Remember this date. The 13th December. It is on this day, every single year, that I officially lose the plot.
I look back at the last blog post ('I Love December') - full of talk of log fires and tinsel and sodding Christmas cheer - and I think that I must have been on drugs. (I wasn't.) Now, just a few days later, the outpouring of Nativity Plays, Christmas parties, end of term exams, snot, tiredness, shopping, traffic, cards to write, phone calls to make, food to make/buy/plan for - coupled with a new cat and failing car tyres - added to the pressure of Christmas carol concerts and attempting to ward off voice-damaging colds with multiple sachets of God awful Fisherman's Friends... means that I've had enough.
It's the same every year. The beginning of the December laughs and bounces its way into my life, with a birthday and the promise of something magical about to occur. The John Lewis advert appears and it reminds me of all the good in the world, or Watership Down, or something.
But then, around 10th December, something odd starts happening. I suddenly find it difficult to finish sentences. Or even start them. And multi-tasking becomes a thing of the past - a thing of November in fact - and the small tasks in life take longer and longer to complete. I'm still doing washing up from three days ago, for example.
If I find I have a spare ten minutes, I treasure it like Smeagol with The Ring; I take to my bed, shut the door, and hide. I have stopped chastising the boys for fighting. I don't have the energy. Instead, I have started to just move away into another room, put the radio on, and pretend I can't hear what they're doing.
This is bad parenting.
I'm wondering if what I really need is to hibernate. I may be spinning off the John Lewis advert again, but that bear - is anyone else jealous that he can just sleep all the way up to Christmas? And that the hare seems to have organised everything whilst he was snoring?
I would like a hare in my life.
It will pass. There is a week of the school term left. And then we are all on holiday. There will be much jollity, mess, fighting, laughter. I will force the boys to come on long, cold walks with me. There will be family visits. We will all catch up on sleep. And before we know it, the gorging of Christmas will be over and January will be upon us, with its bleakness and blackness and Puritan resolutions, diets and sodding pilates.
So let's enjoy it while we can.