|HMS Queen Elizabeth currently undergoing sea trials along the Cornish coast|
This morning as I wended my blurry eyed way downstairs, I tripped over several pairs of shoes that had been abandoned by the front door. It would appear that Sam has made himself at home once more. Of course, this is his home, but it's gotten used to him not being here. So when he is, it takes a while to re-absorb him and all his stuff. For example, there are three bags for life full of books in the living room. I'm waiting for them to be taken upstairs and popped back on his bookshelves, but I fear that Sam may have decided that that's where they live. I'm trying not to put them away myself, because I've started this whole mid life mother's rebellion.
Let me enlighten you:
As you know, I live in a house of men. Apart from Honey, and she doesn't really count as she expects me to wait on her hand, foot and finger too. For years I've prowled around the house, keeping everything ship shape, muttering all the while. Dirty laundry? Discarded mugs and plates? Mournful cardboard loo roll tube waiting to be dispatched? Load dishwasher? Empty dishwasher? Vacuum? Dust? Cook? You get the gist.
Now while I don't mind my role as chief cook and bottle washer, I have lately come to resent the complete lack of awareness that anyone has in this house of what actually goes into keeping their home looking reasonable. My guess is that they all think it just sort of happens. Or worse still, that it's a piece of cake to achieve. Quite often these men of mine will berate and mock me for trying to achieve it all. And let's face it, most of what I'm doing, I'm doing for them. Or because of them (except actually it's mainly because of them). And it's for me too. I need to have order around me to be able to function properly, and having a clean and tidy house is a big part of that. It makes me happy. I can let it slide for a couple of days, but then I get twitchy and irritable. Our weekends are usually knee deep in crap, and come Monday I can be seen frantically restoring order from chaos.
I have come to loathe the response "Yeah, I'll do it in a minute," to my " Do you think you could.." plea. It makes me look like a total nag, when in reality what I'm asking is a perfectly reasonable request. And let's be honest, doing it 'in a minute' usually means doing it in an hour, a day or not at all. Unless I eventually decide to do it, and am then made to feel guilty or unreasonable for doing it, when if they had done it in the first place, I wouldn't have needed to do it at all.
Are you still with me?
So, I have a plan. It's not particularly cunning. Or indeed subtle. But I have decided to stop doing. I shall do what I consider a reasonable task to do, and no more. It's a risky enterprise, and as I haven't declared my intention to the house, it may take a while to filter from their peripheral to their central vision. But I'm feeling smug in the knowledge that I am about to declare a Mum war, and they don't even know it yet. The domestic worm has turned friends! She is declaring war on those that would happily discard their pants on the bathroom floor! Or leave cereal boxes open on the counter. She is standing up for her right to be free from the clutter of men. Clutter that isn't at all photogenic. Mess that resists all attempts to look artfully abandoned. Down with balled up socks by the side of the bed! Down with towels in a damp heap on the landing! No more car parts under the bed! I have become the doyenne of domestic direct action.
This evening, I'm sat here surrounded by dinosaur toys, glasses of water filled with hydrophobic sand (yes really), toy soldiers, those books, Lego, a half eaten apple and what looks like a smear of jam on the sofa. I'm fighting the urge to clear it all away. I've promised myself that I shall instruct Olly to attend to his plastic multitudes tomorrow. Ditto Sam's bags of books and multitudes of shoes. Ditto Alfie's hoodies (three) scattered about downstairs.
I will, I will, I will, I will, I will, I will, I will, I will, I will.
No, I really will.