I am no longer distressed by the fact that I tear through life in a state of partial undress smelling of dirty laundry. But when one of my children suffers similar indignity, I am forced to question our perpetually dramatic life.
This morning, as usual, there was panic. My youngest went running out for the bus without his backpack, so Mr Berman, in hot pursuit, picked it up.
"It's wet...ugh...it stinks...Jesus (insert colorful expletive) Christ, the (repeat expletive) cat peed all over the (repeat expletive) backpack!"
Mr Berman dropped the backpack rather quickly.
I sprang into panic management mode.
"Find new backpack. Hurry. Homework out of backpack. Into new backpack. You don't have time to smell your hand. Go. Go. GO."
Mr Berman ran gagging out of the house with the replacement backpack, leaving me with the antibac wipes. I gingerly mopped the floor, and soon forgot the incident.
Until this afternoon, when I received a plaintive phone message from my son.
"Mummy, I need to tell you something. When I got to school, all my homework was wet. And my books. They were wet too. The teacher made me throw it all away. She made me wash my hands. Everything smells."
The shame is overwhelming.
We are the family that sends our children to school awash in cat urine.
There is, however, an upside.
We now have an original excuse that I can reprise as necessary. "The dog ate my homework" is so overused.