Sometimes I get sorta a kick out of envisioning myself as a fifties housewife. (What?! I'm so sure there were queer, feminist 50's housewives!) L. comes home after a long day at work, and I run to the door to meet her, bring her slippers, scotch on the rocks and a smoking jacket, (whilst looking oh-so-fetching in my be-apronned, stylin', dress-for-dinner dress and Mary Janes (naturally). The kids are playing quietly in the corner and the house is spotless and the smell of meatloaf and potatoes (What? Isn't that what they ate in the 50's?) wafts from the kitchen, ready just on time. Just like clockwork.
In reality of course, I'm nowhere near that good! I don't greet L. at the door (that's Boy-o's job), and there's no scotch, no slippers, no smoking jacket (or smoking of any kind), and very, very sadly, there is no fancy dress and Mary Jane heels and I generally look far more frazzled than fetching. One kid is hanging from the rafters (guess who?) and the other is eating leftover Cheerios from breakfast off the kitchen floor that I either haven't managed (or bothered) to sweep yet. If dinner's ready then there's probably a pile of unfolded laundry on the floor somewhere, and if there's no pile of laundry, then dinner's not ready. Did I mention that there's no smoking of any kind? (I really, really miss that sometimes).
I am a crap, crap housekeeper. Super crap. Everyone is always kind about it. You know, saying "but you are running around after the kids all day," etc. etc. Yes, it's true. Having exuberant smalls does put a damper on that whole cleanliness business. And add a certain amount of extra frustration as well, because even when I do attempt to herd in the chaos, they follow me around messing my clean rooms faster than I can clean 'em. But here's the thing. I was a crap, crap housekeeper before I had the smalls. They've just provided me with a really good excuse. I have friends who have far less trouble than I keeping their abode less erm, bio-hazardous than mine. I have friends with kids who manage to spring clean their closets. Who have a cleaning day and actually stick to it. This is not fiction folks - some people can do these things. They will forever hold my awe (and the vague suspician that they are not regular people but rather a remarkable species of superwoman. Straight-up. No sarcasm intended.)
My technique goes like this. Wait until the house is so messy that it is absolutely oppressing me (and/or it's possible to lose the children amongst their toys). Then clean in a frustrated, self-denigrating flurry filled with choice cursewords, and firmly believing that I will do better next time. Or alternatively, wait until the rare occassion that we are having company, and then rinse and repeat above cycle.
For the brief time the house is clean, I feel better. Saner. Happier, even! But then, as quickly as the clean came, it's gone again. Seconds flat. All that hard work goes BAM. Or maybe it goes POOF! I don't know. It just freaking goes.
So - though I fantasize about my marvellous 50's housewifeyness... I think it's safe to say my housewifey-ness is, um, not anything to be marvelled at. But it's a nice fantasy, isn't it?? The order, the clock-workiness, the children playing quietly in the corner (the sassy dress with strappy Mary Janes, the ciggys, the scotch)!
Where can I get me some of that?