Things have become way way waaaay more manageable thanks to the following:
Whinging to writer friend who then gave stern advice re prioritising and knocking over website stuff ("which should be skeletal not agonised over and all overwritten to buggery") before attacking book stuff "which is what you want to be doing".
Dinner party with grownup type conversation about art and politics and hilarious George Bush joke told by precocious 11 year old which for the life of me I can't remember. Something about the definition of tragedy. Meanwhile, baby looked after by sister in law N who was up every half hour as he squarked.
Weekend quicky type stand up sex in the bathroom while baby having nap.
Coming up with not one but four potential book titles and emailing them in on deadline only to discover Editor is away at conference till tomorrow.
C deciding he will not be going away again without me and Tricky and he will take baby with him EVERY DAY so that I can work. Hooray! More quicky stand up sex for you!
And for some reason, the other thing that helped was taking out Naughty Nephew 3rd (he with the once fluffy chicken hair-now buzzcut smooth, and the big blue saucer like eyes) for his birthday outing over the weekend.
His birthday is on Wednesday and when the girl at the teddybear factory asked how old he was he said, quite truthfully, 4.
But you will be 5 on your birthday, I said.
Oooooh yes that's right, fiiiiive, he smiled winningly, earning himself TWO TEDDY BEAR STICKERS for being so gorgeous.
I remember when the family first came to Sydney, from London via the rest of the world, and NN3 was a small tot-in-arms, sitting in highchairs with bowls of avocado and mashed banana, gurgling happily and being bathed in plastic containers.
I know that very soon the time for teddy bears and stuffed toys will be gone. NN3 started school this year after all and he is all about his Pokemon cards and tennis and also, humiliatingly, beating me in chess! (Yet with the most charming smile.)
But on this day, he carefully chose his bear (actually a penguin) and entered into all the hoo hah of stuffing it and cuddling it to make sure it had just enough fluff inside, and then inserting a love heart and making a wish...all done very solemnly and enthusiastically as his uncle and I stood to one side, holding his little cousin, and squeaking with the cuteness of it all.
Later we sat around as he ate an enormous iced donut, waiting till he was half way through to remark "Mummy doesn't let me have these." About two seconds later he slipped backwards off his stool and hit his head on the floor.
I grabbed for him and half caught him but it didn't save us from tears and I held him close and rubbed his head and generally cuddled him and made soothing noises till he stopped and resumed donut duties.
It occurred to me that I was much more comfortable cuddling him now.
Not that I wouldn't have comforted him before, just that it would have been a bit more patting and shushing rather than automatically grabbing and cuddling him close and not only that being confident that soon it would be ok.
I was aware of the sensation but then also the accompanying thought: that's what mothers do.
And it was nice.
But I did feel guilty about the donut.