By afternoon, the mother consoles herself that she has made the right decision to keep her young boy off school. She had wondered previously if he was milking his off-school status, and she felt almost relieved when she could see he was still struggling.
Even a car trip to Ikea to buy a Christmas tree was soon met with complaints of a, 'funny tummy' and a desire to go home and lie on the sofa.
Hours later, the kids are asleep, and the Christmas tree lies horizontal and netted in the dark boot of the car, until Daddy comes home on a late train from the Highlands.
(Can we dust this scene with snow for extra effect, anyone? No? Worth a try).