I didn’t see it coming.
I was trying to play it cool while carrying my tote bag, my handbag, Addison’s toys and a large red box in one hand, and the wriggling chocolate covered, sticky fingered juvenile himself in the other.
‘Can I just leave this here with you?’ I stoutly questioned the security guard on our way out of reception while fumbling in my pocket for the phone I had found on the three-story dismount from my office.
It’s a shame I am unable to step in a lift as if I could, none of this would have ever happened.
It would certainly make my life easier too, but alas, my fear of being stuck in a tiny unmoving box with a two and a half-year old, in the dark, ensures we always climb the stairs.
Up and down.
Up being no easier than down.
It adds an extra twenty minutes to my commute.
Addison comes in to work with me now, you see, at my brilliant new job for Elite magazine.
Unfortunately though, the office is on the third floor.
Which is great if you aren’t a two-year old who seems to believe stairs are magical concrete boxes which give you powers of aviation, so that usually ‘taking the stairs’ means mummy having to have the emergency services on speed dial, or mummy dislocating her shoulder and his wrist as she dangles him mid-air from each step in a bid to get him to ‘JUST BLOODY WALK PROPERLY!’
Sweating slightly as I keep one of the bags aloft with my teeth, I hand the phone over ‘I found it on the stairs.’
‘Thanks.’ comes the gruff voice.
As I reposition the bag in to my hand and shift Addison’s weight on to my hip and place the phone down in front of him, all jute bag and rustling, I look up. ‘Is that ok?’ I squeak.
He is a lovely looking lad with blue-green eyes and incredibly white teeth.
He looks a bit like Harry Styles.
I am instantly hit with how carefree he seems to be, it is oozing off him from behind the desk.
Young, carefree, maybe a little hung-over and definitely relaxed.
As oppose to me.
Old, laden with crap, stinking of a night squidged in to a cot bed with a sticky two-year old and so rigid, I’d make a ruler jealous.
‘Yeah.’ He responds cockily, sliding the phone towards himself and then frowning in barely masked disbelief as Addison decides at that very moment to stick his tongue on my eye-ball and I yelp like a mauled mongrel.
I must appear to be the most harassed, overloaded, red-faced and agitated, carrying a huge stuffed finding Nemo plush under one arm, out of breath ‘associate’ in a suit, anyone has ever seen in this posh office building.
I smile back, after pushing my son’s face away a little and acknowledge I look a bit weird with a wink. Yeah I am weird and have responsibility but yeah, I am cool yeah? I can still be ‘down with the kids yeah.’ I can manage all of this, and still pull off sexy, calm, collected and cool yeah?
He smiles a little oddly at me so I decide it is time we move on.
I am probably coming across like a mental patient.
I huff like an elephant as I begin re positioning the weight of our belongings and start marching in the general direction of the exit.
And then everything happens at once.
As I turn to leave the busy reception area and get away from the crowds of young people, my phone starts to vibrate against my leg distracting me, I notice it is raining heavily outside, the clock on the wall tells me we are running very late for job number 2 so I speed up, and for some unknown godly reason Addison decides to stick his finger right up my nose.
I didn’t see it coming.
I was extracting a sticky knuckle from probing the depths of my inner face cavities and I was in a rush.
I heard the panicked shouts of ‘NOoooooo!’ from a few people in reception before I actually felt the pain, but by that point it was too late.
I, rather embarrassingly, strode in to very clean, squeaky clean some may say, Glass bastard wall.
I witnessed actual stars popping about my head cartoon like as I was tumbling backwards on my boots, boxes and bags, tampons and toy trains exploding from different parts of my person, in to the air around me before thudding to the floor and screeching across the classy marble in every direction.
I may have shouted an expletive in to the ether before hitting the deck and trying to stop Addison head butting me on the way down.
I may have shouted something a long the lines of someone’s mother being a fucker as my nose started to bleed and the stunned silence was slowly replaced by gasps of horror from all around us.
I could taste my embarrassment in the audible silence before I tasted the blood.
I didn’t know what to do.
It was too late to brush anything off.
I couldn’t limp off pretending it hadn’t happened.
It will probably appear on You’ve been Framed or You Tube at some point!
I couldn’t even open my eyes properly to locate my son, my god the pain was unbelievable.
Mortification and actual pain.
My face felt like it was sliding off my chin.
And the Silence was only serving to magnify my injured grunting and moaning, that oddly I was aware did sound a little sexual. (Very random.)
And then somebody sniggered.
I snapped my head to the left, holding my nose together, to peep through the tears at who the perpetrator was.
It was Addison.
He was rolling around on the floor grasping for his trains and trying to open my tampons in barely concealed delight.
‘MUMMY ALWAYS LOOK WHERE YOU ARE WALKING!! SWEETIES!!!’
And then he started properly laughing, the little sod.
And then the tittering from the rest of the room started.
So I just lay back on the floor staring at the ceiling as strangers passed me back my tampons and the security guard got me some tissues for my bleeding nose.
Me and my black eye are working from home from now on.
I used to be cool.