two sick kids and grandparents visiting while Dave’s away in England. my thoughts clot up for lack of time, for want of downtime in the 24/7 press of feeding and tidying and playing and doing. my house clots up with snot and baby wipes, despite the helpful extra pairs of hands who clean the shed and rake the leaves and shovel the unseasonally early snow and rock the baby. always the relentless present. i long to abdicate, say excuse me. please run my life for a few days whilst i take to my bed. i do not know how. my pride, my foolish pride. someday i will be an old woman tottering my last on spindly legs and i will make my stand by the laundry pile, stubbornly folding clothes until i drop not because i love laundry but because it makes me sweaty with shame and self-consciousness to admit, i cannot. i want rest. sloth, the deadliest public sin, the one i cannot bear to wear in other people’s estimation. the one i chase lustily, glutton-like, in the privacy of my head.