Just when the tips of the crocuses (or croci?) I planted in my windowbox at Christmas time had started to emerge, albeit tentatively, and spring seemed to be hovering tantalisingly just around the corner, Paris is now horribly cold again. Cold, and damp.
Tuesday was the nadir of this sorry week. First of all, in the mad dash to visit Tadpole’s other local maternelle with Mr Frog before work, I managed to forget my waterproofs and simply did not have time to go back for them. Instead I stoically pushed the buggy through driving sleet and rain, head bowed in resignation, all the way to the childminder’s house. Water dripped miserably from the end of my nose. My coat soaked up water like a sponge, growing steadily heavier.
“Poor mummy’s getting wet,” remarked Tadpole helpfully, from her vantage point on the dry side of the waterproof buggy cover. A puddle was forming on its top, so I tipped the pushchair over sideways, without warning, to drain the water off, much to Tadpole’s delight.
“You don’t say,” I muttered, wondering idly whether at the age of two and a half, it wasn’t about time Tadpole learned about the joys of sarcasm.
Swerving to miss a crotte, rendered liquid and even more treacherous by the rain, I wanted nothing more than to turn back towards home, languish in a hot bath and crawl back into my bed, where instead of sleeping the previous night, I had hovered in that frustrating limbo between slumber and wakefulness, unable to switch off my addled brain, too busy composing and re-composing ever more vitriolic lettres recommandées to my web hosts. In French.
Arriving at the childminder’s high rise block, our nostrils were greeted by the familiar tang of (human? canine?) urine in the lifts. The sliding doors firmly closed behind us, I pulled back the raincover and bent over the back of the pushchair to plant a kiss on Tadpole’s nose.
“Look mummy’s upside down. Like a bat!” exclaimed Tadpole, as my hair rained droplets all over her dry clothes.
I smiled a wry little smile, in spite of myself, thankful for the presence of this cheerful little person who always knows how to make everything bearable. I only have to make eye contact with Tadpole and my worries have a funny way of dissolving, instantly.
And because I’d like to end this post on a positive note, I won’t trouble you with how I skidded on the wet floor of the métro and twisted my ankle, landing unceremoniously on my buttocks.
No. Let’s stick with the first ending.