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Posts Tagged ‘washing the dishes’

When I was originally diagnosed with osteo-blah-blah-blah, the doctor I saw gave me two suggestions: take glucosamine and do the dishes.

“You ladies are lucky,” he said. “Your therapy is part of your work.”

Like washing dishes was automatically a woman’s work! Shuh!

Admittedly, though, it is technically this woman’s work in this house. Yes, I am the Domestic Dish Pig. Sometimes, as I feel like I stand at that friggin’ sink all day, washing dish after cup after splade after saucepan, pausing only to fix another meal for my rabidly hungry children.

The problem about the dishes, of course, is that they cannot be ignored – unlike laundry, which can be left for a couple of days until someone runs of out underpants or I lose one of the neighbour’s kids under one of the huge piles.

Anyway, after my recent weekend in Sydney, I had the worst flare-up of my osteo-blah-blah-blah in my right hand. It was only after a few days of being back home that the terrible truth hit me: I had been in such pain because I hadn’t had to dip my hands in warm soapy water for over 72 hours.

It was like the thing that I hated the most was the thing that saved me. How ironic! Stick that in your stupid song, Alanis. Because it’s actually ironic, unlike “rain on your wedding day”, which is merely unfortunate, or “ten thousand spoons when you just need a knife”, which is some kind of crazy spoon-invasion situation. I say to Alanis, “The spoons are coming! Get out of that damn cab and run, run for your life!”

Anyway, I decided I should see a doctor about my flare-up but couldn’t get an appointment for a few days. (See how smoothly I got out of that spoon-invasion scenario just then?)

While I was waiting for my appointment, I quickly discovered that the best way to forget about arthritic pain was to get a cold sore – it gave me something else to focus on. And the quickest way to stop worrying about the cold sore was to start developing one of those kaleidoscope-vision migraines. And the most effective way to transcend a migraine was to have one of your kids throwing up All. Night. Long.

And then the best cure for the whole damn lot was to drink lots and lots of champagne in honour of Australia’s first female Prime Minister.

On the morning that Julia Gillard took charge of the nation, I came home from the school run to find a message from the Mild-Mannered Lawyer insisting that I drop everything and join her and our friend MGK to drink champagne.

I looked at the time. It was less than hour and a half to my doctor’s appointment. Could I honestly go and talk to my doctor about my ailments after chugging champagne and risk her lecturing me on the perils of drinking before noon?

So I did what any responsible person with a sense of occasion would do: I canceled my doctor’s appointment, forgot about my persistent headache and my cold sore, left the dishes undone and hot-footed it over to the MML’s house, where we drank champagne and watched events unfold on the television for many hours.

And that afternoon, when I picked the kids up from school, I looked into the eyes of my small red-headed daughter and told her “You can do whatever you want to do!” and really truly meant it. It would seem that the position description for a woman’s work just got a whole lot broader.

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Believe it or not, even an NDM can have her lazy baking days.

Why, just the other day, I was hosting a morning tea and I decided to take a few shortcuts and made mini banoffi pies out of packet gingersnaps and tinned caramel. It’s the kind of recipe you can make from go to woah without ever having to put that martini in your hand down – if, of course, you were inclined to drink martinis before the morning school run. Which of course I’m not. Much.  

Anyway, after I’d made these oh-so-darling banoffi pies, I still had two-thirds of a tin of caramel left over. And so I googled recipes that used tinned caramel and came up with a brownie recipe which required three egg whites, which I duly made.

Which of course left me with three egg yolks to use up…  

And people wonder why a woman’s work is never done.

Okay, okay, so that particular episode owes itself more to my Obsessive Baking Disorder than to anything else. But let me tell you something: when it comes to the washing of dishes, this woman’s work really never is done. Not. Even. Close. 

No sooner have I washed the lot, all it takes is a quick round of lemon cordials and/or fruit’n’cracker snack plates and that sink is full again. Full! If I had known that I was going to become a Domestic Dish Pig when I signed up for this Stay-At-Home gig, I might have reconsidered my options and become a successful novelist instead. But it all started so innocently: just a few small bowls and baby spoons at first, then building up to colourful plastic plates and drinky pots with intricate valve systems and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cutlery sets. And now it’s lunch boxes and drink bottles and pretty much every dish in the house gets used up in the seven-course meals my kids end up having (pre-dinner snack, main course, side salad, dessert, crackers, cereal – yes, cereal – and then “second crackers” – which is like the hobbits and their second breakfasts, except infinitely more annoying). And voila! I’m rooted to that spot in front of the sink all the bloody live-long day to the point you can see the little grooves in the lino that my feet have started to wear away. 

Which is why I’m starting to see the attraction in disposable plates and cutlery, except of course for the accompanying guilt about land-fill and sustainability (and that). Perhaps I should grow a banana plantation in my back yard and get everyone to eat off banana leaves with their hands… Which would probably mean that my dear friends KT and Uncle B would never be able to come to dinner again because they both hate bananas. And in any case,  I probably couldn’t do until the kids were all 100% certain of which hand was LEFT and which hand was RIGHT – and since I still occasionally struggle with that concept at the age of 38, it’d be an express train to Gastro Central, baby. 

And we all know that whole lotta gastro just makes more work for this woman since my husband’s aversion to excreta of any kind makes it very hard for me to delegate the hosing down of sheets and mattress protectors to him. Vomit and poo I can stomach, no problem – but not all the sighing, dry-retching and dabbing of scented handkerchiefs to the nose of a Man Hard Done-By.

I, of course, go about my work cheerfully, without complaint, and then vent about it on my blog instead. Much more civilised, wouldn’t you say?

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