I admit that I’m not the most meticulous housekeeper in the world and I make no excuses for it because as i’ve said before, I never have liked show homes and prefer the more lived in look…and that’s maybe just as well because the latter, my family achieves rather effortlessly.
However, sadly all my attempts to instill reasonable standards of cleanliness, tidyness and hygiene in my offspring have failed miserably and they really are the most untidy and yes, sometimes, quite unclean creatures. But having said that, was I really so very different to them when I was as a teen?
When I was 17 my parents home was burgled and I was contacted by mum while I was at a friends house, as the police needed me to go home and identify if anything had been taken from my bedroom. When I arrived there a police officer went with me to my room whereupon he shook his head, tut-tutted a bit and said,
“It looks like they made a real mess of your bedroom….look, I know that it’s difficult for you to tell when it looks like this, but can you see if anything has been taken?”
I looked around at the piles of dirty laundry that were strewn across the carpet, the unmade bed, the mugs filled with half drunk coffee….mould growing on the top of them… and replied rather embarrassedly,
“Nope….nothing has been taken…umm actually, this is pretty much the way it usually looks…In fact, I don’t think the burglars came in here at all.”
Y’see I was a kid once, I do understand.
But I wasn’t a parent when I was a kid. I didn’t realise how frustrating it would be to be the chauffer, cook, cleaner, gardener, washerwoman, fulltime on call 24/7 nanny who would appreciate a little help and support from her family and not get any help whatsoever.
Now….oh yes, now I can sympathise with what I put my poor Mum through (I know you’ll read this Mum, and I really am sorry!) when I merrily skipped about in my little bubble-world that revolved all around me…. not knowing or caring how my dinner got to the table, how my dirty clothes found their way back into the wardrobe, freshly ironed…how our home was always clean, comfortable and welcoming. It was taken as read.
Mum did it.
I was talking about all this to my daughter the other day…trying to motivate her to do some housework…
“Look”, i said, “I shouldn’t have to carry the responsibility for doing absolutely everything in the home, you have GOT to start helping out more”.
“Yes Mum, I’m sorry Mum”, Primadonna replied, plonking a kiss of half hearted repentance on my face.
“Well, you know… you will have to know how to turn on the washer and how to empty the rubbish bin when you have a house of your own some day..you best get some practice in…”
“Hmm…actually I won’t”, replied Primadonna matter if factly.
“Oh right!” I spluttered. “so I suppose you think i’m going to be your unpaid skivvy for the rest of my life, do you? ,
“Well that’s one idea”, she stated, “but actually…..”she continued in a very serious tone…. “i was thinking more along the lines of marrying a man with OCD and a compulsion to clean”
Now why had I never thought of that idea?