Those readers who are keen for the details may recall that in last week’s Cowprint, I mentioned that I was shortly going to London for a night on the tiles. The night happened and it was marvellous, enough to leave me feeling a little fragile around the edges over the weekend.

On Saturday we’d planned a lovely, docile trip to the zoo, seeing as we have annual passes and that bastard winter is around the corner, topping up his shares in Calpol and Vicks.

Mouse was a bit of a shit, truth be told. Whingey, disobedient and generally uncouth. An array of negativity sprung forth from her lips throughout the day, including such hallowed phrases as:

“Don’t touch me mummy, I want daddy to hold my hand.”

“My legs are tired, I don’t want to walk.”

“I don’t want to see the zebras.”

“I want to go back and see the zebras.”

“I want to go on daddy’s shoulders.”

“Put me down, I want to run on the grass.”

“The grass is hurting my feet.”

“I’m hungry.”

“I don’t want that roll.”

“I don’t need to go for a wee.”

“I’ve got a wee coming out.”

“I want to go in the buggy.” (You’re fucking three!)

Anyway, I’d pretty much had enough mid-afternoon and we strode purposefully back towards the car with me uttering “she can fucking piss off” under my breath. Then, as she always does, she did a cute thing and I liked her again for a bit.

Moo and I have just started sing and sign classes which are fantastic – Moo is rapt and the signs are easy enough for me to remember and teach to Mouse. This week we learned about animals and I was able to gesticulate through a large proportion of animals at the zoo.

Mouse ducked into this glory-hole shrubbery and posed beautifully, signing “hippo” and not moaning about it. Two seconds later we were sparring again, but just for a moment, all was well.