I’ve tidied today. Picked up other people’s stuff as well as my own and either put it where it should be or in the bin (if that’s where it should have been). This has included toys, papers, toys, receipts, drinks bottles (left on the sofa), cereal packets, crisp packets (also left on the sofa) dirty knives, books, toys, crockery, more papers, bags, toys, clothes and toys. I’ve swept up crumbs, wiped down surfaces and washed up.
And then people came home…and dumped their crap all over the places I’d spent my day tidying.
Carrier bags dumped in the hallway, coats, bags and food dumped on the sofas, crumbs and spilt soup and dirty knives strewn on the kitchen worktop, dishes placed on the side – not in the sink or draining board – the dregs of the meal not tipped away. Mugs with tea dregs in the bottom, staining the white china brown. The butter left in the wrong place.
My day’s efforts vanished – POOF! – in a cloud of Wotsits dust.
Life is short, people. And yet there I am, my day disintegrated into nothing. And not because I’ve done nothing, but because nobody respects the things that I do. And yet, if I didn’t do them, people would notice then and moan. From where I’m standing it’s lose:lose.
With both children in bed, I start to tidy around the lounge (again!).
‘Don’t. I’ll put the train set away,’ Husband offers, sat on the sofa, football on TV, iPad in hand ‘…at half-time.’
If he can multi-task two media sources at the same time, why not tidying and football?
‘You relax,’ he instructs me. Instead, I know that as he’s offered to tidy away the train set that is all hell be picking up, so I return Boo’s school uniform to her room and then settle down.
The trouble with waiting for half time is that it involves sitting through football. But as there’s nothing else appealing on our limited available channels I decide to let it drop.
Half time and Husband does indeed pick up the train set. Unfortunately he packs it wrong, leaving the massive crane to last so the lid won’t shut on the hamper.
‘The lid won’t fit now,’ I point out.
‘Yeah, but I’m not going to tip stuff out to re-do it,’ he says out as he balances the lid on the top.
No, I will.
He then goes and places the hamper in front of the overflowing toy box.
‘It doesn’t belong there,’ I point out, highlighting the massive space in the alcove shelving where the box obviously lives.
He pushes the box 99% per cent of the way there. And then leaves it.
And the train set was where it stopped too. He didn’t follow it up by putting Noodles’ ride-on car away, or returning the stray pirate to his ship or picking up the bottle of bubble stuff or train ticket lying on the floor. No, that’s for me to do.
When I finally keel over (quite probably from a stroke caused by another dose of apoplexy) I wonder how long it will take them to clear away my body. And whether it will actually get a proper burial, or whether I’ll just get shoved into a corner, in front of an over-flowing toy box.