Thursday 7 August 2008

MISSING: One housekeeping halo

Despite having had no childcare for what is now the third day in a row, my inner calm is remaining in tact. This is largely because I've not tried to do anything other than be with my children. Sure I've rustled up the odd meal and put on the occasional load of washing, but really it's all been about them.

As a result, my mummy halo is starting to squish my head a bit and it's giving me a headache. I haven't had to raise my voice (well except for when the older beastie mistook his younger brother's head for a football and kicked it hard). I've also let household standards slip by some considerable margin. I'm ignoring congealed gloop on surfaces and the piles of loitering laundry. I did however finally wash our bed linen as it was about to start breeding small colonies of bed lice. Having remade the bed two nights ago with fresh smelling sheets, husband was perplexed last night when he found the bed in a completely unmade state.

'What happened to the bed?' he asked. 'The children happened to the bed,' I said. 'What? Did they pee in it?' he asked. 'No, they wanted to help me strip the bed having seen me do it the day before,' I replied. 'When did they do this?' he asked staring at the mounds of bedding on the floor. 'This morning,' I said. You could see his brain ticking over thinking, so this happened this morning and yet it's STILL all on the floor. Being a man who enjoys the use of all four of his limbs, he wasn't daft enough to actually say this out loud, but I could see that's what he wanted to say. So I explained that since they'd stripped the bed, we'd packed in:
  • getting dressed
  • eating breakfast
  • tidying away breakfast (sort of)
  • caught up on emails (me), built a space ship out of duplo (them)
  • gone on a playdate
  • rushed back for lunch that wasn't eaten
  • rushed to swimming lessons
  • got lost on our way from swimming lessons to the Thatcham Discovery Centre
  • had a bit of an altercation at the aforementioned centre as one wanted to feed ducks, the other wanted to play on the swings, I wanted them to clean their teeth in the public loos
  • rushed to the dentist for their first ever visit (dismal failure - they refused to sit on the chair or open their mouths despite mummy pretending that the chair was a spaceship and gamefully showing off her not very clean teeth for the dentist as she hadn't cleaned them in the public loos)
  • Raced home but had to find a petrol station en route as getting lost earlier had used up most of our tank of gas. Then older child said he needed to pee but there was no loo at the petrol station which resulted in quite a lot of debate about whether I was lying or not
  • Got home at normal supper time and still had to make a chilli con carne.
  • Played football/cricket/catch/trampoline bouncing/calvinball in a bid to distract the kids from their starving tummies
  • Forced food down their throats while they wanted to resume playing with their duplo airplane
  • Finally convinced younger child that he really does need a bath regardless of his protestations
  • And got them into bed.

Admittedly I did then have a full two hours in which to make the bed, but I felt like eating my dinner and watching a film instead. So while my mummy halo is shining to a sunglasses-required-shininess, my housekeeping halo has packed its bags and gone in search of Martha Stewart. The halo that makes up the trilogy - the one I normally wear when I don my business superwoman cape - seems to be gathering dust, the result of doing absolutely no work combined with my shoddy cleaning efforts.

So today we need to tackle a few chores. Including a trip to the shops. I'm not looking forward to it. I fear it might push my new found calm, rational mothering skills to breaking point, but we need a few things. Including cotton wool as last night I had to remove my mascara using a sanitary towel as it was the only suitable thing I could find. As I said, my housekeeping is in need of an overhaul.

Must go wipe a bottom now.

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