Our boiler broke down this week.
Aside from the painfully large repair bill, which we could do without having just moved house and still yet to purchase a sofa or a vacuum cleaner, the timing was an extra blow.
My daughter turned six months the day before and had just indulged in her first attempt at baby-led weaning.
After half an hour of watching her squash carrot and broccoli in her fists, suck mistrustfully and then let them slide out of her mouth and down her chin, she was pretty filthy.
She resembled tinned soup in human form, with vegetable chunks floating on every visible surface.
The worst mush was seemingly ingrained into the folds of her little tortoise-like neck, which I usually find so adorable.
I was feeling pretty fraught after spending the entire time panicking every time she gagged on the unfamiliar tastes and textures, leaping up and scrabbling to undo her highchair straps so I could put her over my knee in a bid to save her life, only for her to cough out yet more goop and merrily suck down some more water.
Meanwhile, her father calmly made videos on his phone, insisting on playing Food, Glorious Food from Oliver! The Musical to make a fitting soundtrack.
As she began to tire of the novelty of her nouvelle cuisine, wriggling, whining and deciding the thing she most wanted to chew was her bib, I decided bath time would do us all good.
But when I turned on the hot tap the water ran cold, and then colder, and an inspection of the boiler revealed the ‘fault’ light was flashing.
The evening went downhill from there as I became hysterical that the pilot light had gone out, only to learn our boiler doesn’t have one.
And then we argued as we attempted to top up the water pressure, drenching half the kitchen in the process, and then discovering the problem went far deeper.
I resorted to wet wipes to scrape encrusted veg from my daughter’s crevices and we all went to bed dirty, exhausted and bad tempered.
A man came to fix the boiler the very next afternoon and after a meal of much more smoothly mashed-up carrot we indulged in a lengthy bath time – ducks, blowing bubbles, the works.
Then it was my turn, and I relished the feeling of being warm and squeaky clean all over as I let the water wash away the stresses and strains of starting on solid food.
It didn’t last long though. While waiting for the bus today I found a lump of banana in my hair.
It’s parsnip on the menu tonight. I wonder where that will turn up…?