Dispatches from the pre-school fronline

The one-year-old is so excited that he has not slept for two weeks, instead choosing to dribble and shriek continuously; a hobby which may or may not be connected to the fact that I've been crying a lot of late. General, uncontrollable weeping, which can unleash itself at any given moment but seems to be most at home in crowded public areas; say, while pressed against a stranger's armpit on the Tube.

"What's that?" my husband asks as I add the final essentials to the mountain of luggage we are taking for three days away. A period during which, my husband has taken to reminding me, will involve nearly two days' travel in order to spend two nights in the same room as a four-year-old who systematically wakes up at 3am to probe us on the statistical chances of her one day having a willy.

"It's The Fault in Our Stars," I reply. "It's the book I'm taking on holiday." My husband hesitates and then resumes, calmly: "Is that the one about teenagers with cancer?" He takes a sly step towards the bag. "Why would you say that? STEP BACK!" I say, holding him at arm's length. "Oh I see what's going on here, you think I'm TOO EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE TO READ A BOOK NOW?" I say, storming towards the front door, flinging it open.

"Well that is interesting," I whisper, before turning with a final retort: "You know what? I am a woman not a CHILD." And then turn, dignity intact.

"Charlotte," he calls after me: "You're not wearing any trousers."