away his tears, comforting him as I did so. Then I gave him a cuddle for good measure. Looking at me sorrowfully with his big brown eyes, he grabbed my hand again and took it back up to his cheek.
Then, he blew his nose on it.
Through my subsequent protestations of how disgusting that was, I could hear his older brother in the background. "Good job, Boy #2! Well done!"
So much for showing them who's boss.