If a mum (or dad) friend makes it to a social engagement, work, or anywhere really, just hand them a coffee or a glass of wine, (or straight vodka, they won't be fussy) and thank them for being there.

I had two outings recently which highlighted exactly why people with children should never go anywhere, ever.

I was ready to leave the house for an evening movie and was just grabbing a jacket as my husband's car came up the driveway when our daughter, 4, came to say that her brother, 2, was "doing something he shouldn't".

"Has he made a mess?" I asked her.


"Yeah," she replied casually.

I emerged to find him holding a tin of Berocca tablets which he had swiped after climbing half way up the pantry. And there he was foaming orange at the mouth, wide-eyed and gasping.

In between shocked inhalations he was saying "picey [gasp], picey". (spicy).

I stood and enjoyed the scene. These are some of the greatest moments of parenthood. It was worth running late and the time spent cleaning the orange stains out of the carpet.

The next morning, that handy extra hour we were having thanks to daylight saving ending meant we were ready for daycare quite early.

This is never a good thing. When you are ready early, you try to do something extra, like hang out a load of washing.

And that five minutes usually costs three or four times longer fixing whatever devastation occurred in other parts of your house while you were distracted. And it did.

The moment I was ready to round up the children and leave, I discovered that my previously clothed two-year-old son was naked. I just love doing everything in the morning two, or three times.

I dressed him again, which took 10 minutes and several wrestling moves as I battled an epic physical meltdown that left us both red and sweaty and was ready to go, again, when I heard the washing machine's unbalanced beeping.

I chuckled, darkly. The washing machine isn't the only thing that's unbalanced in this house.

Of course it was unbalanced, there were about 20 towels in the load because they had soaked up two nights of bath splash flooding and had accumulated because we'd had so much rain.

And because nothing is ever easy, when I opened the lid, I noticed tiny wee crumbs all over everything. I was confused - until I saw a very swollen nappy splayed open with its tiny gel beads spewing out all over everything.

Two-year-olds are just the best helpers around the house.

I started scooping what I could, then all I could think to do was turn the machine back on and hope for the best.

Then, as I went to grab the kids' bags, big-sister informed me that my boy was up to mischief - again.

He took a while to locate and when I did, he was under the table playing simultaneous games of Hide-and-Seek and Tip-the-Banana-Smoothie-on-the-Carpet.

We've played this game a lot, and it seems our carpet is the same colour as banana smoothie. Which means you think you have cleaned it up until a day or so later when it turns brown.

For those who don't know yet, banana smeared on anything is a parent's nemesis. It's right up there with Weetbix on the wall and low-alcohol wine. Banana turns into ink on clothing (scientific fact) and stains if not cleaned up immediately, which of course I then had to do.

I was now half an hour late and feeling reasonably frazzled.

That "extra" hour from daylight saving was sucked into the Black Hole that is parenting toddlers, right along with my morning showers, clean clothes and sanity.

Please read the first line of this article again.