Oh, we have been whirling housework dervishes today, Henry and I!
This is especially astonishing when you consider that housework is not my favourite part of the new stay-at-home life. Henry, yes; cooking, yes; spinning round Tesco with my feet on the trolley, yes yes; but me and the housework, we have not found our groove. ‘Learn to love the grind’, said someone-or-other, and I am learning veeeeery slowly.
But today! It all started when I decided to vacuum the bottom stairs during Henry’s nap, this being something I absolutely cannot do when he’s awake. I hate vacuuming the stairs. We have two sets and it is a grind, and I am not even bothering to love it. But my hair is the type that prefers being on carpet to being on my head (rude), so sometimes, you know, needs must.
Once I’d vacuumed the stairs, verily it seemed to me that the worst part was over, and the rest of it would be done in a flash. I hoovered the top stairs. Then Henry woke up, and he helped me tidy by polishing Daddy’s belts with his spit. He was enthusiastic. It was a labour of love.
When I got out the hoover in our bedroom (hair coverage level: twenty-one thousand) Henry was agape. Then delighted. He crawled all round it, tangled himself up in the hose and found the on/off button quicker than I hoped.
Silly boy, I thought. Haha. Why’re you so excited? It’s like you’ve never seen–
(Must vacuum more often.)
That wasn’t even the end of it. We tidied and did endless loads of laundry and washed up until everything sparkled. We went to Tesco for the midweek shop and did not buy even one strawberry milkshake even though they were on sale. Henry practised emptying pens out onto the floor and growing a large tooth, which was no mean feat either. The sun came out to reward my endeavours, and it was glorious.
The only thing we didn’t clean was the bathroom. This is because I hate cleaning the bathroom so much that Timothy has kindly taken it on for the rest of our natural lives. When I clean the bathroom I feel so insanely virtuous that all I can do afterwards is lie down until I’m translated, and I was too busy for that.
It is marvellous, having a clean house. It gives me an uncluttered mind. I could just love everyone in the world with a clean house and sun on the windows, couldn’t you? It’d be wonderful having a house this ordered all the time, except it took me all day. Which was fine, but I can’t be doing housework all day every day, surely? When would I get everything else done?
Of course, I am a housewife now, among other things. Perhaps this is my calling. Perhaps I won’t always have two sets of stairs, more to the point, and if that’s the case, then you have yourself a deal.