I come downstairs after grabbing a few hours sleep in between busy night shifts. I can hear Rose crying in frustration at once again trying to grab the key from the back door. I walk into the chaos in the kitchen. My husband is absorbed in the newspaper surrounded by the toddler carnage. Why is there breakfast still on the table? Why have the pots and pans been pulled out of the cupboards? Has she really got porridge still stuck on her forehead and what on earth is she wearing? Oh and why is she chewing hay from the barn?
I open my mouth to say something but hesitate and hold my tongue. I remember that it's his turn to look after Rose while I am in work mode. We do things differently- I'm the surgeon with the perfectionist streak wanting everything to be tidy and clean; he is the artist and is happy to let Rose run free and wild. I smile to myself.
"Family hug?" I pick up Rose and we all collapse on the sofa together in a warm embrace. A memory to take with me to work that night. Invaluable.
Lotte is a 33 year old general surgery registrar in the UK with an 18 month old daughter Rose and a non medical husband. She works full time.