Posted on April 10, 2009


By Nik Perring

In the morning – after her shower and dressing the boys, but before breakfast – she goes back into the bedroom and picks up her list. She’d finished it late in the night, while her husband slept as soundly as their children. She folds it in half, then halves it again and she slips it into the pocket of her jacket, the pocket where the lists go.

In her car, after the boys have said goodbye and walked into the playground, she takes out the list and inspects it. It says:

Things to do today (with the date):

Drop kids off

Get petrol

Buy socks for Joe

Wash PE kit

Hoover upstairs

Buy paracetamol and tissues

Give teacher signed permission slip

Pick boys up and drop them at their grandma’s

Kill myself before I have to write another bloody list.

By six o’clock only five of the tasks listed can be ticked off.

The boys have been collected and have seen their grandma, the teacher has her slip, and the upstairs is clean.

The PE kits unwashed though and Joe still has socks with holes in. There is no paracetamol in the house and the boys and their father have to use toilet paper and kitchen roll to dry their eyes.


Nik Perring is a writer and workshop leader from the UK. He’s published poems, short stories and a children’s book. He blogs here and has a website here.

Posted in: Fiction