explain the line "an ugly middle position and though he as well felt his wife's presence in the cage with him, he did not want to talk to her or touch her or anything

Jack is a loving father and a caring husband. The day the story happens , Jack is supposed to help his wife paint the household furniture and bric?a?brac. However , he cannot do so because, he has to tell his daughter a story before the Saturday nap. He thinks that he will finish the story quickly and then go downstairs to help his wife Clare paint. Unfortunately for him that is not to be. The story takes a rather long time, for his daughter who is now four, interrupts it on several occasions and asks him several questions and even corrects him a couple of times. Moreover, she does not like the ending of the story ? she wants her father to end the story in a way that the wizard spanks the mother on her head for wanting to change her son?s smell back to the awful one. Although Jack does not like the ending and would rather stick to the original ending , he knows that Jo will have her way the next day and make him introduce the ending suggested by her. Although the story Jack has been worrying about his wife Clare who is six months pregnant and who is busy painting downstairs and desperately needs him .Jack is thus face to face with an ?ugly middle position ? where he fails on all fronts and is neither able to make his four year old daughter sleep nor is able to help his wife in painting. Clare, who has finished quite a lot of work , complains that he has taken too long to tell the story. Jack suddenly experiences a mood swing. Tired, bored and dejected , he feels like doing nothing. He feels trapped in a rut of life along with his wife .He has no desire to speak to her , work with her or touch her . Perhaps , Jo?s innocent question has opened up his childhood wounds of hurt and humiliation.

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