I find that one of the hardest things about being a mother is leaving your child in distress. This morning, poor Michael was sick, tired, spotty (chicken pox, of course, have found myself humming all day “and another one down, another one down, another one bites the dust”) and needy. If I put him down, he howled. If anyone else held him, he howled. He’s normally such a cheerful little boy but this morning he was miserable and he needed his mama. Daniel was neither sick nor spotty but he also wanted some maternal attention. Their mother, however, was off to work and they howled in vain, punching the air in indignation with their chubby little fists and crying piteously “Mama, mama”. On the way to work, I dropped the Princess off at her course. “Please Mummy, stay just a little while longer” she said plucking my trousers. “Sweetheart, I have to go to work”. “Just one last hug”. “OK, one last hug, but then I’ve got to go”. I placed herself in the arms of one of the course organisers and she fought furiously while wailing “I want my Mummy”. My last sight of her this morning was of her furiously red face contorted in distress with big fat tears rolling down her cheeks. I stayed outside the door for a moment listening to see whether she would calm down but she continued to sob “je veux ma maman”. Alas.