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Posts Tagged ‘World’s Worst Housekeeper’

Just last night I was making dinner when my husband said to me “Do you think those things on the back line are dry yet?”

“You mean those towels that have been up for three days? Uh, I’d say so,” I said.  

“Should I bring them in?” he asked. 

“Yes, please. I’ve been trying to bring them for two days now but, you know, things keep happening…” I said. 

“Sure, they do. I understand,” my husband replied in a way that told me he didn’t really understand at all. Or that he thought the things that “kept happening” included “blog posts to write”, “chocolates to be eaten in front of Oprah” and “champagne to be quaffed with KT”. 

On his way out to the line, the cat pounced out of nowhere and attacked his legs.

“Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudddd!” he exclaimed. 

“The cat needs feeding,” I called out, adding helpfully: “You can either feed him now or just have him attack you the entire time you’re bringing in that washing. It’s your choice.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll feed him now,” he replied.

A few minutes later, he was about to open the back door when Tiddles McGee came rushing up to him with a distinct brown cloud in his wake.

“Looks like McGee knows who’s going to change his nappy,” I remarked, oh-so-casually. 

“Okay, okay, I’ll change him,” my husband said. 

When he emerged from the back room with a freshly-powdered McGee a few minutes later, I was (conveniently) chopping chili. 

“Could you please put the DVD on for the kids? I’d do it but I have chili hands,” I said, with a little shrug to show how much I’d like to help but really just couldn’t right at that moment. 

“Okay, okay, I’ll do it,” my husband said, between gritted teeth. 

Of course, I had cleverly referred to “the” DVD and not “a” DVD to give the impression that the DVD had already been chosen. Because I knew if he thought for a moment that the committee hadn’t reached its decision yet, that it would be an absolute and utter deal-breaker.

For one thing, the parent overseeing the decision-making process is required to read out all the DVD titles at least three times. You see, we’ve had to store the DVDs in various high places around the loungeroom because otherwise the kids like to strap the disks to their feet and go cross-country skiing in the backyard. At least that’s what I think they do with the disks. It’s the only way I can explain how scratched those stupid things get.  

For another thing, a typical decision-making process might go a little like this:

PARENT: Okay, so which one do you want to watch?

TIDDLES: I want King Lion!

MR JUSTICE: I think he means “The Lion King”.

TIDDLES: (shouting very loudly) NO! KING LION!!

THE PIXIE: “The Lion King” is boring. I want something for girls. Like “Barbie-as-Rapunzel”. 

MR JUSTICE: No way! That movie makes me sick. Let’s watch Ben 10. 

TIDDLES & THE PIXIE: Yaaaayyyyy!

PARENT: Series One or Alien Force?

THE PIXIE: Series One!
MR JUSTICE: Alien Force!
TIDDLES: King Lion! 

PARENT: Okay, if you can’t decide, we’ll just watch ABC Kids instead.

PIXIE & JUSTICE: Yaayyy!

TIDDLES MCGEE: Nooooooooooo! (starts wailing loudly). DON’T! WANT! ABC KIDS!

PARENT: Okay, okay, okay. If you can’t choose a DVD by the time I count to 10, you’ll all get nothing at all. One… two…

PIXIE: Um… I think…  (brightening considerably) I think “The Lion King”!

MR JUSTICE: Great choice! After all, we haven’t seen it for, like, five years. 

McGEE: (smiling through his tears) King Lion! King Lion!! 

PARENT: Great. “The Lion King” it is.

(PARENT then spends 10 minutes looking for DVD while children run around screaming and hitting each other with heavy blunt objects. Eventually Parent finds case down the side of the couch but with no DVD inside it and is forced to start the choosing process again).

Needless to say, as I’m writing this post some 12 hours later, I can see outside that it’s started raining and those towels are getting lovely and wet. With a bit of luck, they will take another three days to dry and will end up resembling sandpaper in both texture and foldability. And the next time my husband emerges wet and towel-less from the shower, I shall be very pleased to hand him one. Very pleased indeed.

Of course, I could go and bring them in myself right now, but I think I have a point to prove here. Don’t you?

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You know when a visitor puts away the clean dishes and manages to put almost everything in completely the wrong place? And you spend months looking for the can opener because you don’t know where the hell it’s been put?

Well, my kitchen cupboards are always like that. It’s like nothing’s ever had a proper home and just gets shoved in wherever it fits best at the time. And no, I’m not quite willing to admit how long it’s been since I last saw my can opener, especially considering I’m the one who probably put it away. Let’s just say that it’s been a long long time since anyone attended a can opening in this house…

But surprisingly, it’s a completely different matter when it comes to the organisation of toys in boxes. Underneath that thin veneer of utter chaos, there is complete order. No, really: each and every toy has its place. And only I know where those places are. 

Now, most people might dread those playdates where the contents of every single toy box has been summarily emptied and kicked about a bit. But not I, no. Mess is mess is mess is mess. It’s the words “Let’s pack these toys away!” that I dread the most – whether it be from a helpful visiting parent, my husband, or the World Champion of Tidier-Uppers. Because, as I said, only I know where everything goes. 

“Oh, please don’t worry yourself,” I say. “Please.

But if they really insist on helping, of course I graciously smile and thank them, all the while driving my finger nails into the palm of my hand. And the minute they’ve left the room, I immediately set about putting their wrongs to right, muttering all the while under my breath. My little half-spoken rant usually goes something like this:

Now why would you put Duplo in with the Glow-in-the-Dark blocks? Duplo doesn’t glow! Does. Not. Glow. Uh, and that’s certainly not a Dolly Dress now, is it? It’s a Barbie Dress. You don’t need to be a genius to see that Baby Annabel ain’t ever going to fit in that little purple number… And – oh dear god – Lofty doesn’t go in the Cars Box. He goes in the Guys Box because he’s so clearly a guy and not just a vehicle! He’s got a face, people. A face! And, arrrggghh!… The same rule OBVIOUSLY applies to Bertie the Bus except, actually, he goes in with the Thomas Trains box. Even though he’s not actually a train. But OBVIOUSLY he’s still part of the Isle of Sodor’s extensive public transport system and … What the hell is Autobot Jazz doing in the Cars Box? What part of “Robot In Disguise” don’t you people understand? Sheesh! He needs to go in the Transformers & Bionicle Body Parts Box under the bed … and… OH. MY. SWEET. FUCK.  Who put the Star Wars Lego in the Little Lego Box – don’t they know how expensive that shit is and what a living nightmare an incomplete Lego Separatist Spider Droid can be… and… oh… DANG IT! DANG IT ALL TO HELL!

And I end up emptying everything back onto the floor so I can do the whole thing properly, which I do until I get interrupted by some child needing a drink and/or a bandaid or I just grow bored and wander off and the whole thing gets deserted mid-project. 

It’s really little wonder my house is such a tip.

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The other day something disastrous happened: I got to the very bottom of the laundry baskets – which meant all the dirty laundry in the house was clean. “Well done, you”, some might say, patting me on the back in that patronising way that suggests they’re about to call me “The Little Lady” to my face. But there’s nothing “well done” about it because, let me tell you now, it puts me in a difficult situation. A very difficult situation indeed.  

What most people don’t realise is that in a house as well-organised as mine, the laundry baskets are actually an integral part of an elaborate storage system for clothes – along with the pile next to the master bed and those clothes stuffed down the side of the change table. We simply don’t have enough cupboard and drawer space in our house to comfortably accommodate all the clothes we own. And if they’re all clean and dried, you suddenly run the risk of having tall teetering piles of clean folded tshirts topple over and getting trampled underfoot (and under-sticky-foot at that) and having to be washed again, without being worn. I mean, with my three children and my load-a-day habit, I already run the risk of depleting the state’s already-dwindling water supplies without washing clothes that haven’t actually been worn. 

This is where having piles of dirty clothing around the house comes into its own. You see, it doesn’t matter what happens to them – they can be deployed in the construction of nests or mountain ranges in the kids’ rooms, used to wipe up the bird shit from the trampoline or even vomitted, pissed and shat on and it Does Not Matter: they are already dirty. Perfect!

Luckily, such crises are rare in my house. In so many ways, I’m blessed to have a child like The Pixie, who is often busier than a Japanese Bride with all of her changing of outfits every hour on the hour- even her underpants have to be changed. Tiddles, too, with his “Living Brush” approach to painting, food and clothing, also does his bit to avert a crisis. And then we have those delightfully halcyon nights with the kids where we churn through every clean set of bed clothes, towels and pyjamas faster than you can say “gastroenteritis”.

You might wonder, with all these things working in my favour, how I came to be in a crisis situation at all. Well, every now and then, there is an extremely rare event – perhaps even rarer than a total eclipse of the sun and certainly rarer than an Adam Sandler film that I would pay money to see – where high motivational levels coincide with a freak succession of sunny days. So at the end of the day, there’s no real need for panic – although crapping my own dacks in this situation surely could only help.

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