It's 8pm - The floor is littered with toys and John is running naked through the house. Wet baby footprints mark the tiled floor and Duplo blocks scatter as he runs. He screams excitedly as he goes and I smile at the sight of his happiness but the act itself is an effort. Exhaustion has wrung me dry and I'm counting the minutes until bedtime.
With barely-controlled exasperation in my voice I call him down onto the towel, wrestle his wriggling little body into a nappy and then bend his limbs into soft pyjamas whilst he screams and chatters from the floor.
Then I'm hauling his bed-ready body onto my hip, his little arms clinging comfortingly around my neck, carrying him slowly up the stairs, gathering teddies from the four corners of the bedroom, lowering him down into his cot, kissing him goodnight, and leaving the room to the sound of his screams, wishing just as I do every single night that it didn't have to end this way.
And then it's done. I'm free. I walk back down the stairs in my bath-soaked trousers, and if I wasn't so exhausted I'd smile with relief as I collapsed onto the sofa amidst a sea of chaos.