My husband is pursuing the Curly Mop. She is shrieking horribly, dressed in a floor-length mermaid skirt. He is following her with two ordinary skirts.
'Which one?' he asks her, though the answer is quite obvious from where I sit.
'I want to wear my mermaid dress,' she screams, tears rolling down her face.
'You can't wear that to daycare,' he tells her. I can detect a certain throaty restraint in his voice.
I am sitting on the couch, in my pyjamas, feeding the baby. I'm staying out of it. It's his own fault for letting her put it on in the first place.
Meanwhile, the Bombshell is stacking the drinks fridge with hubby's soft drink cans. I am both impressed and horrified that he has her working like this. She is singing as she does it, so she seems quite happy. But the noise coming from the playroom proves irresistible, and she stands up to investigate.
'Don't get involved,' I tell her.
'I'm just having a look,' she replies. Yeah, like rubbernecking at the scene of a car wreck.
He emerges from the room, the Mop wedged under his arm. He is trying to pull the mermaid skirt off, she is trying to wrench it upwards. I can't tell who is yelling louder.
The baby stopped feeding ages ago and is smiling up at me. I push her back on so that I don't get asked to assist with the crazy toddler, who is holding onto the door frame with both hands so her daddy can't drag her out of the room.
She wiggles out of his arms and does a runner. I hear her feet pounding on the floorboards, the old crystal cabinet rattling ominously. 'I waaaaant myyyyy dresssssss,' she yells as she barricades herself in her room.
He's mad now. He still has to drop the Mop at daycare, and he will be late for work.
I weigh up on my options. I decide my morning would easier if they are both out of the house so I take pity on him.
I pop the baby in her swing and follow the Mop. She thinks she is going to get a cuddle so she reaches her arms up towards me, whereby I quickly remove the mermaid skirt.
The betrayal upsets her even more, which is fair enough.
I didn't think it possible, but she somehow amps it up a notch. I am hissing at her to be quiet as I head out to the carport in my slippers and pyjamas and bundle her into the car. I know the neighbours can hear. It sounds like she is being murdered, and she knows the neighbours can hear and it sounds like she is being murdered.
I tighten her straps and bolt inside the house. The phrase 'rabid dog' springs to mind.
I don't envy him being in the car with her all the way to daycare... I don't envy the people at daycare when Grumpy and her dad show up.
I shut the door on them, and silence descends. How pleasant.
This must be what it is like for men to walk out of the house in the morning, and leave all the chaos behind.