Shel desperately needed an after work glass of wine; she’d been looking forward to this moment all day. As she’d picked Mal up from kindy she could feel the condensation on the bottle bleeding through her handbag and she was slightly ashamed to notice that she was actually salivating. Once she’d settled Mal in to watch a little tv (nothing so harmful about that to Shel, she herself had spent plenty of hours with the tv as a kid and she’d turned out just fine thank you) it was time to start on dinner but the cracking of the bottle was calling her first.

The office had been particularly brutal to be trapped in today. Shel loved her job, and she was good at it, but some days being surrounded by people that needed her input on every little thing was exhausting. Some days she missed her postgrad days in the lab, listening to music or even just the silence of the empty halls. But the memory of eating peanut butter sandwiches for dinner for the third night in a row on that wage made her shudder and brought her back to reality. She could get through it, and some days even enjoyed the authority she’d come to command, but everything had seemed to be going wrong this week and who could blame her for stopping to savour a crisp cool glass for a just a few blissful, solo minutes.

A call from the next room interrupted her solitude and Shel put her glass down with a sigh. Mal had been the greatest gift of her life, despite having never thought herself the motherly type, and while he could be a handful she appreciated every second. Even when he was in a needy mood like he seemed to be now.

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