The Doctor has been away in Calfornia for a few days at a conference (he claims it's terribly hard work and he has awful jetlag: boo hoo). And, incredibly, my Littleboys have been on their best behaviour.
It's as if Littleboy 1 has decided that while Daddy is away he has to be the man of the house and take care of Mummy. For example, he became very concerned for me the other day when we were trying to find a parking space by a playground, and couldn't, as for some reason all the local white vans seemed to have parked in the precious 'no meter' spots to have their mid-morning fag break. "Oh dear, Mummy, don't worry, let's find another one," he kept chipping in from the back seat in a consoling voice as I fumed about the lack of spaces.
There have been very few tantrums, both boys have eaten all their meals with minimum fuss and this morning they even agreed to wait until they got to nursery to have their breakfast, as I was going to work and we were in a hurry. (Usually, this argument cuts no ice and they have two breakfasts, one at home in the midst of the chaotic rush to get ready and one when they arrive.) They both sat dutifully through their haircuts yesterday like little angels, prompting the hairdresser to comment on how good they were (music to my ears, as it is not a refrain I often hear). Littleboy 2 has enjoyed his birthday and Littleboy 1 hasn't even stolen all his presents. Yet.
But Littleboy 1 has also taken advantage of the situation by creeping into my bed constantly in the early hours. This is not in itself unusual, but my usual rule is that if it's earlier than 6am, I put him back in his own bed. (I do this partly because I don't want him getting ideas, partly because I find it hard to sleep when he lies there wriggling and kicking until it's time to get up).
The last few nights, he has snuck in quietly, hardly making enough noise to wake me. He then cuddles up without his usual kicking. And if he hears me stir, knowing that the situation is delicately poised, he has taken to softly whispering in my ear: "I love you, Mummy". And how could I possibly put him back after that?
Men. They always know when to say the right things.