"So how was your week then?" asks Drake, as he empties out his bag and moves his shoes to the big suitcase.
I shrug. I'm not sure where to begin. What I want to say is, "Awful. I've had less than five hours sleep for five nights in a row. Ducklingette is teething and ill and coughing like a sealion at night. Duckling is coughing too and has been incredibly emotional about everything, particularly you being away. He spent the week having bad dreams and bursting into tears about such tragedies as me brushing his teeth, or changing the TV channel, or eating a bite out of his toast. Both of them want to be in my arms almost permanently and fight each other to get there. My IBS is playing up and I'm in pain and I somehow also have conjunctivitis. I nearly lost an arm getting that massive cabinet we sold down the stairs by myself so the person who bought it could drive it away yesterday. I've also had to pack all our holiday suitcases while the kids conspired to remove every item I put in, ten seconds after packing it. And if I hear "Mummy!!!" screeched at me one more time, I can't guarantee I won't yell "F**k Off," at my own children. I'm amazed I haven't done it already. Then you saunter in, having been away all week, tell me you got SEVEN whole hours sleep on the plane then complain that all the carefully packed and repacked and re-repacked cases will never fit in the car and "do we really need all this stuff for a long weekend? I just went to the other side of the world for a week, hand-luggage only, ha ha ha ha!" Well you didn't take me and two FRICKING CHILDREN with you, did you?! So I'm done. It's your turn. You're going on holiday, with the kids, without me. I'm going back to bed, to sleep, for twelve hours, then I'm going to sit and watch Netflix for the whole long weekend while I drink wine and eat peanuts and unsliced grapes and giant bars of chocolate and all the other things I can't have within sight of the kids. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH."
What I actually said was, "wonderful," and rolled my eyes. Because frankly, I no longer have the energy or brain power to put all my frustrations into words, and even if I could, I'm sick to death of bloody moaning. It won't change Drake's job or his need to travel with that job, nor will it make him truly understand how impossible it can feel at 3am when both children are awake and coughing and crying and wanting to burrow into into you and drain you of every last drop of energy.
Complaining won't make me feel any less burnt out, just as it won't make Drake any less jet lagged. I can't really opt out of the holiday either as I stupidly booked it in my name. So yes. It was "wonderful" darling. Now let's drive three hours through the snot and snow to Norfolk for some -3°C fun in a forest. I'm sure that'll be "wonderful" too.