The usual day with the four year old: the whining the moaning, the yelling. The laughing. Oh that manic laughter. Then the screaming and kicking on getting into, and then getting out of the car seat. I have to take her away so that the big sisters can have some Time Out from their spitfire sibling. Then the haggling and hassling and wrestling to get her into bed. Then the ten minutes screaming over my poor choice of bedtime stories. At my wits' end I think that surely, by the fourth child I should be better at this. Apparently not. I lie with my face tickling her her neck, so sturdy and strongly assertive, this child, and I whisper ,'I love you, I love you, I love you,' over and over, reminding her, reminding me. And then, as the sobs die away, there is a little whisper in the dark, 'I love you in the morning, I love you when I was born, I love you in the afternoon, I love you in the night...'
Later, a post-it note appears on the laptop:
Dear mummy I love you so much I will cuddle you to deth and kiss you to life love Rosy.
The usual. Shouting and love notes. It could be a lot worse.