I find that one of the hardest things about being a mother is leaving your child in distress. Â This morning, poor Michael was sick, tired, spotty (chicken pox, of course, have found myself humming all day â€œand another one down, another one down, another one bites the dustâ€) and needy.Â If I put him down, he howled.Â If anyone else held him, he howled. Â Heâ€™s normally such a cheerful little boy but this morning he was miserable and he needed his mama. Â Daniel was neither sick nor spotty but he also wanted some maternal attention. Â 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 â€œMama, mamaâ€. Â On the way to work, I dropped the Princess off at her course. Â â€œPlease Mummy, stay just a little while longerâ€ she said plucking my trousers. â€œSweetheart, I have to go to workâ€.Â â€œJust one last hugâ€.Â â€œOK, one last hug, but then Iâ€™ve got to goâ€. Â I placed herself in the arms of one of the course organisers and she fought furiously while wailing â€œI want my Mummyâ€. Â My last sight of her this morning was of her furiously red face contorted in distress with big fat tears rolling down her cheeks. Â I stayed outside the door for a moment listening to see whether she would calm down but she continued to sob â€œje veux ma mamanâ€. Â Alas.